“Contrary to the impression that you might get from the newspapers—that we’re living in a time of epidemics and war and crime—the curves show that humanity has been getting better, that we’re living longer, we are fighting fewer wars, and fewer people are being killed in the wars”.
This quote is from an interview with Steven Pinker, on the Slate podcast I Have To Ask. In his newest book Enlightenment Now, Pinker makes a strong case that the world is getting better, not worse. He adds, too, that rates of homicide are down, violence against women is down, literacy is increasing worldwide, we have more leisure time, we’re eradicating diseases, and famines are becoming rarer.
Today we have the technology to solve even more challenges. But while the world may be getting better, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Not by a long shot. There are huge challenges left to be solved. To address those challenges, we have to work together, and we could make huge progress by being smart about how we use new, exponential technologies. The best place to come together and do precisely that, is at Katapult Future Fest.
Katapult Future Fest is not your typical tech conference. The entire event is designed to take advantage of the incredible skills, expertise and diversity that not just the speakers, but also the attendants bring with them. In the course of three days, we’ll work together toward achieving something real—taking steps toward making the world a better place. The event is designed to be efficient, to be memorable, and not least: to be respectful of your time.
At KFF18, each of six core topics will be addressed through a keynote, but also through panels, workshops and fireside chats—all in an intimate and social setting, within the unique environment of the SALT and Vippa venues on Oslo’s old quayside. Besides the core program, you can attend yoga, sauna parties, concerts and startup pitches, build the future tree, and much more.
Read on to learn more about who you’ll meet, what you’ll learn and what you can do at Katapult Future Fest—i.e., all the arguments you need to persuade yourself, get your boss to foot the bill and have you take back plenty of new learning.
1. The speakers – some of the world’s greatest minds gathered for 3 days
We are extremely proud of announcing this year’s incredible speakers, more than 60 in total, coming from all over the globe. At KFF we have no VIP rooms. There are no speakers flying in and out, they’re all here for the entire festival. That means that for three days in May, Oslo, Norway will be the thought capital of the world! We can guarantee that this will be the most diverse and interesting group of speakers you’ll meet. Here’s just a small selection of speakers and their talks at KFF18:
PS: Somebody told us that finding female keynotes can be hard, and especially in technology, but honestly, we have no idea what they are talking about.
2. The topics – not just technology, we go deeper
We have traveled the world, met with the most exciting and brilliant people and discussed everything under the sun to gather the most interesting and important topics that are changing the world today. When we talk about how exponential technologies will shape the future of learning, governance, environment, economy, food and health, we do not want to just explain how these new technologies work, we want to also talk about what they will do to us and how they will change our lives—for good and for bad. Let’s try to see the bigger picture and see how we can solve some of the bigger challenges facing us today. Specifically, we want to create output that make progress toward the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
3. A new approach to learning – no typical conference
We believe there are better and more efficient ways to learn than just seeing a talking head. We believe in conversation, interaction and network. That’s not to talk down our keynotes, which will be amazing. But rather than being end points, the keynotes will kick us off: They start the conversation and from there, each core topic sifts through a fireside chat, panels and then workshops. That way, you do not only hear an inspirational thought leader but internalize the topic and field through debates and workshops—the result being a much more in depth understanding of the problem. And a basis to go ahead and solve it.
4. The surroundings – the blue, the green and the city in between
Inspiration comes from all around, including the surroundings. And what surroundings they are! Katapult Future Fest will take place at SALT and Vippa, two venues within walking distance by the waterfront in the city center of Oslo. The city is located between green hills and the fjord, and is truly beautiful in the spring and summer. Vippa is a renovated industrial building which now is filled with street food stands and benches making it one of the coolest places in Oslo to hang out and grab something to eat and drink, while SALT is a nomadic art installation embedded with Norwegian cultural heritage. You can sit by the water and just watch the sea and the sun. After a day of learning we light the bonfires and continue the conversation.
5. You’ll make friends
If you gather the smartest and most interesting people in the world in one place you definitely want to hang around, get the chance to talk and do things together. At KFF we strive to make that very easy and natural for everyone, with a range of great options. Try the yoga and meditation sessions, join workshops or visit our Trans Tech Tipi where you can experience VR/AR like never before. There will be startup pitches where you can see the heroes of our future as they pitch their solutions. Add a leaf to our Future Tree at the center of the festival where each leaf will be a challenge, idea or solution for a better future. Grab a drink or something to eat! There will be lots of great options from super healthy to … perhaps not-so-healthy. And last but not least stop by the podcast studio and share your thoughts, get heated up in the sauna and then jump into the fjord right after to cool down.
6. Memories for life
As you sum up your KFF18 experience, we guarantee that you will not only have learned, but also experienced a lot, and have the photos to prove it—whether it is listening to your hero, meeting somebody who from an exciting startup, or debating how the blockchain will affect the world in a steaming sauna and then jumping into the fjord. In addition to all of these things, there are also some big great events. Join us on May 14 as we gather Katapulters in town for a casual kick-off at Sentralen, a newly renovated bank building turned into a co-working space for startups as well as housing a restaurant, café and concert venues. Two days later we go out with a bang, with the The Great Grand After-Party at Vippa – that will rock your socks off with the best people and some of the most energetic and fantastic DJs around!
And, for you internationals: Any Norwegian will tell you that May is a great month to visit Norway. With the warm weather finally (hopefully) returning, the city is at its most beautiful, and the people at their happiest. Not to mention that May 17th—i.e., the day after KFF18 ends—is the Norwegian Constitution Day. That means a biiiig party! Like in many other countries there is a parade, not made up of tanks and the military, but rather of school children all dressed up in their best suits and dresses or their traditional costumes, with flags and ice cream in their hands. May 17th is one of our favorite days of the year, so if you have the chance, stick around to experience it.