Topics

The DIF's content is shaped around eight topics. Each year we select three of these topics to be the key threads that run through the Festival and which our headline acts focus on, these are highlighted in yellow.

Circular Economy 101

Get to grips with the basics of a circular economy. Looking beyond our current "take-make-dispose" linear economy which is extractive and wasteful, a circular economy; designs out waste, keeps products and materials in use and regenerates natural systems.

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Cities in Transition

Described as smart, resilient, regenerative, even generous; cities are a focal point for so many of the discussions about economic prosperity, human health, and environmental impact in the 21st century. They’ve become increasingly critical as political decision making bodies representing the world’s most intense concentrations of resources, energy and information.

Much more than just bricks and mortar, cities are also central to much of the world’s cutting-edge innovation, acting as hubs for designing and testing out new business models and technology at scale. What will it take to make tomorrow’s cities everything that we promise they’ll be today? And who, or even where, will lead that change?

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Future of Food

Industrialised food production has been large scale and centralised for well over 100 years now, but there are increasingly worrying signs that this can’t last forever. Soil quality degradation, fossil fuel dependence and high losses are becoming far too common. It’s time for a different approach.

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  • Add to Calendar 23/11/2018 14:00 23/11/2018 14:45 Europe/London Insects as Food and Feed: An Emerging Asian Circular Economy Story Online at thinkdif.co Ellen MacArthur Foundation no-reply@ellenmacarthurfoundation.org false DD/MM/YYYY
    Insects as Food and Feed: An Emerging Asian Circular Economy Story

    Insects as Food and Feed: An Emerging Asian Circular Economy Story

    Live at 14:00 GMT ON 23 Nov

    Telling the insect story with holistic lessons from farming, regulation and association

    • Speakers:
    • David Allan, Josh Galt, Neil lan Lumanlan, Nathan Preteseille
    Future of Food
  • Add to Calendar 16/11/2018 14:00 16/11/2018 14:55 Europe/London Towards a Better Food System Online at thinkdif.co Ellen MacArthur Foundation no-reply@ellenmacarthurfoundation.org false DD/MM/YYYY
    Towards a Better Food System

    Towards a Better Food System

    Available to watch

    How can we shift our food system onto a healthier path that will provide future food security?

    • Speakers:
    • Justin Horne, Andrew Stephen, Paul Newnham
    Future of Food Thinking in Systems
  • Add to Calendar 09/11/2018 17:00 09/11/2018 17:45 Europe/London Feeding One-fifth: Circular Food in China Online at thinkdif.co Ellen MacArthur Foundation no-reply@ellenmacarthurfoundation.org false DD/MM/YYYY
    Feeding One-fifth: Circular Food in China

    Feeding One-fifth: Circular Food in China

    Available to watch

    For the simple fact of its scale, China plays an important role in the global food system. What it eats and how it eats has far-reaching implications for everybody.

    • Speakers:
    • Federico Duarte, Emma Chow
    Future of Food Thinking in Systems

Materials & Design

Often, 'good design' is defined by the performance or functionality of a product or service, the ergonomics, and the aesthetics. Yet most of the materials we use, we lose, the things we make are consistently under-utilised.

However, a new mindset is emerging; one where we design our products in a way that asks 'what next'? The goods of today should be the resources of tomorrow. This shift in thinking is worth around a trillion dollars and will drive innovation in tomorrow's companies, and reshape every part of our lives.

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People in the Economy

Nightly news bulletins often tell us how the economy is performing using an array of acronyms and percentages that have, let’s face it, little meaning in our day-to-day lives. We are sold the story that economic growth is good for us all, “A rising tide lifts all boats”, and all the other cliches. However, critics of how we measure economic success are not hard to find. They argue that the way we currently determine ‘success’ has many blind spots and can leave a lot of people behind.

As the economy continues to evolve, how can we ensure that people get access to the goods and services, materials and components they need to help them live and prosper? What type of economy do we want to live in?

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  • Add to Calendar 19/11/2018 08:00 19/11/2018 08:00 Europe/London Why You Should Actually Care about the Future of Work Online at thinkdif.co Ellen MacArthur Foundation no-reply@ellenmacarthurfoundation.org false DD/MM/YYYY
    Why You Should Actually Care about the Future of Work

    Why You Should Actually Care about the Future of Work

    Available to watch from 19 November

    In curating his newsletter Exponential View, Azeem Azhar reckons he’s read up to 60 million words on the societal implications of technology. This makes him the ideal person to accompany us on a deep exploration of the changing world of employment.

    • Speakers:
    • ​Azeem Azhar
    People in the Economy Reinventing Business
  • Add to Calendar 16/11/2018 17:00 16/11/2018 18:00 Europe/London Universal Basic Income: An Idea Whose Time Has Come? Online at thinkdif.co Ellen MacArthur Foundation no-reply@ellenmacarthurfoundation.org false DD/MM/YYYY
    Universal Basic Income: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

    Universal Basic Income: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

    Available to watch

    Imagine if every citizen was given a five-figure sum of money by the state, every year, no questions asked. This is the idea behind Universal Basic Income (UBI).

    • Speakers:
    • Almaz Zelleke, Peter McColl
    People in the Economy
  • Add to Calendar 09/11/2018 14:00 09/11/2018 18:00 Europe/London ColaborAmerica X DIF - Main Stage Takeover Online at thinkdif.co Ellen MacArthur Foundation no-reply@ellenmacarthurfoundation.org false DD/MM/YYYY
    ColaborAmerica X DIF - Main Stage Takeover

    ColaborAmerica X DIF - Main Stage Takeover

    Available to watch

    We'll be streaming live from ColaborAmerica​, one of the biggest festivals of new economies in Latin America which discusses innovation, technology and alternative models of economy.

    • Speakers:
    • Katherine Trebeck, Jonathan Dawson, Michel Bauwens, Maria Paz Cigaran, Gabriel Pinto
    People in the Economy

Reimagining Learning

If we accept that human and natural systems tend to be interconnected, complex and dynamic, then educational programs made up of disparate parts can no longer be the norm. This surely has implications for how we teach and learn.

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  • Add to Calendar 20/11/2018 14:00 20/11/2018 14:45 Europe/London Can Self-Organised Learning Change the World? Online at thinkdif.co Ellen MacArthur Foundation no-reply@ellenmacarthurfoundation.org false DD/MM/YYYY
    Can Self-Organised Learning Change the World?

    Can Self-Organised Learning Change the World?

    Live at 14:00 GMT ON 20 Nov

    If people are curious and work together, they can harness the information and tools available today through digital and the internet to self-organise to overcome challenges and change their reality.

    • Speakers:
    • Sanjay Fernandes, Maryam Tertel, Felipe Spath, Maria Bayter, Jorge Helmer Valencia
    Reimagining Learning
  • Add to Calendar 13/11/2018 08:00 Europe/London Gameplay Going Circular: Experience the Challenge in The Blue Connection Online at thinkdif.co Ellen MacArthur Foundation no-reply@ellenmacarthurfoundation.org false DD/MM/YYYY
    Gameplay Going Circular: Experience the Challenge in The Blue Connection
  • Add to Calendar 07/11/2018 14:00 07/11/2018 14:55 Europe/London Understanding Through Storytelling Online at thinkdif.co Ellen MacArthur Foundation no-reply@ellenmacarthurfoundation.org false DD/MM/YYYY
    Understanding Through Storytelling

    Understanding Through Storytelling

    Available to watch

    How is it that our best intentions continue to go awry making the current situation worse or creating new problems that need to be addressed in the future?

    • Speakers:
    • Gene Bellinger
    Reimagining Learning Thinking in Systems

Reinventing Business

The 21st century economy is already shifting away from a ‘bottom line’ approach to measuring success. Simultaneously, computational power, digitisation and the mobile internet are opening up endless new opportunities. How are businesses evolving to keep up with and take advantage of this shift?

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  • Add to Calendar 21/11/2018 17:00 21/11/2018 18:00 Europe/London Innovation, Investment and Unicorns Online at thinkdif.co Ellen MacArthur Foundation no-reply@ellenmacarthurfoundation.org false DD/MM/YYYY
     Innovation, Investment and Unicorns

    Innovation, Investment and Unicorns

    Live at 17:00 GMT ON 21 Nov

    As support for a circular economy grows among the powers that be, what signal does this send to investors and innovators alike?

    • Speakers:
    • John Atcheson, Jeffrey Eneberi
    Reinventing Business
  • Add to Calendar 19/11/2018 08:00 19/11/2018 08:00 Europe/London Why You Should Actually Care about the Future of Work Online at thinkdif.co Ellen MacArthur Foundation no-reply@ellenmacarthurfoundation.org false DD/MM/YYYY
    Why You Should Actually Care about the Future of Work

    Why You Should Actually Care about the Future of Work

    Available to watch from 19 November

    In curating his newsletter Exponential View, Azeem Azhar reckons he’s read up to 60 million words on the societal implications of technology. This makes him the ideal person to accompany us on a deep exploration of the changing world of employment.

    • Speakers:
    • ​Azeem Azhar
    People in the Economy Reinventing Business
  • Add to Calendar 08/11/2018 13:00 08/11/2018 14:00 Europe/London Circular Economy: Why Should We Measure It? Online at thinkdif.co Ellen MacArthur Foundation no-reply@ellenmacarthurfoundation.org false DD/MM/YYYY
    Circular Economy: Why Should We Measure It?

    Circular Economy: Why Should We Measure It?

    Available to watch

    Our expert guests will discuss two key enablers for a circular economy: the purchasing powers businesses have to influence the economy via their procurement, and all aspects related to how and why we measure progress towards a circular economy at various levels.

    • Speakers:
    • Roy Vercoulen, Sven Herrmann
    Reinventing Business

Thinking in Systems

We used to think that most systems - human or natural - were simple, predictable and controllable. We now know that this is not the case - most are actually interdependent, complex and dynamic. What are the implications of thinking in this new way for business, design and the wider economy?

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