Economist Plastics Conference – For the first time this year, The Economist will host a Global Plastics Summit on 11 – 12 October in Bangkok, Thailand. This gathering was created to build and sustain momentum for the UN global treaty to end plastic pollution, which was created in 2022 by the first Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC1). According to conference organizers, “what happens off the negotiating table, as much as on, will determine the success of the treaty,” which is why this event is so important.

Web Summit Stage Swap: The Security stage will not be taking place this year at Web Summit. It has been replaced with a brand-new stage named PolicyMakers which will feature Ministers of Innovation from around the world paired with leading academics.

Speaking Opportunity: SXSW 2024 (8-16 March) & SXSWedu 2024 (4-7 March) have opened their proprietary PanelPicker process for submitting speaker ideas and will accept proposals until Sunday 23 July. Not only does the PanelPicker allow speakers to get their session idea in front of the SXSW staff and advisory board, this unique tool allows for public community voting later this summer. Our advice to achieve PanelPicker success despite a mere 10% acceptance rate? Be sure to read through the submission form carefully, pay special attention to the tracks and formats to align your topic, and offer diverse viewpoints if you are submitting more than one presenter. And don’t forget that all-too-critical visual aid that illustrates the topic and demonstrates the presenter’s speaking ability.

Lunchtime Learning: Aspen Ideas Festival took place in Colorado from 21 – 30 June. As the website states, this gatheringhas been the nation’s premier gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times” for the past 60 years. If you didn’t make it to the mountains last month, you can watch some of the sessions online now. These include conversations such as Are the Kids All Right? Addressing the Youth Mental Health Crisis; Urban Comeback: Cities, Small Business, and the Future of Downtowns; ESG: Where Do We Go from Here? A Conversation from the Frontlines of Business; Can A.I. Help Us Communicate with Animals?

Coming Up Next Week: Games For Change/G4C celebrates its 20th anniversary when it runs 14-21 July in New York next week, covering predictions for the global future of games and XR in education, health and wellness, civic engagement, and environmental sustainability. SummerCon – held 14-15 July also in NYC – is one of the oldest hacker conventions, helping set a precedent for more modern “cons” such as H.O.P.E. and DEF CON, although SummerCon itself has remained smaller and more personal. Digital Hollywood is taking advantage of the summer lull in events to hold its virtual AI Breaking the Net program on 18 July, examining how the explosion in AI innovation this year represents the largest technology transformation of our lifetime. Another online program exploring the brave new world of AI developments is the Generative AI Summit (20 July), produced in partnership with the Open Data Science Conference to invite industry, academia, government, and VCs to “go beyond the hype.” Finally, DataConnect Conference convenes 20-21 July in Columbus, OH to address the latest trends, advancements, technologies, and innovations in data, analytics, machine learning, and AI.