Meetings No 21
Intro
Gender Equality the New Growth Factor
Atti Soenarso on the silent knowledge women have built up.
Cover Story
Women Deliver
Focus on the Women Deliver Conference.
Women Leadership
Dubai Women Establishment
A champion for women’s participation.
Radar
IMEX Launch
The “She Means Business” event
Disruption
The Future Disrupted
Rohit Talwar on shocks that could overturn our world.
Intermission
A Life Remembered
Tim “Avicii” Bergling.
Young Leaders
Gaining Edge Scholars
Learning, contributing and building the future.
Smart Cities
How Does a City Become Smart?
Lessons from Tel Aviv.
Mindset
Motivating Using the Right Mindset
Scientist Alva Appelgren on praise and learning.
Economic Impact
Regarding Rwanda
Becoming one of Africa’s leading business events destinations.
Radar
IMEX Frankfurt
Innovation and Inspiration.
Incubator
MCI Experience
Kim Myhre: The power of brand experiences.
AR/VR
Johan Hagegård
“The future isn’t at all what it used to be.”
Sharma
Habits to Build Your Empire
Robin Sharma: Resist the saboteur!
Strategy
Iceland
Collaboration is key in winning association meetings.
Brain Check
Cecilia Björkén-Nyberg
On reading printed books and listening to audiobooks.
Kellerman
Why Is It Taken for Granted That I’m the Boss?
Roger Kellerman: More Space to Women!
classifieds
news
important meeting
The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD
confirms its first conference for 2026.
business Intelligence
85th UFI Global Congress
in Saint Petersburg.
new jobs
Christian Woronka new director
for the Vienna Convention Bureau.
business Intelligence
10th European
 Farmhouse
and Artisan Cheese & Dairy Meeting 2018 FACE in Kristianstad, Sweden.
business Intelligence
AIM Group International
celebrates 10 years of its Madrid Office and opens in Barcelona.
business intelligence
UNWTO:
Tourism becomes world’s third-largest export sector.
flights
Daily non-stop service to Moscow
from Göteborg Landvetter with Aeroflot.
Important education
ECM Summer School 2018
graduated 62 students from 3 continents in Thessaloniki.
New jobs
Stockholmsmässan realigns
and hires Production Director.
business Intelligence
Visitors from India and China
drive strong tourism performance in Indonesia.
Links
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Johan Hagegård
The American baseball player and Yankees legend Yogi Berra had a very rare condition called malapropism. A person with malapropism makes sentences that sound good but makes no sense. For example, he said that “you can observe a lot by just watching”, “that you should go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours” and that “if you come to a fork in the road – take it.”

And who knew that later on it would make sense. At least some of them. The future isn’t, for example, at all what it used to be. A couple of years ago the future consisted of more and more advanced mobile devices. Better screens, bendable screens, watches and wearables. The future was also orchestrated by the big corporations dominating the market, setting the rules. Corporations buying up land far up in the north to build megacities of data centers handling all the world’s information in one or two single spots. All of it relying on governments and banks keeping the players within the field.

The revenge of the nerds The heroes of our time are sure enough the ’nerds.’ Naturally we don’t call ourselves that, but the elite and the ruling class calls us that. And sure. I am proud to be a nerd. Because that puts me in the same cluster as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, Vitalik Buterin and Gordon Moore. The last gentleman, Gordon, was a son of the county sheriff in Pescadero, California. He grew up in the 40s and 50s – the age of the semiconductors. When asked by the Electronics Magazine to make a prediction of the future he formulated the well-known Moore’s Law – stating the number of components in a dense integrated circuit would double every year. In the 70s he revised the forecast to every two years. And for sure, he was one of the main reasons the predictions still hold as he founded Intel Corporation.

To be able to understand why the future isn’t what it used to be, we have to understand Moore’s law. Nowadays, the law more or less states that technology itself will double over the next two years. The law is an exponential curve. It has been ’slow’ the last couple of decades, but as years go by it gets steeper and steeper. Right now, we have an almost vertical curve, meaning giant leaps every year.

Enter the dragon As Bill and (late) Steve, Jeff and Jack storm ahead building the worlds massive corporations there is also an anti-movement. A movement trying to take back the power. To take back the control of our assets. The anarchists of the 2010s are a lot different than the traditional ones with mohawks, leather jackets and Dr. Martens listening to punk music. The anarchists of today pack a lot of power. Enter Satoshi Nakamoto. The father of Bitcoin, the founder of blockchain and the advocate of power to the people of the twenty first century. The blockchain is too advanced to explain in an article like this, but the implications is far easier. Blockchain is a technology that can keep records completely safe from hacking. The records are open for anyone to read, but still can’t be hacked. Therefore, it is ideal to use for keeping a ledger over transactions for example and thus the crypto currency is born. When it is completely safe and unhackable there is no need for a bank or government to guarantee your money’s safety. Bye bye banks. Hello crypto currency. The other day someone moved 100 million dollars worth of crypto currency from one account to another. The transaction took two minutes and had a fee of 50 cents. Compete with that banks!

A giant leap for mankind The fourth technology leap is now here. The first was the pc, the second was internet, the third the mobile phone and now we are just entering the fourth – immersive technologies or simply AR/VR. What is the difference you might ask? Well – place your palms over your eyes so they completely cover them and prevent you from seeing the real world. Say ’VR.’ Now open your hands to see the world and say ’AR.’ Now you know the difference.

As big of an influencer of the future that Satoshi Nakamoto was, Mark Zuckerberg was too when buying the virtual reality startup Occulus. The whole world went bananas. That one event put VR on everybody’s lips. It forced all major players to quickly launch, to have the first mover advantage. But VR wasn’t enough to drive value. We all craved more. More interaction. More flexibility. More freedom. We all craved that one gram of augmented reality. The power to enhance our everyday life. The power to add digital content to our analogue life. Once again, our favorite nerd Bill stepped up to the challenge introducing the world’s first augmented reality headset Holo Lens. The race is on. Bill, Mark and Steve’s successors are now combating each other trying to gain ground. Bill does what he always does – giving the technology away to others and Mark and Steve’s successors keep them securely hidden.

I remember the good old days. Dialing up my internet provider on my 28.8 modem listening to the typical sounds of the computers talking to each other. It is 1994 and the graphical interface of the internet, called the world wide web, is emerging. I remember the sensation when the tag was introduced to HTML. The tag made it possible to insert images into the web pages. Wow!

And soon the big corporations launched their web pages and we had hundreds of pages talking about corporate bullshit. We do this. We do that. Give us your money! That was fun?! The first month. So, we went back to what we used our computers for – chatting in IRC-channels. The visionaries saw this and started talking about building communities – connecting people all over the world. A place we all could hang out, share, talk, inspire and influence. It took some ten more years before this vision really broke surface, when Mark and his (twin?) buddies started The Facebook at their university.

No one can be told what a metaverse is – you have to see it for yourself.

And now we are there again. AR/VR is produced by the big companies ranting about the same old thing. We do this. We do that. The difference today is that we have 20 more years of Moore’s law. The curve is steeper, giving us better technology in half the time. We don’t have to wait ten years for a community in AR, it is soon here – and it is called a Metaverse. The metaverse is essential when it comes to connecting people in alternate realities. A metaverse is a new universe, a new reality where we all can co-exist. In AR it is an overlay on top of the real world. A kind of skin on top of everything. You decide how this skin would appear. What it looks like. What it sounds like. And whom should access it. In VR it is a complete digital world enjoyed in the comfort of your sofa.

Regulators! Mount up! A new and better world is ideal on paper, but how would it work in practice. The bad part about this new world, the metaverse, is that is inhabited by real human beings, with our flaws. And history shows us that we, behind the protection of our desks, tend to bend the laws, ethics and values. And of course, this will happen in the metaverse. Maybe more in VR, where you could be completely anonymous, than in AR where you actually meet other people. We need regulation. But by whom? A metaverse is not bound to borders and governments.

What if we had a technology that could guarantee the safety of the inhabitants? That is fully democratised. Fully decentralised. Completely detached from the governments. It sounds an awful lot like blockchain technology, doesn’t it?

Yogi also said that “if you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up somewhere else.” Fortunately, I know where we are going. And “where we’re going we don’t need roads!”

Johan Hagegård is a visionary speaker, futurist and entrepreneur in the fields of blockchain and augmented reality. His passion lies in building the worlds first metaverse laying the grounds for all interactions in augmented reality – My Verse.