Today we are announcing &yetConf, a conference about the intersections of technology with humanity, meaning, and ethics for people who believe the world should be better and are determined to make it so.
In 2013, we presented the most ambitious thing we've ever made: RealtimeConf. You can see the timeline of RealtimeConf experience outlined here. That event featured a novel by Mike Speegle that went on to win a Kirkus Indie Book of the Year award that led into a play that ran through the conference with original soundtrack by Ben Michel and a spellbinding original theme song by Alana Henderson. Oh, and there were a bunch of amazing presentations. And it all took place in a world we'd been slowly creating since the first RealtimeConf—one that left people saying things like, “All my expectations we're blown away. Wasn't expecting the level of artistry. Unbelievable, over the top and amazing.” (Emily "Nexxy" Rose)
As we've pursued bringing back RealtimeConf for 2015 and worked hard on some of the ridiculous creative things we have in store, the more we really felt constrained by the name. We really want to make something greater than RealtimeConf in all elements, and we don't want to be held back. Ultimately, we see conferences as a unique art form and we want to create an event unrestrained in its expression.
And so, we'd like to introduce &yetConf.
&yetConf isn't about us—it's about what &yet is about—the things we care about, believe in, and aspire to be.
Over the years, we've met many people whose visions and values we resonate with and who make us want to be better versions of ourselves. We want to bring those people together, along with the people who we don't know yet but can't wait to be inspired by, from all kinds of different backgrounds.
"Realtime" represents such a tiny part of what we care about and want to discuss. It's not good enough. It's not wide enough. It's not why enough. The entire thesis of RealtimeConf 2013 was well stated by Alana Henderson's anthem:
If we're making this world smaller bit by bit, what good is that if we're not all together in it?
If we're going to bring together some of the most inspiring people we know, why limit that to just technologists? The web is not just about web developers and as a company we're not obsessed with technology for technology's sake.
&yetConf is a nontechnical technical conference, and an extremely personal event. This is unashamedly the heart of our team and the community of people we love—front and center.
We want to ask: what are the concerns and hopes of a society based on the technology of today and tomorrow? As we build the future, what lessons can we learn from the past? What things might we choose to do better—or differently—this time?
We'd love to tell you about the ridiculous details we have planned already for &yetConf, but we'd probably have to kill you. (Or at least subtweet.)
You can request a ticket right now by answering some questions or visit andyetconf.com to learn more about the event.
This is going to be one of the most special things we have ever been part of making and we really hope that you'll join us.
Will it still involve the fictional world created at RealtimeConf Yes, the world created as a part of RealtimeConf will absolutely live on in this event.
What about my presentation submission? Our theme for RealtimeConf was strongly in line with the direction we're going with &yetConf, so thankfully a lot of the presentations we got are amazingly fitting for what we're hoping for. However—they were very tech-centric, and we'll be looking to diversify the perspectives involved as presenters. So: stay tuned! You'll hear back from us in a couple weeks if you're waiting to get a confirmation on your submission.