• Hosted in partnership with Stagwell, ON_CES is taking the discourse straight to the convention floor.
  • We’re going to dedicate our unique process to unpacking and distilling the bold exhibition claims that make this the world’s biggest consumer technology convention.
  • A central theme of this issue will be the promise and implications of AI in consumer tech. What do the products on display represent for short and long term consumer trends? How do we distinguish between artificial hype and intelligent opportunities?

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  • ON_CES will include the launch of The Intelligently Artificial Issue, which will provide deep analysis, plus provocation-driven discourse on the most urgent and important topics related to AI and business.

CES

Can

Be

Fixed

With

DISCOURSE

Toby Daniels

Toby Daniels

Founder, ON_Discourse, former Chief Innovation Officer, Adweek, Founder and Chair, Social Media Week

Our co-founder Toby Daniels is a veteran of CES and has taken over our CES planning meetings with hot takes from his ample experience from the show. We thought we should give him a pen to write a mini-confessional about the world’s biggest consumer tech conference.
—ON_D

CES is not new to me. I’ve been attending the event for over 15 years times, walking the crowded halls, networking in one event after the other, and have seen countless over-hyped tech unveilings. I have seen the curved TV screens and they are still not going to be a thing. I believe in the value of this event and yet, after all of this time with it, can confidently tell you how it can be fixed.

Executives who
report feeling
disoriented and
isolated

First the primary problem: CES is loud, confusing, crowded, and extremely lonely. I am not alone in making this diagnosis; I have had countless conversations with fellow convention goers and tech executives who report feeling disoriented and isolated (especially during loud, engaged networking events). This problem creates the conditions that lead to the second, most commonly understood issue with CES.

In this mode,
agreement is
chosen over
conflict, and
innovation is nothing but an empty vessel of conventional ideas.

The secondary problem of CES is groupthink. It is an echo chamber with familiar faces and conventional ideas wrapped in flashy tech.  In this mode, agreement is chosen over conflict, and innovation is nothing but an empty vessel of conventional ideas.

CES is often touted as “a beacon for leaders in business and technology,” where the future meets today’s realities. While this paints a picture of innovation and forward-thinking, it often masks the event’s superficial nature. CES, in all its glory, can sometimes be more about the display than the depth of conversation. We can change that.

True perspective, I’ve learned, comes from heated debates, uncomfortable questions, and the willingness to listen to opposing viewpoints.

The discipline
of discourse is a
forcing function that enables us to provoke, argue, challenge and listen.

This year we are bringing discourse and community to CES. 

The discipline of discourse is a forcing function that enables us to provoke, argue, challenge, and listen – not just to reply, but to understand and consider. It’s through these authentic engagements that we can break free from the cycle of redundancy and uncover truly groundbreaking ideas and new perspectives.

At CES this year the ON_Discourse team will provide an experience for its members that will serve as the singular reason to attend the show in January. We will deliver this in three ways:

An experience for its members that will serve as the singular reason to attend the show in January.

Curation:

  • A guided experience, including a kick-off briefing event, a discourse-driven tour of the convention floor, and invitations to a carefully curated list of events.

Connection:

  • Members will be organized into “Teams”, small groups who attend sessions together, join dinners, attend parties, and experience the event as a single unit.

Conversation:

  • The discipline of discourse is at the heart of everything we do. When applied to conversations at CES, we ensure that we follow the three pillars: Provoke, Listen, Change.

It’s not just
about the
technology; it’s
about the
intelligence
behind it.

As we move towards CES 2024, I feel a renewed sense of purpose. Our approach is different – we’re not just there to observe; we’re there to engage, to disrupt the status quo of conversations. We’re setting up to ensure our members experience CES not as a showcase of gadgets, but as a forum of intelligent, meaningful dialogue.

I am hopeful that with our concerted effort, this CES will mark a turning point. A shift from superficial tech displays to rich, meaningful exchanges of ideas and our next Issue, “Intelligently Artificial,”captures this essence perfectly. It’s not just about the technology; it’s about the intelligence behind it – the thoughts, the debates, the discourse.

Toby Daniels

Co-Founder, ON_Discourse

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Join our growing community of business leaders,
innovators and entrepreneurs to access new
perspectives, better decision making and more
meaningful relationships.

Applications for 2023 close November 30.

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