Breakthrough Dialogue 2016: Great Transformations

June 22-24, 2016

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA–The 2016 Breakthrough Dialogue took place Wednesday, June 22, through Friday, June 24, at Cavallo Point in Sausalito, California.

Breakthrough Dialogue is the research organization’s signature annual event, where its international network of Senior Fellows, Generation Fellows, scholars, policy makers, and allies gather to build an optimistic and pragmatic vision of the future.

The theme of this year’s event is “Great Transformations.” Inspired by the profound challenges and opportunities afforded by modernization, this year’s Dialogue aims to address the hard questions of urbanization, industrialization, and the incipient “rise of the rest.”

Across the globe, billions of people are attempting to leave behind lives of backbreaking subsistence agriculture by moving into cities and, for the first time, getting access to electricity, better jobs, and even an education. But the boom in mega-slums, where poverty, violence, and crime persist, tempers rosy visions of what scientists call “the great acceleration.” As the word suggests, the road to modernity may be “great” precisely because it is staggering.

A key question of Breakthrough Dialogue 2016 is how ecomodernism can contribute to unleashing the creative potential of rapidly industrializing countries, all the while mitigating the uneven, unequal trade-offs that accompany large societal shifts.

To meet the challenge of a theme as sweeping as “Great Transformations,” the format of Breakthrough Dialogue is also changing. In addition to new plenary sessions, there will be a greater number and variety of concurrent sessions, allowing participants more flexibility to choose from topics they are most interested in.

Breakthrough Dialogue has evolved over the past several years, but this year’s gathering promises to foreshadow other exciting transformations underway at the Breakthrough Institute. Stay tuned!