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The first three sessions at BoF VOICES 2022 addressed issues within the fashion industry and far beyond. Speakers explored the climate crisis and accusations of corporate greenwashing; the potential of artificial intelligence and associated ethical implications; the war in Ukraine and growing economic insecurity and inequality around the world and Gen-Z’s growing anger about these problems and how to start fixing them.

“At this event, fashion is often pretty marginal,” BoF editor Tim Blanks said during the live taping of “The Best of VOICES With Tim Blanks.” “It’s on our minds, but what we’re talking about are the world’s big, definitive problems.”

Blanks was joined by VOICES speakers Ziad Ahmed, CEO of JUV Consulting and Stephanie Simon, the former head of community at Clubhouse, to reflect on the highlights of the first two days of talks and panel discussions.

  • The climate crisis is the cloud that hangs over everything, from technology to the economy. But instead of waiting for private companies to create change, “it seems much easier to determine the goals we need to ensure progress from a climate change perspective,” Simon said.
  • The potential of artificial intelligence is limitless, but humans can help control how the AI ​​world unfolds. “We teach AI by example,” Blanks said. “By being ethical, kind people, AI learns to be ethical and kind.”
  • While the younger generation is interested in new technology, there is also a fear of the companies and people who create these innovations and a desire to undo past practices. “There’s often an assumption that Gen-Z is leading the charge on innovation,” Ahmed said. “By and large, that’s not really the case. A lot of young people are really skeptical and critical of our own relationships with technology.”
  • To see change, today’s stakeholders must bring the next generation into the decision-making process – and begin to relinquish control. “The solutions to the problems we face exist,” Ahmed said. “The question is whether those who currently hold the reins will give them up.”
  • BoF VOICES 2022: Finding optimism in an unstable world: From the Ukraine war to the climate crisis to the legacy of the pandemic, speakers including CNN’s Clarissa Ward, Mercy Corps’ Tjada D’Oyen McKenna, Goldman Sachs’ Tim Ingrassia and Google X’s former chief business officer Mo Gawdat discussed the uncertainty gripping the world — and why to hope.

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