The Tällberg Forum 2012 will be 72 hours for reflection, rethinking and new insights.
Five years ago, Monocle (the media of choice of the cool and trendy) described the Tällberg Forum like this: "In the overcrowded and competitive market of conferences that will change the world, the Tällberg Forum in Central Sweden stands out... With its more holistic approach to problem-solving, its eclectic mix of participants" it strives "to push fresh thought into concrete action".
I remember that we at the Tällberg Foundation were quite happy about this description of the forum, and we still like it. 2012 is not 2007 (how the world looked simple back then!), but we still convene our yearly gathering. We have chosen not to grow, even though the "market for conferences" has continued to grow, as have the opportunities for thinkers to share their ideas, or the gatherings at which leaders can network.
A few weeks ago, we all followed what was being discussed at the World Economic Forum in Davos (some of our closest friends were there).At the end of February, a small selection of outstanding voices (including some other close friends of ours) will speak at TED2012 and address the live audience in Southern California and the world. A month later, in late March, it is time for the Skoll World Forum. And this summer (after the Tällberg Forum) the Aspen Ideas Festival will bring great minds together.
But the Tällberg Forum is different. Partly because the village of Tällberg is different - and unique. But also because there are still very few opportunities to spend 72 hours in an atmosphere completely conducive to reflection, to thinking (and re-thinking), to questioning ones assumptions and to coming up with the new ideas. And to do so with like-minded people. For that, there is no better tool that the conversation. Structured and planned, or spontaneous and probing - both work and both can open the new perspectives. Because searching for new insights is like so much else: "Everyone wants to do their own thing, but no-one wants to do it alone" (to borrow the words of Charlie Wine).
This year we focus on the transformations brought about by technologists, innovators and researchers, and that we all need to understand. Nanotechnology. New materials. Computing. New energy sources. Biotechnology. And how these breakthroughs are building on and feeding off each other. Because one thing remains clear: we all need to expand our ability to imagine the future(s) we want, and the tools that will get us there. That is this year's theme: Going beyond our imagination.
See you in Tällberg on 14 June 2012!
Research Director and a part of the Tällberg Forum Team