Friday 2nd December | 155 Bishopsgate, EC2
You know it well. It’s that cosy, complicit feeling, fuelled by stiff drinks and limp handshakes, where everyone feels like they’re embracing the future because they’ve watched a few tingly videos while fiddling on their phones.
So, at this year’s FutureBook conference, we've put in place a five-part anti-smug strategy.
We’ve invited speakers who do not work in ‘digital': Digital departments are increasingly defunct. We’ve asked people working in HR, marketing, editorial and more to share how they integrate new tools and approaches into their everyday work.
We’re focusing on skills over ideas: Ideas are easy; turning them into action is hard. Keynote speaker Eva Appelbaum, who has led digital transformations for organisations such as BBC Earth, heads up a stream on the skills publishers need now.
We’re encouraging dissent: Our moderators have been primed to avoid group consensus and stimulate debate, while our keynotes will include perspectives from both lifelong digital advocate James Whatley and vociferous digital sceptic Andrew Keen.
We’re inviting people from outside the publishing inner circle: Our first panel will examine how the creative industries must learn from each other to survive, and sessions such as our BookTech pitch-off will draw in fresh faces with diverse backgrounds.
Avoiding false dichotomies: Pitting print against digital, or self-publishing against the traditional industry, is lazy and dull. We’ll be examining the new hybrids that really work.
I look forward to seeing you there for a smug-free day - although, admittedly, there will be some wine.
- Molly Flatt
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