Guest director for Meaning conference announced

Mark Stevenson is to be guest director at this year's Meaning conference
Mark Stevenson is to be guest director at this year's Meaning conference

An annual conference for progressive businesses in Brighton welcomes acclaimed author, entrepreneur and futurologist Mark Stevenson as its guest director for 2017.

Meaning conference takes place at the Brighton Dome on November 16 this year. It was first born in 2012 as a way of bringing their forward-thinking community together.

Louise Ash, producer of Meaning, at last year's event

Louise Ash, producer of Meaning, at last year's event

Having sold out last year at the Corn Exchange, the sixth annual Meaning gathering will move to the larger Brighton Dome Concert Hall this November.

The 2017 conference is set to be Meaning’s biggest yet: combining inspirational short talks with speaker-led workshops and informal networking spaces.

With his projects Atlas of the Future and the Futurenauts podcast, guest director Mr Stevenson is on a mission to find the world’s bravest and best disruptors - those who are already years ahead of their time.

His latest book We Do Things Differently has taken him all over the world in search of the rebels who are out there transforming communities; proving that meaningful change is possible in vital industries such as big pharma, energy and education.

Meaning 2016

Meaning 2016

After a volatile 2016, Mr Stevenson’s contribution will bring a new sense of positivity to the Meaning community; reminding the audience that we stand at new horizons for systems change, and inviting them to take bold steps forward.

He said: “I’ll bring a slightly bigger picture to 2017’s event, with a global view and a look at systems and how they interact. And let’s not forget – a sense of fun! We are unashamedly going to have a laugh this year. Along with my fellow Futurenaut Ed Gillespie, I’ll also be hosting a comedy chat show in the evening - there’ll be sketches, special guests, a chance to save the world… and possibly violence, nakedness and puppets. Although the puppets might be a bit of stretch.

“I’m flattered to have been invited and especially excited about spending more time in Brighton. I’m intent on moving to the city in the next few years and hope that it will form the base for my biggest project yet – a school for the future. It seems Brighton has a revolutionary spirit to challenge the status quo as well as a sense of optimism - making it the perfect place.”

With Mr Stevenson as co-curator alongside long-time Meaning producer Louise Ash, the event will bring into focus important discussions of today’s progressive business scene. Guests on this year’s line-up are expected to discuss the latest advances in the circular economy and blockchain; as well as proposing innovative new solutions to the problem of the gig economy.

Louise Ash, Meaning’s producer said: “We’ve felt a strong affinity with Mark since his appearance at Meaning 2014 and we know that ours is a shared mission – the celebration of proven disruptors in business. We’re now working together to bring you the rebels and the mavericks – those who bring ideas back from the edges and prove that a different kind of future is possible. It’s a whirlwind of inspiration for the Meaning community, where ideas are always drawn from eclectic sources.”

Other speakers confirmed for the event include: Tessa Wernink of sustainable technology pioneers Fairphone; Jurriën Mentink from the ingenious Dutch care home Humanitas; Carl Jarvis, headteacher of the UK’s most innovative primary school; Kate Beecroft, co-founder of the freelancer co-operative Enspiral; Kyra Maya Phillips, author of The Misfit Economy; and esteemed ‘global resilience guru’ Vinay Gupta.

For more speaker and ticket information, visit: