Utopia is real!

A year of inspiring trivago Academies, full of exciting speakers and a curious audience, kicked off in January with a speaker that brought Utopia to life in a fireside chat!

The firstAcademy speaker to test the fireside chat format (one that invites the speaker to present their ideas and topic in an open chat while everyone can post a question using the tool slido), was the dutch historian, journalist and author of the book ‘Utopia for Realists’, Rutger Bregman. His fresh ideas about our future in a digital age inspired us as well as challenged us!

Studying History in Utrecht, Rutger found out that an academic career in that area might not be the number one place to encourage a new kind of thinking. Turning instead to Journalism, he founded „De Correspondent“: a platform, which he is still behind and is now 60,000 members strong. He invites academic minds to write about the Zeitgeist with an eye towards the future. And this is what he is doing until now.

His motto:

Everything can be changed, the only thing we need to learn is, to think the unthinkable.

Utopia for Realists proves, based on various examples, that in history every great change came from a mindset that completely turned existing conditions over. Rutger Bregmans ideas are not entirely new, as he talks about guaranteed basic income, or a 15-hour work week, but he encourages us to no longer see them as Utopia but rather to make them happen by changing the way we think. This fuels his concept of the digital age where “the real problem is not that we aren’t well enough or that our future doesn’t look bright enough, the real problem is a lack of imagining this brighter future. A lack of Utopia.”

In the open chat, Rutger explained the importance of wanting the unthinkable especially in the modern work-, family-, and global systems!
The famous novel Utopia by Thomas More was published in 1516 and still today we are yearning for a Utopian place, where everything is possible.
Always a pleasure to be woken up, inspired and tempted to innovate and rethink our world at the trivago Academy! If you need a solid background for your next Party small-talk, or need fresh ideas to engage in this world read Utopia for Realists!

Photos: ©Melanie Zanin

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Teresa Schmidt-Meinecke
Teresa Schmidt-Meinecke

Teresa is a Creative writer and Office Coordinator at trivago, constantly oscillating between art and communication.You may have already read some of her posts, about our trivago Academies. She also writes for hip local blog The Dorf.

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