The conference and meeting circuit is familiar to many. Some can be accessed by bicycle, train, or car, but others require flights. In light of the recent UN Climate Report, should it be a thing of the past? What are different options to consider? Do we stop going to conferences entirely? Only go to local ones? (How do we define local?) Is there a hybrid option?
During the pandemic many of us ‘attended’ conferences remotely and presented from our sitting rooms. This works for content sharing, but still is poor for interaction. Is the future a virtual space where we have avatars that simulate conference interaction? Can this be used for meetings too? I don’t know and everything comes with trade offs. However, I do know we have a long way to go to improve both virtual and in person. And that there are many options out there.
My hope is that all organisations consider the need for in person meetings and conferences more in the future. And that they improve the quality of them however they are held. What are meetings, offices and conferences for should be asked more than it is.
And yes, we need to fly less and eat less meat. But we also need to consume less in all areas of our lives. Adopting a 100 mile lifestyle, the cradle to cradle production approach, and getting rid of externalities might just help us all realise the impact of our lives.
Change is required there is no doubt. What that change looks like is different for everyone.
The choice is up to us.