In this guest blog the hosts of Meaning 2016 tell us more about this unique event and host Paul Mason.
We are living through extraordinary times. Everything is changing. And it takes extraordinary people to make sense of the disruption and help us find meaning in chaos.
One such person is Paul Mason, who will be the guest director and host of this year's Meaning conference. As a journalist and broadcaster Paul has been on the very frontline of the events that have shaped our current social and economic reality. He made his first appearance on BBC Newsnight on 11 September 2001. In 2008 he reported outside Lehman Brothers on the day it collapsed. He has been an eyewitness to events in Gaza, the Greek financial crisis, the Scottish referendum and the Arab Spring.
Although angry with the neoliberal system that he believes is responsible for these events, Paul is optimistic about the prospect of a better world. And he has a plan for getting there. He believes it is the dawn of information technology and its “tendency to dissolve markets, destroy ownership and break down the relationship between work and wages” that offers us a greater opportunity for systemic change than we’ve ever seen before.
In his book Postcapitalism — a guide to our future Paul paints a picture of a perfect society — one where the neoliberal system is eventually overtaken by something more dynamic that “exists, at first, almost unseen within the old system, but which breaks through, reshaping the economy around new values, behaviours and norms.”
Paul believes it is the rise of technology, abundant free information and collaborative production that is giving rise to a new business subculture. In this new culture, “goods, services and organisations no longer respond to the dictates of the market and managerial hierarchy”. The proliferation of parallel currencies, time banks, cooperatives and self managed spaces that have emerged as a result of the 2008 crisis now offer an escape route from capitalism itself.
As guest director of Meaning 2016, Paul has invited some of the pioneers who are making these changes possible to share their motivations, ideas and stories. Find out more about the other speakers so far announced here.
Paul will provide the opening keynote and host the day on 17 November — his perspective and unflinching approach to the issues will make Meaning 2016 a powerful day for anyone who believes in better business.
Tickets are currently on sale. Get yours and be part of the change for better 21st century business.