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Executive Summit ’23: Knowledge without Understanding [KEYNOTE] by David Weinberger

Thijs Pepping
December 20, 2023

During our Executive Summit in Cannes a group of inspiring thought leaders offered their insights on the theme of “Scarcity in Abundance.” We have captured the highlights from these top sessions to bring their valuable perspectives to you.

This week, we feature David Weinberger’s story about Knowledge without Understanding.

About David Weinberger

Since the dawn of the web, pioneering thought leader David Weinberger has been deciphering the impact of the technology on our lives, business, and ideas. He has pursued this work as a senior researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, as former co-director of the Harvard Library Innovation Lab, as a journalism fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, a Franklin Fellow at the US State Department, and currently as a writer-in-residence at an AI research group at Google. His many years as a marketing consultant to innovative tech companies, a marketing VP, and entrepreneur have given him first-hand experience in our new economy. A best-selling author, his latest book Everyday Chaos: Technology, Complexity, and How We’re Thriving in a New World of Possibility examines how AI, big data, modern science, and the Internet are enabling us to embrace the chaos from which the future arises. Addressing both business and individuals, he explains how we’re advancing as never before, not by anticipating the future, but by making it even more unpredictable. His first book, Cluetrain Manifesto has been called a “primer on Internet marketing,” revealing the Internet as a social space years before social networks like Facebook came along.

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ABOUT THE ’23 SUMMIT

After more than a decade of abundance, where the economy was steadily expanding, money was free, globalization was progressing, geo-politics were as boring as they should be and life was generally good, the world has taken a decisive turn towards a different future. Scarcity has re-emerged as an urgent priority on the executive agenda. Suddenly we find ourselves in a perma-crisis, where all certainties seem to have disappeared.

There is a steady flow of new, potentially transformative, ready to scale, technologies like Generative Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic biology, Quantum Computing, and Virtual and Augmented Reality, that promise solutions to all our challenges. Yet in a world where scarcity is in abundance, we must think carefully about the choices we make, including the technologies our businesses use.

During our Sogeti Executive Summit we aimed to develop an optimistic scenario, minted by one of the speakers as “The Great Progression”, to write the future you want and explore some of the technologies that will help you get there.

In this 24-hour intense program, perspectives from many different angles were presented by authoritative speakers, interspersed with discussion amongst the invited executives. We look back at two exhilarating days.

About the author

Trend Analyst VINT | Netherlands
Thijs Pepping is a humanistic trend analyst in the field of new technologies. He is part of the think tank within SogetiLabs and in his work he continuously wonders and analyses what the impact of New Technologies is on our lives, organizations and society. He specialized in Humanistic Counselling and Education at the University of Humanistics in Utrecht and worked for five years with autistic chi

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