Malmö, Sweden - 4./5. September 2017 - RF

Wrap up of The Conference 2017 - Three highlights by THE

Once a year, 1’500 international human beings gather in Malmö, Sweden when Media Evolution calls for “The Conference”. Diverse topics get discussed around the question “How can media and communication help to build a better society?”

The Conference is a truly unique kind of congress. CEO and Co-Founder of THE Christopher Peterka has been closely working with The Conference since 2010 and states: “Every year I get somehow surprised by the unique setting and the creative components of The Conference. It’s unlike any business meetup I know – and I’ve been to hundreds of those. What I love the most about these days in Malmö is the very personal and familiar vibe that comes up automatically, when you name your welcome dinner a “family dinner” and when the organizer, Magnus Thure Nilsson, a friend of THE and his team of Media Evolution, hug every single attendant on the very first day as a welcoming gesture.” This year’s edition was hosted at the Opera of Malmö and a couple of THE members and staff attended.

We wrapped up our three highlights (speeches) for you in this IMPULSE.

“How to do nothing” by Jenny Odell

The young charismatic artist started off her keynote by telling everyone about the rose garden in her neighborhood somewhere in California. Especially since “the election” she pointed out, she loves to just sit there – not reading, not instagramming – just sitting and doing nothing. She told us about her dad, that had the courage to eventually ask himself: What do I really want to do in my life? And took the freedom to actually just do nothing for quite some time, to then really embrace what he was truly passionate about. The thing that really stuck with us from this keynote is that “doing nothing is not a privilege, when in fact it is a right” and it does give an individual the necessary space to let new things arise and be creative in a way that is quite liberating. Jenny sees our time like this: “A kind of colonization of the self by capitalist ideas of efficiency and productivity.”

Every hour can nowadays means money in some kind, and we pledge to be reachable at all times. The keynote of Jenny Odell reminded us that we are still human beings and we need time in nature, and non-commercial spaces that give us the room to actually just be, listen, breathe, and live. You might want to try it and practice more often. Get inspired by her speech (57′).


As many of us right now, May Al-Karooni is certain that we, as humans, kind of messed up. But she and her co-speakers made clear that there is a lot effort put towards change. We got enlightened about the upcoming and totally necessary shift from the current systems in the economy to a circular economy that is holistically more sustainable and reuses resources of all kind on a big scale.

Big corporations have massive output on “waste” or perfectly fine materials, that could be reused, but there just isn’t a very easy way to get rid of it in a good way. With she founded a platform that connects corporations with individuals and charity. She shared challenges that they faced with globechain such as the fact, that the common big players in industries and their supply chain structures are all built on an old system and with globechain being a solely digital platform, they had to rewrite structures and rely on certain individuals in the companies to actually get somewhere.

The Circular Economy transformation needs enablers like the government and investment firms so the players in this innovational field can get access to new technologies and knowledge.

Check out her keynote here (14′)


Stephanie Dinkins introduced the audience to a social robot and talked about how she interacted with Rubi 48, who is a part of a project that aims to transfer a human consciousness into a robot and let it grow further. Stephanie reminded everyone: “We humans really have a lot of work to do in making sure, that the AI world we’re creating right now, is inclusive, diverse and transparent.” She said that we should bring everyone to the table of AI and make sure that everyone has the ability to contributing to this new way of leaving behind information for future generations in form of code. As of today, there is already a lot of inequality happening in the AI world for example in terms of race and there’s so many algorithms that still have huge holes because they were written by a too homogeneous group of people. In the future, when AI systems decide what medical treatment you’ll get or what state of citizenship you have, we want those holes to be as small as possible. And for ensuring that, Stephanie asked all of us: What does AI need from you? What can you bring to the table?

“If you work somewhere in this sector and you look around at your workplace and everyone around you either looks like you or thinks just like you – you’ll need to ask yourself: How can I get a little discomfort in here?” We should all proactively foster diversity and shape the future to be inclusive, transparent and diverse.

Check out her full speech here (16′)

Martin Thornkvist about Transformation

A few months ago we had the pleasure of welcoming the former curator and director of The Conference at our Co-Creation Day workshop in Cologne. We asked Martin a few questions regarding transformation and international collaboration.