To see the future is a power that any business owner would give a limb for. Thankfully, UK-based organisation the Future Laboratory, in conjunction with Melbourne's Right Angle Studios, offers such a service for the lesser sacrifice of a ticket price.
Since 2001, founders Chris Sanderson and Martin Raymond have exhaustively travelled the globe, conducting polls and gathering data so that they might accurately project the economic, social and cultural trends that will shape the brave new world of tomorrow.
Each year, the pair reveal their findings in interactive briefing sessions which are open to anyone who wants to get ahead of the curve, rather than just weather the storm of change.
This February, the founders are returning to ACMI for XX v XY: an all-out stoush about gender. And while the old ‘men versus women’ debate may seem simplistic, there's not a soul in any industry who won't be affected as concepts of masculinity and femininity blur or vanish and multiple sub-cultures emerge. How will media communicate with, and retailers market to demographics that can't be labelled his and hers.
Over a half-day session they will be debating Re-Con men – a generation raised by powerful working mums who are embracing yoga, old school pubs, new school porn and non-corporate careers; Athena women – the all-powerful, and physically fit entrepreneurs who everyone will want to sell to; and Generation D: the incoming generation who were born already plugged in to the digital world.
Knowledge is power and the future is now, Melbourne. Book it in.