On November 2nd, The Disruptive Innovation Festival (DIF) launches its second annual online event to investigate the leading innovations shaping our global economy and pushing it into the future. For three weeks, thinkdif.co will be a platform for disseminating up to 12 hours of content per day, curated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation—an organization dedicated to advancing the transition to a circular economy—and featuring a host of forward-looking start-ups, entrepreneurs, designers, thought-leaders and policymakers. Throughout the sessions (last year there were over 200) big-picture themes such as systems thinking, new business models, sharing economy and the internet of things will be discussed, debated and, hopefully, disrupted.
The unique open-access nature of the festival foregrounds the discovery of new perspectives, so it seems natural that there are built-in opportunities for audience members to join the discussion and even to create content. It won't be just about the line-up of must-see headliners; attendees are given equal footing on the DIF stage. Registered users are eligible to host an Open Mic session, during which they lead the discussion about an idea that most matters to them. In addition, a list of international universities are participating in Big Top Tents, guided sessions that can take any shape the school chooses—from panel discussions to mini courses—and are aimed at sharing unique research and approaches. This mix of curated and impromptu content is geared toward participation and refreshingly flexible. A space that promotes unheard voices is probably a space where exciting conversations are happening.
We parsed the long (!) list of programming and selected a few of our top picks from this year's line-up:
A live, simultaneous Teardown Lab will take place at participating FabLabs and maker spaces around the world, focusing on exploring the value of everyday objects. After the teardowns, attendees will collaborate to develop concepts and think about meaningful ways to repurpose the component parts they've uncovered into a new device. This is one of the few physical events of the festival, but a live feed will stream the activities on DIF's site.
Michael Braungart on Cradle to Cradle Design
Braungart is one of the co-authors of Cradle to Cradle and his talk will be about dismantling mainstream ideas about sustainability ("Less bad is the not the same as good") and outline how we can increase our positive footprint by adopting Cradle to Cradle methods—an idea which he believes is about celebrating life.
Regenerative Business: Learn from Etsy.org
This summer, Etsy opened up a new direction and launched Etsy.org—an entrepreneurial education program focused on regenerative business. The platform is being developed as a transformative new approach to business education, emphasizing personal growth and an understanding of the natural and social systems upon which we are operating. They recently launched a 15-week program to explore their ideas for what a 21st century business education should be, and their session at DIF—led by Matthew Stinchcomb, the Executive Director of Etsy.org—will provide insight into how the course is developing and why they thought it was necessary in the first place.
Though each session has a scheduled airtime, most of the content will remain available for 30 days. Check out the full schedule of programming here, or if you're curious, watch some featured videos from last year's run.
For more information on the ethos behind DIF, watch this quick primer created by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation:
Disruptive Innovation Festival 2015 will run from November 2-22, 2015.