On Friday 5 November 2010 the first Frontiers Concert took place in Milan. The “concert” is a new format of the Frontiers of Interaction universe (disclaimer: I’m the Conference Director of Frontiers) planned as a meeting of great minds, including guest speakers Stewart Brand (Wikipedia) and Bruce Sterling (Wikipedia, Twitter), live music to set the right mood for the weekend, with the rock band Kalweit and the Spokes (Myspace, Facebook) and a great networking opportunity for the Frontiers community with a succulent -all organic- aperitif.
While the event had to be anticipated a couple of hours due to an agenda conflict with Stewart’s other appointments, it still attracted 60+ attendees in what turned out to be the perfect venue for this kind of activity: the Tecnomovie Motion Capture Studio (which is the largest in Europe).
Brand is the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog and co-founder of the Well and the Long Now Foundation. A deep thinker, author, communicator, innovator… actually a polymath, his vision and projects have shaped several areas ranging from science, business and technology to environmentalism and our relationship with time.
As a closing remark he noted that in the Whole Earth Catalog he had written “We are as gods and we might as well get good at it” but in his latest book, Whole Earth Discipline, he begins with “We are as gods and HAVE to get good at it”.
If you want to delve deeper into Stewart’s thinking I recommend you read Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto and Clock Of The Long Now: Time And Responsibility: The Ideas Behind The World’s Slowest Computer. For a fast crash-course into his ideas and projects, check out his TED talks on squatter cities, on the Long Now, 4 environmental heresies and the debate does the world need nuclear energy?
Sterling, a science-fiction author and futurist, was one of the kick-starters of the cyberpunk culture. A long time friend of Frontiers, Bruce joined us to elaborate on Stewart Brand’s thinking and discuss it’s implications for us Italians. He defined Brand as “a guru’s guru” and elaborated on who might be interested in building a clock that’s actually bigger than the one planned for the Long Now Clock project.
As a side-note, Bruce told me during the aperitif that he had finished his latest novel –a paranormal romantic comedy– just one week before… I’m really looking forward to it!
For a thorough description of what bot Stewart and Bruce said during the event, I encourage to read Paula Bonomo’s notes.
After deep reflections about our world and long term future, we needed something to decompress our brains and get ready for the weekend… Kalweit and the Spokes was probably the best way to do so! Based in Milan, the band is composed by Georgeanne Kalweit‘s powerful vocals, Leziero Rescigno‘s precision drums and Giovanni Calella‘s passionate guitar.
More photos of the event here.