All in white we followed the melody into a smoky midnight cathedral and our hearts beat as one. I let out a long breath, like I didn’t even know I’d been holding in, as if I was joining John Lennon’s voice of optimism and hope for mankind through the Garden of Eden-esque Imagine (credit to “Our Hearts Light the Way” by Jon Morris of The Windmill Factory with LumiGeek technology and musical performances by Hadas Kleinman, Pedro Soler & Gaspar Claus, photo credit: Yarrow Kraner). I forgot yesterday and felt the possibilities of a set of potential tomorrows. It happened during my favourite weekend of the year at Europe’s premier imagination festival, Kinnernet Europe.
Created in 2013, Kinnernet Europe is a wild out of the box, irreverent, bottom-up innovation, creativity and cultural unconference.
Each year, the festival gathers in the lovely town of Avallon, France with 200 invited innovators and some of the world’s most interesting people working in the media, art, technology and creative industries. We meet to share our vision and invent desirable futures together. The festival mixes in-depth conversations, debate and workshops as well as creative and artistic moments.
The beauty of Kinnernet Europe is its vision of people and thought leadership without any commercial agenda, beyond generating, spreading and turning into action great ideas that bring those who represent the best of humanity together.
We meet to understand something more deeply, to unpack the vague intuitions and find what only comes when we step back and allow ourselves and each other to remove ourselves and our judgments in order to set free a future that we collectively desire.
I love Kathryn Hume’s take on the excitement of discovery – that it is not of something new but of something understood in a new way, bidding us to ask why we are hard-wired to live for these moments, why the experience of coming to understand something is an experience of beauty and why and how that pulls us back to return to it again and again and again.
In Avallon, the exhilaration of discovery of freeing a socially and technologically enhanced future becomes a powerful attracting force in its own right, a self-fulfilling prophecy able to draw the present to itself. It is bold. It is stunning. It is permission.
Kinnernet Europe was, is and has always been about beautiful hearts, beautiful minds and beautiful souls coming together to recognize that I am the other of you and you are the other of me. Together we celebrate. We create. We feel incredible. To close with Hume:
…in this us lies the miracle for we could, at any of those moments, at any of those seconds and nanoseconds have been an us just slightly different from that which we became, and those degrees may have been large or small, small leading to large changes we can’t quite ever foresee.
So, thank you to each and every one of my Kinner-friends for letting your mind wander, for going beyond your usual thinking borders and beyond what you perceive. Thank you for your part in imagining the future and sharing your worlds unlimited by the parameters of reality for a weekend.