Last year, Fast Company, a New York based world’s leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation in technology, leadership, and design, send us an invitation to be part of an important conversation named The Dawn Of Super Intelligence.
The Fast Company European Innovation Festival, a two day seminar slash festival took place in Gucci‘s 35,000 square meter Milan head office in the historic Caproni aeronautical factory built in 1915. (The Gucci HQ are located at via Mecenate 77, Milan.) A place were you normally can not enter visiting Milan, not even during Il Salone Di Mobile…The venue looked top, the program intriguing and the list of speakers impressive, that’s the least you could say. Yuval Noah Harari! Jared Leto! Darren Aronofsky! Massimo Bottura! Natalie Massenet! Samuel “Blitz” Bazawule, Jessica Brillhart, Dustin Yellin, David de Rothschild, Africa Flores-Anderson and many, many more. (see list). Obviously, I booked me a flight and off I went.
I decided to write this article nearly one year after the festival took place. Why? Well, I all ready talked you about the most needed reflection time I got due to the Corona crisis & the global lock down we’re still in. During one of my reading & researching moments, I realised how the world had changed in a period of only 10 months, knowing that the Milan trip was July 9th and 10 th 2019… We never could have imagined that only a short year away, we could no longer travel freely or be in the same room with even a selected group of 300 people from all over the world. Unthinkable indeed.
The Dawn Of Super Intelligence
You know the central theme of the festival was The Dawn Of Super Intelligence. The idea was to bring together business and creative leaders for two days of urgent conversations around the potential presented by emerging superintelligent machines and technology. How could we have imagined that today we would not debate about technology, but about a virus that holds the entire world in a strangling sleepmodus and about all the disruptive shifts this pandemic will set in motion, negative ànd positive ones. That we would not talk about how civilization sits at the precipice of a new era, one that will see computers leap from artificial intelligence to a sort of organic superintelligence, but about how to collaborate on large scales, cross company & disciplinary to find a cure or a working vaccine? Not about how man and machine can collaborate to create a new paradigm for society, one that combines the superintelligence of technologies with the super-sensitivity of humans, but about saving the economic system and keep on fighting global warming & climate change at the same time?
No, off course not. The future was so bright and technology was pulling us in as if we were God ourselves. Today we know better.
But realising that today, I’m still convinced that we should keep having these intense debates together with thegreat mix of intelligent, creative minds from countless different sectors we had a the FC Innovation Festival. Talks about how we want our intelligent machines to control information and processes designed to make human life easier, and how to move to a more inclusive, experience-rich, and meaningful world for the generations to come.
Check out some footage of the festival in this post, and follow some of the speakers on their social channels. We need today, more than ever initiatives that break through the clutter, the day-to-day bullshit, and not to forget the fear about what’s will be next, post-Covid-19 times.
Thank you Fast Company for the invitation, even a year after date. I still use the insights of those two day to do my job and look at the future shifts. I hope we’ll meet again, for new conversations. The world will need them.
Oh, yes, did I tell you that ALL of the guests, speakers and presenters were dressed, head to toe, in Gucci. Not like models, but all in their unique creative style. What great way of credible product placement! Another great one: one of my absolute favourite chefs, Massimo Bottura, was not only there for a sofa talk about innovation, sustainability, and philanthropy with FC head-chief editor Stephanie Mehta, but his team also prepared the famous “Tortellini del Tortellante” for us. This dish stands for Project Tortellante, where the Italian pasta, ‘tortellini’ is used as a symbol of beauty and culture, but also of solidarity and social inclusion. The association which he is both mentor and ambassador, together with his wife Lara Gilmore, teaches young people with autism to work with fresh pasta, alongside Rezdore (a group of women from Modena, Italy, who are said to be the keepers of the secrets of true Tortellini) – a project that is giving real employment opportunities to those taking part.
All pictures by Kate Stockman
About Fast Company
Fast Company was launched in November 1995 by Alan Webber and Bill Taylor, two former Harvard Business Review editors, Fast Company magazine was founded on a single premise: A global revolution was changing business, and business was changing the world. Discarding the old rules of business, Fast Company set out to chronicle how changing companies create and compete, to highlight new business practices, and to showcase the teams and individuals who are inventing the future and reinventing business.