Meaning Conference Confirms Speaker Line-Up

Meaning, the annual gathering for progressive business, will take place for the sixth time on 16 November, with a varied line-up of business pioneers and activists taking the stage at the Brighton Dome.

Acclaimed author, entrepreneur and futurologist Mark Stevenson will host this year’s one-day event. An eternal optimist, Stevenson will set the day’s tone inspiring participants to take bold steps forward with proof that meaningful change in vital industries such as big pharma, energy and education is possible.

Other speakers include global resilience guru and disaster consultant, Vinay Gupta, who will talk about blockchain and its potential to alter world bureaucracy for the better. Gupta has been described as ‘the man whose job it is to constantly imagine the collapse of humanity in order to save it.’

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The Misfit Economy’s author, Kyra Maya Phillips, will share her perspective on who is positioned to thrive in the business of the future. Kyra will reveal how innovators aren’t always found in corporate boardrooms, or agile tech start-ups, but often in street markets, prisons and refugee camps. Carl Jarvis, head teacher at Hartsholme Academy , once dismissed as the “worst school in the country”, will tell his story of bold transformation.

Leadership teacher, Margaret Wheatley, will make her case that as this world tears us apart, sane leadership on behalf of the human spirit is the only way forward. From her deep and varied experiences, Wheatley has developed an unshakeable conviction that leaders must learn how to inspire people’s inherent generosity, creativity, and need for community.

Every speaker on the Meaning line-up represents a story of creativity and prevailing against limitations. This theme will be explored with its first day-long creative experiment, beginning with a public dialogue between economists.

Kate Raworth and theatre-maker Zoë Svendssen. Participants will be invited to respond to the dialogue with a creative solution to their own business dilemmas throughout the day. The fusion between arts and economics is part of Zoë’s long-running project on ‘the rehearsal of future scenarios’, due to premiere at the Barbican in 2018.

Louise Ash, Meaning founder said: “The purpose of Meaning is absolutely to breed an army of business activists, who will challenge the post-industrial norms of business culture and practice, reject hierarchy and innovate. Activitsts who will pilot new methods, approaches and ways of working to create a more sustainable, equitable and humane world.”

The 2017 conference is set to be Meaning’s biggest yet: combining inspirational short talks with speaker-led workshops and informal networking spaces. This year also sees the launch of the Meaning Fringe, designed to deepen the opportunity for progressive business thinking within the change-making community.

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