Every year I am asked why I go to the WFS Annual Conference. It’s a costly exercise. It has a huge carbon footprint. It takes days for me to recover from the jet lag. And yet, despite these costs, I still attend the meeting. There has to be something that has such a strong pull for me.
The primary benefits of attending are the content and the networking. The WFS is a broad church that contains many areas of interest, so there is usually something for me at most times. This year, I found the session on 21st Century economics interesting, along with the session on the future being regional. The quality of the sessions can vary from time to time, but what is more important is that everyone has an equal chance of being heard.
There were about 800 people attending the conference in Boston. This is one of the largest annual gatherings of futurists in the world and the opportunities for networking are immense. I have to admit that the networking attracts me more than the content. I just love the exchange of ideas, catching up with old friends, and making new ones. It is no wonder that I almost have a second residence in the bar!
Despite the high costs of attendance from Europe, the benefits to me are so strong that it would be inconceivable for me not to attend. I guess that I will see you all in Vancouver next year.
© The European Futures Observatory 2010