What if there really was such a thing as a crystal ball that could offer a glimpse into the future?
When it comes to the rapid evolution of society, there’s no need for smoke and mirrors. In its eleventh season, the Imagine Solutions Conference is a real-time ideas platform for exploring some of today’s biggest issues and monumental shifts and how they will shape or impact the future and present answers to pressing challenges. Race, gender, climate change, medical research, international affairs, you name it: Chances are high that those behind this event with the tagline “Big Ideas. Top Experts” are giving it close consideration.
Imagine Solutions conferences and seminars are the products of the nonprofit Searching for Solutions Institute, founded in Naples in 2008. Its stated aim is “to create a community and a culture of leadership, tapping into the resources, networks, and capabilities to elevate these ideas, bringing about globally beneficial change.”
This year, instead of being held for a single day inside a resort ballroom, it will be an all-virtual, six-day conference featuring 19 expert speakers. “Change: The New Normal” begins February 22 and runs through March 3. It will be presented as a series of 90-minute sessions offered twice daily (and available for two weeks thereafter to paid registrants). The cost is $200 but is being offered free this year to Collier County’s 59,000 frontline workers, including teachers, law enforcement, hospital personnel, and essential nonprofit employees who register under the “Our Heroes Scholarship.”
“We’re creating great flexibility,” says Imagine Solutions CEO Randy Antik. “If you use COVID as an example, the biggest issue on our minds is what we didn’t know. We didn’t know if there was a solution, if there would be a vaccine. All we hear is bad news. We said, ‘Can we look at one part of that? How can we make you more knowledgeable about a vaccine or anything that’s part of a solution?’”
Experts this year will discuss COVID-19 in the context of biomedicine, synthetic biology, education, and the World Bank, in addition to other topics such as cyberwarfare, the arts, and technology. “Technology is leapfrogging faster than anything anyone can do,” says Antik. “If you are a parent or grandparent, you looked at this year differently than you ever had at any other. There are a lot of things that will be changing and we’re bringing in experts to talk about what that landscape looks like.”