You have been invited to Stream because you are a leader, or game-changer in your field…. And we want to hear your thoughts (not ours).  Crowd-sourcing determines the content of the event, which begins with an empty whiteboard to be filled by you, the attendees, with ideas for Discussions. Everyone, including you, is expected to participate and contribute.

So, what is a Discussion?

A Discussion is a 1-hour long discussion group on a topic proposed by a participant of Stream. Typically, each group will have between 20-30 people, and will be hosted in one of our class-room spaces around the hotel, ranging from tents in the gardens, to indoor spaces with basic AV.

Suggesting a discussion topic doesn’t mean you have all the answers. Instead, good discussions favour a punchy question, debate and willingness to hear many points of view. Previous topics include: “Artificial Intelligence: will it overwhelm us?”; “The future of news for millennials”; “Crowdfunding: how the little guy wins”; “Are we becoming illiterate?”; “What I discovered living inside Instagram”; “Seven reasons mobile is king in Africa”; “Are wearables a scam?”; and “Can there be a future without ads?”

OK got it. So how do I add my idea for a Discussion to the agenda?

You can create a New Discussion by clicking on the orange ‘Submit Your Idea’ button below. You’re aiming for a short, sharp, teaser as a title, and then 3-4 lines to explain what you’ll cover in the Discussion. You can see examples below, or here.

If it’s your first time at Stream, and you’re hesitating, don’t. 80% of everyone at Stream has never been to an “unconference” before, so you’re in good company. The event is designed to get you out of your comfort zone. If you’d like test out an idea before posting it, let us know.

How do I schedule a time for my Discussion?

When you arrive at the hotel, we’ll register you, and show you to the Big Boards, two massive white-boards, that look a bit like a blank school timetable. You’ll be able to add your idea to a 1-hour slot on the boards at 3.30pm on Wednesday. Later that day, we’ll give you the opportunity to “pitch” your idea to the whole group as part of the Preview Show.

Any questions?

Let us know! We are open to ALL ideas, and can help you plan a Discussion outline, feedback on an idea, or prepare any materials you might want. Just get in touch here.

Dan Khabie

Local, Global, or Both?

Is the world becoming more local, global, or both and what does this mean for your brand experience?

Eric Shapiro

Rise of the Bots

Imagine a world where consumers delegate product purchases to their digital agents (a.k.a. “Personal Bots”). When bots rule, and are able to make emotionless, split second buying decisions, how do brands and businesses compete? Moderated by Eric Shapiro and Adam Fingerman, founders of ArcTouch - Mobile & Connected Experiences (a WPP company, and part of Grey).

Justine Lassoff

More consumers are voting with their wallet for conscious brands they believe in.

Consumers have more power to affect change through supporting brands they believe in, especially with the prevalence of social media, millennials and sharing of information. From sustainability to nontoxic ingredients and giving back, brands can be focused on doing good and being profitable. How can we ensure transparency, authenticity and change?

Liam MacManus

Why does success kill creativity?

In the world of arts, success is a license for freedom. In the sports world, the fine line between success and failure forces athletes to deal with each equally. In our world, success can often inhibit creativity, make us risk averse or create a culture of fear...which kills the innovation that brought success. That is just dumb...

Isabel Izquierdo

Is creativity rooted in play? Science, fun... and Co-creation using Improv rules

Who is the greatest innovator ever? Nature, naturally - and we have much to learn from its million-year-old lessons. One way to apply insights on the nature of creativity is through the practise of Improv - come and learn 3 basic rules and lets see where the serendipity of collective creativity takes us. I bring the science and the Improv prompts - you tell us how you apply them. We'll talk (& do) trust, risk-taking, vulnerability, adaptability, bonding, inappropriate humor, and why you need a Department of Bad Ideas in your organisation and personal life. Challenge yourself through experience and the Biology of Fun - and take home its subversive delights. Every joke is a tiny revolution!

Scott Spirit


E-commerce in China - All you want to know!

I'll be joined by Joe Chen - Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba and one of the founding team to answer all your questions about ecommerce in China.

Andy Holton

Virtual or reality? How to be yourself & not your selfie.

The more technology and media companies innovate, the more time society and individuals spend on their devices. What’s the impact on culture? How does it affect relationships? Is it improving or declining individual development? Do we have a responsibility to get people off their phones and into real life? Join Cat Lee and Andy Holton from Pinterest to discuss these questions, their impact on marketing and more!

Lucy Walker

The top most interesting, useful, and non-obvious things about creativity (and how to be more creative) that you don't know already

Three years ago the Walt Disney corporation commissioned me to make a documentary about creativity. Initially I was snooty. I mean, I hate topic documentaries (I prefer stories), and isn't it kind of obvious, I mean, take a walk, take a nap, don't we know that already, right? Wrong. Three years later I've become obsessed with the astounding information that isn't commonly known (or is commonly misunderstood) about this most zeitgeisty of topics. I've pursued the best researchers in the world and been dazzled by breathtaking insights that have revolutionized my understanding of myself, my work, the world, and given me tools that I have used to change the way I do everything in my life. The documentary project is currently on a brief hold, but meantime there's not a day that goes by without my using and discussing the insights, and I have a feeling these goodies will resonate with the Stream crowd. I can quickly lay out a bunch of ideas and see what sparks: - anxiety tolerance, satisficing and resistance to premature closure; - on social loafing and why brainstorms don't work - but how to conduct them so that they do; - what is your Tegner's Drapa? - what is the real key to a creative personality (it's nothing I've ever heard before, it's a complicated one but it makes huge sense when you've heard about it); - the roles of divergent and convergent thinking; - the real meaning of flow and how to improve your life (and don't give me the Silicon Valley bs definition); - the invention of the SuperSoaker and what it reveals about the neuroscience of the a-ha moment and why it is more about forgetting the wrong answer than coming up with the right one; - einstellung and the downside of mastery; - the five ways to help kids (or any of us) become more creative/ not accidentally squelch creativity - and the roles of memory prostheses, neophilia, virtuous cycles, intrinsic motivation, weirdos; - I even have a whole detour into the role the default mode network, psychedelics, and what's behind the current trend of microdosing... - Plus a cheat sheet of the best creativity hacks ever, yours to take home.

David Sable

In an Age of Disruption, What Are We Really Disrupting?” #BEADISSIDENT

In the age of “Disruption,” Y&R Global CEO, David Sable offers a new approach for innovators and entrepreneurs. Join him for a lively debate about who are the real “disruptors” and what it takes to create a revolutionary game-changing idea idea.

Joel Benenson

How would you run your business differently if you paid no attention the stock price?

Joel Benenson

Anti-corporate populism among Americans is bipartisan and isn’t going away

What does corporate America need to change?

David Nassar

Video can change the world

Content is king and video is the king of content. Is that true in the knowledge and information space? We will show some videos that have attempted to make public policy certainly interesting and even entertaining. Bring your ideas from brand, political and/or educational messaging on how to use video through style, format and distribution to raise awareness and inform action.

Christina Habib

My Gen Z kid doesn't believe in brands or shopping together anymore.

She'd rather follow her friends and vloggers list or some zillion pounds no name from Australia, and press click. Wanelo's taken over my Xmas. How inhuman is that? Heeeeelp! Bring me back the aisle cheer, the rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Santa.

Christina Habib

If I see one more fragrance / flavour / double do 7 benefits something I'll puke.

What's wrong with our innovation model? Why do we clutter shelves and lives with that one more blade or pump or flavour when what humans need is simplicity and experience? Are consumerism and innovation dog gone?

Christina Habib

David and Goliath, who'll win?

Big corporations are dying. They're too big to manoeuvre. Start ups are eating the stage. Smart and adaptive. And they swarm to become the new world corporate. Who'll win? Or do we need a a bee and butterfly?

Jim Stengel

How to compete in a post-scale economy?

How do the large, mature companies in nearly every category compete with the rising “Craft” brands?

Josh Spanier


The NBA, NFL, Premier League, Olympics and World Cup are all f**ked ; every sports team and major sporting event you love is going broke!

The business of sport has been underpinned by commercial television. What happens when the broadcast rights to major sports collapse? How will fans, leagues, culture and broadcasters be impacted by the coming sports retrenchment? Who wins? Who loses? How can sport keep scoring?

Eren Aksu

Where is Virtual/Augmented/Mixed Reality going?

We have major companies like Facebook, Sony, Microsoft, Snapchat, HTC, Google all investing in the mediums of Virtual and Augmented Reality. But where is this industry going? What are some of the best use cases and applications that could really help push the world forward? Is it connecting all of us to our memories and the memories of our loved ones and to people all over the world in real time? Or is it through simulations and education, which could help get us to the atomic level and win back students' hearts who are tired of looking at black and white 2 D images to understand the structure of a cell in a world where everything else is presented to them in a spatial manner? How many 8 year old future astrophysicists can we ignite across the globe by giving them a small device that proves Newton's laws while taking a tour of the International Space Station?

Ali Dib


Trump won after the most unorthodox election cycle in history. How should news/entertainment/advertising change during Trump’s presidency?

Donald Trump used frightening rhetoric, campaigning on banning Muslims from the U.S. and deporting undocumented immigrants, threatened to jail his political opponent, and was caught bragging about committing sexual assault. Then he was elected as the 45th President of the United States. Now what happens? Following this tumultuous election cycle, join Jonah Peretti and Ze Frank to dive into how news, entertainment and advertising might change in light of a Trump presidency. How should a media company respond to a candidate like this becoming President? How should news organizations cover him? How can entertainment and advertising embrace the diversity of all Americans when the country is more polarized and there may be a backlash against political correctness? This session will explore how participants are planning to react to to this big change in our country. How will marketers shift their tone based on our new President Elect, how will media companies and agencies adapt to this new reality, and where should we all be focused in the coming years. What are the challenges to covering news objectively and creating content for deeply divided and diverse audiences? Will brands and media companies shift their strategies to create content that resonates with all sides, or will they aim to reflect their existing audience?

Omar Brownson

The Los Angeles River: Yes LA has a river.

Los Angeles is leading the country in infrastructure investment, and the LA River is at the heart of it. In this discussion, we’ll share the paradox and large-scale opportunity of the Los Angeles River and what I have learned about design from Frank Gehry on transforming this public resource. We’d love your contributions to our ongoing plans!

Carl Hartman


Has the wall between marketing and sales collapsed? With omnichannel commerce is all marketing selling?

Does the new world of omni channel commerce and the ability to have a "buy button" on anything and in any place mean that the traditional ideas of brand equity are outmoded? Should all advertising be focused squarely on selling?

Steven Feuling

Resetting the Table – How will the roles that Clients, Agencies and Vendor Partners play need to evolve?

The seats at the marketing table are not changing but clearly the roles, expectations and interactions need to adapt. Brands are now alive – they are organic entities that traverse through dynamic ecosystems (sorry – hate the word but it still best describes the reality). The parties were built for a different, more controlled model – which is no longer viable. How do we get to the solution that is ultimately best for the brands to confront their major business challenges – versus falling back on often inflexible and increasingly irrelevant operating models. Having been on all sides of the table – as a Client CMO, as an agency CEO and as a Vendor Partner – I have seen the opportunity but also the significant hurdles that are holding us back. How do we move forward so that we all win – client, agency and vendor partner.

Joe Zeff

The Future of News is about Trust

A divided America calls into question the ways that people get news. The audience has many filters to choose from: traditional news, curated by editors; social networks, curated by their friends; aggregated feeds, curated by algorithms. Their choices carry widespread impact, from the leaders they support — and choose not to support — to the brands they buy — and choose not to buy. In a whiplashed world, where will people turn next for information they can trust?

Fernando Acosta


This talk would evidence the real need many people feel for 'human interaction' when buying on line.

Allen Lau

Why Corporate America could be considered an endangered species (and what you can do to save it)

A discussion on how the entrepreneur culture is changing corporate america and what big companies can borrow from the startup culture.

Alex Turkeltaub

Obamacare is a disaster and the public option is worse!

...and what will Trump do with it now?

Jason Aspes

We don't know how the sharing economy will affect your business, but we did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night

Hosted with, Seth Freeman, Director of Marketing for Holiday Inn Express- The sharing economy is changing the way we consume and it will inevitably change your business if it hasn't already. Uber and Airbnb have changed the travel and transportation industries forever. But it is having an impact on everything from luxury goods to liquor sales. Join in the discussion of how the sharing economy has changed your industry and how you are embracing its momentum and making it work for you.

Kevin Smith

What are the ethics behind marketing's portrayal of service/product delivery?

In an era of increasing pressure to provide a better consumer experience, especially in the service industry, how do you sync the front of the house with the back of the house? It's the classic chicken or egg question for any marketer: Which comes first, extraordinary customer service or the portrayal of extraordinary service in marketing communication? Do you wait until you achieve it or force the issue? In our desire to present our brands in the best light, even if it's stretching the truth, can marketers help inspire or shape employee behavior and is that even possible or appropriate?

Zach Owens

Building a culture of digital excellence working with teams across the world

One of the many beautiful things about where we are at in the evolution of technology is that it has unlocked the creative potential for people anywhere in the world to participate in shaping the future. We are no longer tied to a physical location and can tap into a global community of talented individuals passionate about writing code, innovating on user experience and creating what’s next. As we rewrite the rules there are very real challenges creating high performing teams. This Ignite Talk will explore tackling these problems which requires building teams with a strong culture, sense of purpose and tools to enable success.

Thomas Erickson

Creativity + Technology = Winning.

Explore how too often technology and creativity get in each others way; how organizationally too often they are not aligned and how too often they result in failed projects. What to do? Come talk with us and find out.

Anandan Rajesh

Can Purpose Save Lives?

1 in 4 children in the U.S. is sedentary. Meanwhile, 1 in 4 children worldwide is malnourished. UNICEF Kid Power is tackling both crises with a single solution, by tapping into kids' intrinsic desire to help. Here's how it works: by getting active with the UNICEF Kid Power Band - the world's first Wearable-for-Good - kids go on missions and earn points; points unlock funding from partners, parents and fans; and funds are used by UNICEF to deliver lifesaving therapeutic food packets to severely malnourished children worldwide. Launched in 2014, Kid Power has scaled up to hundreds of thousands of kids, the school program has proven to increase physical activity levels by 55%, the retail product has become the #2 selling wearable at Target, and the platform now generates the world's largest real time data set of kids' physical activity. This success has been driven by a simple idea, that purpose as a motivator is more powerful and enduring than monetary incentives or extrinsic rewards. What can we learn from Kid Power in shaping experiences that leverage purpose? And, can purpose be universally applied to drive positive behaviors, including in grown-ups?

Dee Salomon


It not just that people are not reading news anymore. The election has exposed an insidious and dangerous issue: People no longer trust trusted sources. Part of the reason is that the news media never allowed the facts to get in the way of opinion; even if they are dedicated to fact-checked journalism. Part of the reason is that there is so much compelling fiction, posing as fact, in the newsfeed and in blogs, that it just is a more satisfying journey for some to believe Breitbart instead of Vox. In a world where news media is no longer trusted to tell us the facts, much less the truth, what replaces media as a mechanism to ensure that citizens get the information they need to make better decisions about politicians and politicized issues?

Dave Bouve

Can digital bridge the civilian-military divide? (Or: Navy – that’s the one with the ships, right?)

Paradoxes abound: The U.S. Navy has never been more important to our economic, diplomatic, humanitarian and national defense functions – but familiarity with the Navy is on the decline with fewer people having friends or relatives who served. Navy ships, aircraft, submarines and satellites have never been more networked – but how do we overcome the concern of centennial prospects who fear not staying plugged in 24/7? Mobile First, Digital Always – but how do we get meaningful marketing messages to the right people through the sea of digital noise?

Kristoffer Hiestand

Who will be the future leaders of agencies?

Many industry experts have commented on the demise of the "traditional" agency and the impact that technology and data are having on marketing while traditional SIs and tech consultancies are adding marketing resources in an effort to compete with agencies for clients. With changing market forces, agencies must determine how to deploy capable client leaders with a different mix of skills. What does this mean for the traditional client engagement model? Is the answer tearing down old structures and building new ones from the ground up, or keeping what has served agencies for years and augmenting with new skills?

Miles Ward

Applied AI/ML: Is this a Good Idea?

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Convolutional Neural Networks and other things that go bump in the night: Just because we can, should we? Just because we should, how can society cope? Just because we can cope, will it be more fun? Come hash it out!

Eric Kuhn


Pipes and Content.

Amazon, Netflix and more are all changing the way views consume content with new shows and technology a creator and distributor will help lead a talk on what the future of TV looks like!

Joe Zeff

The New Storytellers

We live in a world where your mobile carrier owns the network from which you get your news, your newspaper stays in business by creating custom content for brands, and brands stay relevant by crowdsourcing from mobile devices. On one hand, storytelling has become a business instrument, calibrated to requisite levels of authenticity and credibility to change the way people think and act. On the other, we live in a golden age for storytelling, with new tools and techniques that bring important stories to life in ways never before possible. As old media, new media, consumer brands and consumers themselves become storytellers, who's best-positioned to tell the stories people will care about going forward?

Jenna Arnold

Complacency: the cancer of humanity

Now is the moment for real change makers to be brave. Its scary to take on industry that is set in its ways, policy that seems carved in stone, partners who are indifferent, but improvements will never come if we accommodate status quo. Change always brings growing pains, but we’re not going to get past the existing ceilings if we’re not wiling to experiment and its too important not to try. How do we strengthen the sense of purpose and capacity in individuals, initiatives and organizations?

Rhonda Bitterman

Data is Dead

Data is everywhere: our smartphones, refrigerators, toll tags and beyond. In many respects, the future of business rests on our ability to use it. But, it's entirely possible that we have already passed the point of "peak data." Is data dead or has the golden age of data not yet begun? Signs point in both directions. On one hand: government regulation is increasing and consumers are growing skeptical (the data apocalypse!). On the other: most data hasn't even been organized to create value for all involved. In this session, we will start with the shortest of descriptions of each side of this debate and hammer out an answer for ourselves.

Harry Kargman

Every Second Counts

Viewability, click-through and view-through are just some of the metrics du jour. But what we really all care about is time. Join Kargo CEO, Harry Kargman, as he discusses why time is more of the essence than ever before.

Beatriz Acevedo


How the DNC "blue" it with young audiences (and what we can learn from it) Election night was stunning to everybody, Democrats and Republicans alike. Democrats had a deep, painful realization that their failure to motivate young Americans, particularly young Latinos, resulted in a catastrophic collapse on the world’s biggest stage. In just 36 months, over half of Americans under 30 will be from non-white backgrounds. Diversity is the new mainstream and with it a new set of consumer behaviors and cultural connections are emerging. We want to spark a discussion on what we all learned about this new face of America.

Nick Clark

We need permanent rebellion

Creativity is defined by making something new. To do so, it relies on challenging what exists: norms, averages and the status quo. But none of us would want to be accused of simply perpetuating those norms, would we? How would we make work that stands out, connects and influences if we did? So does this mean creativity depends on being in a state of constant rebellion? And what does this mean for our work, for brands and for audiences?

Naveen Tewari

Ad Tech Vs Bad Tech: Separating the wheat from the chaff

Ad tech LUMAScapes have collapsed in the last couple of years, with more than 30 ad tech firms having been shut down, and many killed by competition. As general skepticism on ad tech companies rise, many portend the industry’s apocalypse in the near future. But is it really the end of the world for ad-tech? Are all ad-tech firms created equal? How do you separate the wheat from the chaff? What differentiates true ad-tech from the bad-tech firms? While the questions are many, it’s hard to disagree that the industry is at a point of inflection.

Elizabeth Nolan

To be good you have to be a little bit bad.

There's more advertising than ever before. More channels, more content, more noise and more barriers to breaking through and being heard. So why is so much brand work boring? Forgettable? Bland? Why are so many brands afraid to take a position, have a point of view or divide opinion? Isn't it better to risk alienating a few, to gain the love of many? Now is the moment for brands to get brave and do it in a way that's meaningful and relevant to who they are. The risks might be big, but the rewards can be greater and along the way we might just create something that changes the world.

Anandan Rajesh

Can Autism be a competitive advantage?

UPDATE: sincere apologies for those of you who showed up for the Session at 10am, we had a scheduling mixup. If you're interested in the topic, email me and we could do a group or one-on-one call in the coming weeks: anandanr@alum.mit.edu - 46% of U.S. employers report difficulties filling jobs. That number increases to close to 100% in technology and design. At the same time, over 80% of the 3 million+ Americans on the Autism Spectrum are not employed. By some estimates, over one third of Autistic individuals have above average IQ and can have heightened abilities in areas like pattern recognition, logical reasoning and focus which are a perfect match for technology and design related jobs. Global IT firms like SAP and venture-backed tech startups like ULTRA are proactively recruiting talent on the Autism Spectrum, and in some cases, delivering superior results through their neurodiverse teams. What can we learn from these early experiments? And how can we tap into this incredible talent pool as a source of competitive advantage to fuel our own teams?

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