4 Thoughts from Gather Festival 2022

Berghs attended the Gather Festival 2022 to gather inspiration, meet new speakers and keep up with the latest trends. Bergh's Adam Horne was on site and has summarized some of the bits that caught his attention.

Written by Adam Horne
October 10, 2022

Media motivation is a problem

Lots of speakers discussed the problems with both traditional media (who must report more with less) and with social media (that drives hyperbolic content to sell ad inventory). But perhaps the most interesting bit is how investigative journalism is being squeezed. This means that power - from governments to companies - is less likely to be held to account. This also creates a vacuum where corruption flourishes and where authoritarian governments feel emboldened to either intimidate or attack journalists. A fine discussion with Gerard Ryle, Hayaat Ibrahim, and Marcin de Kaminski.

Stop pretending to predict the future

Stephan Sigrist gave a fantastic presentation about the future. Most presentations about the future are designed to make you feel like the presenter can see more predictably into the future. Instead, we were challenged to embrace the "age of ambiguity". We're so hyper-connected in every way (from fashion, to finance, to freedoms) that it's impossible to accurately predict the future. We're also a little fixated on technology being the answer to everything. And that stepping back and seeing a wider, and more human-focused path. There's also a mix of unintended consequences that can be easy or hard to see - and we should be mindful of these.  

Hybrid work might rip companies apart

There was a great panel on the future of work, leadership and organizations. It jumped across everything from the need for leaders to be more honest and vulnerable to why Sweden is slow to embrace freelance life (which might be better for both sides). But the comment that really struck me was that hybrid work isn't working. We worked from home rather effectively during the pandemic because we had to. And because we all worked with the same tools in the same context online. But hybrid work is ambiguous and brings out the worst of working IRL and working remotely. And that we don't have the conventions and expectations on how to do it well. Thanks to Judith Wolst, Azra Osmancevic, and Fredrik Heghammar for a great discussion.

Sometimes you need to turn up

We live in a world where we know we can search for a video on almost any subject. But the role of curation (at events like the Gather Festival) helps get to the core of the subject. But more than that, penciling out time in your calendar to be physically in a place is a commitment worth making. Living in a world where you can do it all on your laptop, it's almost an act of defiance to unplug and hang out with a bunch of people. And if you do, you'll find a bunch of new people who are interested in exploring these issues as much as you are. So, why not find an IRL event (big or small) that catches your curiosity, and turn up. It's a breath of fresh air. 

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