One Question Conference 2016!

One Question Conference

By final year Pearson Business School student, Luke Hope-Robertson

One - a single person or thing

"Why is it then that when it comes to discussing hard questions, getting stuff done, or embarking on a new venture, we don’t ask ourselves one big question, we give ourselves long to-do lists that ask several questions of us" - Jeremy Waite, Evangelist, IBM.

Last week, a handful of Pearson College London students were given the opportunity to attend the packed event at the stunning Banking Hall overlooking the Bank of England. 

In a world where we’re more connected than ever, it is more difficult to communicate our messages and ideas because they’re so easily lost and forgotten. One Question is an amazing concept delivered by Sarah Parsonage that addresses one thing, for one day, in one place. 

One Question conference
One Question conference

The ‘One Question’ we were focusing on was ‘how do we successfully marry technology and humanity’. Sarah describes One Question as ‘about creating an amazing experience; as after all, it’s the experience that makes for a good story.’  In the ever-changing technological world we live in today, this was an apt inaugural One Question because the speed at which technology is changing is frightening; and the ease that we adapt to it and crave even more digital interaction is bewildering. 

Industry experts ranging from the medical profession to the car industry, the world of music to the world of virtual reality, all took to the stage to deliver their opinion on the question posed by Sarah. 

Jeremy Waite

There is, of course, not one answer to this question. It is subjective. 

But I soon found myself forming my own opinion on how we couple the two together, and as each speaker went on I found myself thinking that the way we marry the two is through emotion and empathy. Sol Rogers of REWIND showed the wonders of virtual reality, and the amazing power it has in addressing problems such as PTSD and phobias. Virtual reality also made a dying woman’s wish a possibility, she simply wanted to go outside. Oculus VR donated a development kit to make this wish come true. 

Or do we simply marry the pair by taking a step away from the world of technology? Continuous partial attention is the myth of multitasking. The lamp of human attention can only shine on one thing at a time. For example, ‘attention spans in the first televised Presidential debates were around 46 seconds, it’s now just five seconds’. Now there probably is a reason why the span this election is only five seconds, but how mesmerising that somebody only has our attention for five seconds.

One Question, VR Perspective
One Question

I was awe-inspired by the final speaker, Giles Duley. He expressed his fear that ‘we are increasingly so driven and in awe of technology itself, that we forget why it first ever evolved. Technology is our enabler, our tool and not the end goal in itself. We are in danger of forgetting to tell the story, and if we forget to do that – we lose our humanity.’

This is not man Vs machine, it’s man and machine. So if there’s one thing I challenge you to do, it’s to take speaker Trevor Hardy’s advice and ‘get lost’ for one day a month. Maybe more. Disconnect. Daydreaming helps you develop a rich interior life.

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