It’s always a nervous moment revealing the speakers for Meaning. Months of research, noodling, stalking, persuading and preparation suddenly turn into an actual line-up. And what a line-up! But why this line-up?
As curator I approach the task of choosing content for the conference by exploring three questions. What am I worried about? What *should* I be worried about? And what is the Meaning community worried about? (This may sound a bit negative but hey, these are worrying times. You can call them challenges if you like.)
So through the process of sorting through the word cloud of existential anxiety (insert curiosity if your preference is for positive spin) in my head I figure out the topics and themes we’ll cover. Then I follow my nose around the internet, consume a shit load of content and buy too many books.
I don’t consider myself to be particularly clever and I’m definitely not academic. So most of the resulting invitations are made on gut feel. Does this idea or project address The Worries? Does it fill me with hope for the future? Could it actually be part of the real deal systemic solution to The Worries?
So I’d like to introduce you to the first five speakers who will be with us on the main stage at Meaning 2019. Invited for their big ideas, bold approaches and unique insights.
As a co-founder of Extinction Rebellion Clare is at the strategic heart of a mass movement of people using non-violent direct action to protest against government inaction on climate breakdown. It is the group’s firm belief that these are a proven methods to create rapid change. So far it looks as though they might have been right. And thank goodness for that.More about Clare
Paul Mason returns to Meaning to help us explore what it means to be human in an age of algorithms and markets. He will offer us a vision of ourselves as more than puppets, customers or cogs in a machine. This will be an optimistic call to arms for the restoration of our collective humanity.More about Paul
Armin is an investor on a mission: a mission to help companies protect themselves from the clutches of ‘vulture capital’. At Meaning he’ll introduce us to the concept of steward ownership as a way to nurture a business’s growth without risking the integrity of its founding purpose. Alternative ownership models is a key theme for this year so Armin’s contribution will be really valuable.More about Armin
As chief executive of the New Economics Foundation, Miatta leads an organisation that’s at the cutting edge of thinking on progressive economics and social policy. At Meaning she’ll help us understand how a Green New Deal can work in practice to create a more equitable and sustainable economy for all. NEF will also host a breakout session on the shorter working week.More about Miatta
Maff Potts believes that people have two simple needs: friends and purpose. As founder of the Camerados, he shows us how sometimes the most powerful thing we can do is to show up and be there – alongside the friends, colleagues and strangers who need us. This will be a moving and inspiring invitation to join the movement for friendship. (Maff is also a very funny man. Which of course you can see from the amusing hat he’s wearing in this picture.)More about Maff
I’ve got plenty more worries where those came from! So there will be more speakers, breakout sessions and fringe events coming soon. But I promise that the day itself will be a forward looking, solution focussed, action orientated extravaganza of hope and human ingenuity. We will learn, we will be inspired, we will laugh, we might cry, and we will eat a very tasty lunch together.
Please join us in Brighton on 14 November if you can.Book your place