The lift of ‘Lift14’
For traditional lovers, February 14 – Valentine’s Day -- is a not-to-be-missed occasion to celebrate Love. But for technology lovers -- those who embrace with fervor their Macs, innovation and the future -- February brings another celebration: the Lift conference -- where hundreds of curious people from all walks of life meet in Geneva each year to discover the future’s underside, the newest, most stimulating “gadgets”, and the best of the world’s innovators.
Although Lift remains “relatively” intimate, it is amazing to see the range of people who make and participate in it, wearing their precious purple badges as an official “Open sesame”, plastic proof that they belong to the category of “those in the know” about what tomorrow will bring. Changing consumer behavior, new business models, new technologies or new markets… Lift’s speakers pop open the hatches of Knowledge for the hundreds of little apple-shaped lights peering back from the darkness, Knowledge instantly passed on to followers on Twitter or elsewhere, a tsunami of inspiration in 140 characters, pictures or videos.
Because Lift is not only a series of lectures: it is an event. An event that going to -- “Where are you going?” “To Lift” -- strengthens your personal brand -- unlike, say, going “to the swimming pool” or “to see The Desolation of Smaug”. An event during which you industrialize tweets -- “I tweeted 1065 times … So, who’s the top Twitto?”. An event after which one should duly complain -- “I was expecting something more earth-shattering. Dunno if I'll be back next year”...
For Lift is like a family reunion: each year we say, “That’s it! …yet, we return. Because we know we always learn something worthwhile. Because, even if we can apply nothing to our daily lives, we will speak with nostalgia about this future awaiting us; this future, in which, we are all too well aware, we have no real way to participate except to say that it will soon be upon us.
And then, at Lift, there is a kind of snobbery that comes from being surrounded by the best and brightest, as if, like in an advertisement for fine watches, we are the keepers of inspiration for future generations. And we imagine ourselves as actors in this future that will give power to real people, those who do not come to Lift but who, on February 14, celebrate the Present above all.