“I am nothing.
I’ll never be anything.
I couldn’t want to be something.
Apart from that, I have in me all the dreams in the world.”
Six weeks have passed since Concrete Love, and while we hope the love will last, we are excited to announce the theme and dates for our 2022 festival:
Friday, October 28 — Monday, October 31, 2022
Lisbon | Online | Underground
It may come as a surprise that after the very concrete “making of beautiful business,” we want to devote ourselves to something as elusive as dreams. But after The Great Wave (2020, reckoning and belonging) and Concrete Love (2021, catharsis and reanimation), we believe it is time to dream-collectively and personally.
Dreams-before they become purpose, plans, goals, and metrics-are the breeding ground for personal and organizational growth. They fuel innovation and social progress.
This is why, at next year’s gathering, we’ll go down the rabbit hole and explore the very earthy and the very lofty, deep-down and high-up: from the mycelial to the metaverse, from spiderwebs to Web3, from the subconscious to quantum, from Freudian slip to word-of-mouth, from the Great Resignation to the Great Reformation, from the raw and rowdy to the stellar and sublime. We want to surface hidden forces before they become trends, and confront ourselves with multiple realities.
And yes, we know-dreams are overused in popular culture and borderline cheesy as a festival theme. We’ve already started building a Spotify playlist for the opening night that will make you cry and cringe. But the truth is, dreams are the common denominator of humanity, and at the same time a big source of division. The American Dream, the Chinese Dream, the European Dream, the Green Dream, the dream of inclusive growth, the dream of a digital world with the identities we desire, a robust economy without soul-crushing (or worse), an examined life without cynicism…. What dream is worth dreaming? What does it take to make it real? These are the questions that unite us-with answers that divide us. Unless we find the one universal dream-or accept that there is more than one.
So join us on a journey below, above, and beyond, and insert what’s missing in The___Dream.
In fact, let’s start right here:
Who are your dream speakers and performers for our gathering?
Which dream team do you want to be part of?
What dream have you been afraid to share?
And what is your boldest possible dream for the House of Beautiful Business?
Send us your ideas and suggestions.
A dream for the House
We want to grow the House movement to include many more people worldwide, into a (not so secret) society that infiltrates business in all the right places and drives real change, making the mainstream our mainstream. Imagine a (business) world with hundreds of thousands of leaders and managers and workers, as well as scientists, philosophers, and artists, bringing the House spirit into their organizations and the world at large!
To make this dream real, we need you. Our focus for 2022 is therefore simple: community. We feel extremely encouraged by the response to Concrete Love and the strong sense of connection House Residents showed in Lisbon, online, and in the very lively WhatsApp group after the event. We also heard that you would appreciate more forums to connect and collaborate with one another, and a more regular way of engaging.
So we’ll be launching The Key, our first mobile app, in February. The Key allows you to enter the House of Beautiful Business whenever you want, however you want. It is a space where you can network, learn, and collaborate more beautifully, before, during, and after The___Dream. Our aspiration: to create a professional social app that is actually beautiful.
In addition, we are premiering a new program type this spring: Beautiful Business Trips. With the latest Covid wave making most travel plans fundamentally tenuous, Beautiful Business Trips provide an alternative: online-first experiential learning journeys that allow participants to travel to a new domain of knowledge, get inspired, and meet fellow travelers from other organizations-or their own-along the way. As is our ambition with all we do, Beautiful Business Trips are philosophical and practical, out-there and hands-on, profound and fun alike, and serve as portals to the new ideas, insights, and intelligence that will re-shape leadership and business in the years ahead. Want to learn more? Join our Open House on Friday, January 21, on the last day of Davos, and plan your trips.
The House Work groups-self-organized collaborations among House Residents-are also going strong. From “The ingredients of a beautiful work life” to “What might a beautiful social network look like?” to “The metrics of beautiful business,” “Exploring the idea of a beautiful business investment fund,” and “The moral questions tech creators should ask themselves before building new products,” the groups have invested passion and effort, and the interim results they presented at Concrete Love in Lisbon were incredible. Additional new groups are already being formed.
Furthermore, we’re examining how Beauty Shot, our weekly newsletter, can be more relevant to all readers and continue to form an encyclopedia of beautiful business. Next week, you’ll have a special publication in your inbox: A Year in Beautiful Business, a compilation of the best writing we featured in this year’s Beauty Shot issues. With the launch of our app, The Key, in February, Beauty Shot will also be embedded in a weekly cycle of learning prompts, alongside the first House podcast we’re plotting, as well as asynchronous conversations, both featuring special House Guests.
How can we grow our ambition and humility at once?
Finally, for us, the House team, the overarching question is this: how can we move from ego to eco? Not that ego is inherently bad-it is a motor of action and impact, a source of curiosity, self-actualization, and constant creativity-but we’ve been thinking about how we can shrink our egos in order to expand our impact, creating “brave new spaces,” as our tagline goes, not just by curating and expressing, but by granting and gifting them: as “negative spaces” to be filled by others. An ecology of beautiful business instead of an agenda of beautiful business.
And one step further lies the question of how much of the House roadmap and governance should the House community take over? Is the House, which triggers our protective instincts like any bold, independent-minded child would, mature enough to determine its own destiny? How much stewardship does it need? The rise of Web3 technologies and business models has given us food for thought, plus a whole new array of tools to play with, and we have some ideas.
We look forward to your thoughts!
Thank you for being here, and here’s to seeing more of you in 2022, in Lisbon and online.
Monika, Till, Tim and the House of Beautiful Business