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  • Writer's pictureKate Stone

Next Conference - Hamburg

October 2022 I gave an opening keynote at Next Conference in Hamburg. The conference is part of Reeperbahn festival in Hamburg. A little like Europes SXSW.

The event was held in the beautiful Schmidts Tivoli Theatre. And I was lucky to have a wonderful audience, who did all the right things a speaker needs. Smile, laugh at my jokes and bring a warm energy within which I can tell my stories.

Over the last few years my talks have evolved into 'Six Reasons the Future Might Look More Like the Past Than the Present'. A mix of where my journey through science, technology, art and design has taken me throughout my life combined with adventures in the wilderness; hiking and camping. This has then blended with a search for personal meaning in life, exploring what makes me happy and finding a place I can thrive. Also considerations for the world we live in, how we blend sustainability with resilience and resourcefulness and then finally being flung into a pandemic and what that means to being human and surviving.

Everything that happens to me in my life, where I go, who I meet, what I do and especially the challenges, cause me to reflect on who I am and what makes me happy. Beyond that I'm curious about who humans are, how we function and what is really important to us.

In this talk, I consider that if we really could start to understand what makes us tick, then perhaps, instead of sleep walking into a dystopian future of our nightmares, perhaps we can build a future of our dreams. Our future isn't really about technology, it is more about humans and our environment.

These six reasons for a more human and natural future are my attempt to explore this. And it is this area I wish to continue exploring through what I write and talks I give.

My speaking approach is freestyle. I like the freedom that no script and slides gives me. I have a strong sense of message in my head that I want to convey, and this gives me the ability to tell any story that comes into my mind whilst on the stage, so long as the story carries and grows the message in the minds of the audience. I like to think of these talks as a conversation with the audience. They might not be speaking, but I feel their energy, see their smiles and hear the laughter or other noises.

The feedback I received left me feeling that whilst the content was thought provoking the vulnerable style of just freely speaking to an audience without script was greatly appreciated.

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