Creative consultant Bran Ferren and Live Design magazine have unveiled the agenda for the inaugural Envision Symposium, to be held Sept. 19-21 in Monterey, CA. Designed to begin a conversation about the future of storytelling, design, and technology, Envision will bring together the best and brightest innovators and practitioners in theatre, film, TV, dance, concerts, music, themed entertainment, and gaming, to discuss what’s happening now and to share their views on what’s next.

These well-regarded artists and technologists will delve into the art and science of storytelling from a variety of perspectives—lighting, sound, video, scenic, cinematography, direction, choreography, new media--and discuss how we merge them all into a series of experiences so captivating and compelling that we capture new audiences and compel old audiences to stay interested.

Here is the schedule:

Thursday, September 19

4:00-6:00pm: Registration: Pick up your badge and other goodies, mingle with fellow attendees, and meet the Envision speakers.

6:00-6:15pm: Welcome, introduction and description of agenda by the producers of Envision.

6:15-7:00pm: Keynote Presentation with Bran Ferren: Storytelling: The World’s Oldest Profession.  The theme of this conference is about leaning forward to envision what’s next in the overlapping worlds of storytelling, design, and technology. Throughout history, the introduction of new technologies makes the future seem confusing and disruptive to those standing in the middle of it. What does it all mean? Where do I fit in? As the digital age progresses, many of us in the field of entertainment know how that feels. What’s different now is that the entire world is actually poised to be connected as never before, and traditional barriers to storytelling such as access, distribution cost, and language, are literally crumbling before our very eyes. This is creating endangered species such as newspapers, bookstores, encyclopedias, record companies, and traditional large-scale retailers. Simultaneously, new fields such as electronic gaming, online retailing, self-made music, and video publishing are exploding. In other words, while it may feel as though we are firmly ensconced in the digital age, the computer revolution is really just beginning, and the worlds of entertainment and storytelling will never be the same. Or will they?

7:30-9:00pm: Dinner/reception at The Perry House, 201 Van Buren St. Enjoy great views of Monterey harbor and the historic ambiance at The Perry House, a Victoria mansion built in 1860 by whaling captain Manuel Perry, with live music by Magnolia Memoir, an ensemble led by singer/composer, Mela Lee, and vibe/keyboard player & composer Alexander Burke; with Aron Forbes on guitar, Matt Lucich on Drums, and Gordon Bash on bass. Critics seeking to capture the vibe of this band have described it as, "The Black Keys meets Mumford & Sons and Adele" and "Fiona Apple meets the Killers with a dash of the Clash."


Friday, September 20

8:30-9:30am: Registration, welcome, light breakfast, and agenda for the day.

9:30-10:00am: Keynote Presentation with Bob Bonniol:Performative Environments. Storytelling is now participatory. How stages and spaces are reacting to audience desire and expectation through interactivity. 

10:00-11:00am: Discussion: How Does Theatre Evolve? It’s had a good 3500-year run, despite the observation every few years that its days are numbered. So what’s next? How will design and technology play a role in future iterations of the live theatre experience? With Marshall Brickman, William Cusick, Jonathan Deans, and Evan Yionoulis.

11:00-11:30: Break.

11:30-12:30pm: Discussion: Music Will Never Go Away, But What Will It Look Like? Music is in our genes, an observation that allowed Steve Jobs to change the world (his own, and ours). Meanwhile, the music business is still trying to figure out what it all means and how best to adapt. From the recording studio to concert tours, what’s next? With Bob Bonniol, Adam Davis, Anne Militello, and Bill Schnee.

12:30-2:00pm: Lunch and networking.

2:00-3:00pm: Discussion: Storytelling And The Future Of Education. Much like the performing arts, people are always lamenting about the state of education in the United States. But new forms, such as PBS kids, MOOC’s, Khan Academy, cable narrowcasting, and educational websites are already having significant positive impact. So what’s next, and how should we conceptualize what education—and in fact common literacy— is, and how can new technologies help us reinvent school for our kids? With Michael Zyda and Lesli Rotenberg.

3:00-4:00pm: Discussion:Platforms After Next. Computers are so yesterday. Now it’s about wireless mobility. So what’s the next big thing in platforms, both electronically, and in physical performance venues? With Bob Bonniol, Ralph Osterhout, and Michael Hawley

3:30-4:00pm: Break.

4:00 - 6:00pm: Event: Patrice Regnier and Terpsichore. Terpsichore is a system of for human movement composition without rehearsal. At this event, while Terping, participants will be wearing a small computer on your arm much like an iPod, and a set of headphones for instructions. Some require interpretation, either physically or emotionally. Most will be straightforward; all of them will be simple to follow. Patrice Regnier leads the performance and subsequent discussion.

7:00-9:00pm: Monterey Beach Party with dinner and live music.


Saturday, Sept. 20

9:00-9:30am: Light breakfast and agenda for the day.

9:30-10:00am: Keynote Presentation with Michael HawleyThe Patterns of Creative Lives.

10:00-11:00am: Discussion:Inventing New Worlds. The real world (and physics) can be so limiting. What are the new design horizons and trends for when reality simply isn’t good enough? With Christopher Janney, Alex McDowell and Bruce Vaughan.

11:00am-12:00pm: Discussion: How Does Television Best Tell A Story?  As live stories and events unfold, people stay glued to their televisions to watch. But more and more people are choosing to spend their time watching their computers, rather than cable or broadcast TV. What will this mean for traditional television, what is this medium’s highest calling, and how is the audience changing? With Roger Goodman, Xeni Jardin, and Juliette Powell.

12:00-2:00pm: Lunch and networking.

2:00-3:00pm: Discussion: The Value Of Live, And Where It’s Going. Are festivals the new theme parks? The festival concept is becoming the ultimate communal experience for an entire generation of consumers. As festivals and similar events get bigger, broader, and more complicated, the role they play in storytelling becomes even more important. With Bob Bonniol, Christopher Janney, and Ray Steinman.

3:00-3:30pm: Keynote presentation with Sakchin Bessette:The Public Space. How to bring people together physically, away from the world of social media and other distractions, and create pertinent events and places for people to gather. The competition is not other shows.

3:30-3:45pm: Break

3:45-4:45: Discussion: How Technology Remains A Friend of Storytelling. Clearly both technology and the art of storytelling have the ability to change people’s lives. Both are powerful tools, capable of doing great good, as well as being abused. Let’s assume that we think changing people’s lives for the better is the desired end game; how can we combine the best of storytelling, art, and science to have even more impact than ever before? With Evan Yionoulis, Patrice Regnier, Sakchin Bessette  and Alex McDowell.

4:45-6:00pm: Discussion:What’s Next, And Why Should You Be Excited? An opportunity to combine some of the key points raised over the past two days and to map out a blueprint for the future.With Bran Ferren and Friends.

7:00-8:30pm: Reception/Wrap Party on the top of the Monterey Marriott at Ferrante’s Bay View.

Special rates now available:

$995 for professionals, use code THINK

$695 for acadmeics, use code EDUCATE

$500 for students, use code STUDENT

Click here for more information.