Yesterday was just another day, like any other. And yet, as historical novelist Hilary Mantel said in her Reith lectures this week “every great change in history happens on just another day.”
The unifying theme of the event was large-scale human cooperation. In the book Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari argues that what differentiates homo-sapiens from other mammals is our ability to cooperate at scale (defined as with more than 150 people which is our brains natural limit, known as the Dunbar Number).
The way that we can cooperate with much larger groups of thousands or even millions of other people is through telling stories and creating myths. By myths he means things such as “money” (i.e. This piece of paper has valuable that I can use to exchange for other things), “brands” (i.e. This organisation is known for and good at doing something that I want and trust), and concepts such as “human rights” (i.e. here are a set of behaviours which we collectively believe in are sacrosanct).
Needless to say we believe that new forms of cooperation and collaboration are needed right now in order to get us to the next big change in history, as organisations, institutions and places. And so all of our speakers interpreted this very broad theme in very different ways and you can find out a bit more by reviewing our storify from last nights event below.