Decoding Tomorrow:
Futurism and Foresights Today

Foresights and ideas that expand minds and inspire a change of heart.

The Future of Cinematic Conferences: win digital minds & analogue hearts

23 Aug 2021

Your audience has zoom fatigue. Luckily, technology now enables new creative expressions and cinematic dissemination of avant-garde ideas.

For the last fifteen years I’ve been preparing leaders for digital disruption, sustainable innovation and human transformation. Before the novel coronavirus came along, I’d travel the world and share science fiction stories and thought experiments from the future - with the humans of today - to enable predictive change (before it was too late). My thought leadership has centred on the migration from the analogue world to the digital, and the associated humanitarian - and planetarian - impact of that inevitable change.

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When the pandemic hit we all saw those science fiction scenarios come to life with more power and gusto than even us futurists imagined. The avant-garde was suddenly very immediate. The future got here a lot sooner than we thought. And many of those organisations who had not heeded the future signal nor digitally diversified perished (including sadly my parents' 104-year-old family business), while many who had prepared, flourished.

Humbled by this future shock (and saddened by the historic loss of livelihoods) I often ask our clients and their stakeholders (who are transforming) the question: 

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Well, a burning platform goes a long way to driving behavioural shift, but it is now up to us as humans, parents and leaders to continue building a better - more sustainable science fiction story - one that catalyses our transformational impetus. 

My role as a futurist is to reach further into the future and draw out the sustainable foresights that ready our workforces' and leaders' hearts and minds for what’s ahead - the 2nd RenaissanceAnd I believe you deserve to flourish in that future. 


We’ve seen a decade's worth of digital acceleration compressed into a few short months. It’s hard to overstate the implications for how we live, work, create, innovate and exist - in tandem with our citizenry and the planet. And how these changes are leading us to a re-birth - a renaissance - of our humanity.

At heart, we remain analogue creatures, but we are now augmenting our most human skills and cognition through technology. We disseminate creative ideas further and more deeply through cinematic simulations and virtual realities.

We’re starting to abdicate more menial and mundane work to machines, while we undertake more meaningful, more humane work. We’re working alongside sophisticated technology to do more complex - more creative and ultimately humane - work. Work that creatively enables us to drive positive outcomes for the 3Ps - people, planet and profit. 

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We are seeing the early dawn of a 2nd Renaissance — an era of flourishing human creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and humanistic thought - which focusses on doing more with less. This 2nd Renaissance is enabled by technology and virtual communication platforms. Our award-winning B2B communications campaign with Adobe and WE Communications where we designed and launched the AdobeCQ is an example of a purely virtual collaboration creating waves around the planet. This is the power of virtual meetings and idea dissemination!

And just like previous pandemics like the Spanish Flu and the Black Plague led to massive labour force changes, social mobility and investment in labour-saving technologies, today's pandemic is leading us into a 2.0 iteration of the Renaissance. Just like the Black Plague was the precursor to the first Renaissance, this pandemic is laying the foundations for a future where humanistic thought, creativity and sustainable innovation rule supreme.

We need to navigate this emerging terrain and find how to maximise and scale our most irreplaceable, human skills. While in lockdown in Sydney, I find myself doing exactly that. Finding new creative ways to scale my sense of humanism in virtual quarantine.

Although I don’t travel much further than around the block these days, I still share my thinking, research and avant-garde ideas that expand minds and inspire a change of heart with intimate leadership teams and large partner audiences - globally.

In the last few months, we have been beaming HD/HIFI future signal into remote locations for clients like Adobe (AsiaPac), Tetra Pak Latam (Rio de Janeiro), the Innovation Outreach Program (Los Angeles), United Nations Development Program / MBRF (Dubai), Align Tech (Zurich), Scotiabank (Toronto), Philips (Amsterdam), SAP (Singapore), Workday (Australia and New Zealand) and Victoria Summit (Melbourne), and over the next few weeks Facebook (London), Gartner (AsiaPac), and Westpac (Australia).

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Technology has not only been our only lifeline, it has also been a huge collaboration and creativity catalyst (see for example our award-winning B2B campaign for AdobeCQ). 

These events and idea festivals we have co-curated are cinematic, high-end productions, and oftentimes simulive, while some clients simply prefer a relaxed virtual fireside chat from our custom-built Avalon studio in Sydney (or even from home in the case of our Workday documentary).

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The premise of the 2nd Renaissance is that everyone's business models (including futurists' business models) are being hacked by health orders, lockdowns and the virus. And that the most human touch today and for the foreseeable future is the digital touch. Luckily, technology and the internet now enable Netflix-quality broadcasts that take the notion of conferences and events to a whole new level.

Already back in 2012 we saved a pharmaceutical client 250,000 USD on their Senior Directors' Conference budget by virtualising it - well ahead of the current curve. Imagine how many more analogue hearts and digital minds you can win today if you creatively adopt the tech platforms that can scale your brand's signal in a digital age (like our collaboration case studies with Facebook, Adobe, Microsoft, and ING)  - and drive home the message of sustainable innovation in the 2nd Renaissance... 

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I know, you must be thinking - isn't it the best thing when this futurist is forced to walk his own talk of digital disruption and human transformation?

Well, humbly and vulnerably, all of our business models have become digitally, or virally, hacked. And yes, I do miss parts of my carbon-offset travel to New York, Dubai, San Francisco, Shanghai and Stockholm. So, when it came to my eating my own digital transformation and sustainable innovation advice -  I made sure that I was the one doing the hacking. And I must say I am enjoying the creative freedom that our professional studio is enabling us when it comes to sustainable innovation dissemination.

Any business that wants to survive and thrive needs to do the same. Start investing in digital meetings and events platforms and use them to catalyse sustainable innovation and creativity in the emergent 2nd Renaissance. 


*My heart still ticks analogue. Check out this Sustainable Story keynote for Di Jones

If you want to learn more about Sustainable Innovation, why not book a keynote / workshop presentation / content collaboration with global futurist Anders Sörman-Nilsson of Thinque.

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Check out some behind-the-scenes footage of the most recent evolution of our custom-built virtual broadcasting studio in Avalon Beach, where we are happy to beam you the future no matter where in the world you are.

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