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GTF Panel Discussion: Hyperconnectivity and Human Connections

The House of Commons, London, UK, 
October 17, 2017

“The once-science-fiction notion of hyper-connectivity - where we are all constantly connected to social networks and other bubbling streams of digital data - has rapidly become a widespread reality.” - Geoff Mulgan Chief Executive, NESTA

Do we live in a borderless world as globalization proponents argue? Are people coming closer thanks to technology and hyperconnectivity or are they becoming more estranged? Perhaps less trustful too?

Where does the power of human connection lie in a hyperconnected reality?

Geographical boundaries as we knew them become irrelevant –if not obsolete- due to the technological abolition of borders. Cultural differences are being amalgamated in today’s multicultural societies, yet at the same time people seem to be more uncertain about the idea of a ‘peaceful future, together’.

The rise of nationalism and extremism has been triggered by the revival of painful national memories that seem to have come back to haunt some of the world’s most ‘exemplary’ democracies. Old wounds that appeared to have taken a permanent place in history books are now reawakened and seriously threatening –or evidencing? - the birth of deep ideological and political rifts in some of our progressive societies.    

This bleak picture calls for us to nurture understanding, the start paying more attention to the human element and to take advantage of the virtues and opportunities that technology offers us today, in order to collaborate, thrive, prosper.

UK’s Minister for Africa, Rory Stewart OBE MP, will share with us his thoughts as well as personal experience and journeys in societies like Afghanistan.

Global expert and bestselling author, Dr. Parag Khanna, will contribute his thinking in relation to the future of our ‘global civilization’.

Baroness Onora O’Neill, a cross-bench member of the House of Lords and emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Cambridge, will discuss the issues that we don't understand about trust.

Stephen Cole, Chairman of the Institute of Diplomacy & Business, will moderate the panel discussion.

Global Thinkers Forum Founder, Elizabeth Filippouli, will discuss the necessity of building human connections and the value of collaboration and reciprocity in an interconnected world.


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