RELEASE: Breakthrough Institute Announces August 2021 Dialogue

Will Be In-Person, A First in the Pandemic Era

BTI’s flagship event will be limited capacity and live-streamed simultaneously to create a unique experience for attendees with required vaccinations in a safe environment.

Berkeley, Calif. — This week, the Breakthrough Institute announced that their annual flagship event, the Breakthrough Dialogue, will be held simultaneously in-person and live-streamed. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Breakthrough Dialogue was cancelled, but with widespread vaccine access and decreasing transmission and hospitalizations, Breakthrough expects to host approximately 100 vaccinated guests in an indoor setting featuring a full slate of plenary speakers and workshops. Breakthrough is using a new digital platform embracing new digital technology to create an interactive experience for in-person and virtual attendees alike.

“After a very difficult year, it is time to start thinking about life after the pandemic,” said Ted Nordhaus, founder and executive director at the Breakthrough Institute. “The rapid development of vaccines should remind us of the benefits of the techno-fix. We can and must take action to assure that everyone globally is able to get vaccinated. But it is worth remembering that a year ago, we were faced with the prospect of lockdowns, masking, and social distancing as far as the eye could see. Today, where vaccines are widely available, life is quickly returning to something like normal.”

“We are excited to host a safe and engaging 2021 Dialogue,” said Nordhaus, “not just to bring the ecomodernist community back together to focus on how to advance better futures for people and the environment but to demonstrate through this event all of the blessings that development, modernization, and technology have made possible. The world is faced with many challenges, but the extraordinary effort to develop vaccines and make them widely available to all Americans in less than a year should remind us how much we are capable of when we set our minds to tackling these sorts of problems.

In a recent statement, A New, Safe Normal, the Breakthrough Institute shares the steps it is taking to ensure guests’ safety while underscoring the importance of in-person events like the Dialogue to resume a semblance of normalcy in our day-to-day lives.

The statement explains, This is uncharted territory. To our knowledge, no other organizations in the Bay Area or California are planning a large in-person gathering this year. But, we believe that by taking proper precautions we can demonstrate how to end the pandemic era and look to the future with relentless optimism. Like our climate challenges, this will not be solved by shying away from adversity, but by embracing opportunity and tackling our problems head-on.

This Dialogue will be different than previous years, with a smaller capacity of around 100 people in person. But Breakthrough will be live-streaming plenary speakers simultaneously to thousands of people around the world. While in-person experiences cannot be duplicated digitally, this hybrid format portends a new technological era for more equitable access to large events.

In order to ensure the safety of the guests that are in-person, proof of vaccination will be required by all attendees. The essay continues, “Over the past year, as the pandemic raged, we have held out hope for a medical solution that could end our global nightmare — a vaccine. And it’s here, ahead of schedule, with millions of doses already administered in the U.S. and abroad. This is our ticket to a new, safe normal.”

“At the Breakthrough Institute, as ecomodernists, we believe in the power of technological solutions to our challenges, great and small. The pandemic is no exception and the vaccines now available offer the only scientific and technological solution that can return us to any semblance of normalcy. There is no alternative remedy or preventative measure that can stave off illness and death with the effectiveness of vaccines.”

The Breakthrough Institute is immensely grateful to our partners at Cavallo Point for hosting the event with us and working through challenges. Gratitude is also extended to our technology partners, Encore, for creating the hybrid live-streamed experience, and to CrowdPass, for providing the digital vaccine passport software and making this a safe event in the pandemic era.

Sean Trambley, Director of Communications

Thia Bonadies, Director of Events