A closer look at what’s coming in November

Published On Oct 5, 2023

With FWD50 only a month away—and the new Executive Cohort launching its first online sessions in just three weeks—here’s an update on what to expect this fall.

FWD50 is about learning and community. Creating ways to get people safely out of their comfort zones, and open to new ideas. It’s why we’ve invented a number of new formats over the years, from Oxford Debates to Circlesquare to Chain Reaction Panels.

Since we encourage the public sector to experiment and innovate, we’ve also put up signs that invite attendees to forecast and brainstorm, and equipped tables with hourglasses to keep the conversation moving.

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A start/stop brainstorming board at FWD50 2022

We’ve also dived into tech, building apps that connect people to their peers by asking them simple questions about their jobs, or prompt them with tantalizing questions (here’s one that generates 60-second topics related to human interface design.)

And we’ve pushed the envelope of live event production, pioneering new approaches to online and hybrid conferences in and out of lockdown. Last year, we used a stage-adjacent soundproofed booth to switch between in-person and virtual participants seamlessly, letting global experts join us while also supporting public health measures for speakers who couldn’t attend. 

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Welcoming a virtual speaker to the main stage within a soundproofed booth.

2023 is no exception. In addition to the Executive Cohort—a three-week-long series of virtual and in-person sessions exclusively for public sector leaders—we’re trying out new things. In Lansdowne Park, in-person attendees will get to try demos of technologies that improve our abilities as humans, while online a new series of Skill Sessions teach skills you can put to work immediately, and new matchmaking features let attendees connect virtually face-to-face.

Of course, we’re bringing back many formats that have worked over past years, from stage takeovers by some of our content partners, to conversation prompts, to live audience Q&A with question upvoting. Check out the interactive grid on our website, where you can plan your week, online or off. And while you’re there, take a look at the dozens of speakers from around the world coming to mentor, teach, and connect with the global digital government community.

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