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The collision of technology, business, politics and culture has contributed to the most divisive time in US history. It’s time to come together – literally and metaphorically – bringing into one room, innovators, Fortune 1000 leaders, VCs, policy experts, academics and regulatory thinkers to drive change, fuel new ideas, understand the impact of disruptive technologies and resulting new market opportunities.
Shift Forum is that room – don’t miss your opportunity to be there.
Shift Forum speakers are drawn from the world’s most admired companies and most inspiring and controversial academics, journalists, and authors. To view our 50+ speakers visit the 2018 speakers page.
Shift Forum is hosted and produced by John Battelle and the team at NewCo. John is a serial entrepreneur and a founder of the Signal, Foursquare, CM Summit, and the Web 2.0 Summit forums. Read more about John and NewCo.
“Most conferences look at a single issue in a vacuum. NewCo’s Shift Forum combines politics, health, media, tech, and finance to provide a more complete picture of what happening, and what’s coming next.”
“The NewCo Shift forum was a fascinating set of discussions that drove home the importance of planning for the future of work. It brought together large companies and small, as well as the worlds of investment and non-profit. Truly, a wide-ranging and critical look at how business can drive our country's development forward, and a great addition to the small list of "must-attend" events in Future of Tech and Society arena.”
“The best conferences combine the intimacy of a salon with the pulse of a music festival. Very few conference operators can pull that off but John Battelle has delivered on it consistently over two decades. His latest effort, Shift Forum, explores the challenges with technology, politics, and capitalism and where we go from here. It's one of the few "must go" conferences out there right now”
“The Forum gets you thinking, not just about what’s immediately happening but the long-term effects of business and policy in our increasingly complex world. John Battelle doesn’t accept surface level answers, he digs deep with his high-profile guests and gets them to address the hard questions they’re facing today and will face in the future. ”
“Congrats on an awesome forum. Terrific content and attendees. There is a tremendous desire in the tech and the broader business community for a meaningful dialogue on societal change/impact and policy. ”
“John Battelle's Shift Forum was a thought provoking event that curated a fascinating conversation across politics, technology, innovation, and social issues. Outstanding speakers. Left me wanting more.”
“I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the Shift event. You curated an amazing agenda of content and people and did a masterful job of weaving it all together. Really well done.”
“It was an amazing event. We used it to push our thinking about the kind of company we are and the kind of company we want to be.”
“Kudos on a wonderful, thought provoking and inspirational event. Props on the content, flow, audience and 50 percent women speakers. You rocked it!”
“Thank you for involving me in the first Shift Forum. It was a great experience. The conference had a huge amount of timely and relevant content, and was definitely something differentiated from the normal senior conferences.”
“The Shift Forum was out of this world!!! Congratulations - you really are inciting a movement. We felt lucky to be a part of it. Bravo.”
“Congratulations on the success of the conference. I enjoyed the event and I was impressed with the level of attendance.”
“Awesome new conference - the Shift Forum. Think of it like a more serious TED.”
“What a wonderful event. The policy perspective that you programmed into the Forum fully elevated the content beyond any event that I’ve attended.”
“You killed it with the Shift Forum conference. It was not only thought provoking, but potentially game-changing for innovators and entrepreneurs. From Podesta, the Russians, genomic medicine, and even Steph Curry, it hit on all the relevant zeitgeist touch points driving the market today. It can serve as a real wake-up call and spur catalytic thinking and action for anyone starting, building or seeking to transform their business. Can’t wait for one next year!”
“An exhilarating program brimming with thought leaders, visionaries and accomplished innovators, led through their paces by John Battelle, who himself is all three. I was hugely impressed. Tremendously valuable and inspiring.”
Visit the detailed Program Agenda for a full listing of events
Shift Forum is not another tech or “innovation” conference. Learn more about what makes Shift Forum
the one business event you don’t want to miss in 2018.
It’s like being a guest at the best two-day dinner party. Smart, opinionated people. Unafraid to speak candidly--or shift their thinking. You'll have the opportunity for cross industry exchange and to build new networks.
The conference is run under Chatham House Rule. Although some speakers may choose to waive the rule on stage, many will not. That means the most rewarding and candid conversations are accessible to only those in the room. Be one of them.
You’ll step out of your industry bubble and learn from a cross-section of leaders from government, business and academia with a few surprises mixed in. We need a cross pollination of ideas to reach inclusive and sustainable solutions.
Our goal: 50/50 gender parity across our speakers and audience. Wish this wasn’t a bullet point? So do we. But it’s an inherent part of any executive conference. Let’s change that together.
Learn and exchange ideas with a diverse set of speakers many who don’t often speak in public. They will inspire you and present takeaways to apply to business and life.
Some of the largest actors in geo political conversation are corporations. Participate as a leader in these conversations representing your company and your industry.
John Battelle thinks in webs. He sees trends across culture, tech and business before the rest of us. A consummate host and convener, he asks the questions everyone wants asked. And he gets answers.
Through our events and editorial - NewCo connect the engines of positive change in society. We bring together the companies, academics and community leaders driving the transition to more positive-impact business ecosystem. Join the Movement.
Rational discourse is the missing element in our political discourse. The role of business in society has never been more crucial and more in flux, and it’s never been more important to engage - it's critical to the prosperity of business and society.
Founders, innovators, and key Fortune 1000 leaders together with policy and regulatory thinkers are gathering to find ways to navigate today’s shifting landscape. Cross-sector challenges require interdisciplinary solutions. Shift Forum gathers business drivers, technology creators, policy makers, investors and academics to discuss these challenges and debate their solutions.
The policymaking process almost always lags society, and for good reason. But over the past few decades, the tremendous pace of technology-driven change has dramatically outpaced government’s ability to adapt.
Politics & Policy Pillar Partner: Microsoft
Regardless of the massive shifts in technology, policy, demographics and business models, each and every business must press forward, delivering quality experiences to its stakeholders and managing its workforce, its processes, and its relationships to partners and communities.
Business Transformation Partner: Adobe
Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are top of mind, but there’s a bigger agenda for CEOs with millions of workers (drivers, cashiers, warehouse workers and white collar knowledge employees and more) threatened by a never-ending quest for efficiency and profit maximization.
Future of Work Partner: Dell Technologies
Can a combination of education, technology and a de-politicizing of food production and distribution solve our growing concerns over food? We’ll cover this and more at the 2018 Shift Forum.
World leaders from the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid, the largest forum in the world of former democratic Presidents and Prime Ministers will join for a discussion on the fate--and future--of democracy in North America.
NewCo is committed to identifying and exploring the most pressing issues in business and society through a new book review program. Explore the books we’re reading at NewCo as we prepare for the conversation at the Shift Forum this February.
The policymaking process almost always lags society, and for good reason. But over the past few decades, the tremendous pace of technology-driven change has dramatically outpaced government’s ability to adapt. And when all of business adopts the leveling, foundational platforms of technology, a grand re-negotiation of the contract between society and business is at hand. At the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution led by our shift to cloud-based infrastructure, leaders in business, civil society, and government must come together to create a new framework for our shared social compact. The Shift Forum’s Policy Pillar will explore issues of inclusion, privacy, human rights, and governance in an age of global connectivity. It will also explore the state of political discourse on the United States and beyond, and how that dialog affects business today.
The current political climate & divisiveness isn’t just a US phenomenon – the same issues faced at home are happening abroad (Brexit was the precursor but it’s all over Europe obviously). Globalization and the resulting impact on the labor markets, driving a desire for isolationism and acting as the basis for immigration scapegoating, is happening everywhere.
Key Issues & Questions
Regardless of the massive shifts in technology, policy, demographics and business models, each and every business must press forward, delivering quality experiences to its stakeholders and managing its workforce, its processes, and its relationships to partners and communities. In the Business Transformation Pillar, we’ll focus on the “how” of the Shift – the best practices, the lessons learned, and the insights that translate across economic sector or industry.
Now that all businesses are mediated by technology, what kind of experiences must business create for customers, employees, and partners? We’re particularly fascinated by how our largest companies manage the transformation of their business models, their networks, and their relationship to technology . Is it time to ask what a post technology company looks like? We’ll highlight leaders in the midst of the transformation from an old-economy approach to business to a digital-first, NewCo approach – leaders like, Susan Sobbott of American Express, and Marc Pritchard from P&G. This is where a key theme of Shift – a new compact between business and society – comes to life.
Key Issues & Questions
2017 is the year nearly everyone – from policy makers to academics, business leaders to the working class – woke up to the inescapable impact of automation and artificial intelligence on our most fundamental economic assumptions. But while debate rages on whether and how jobs will be lost, we must not lose sight of a wider aperture for “the Future of Work.” Yes, tens of millions of drivers, cashiers, warehouse workers, and even white collar knowledge workers’ jobs are on a collision course with capitalism’s never-ending quest for efficiency and profit maximization. But within that statement are any number of important policy and even ethical questions: Do we want to leave the transition to a post-AI world to the free market? Our last major transition – to an Industrial workforce – left millions destitute. Do we want to run the same play again?
To truly explore the future of work, we’ll need to explore the future of the corporation as well. Companies are already deep in transition, with new approaches to workforce and product management taking root. Employees, customers and partners are demanding more from the firm, from a values and purpose-driven approach to business to a more flexible and technology-mediated approach to getting work done. And the younger the workforce, the more employees will job hop, with the average millennial shifting jobs every two and one half years.
Once dismissed as a utopian (or worse, socialist) concept, universal basic income has made a comeback as the Valley’s preferred answer – Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and scores of tech leaders have embraced the idea. Others, like Nick Hannauer (speaker), have embraced a $15 minimum wage. Aetna, the massive health insurance provider, has already implemented such a wage (the company’s President, Karen Lynch, will speak as well).
Key Issues & Questions
Last year at Shift Forum we focused on health care in the United States, a timely topic given the new administration’s promise to repeal Obamacare. This year we shift focus to the business of food, a core driver of not only health, but overall economic growth. Food is a trillion dollar industry in the US alone, and the companies at its center are in significant transition. Many of the sector’s leading voices are calling for new approaches to sourcing, production, and regulation. Consumers are demanding healthier and more sustainable choices, but the shift to meet those consumers’ needs often draws Wall Street activists. How the industry responds will be a fascinating case study applicable to just about every sector in our economy.
We’ve got a great early lineup for Shift Forum’s Food Pillar: Pat Brown, founder of Impossible Foods, will give us an overview (and a taste) of his company’s mission to create a sustainable alternative to meat. Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks, runs one of the largest retail food outlets in the world, and will be on hand, as will John Chambers, who among his many accomplishments is now focused on alternatives approaches to humanity’s protein needs (hint: Think crickets). We’ll also hear from several health executives, including the president of Aetna and the CEO of a major health provider, as well as a leading executive from Cargill, the original “platform for farmers.” And we’re just getting started with the conversation, expect more speakers to be added in the coming months. Join us at Shift Forum as we explore an industry that directly effects us all: The business of food.
Key Issues & Questions
Partnering with World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid the largest forum in the world of former democratic Presidents and Prime Ministers, we’ll hear from a select group of former world leaders discussing the fate–and future–of democracy in North America. A pre-conference roundtable featuring 30 leaders in business and politics will report key discussion take-aways to Shift Forum general session. Speakers to be announced.