What Went on at The FT Weekend Live Festival

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On 3 September some of the Financial Times Weekend’s best-known writers and columnists joined guest speakers and leading figures from fashion, the art world, food and wine for the inaugural edition of the FT Weekend Live Festival. No less than seven stages were devoted to discuss ideas and trends across businesses, markets and creative industries, in the beautiful setting of Kenwood House Gardens.

From iconic fashion designer Vivienne Westwood to art historian Simon Schama and celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal, you just had to pick one of FT’s trademark areas – Food & Drink, How To Spend It, House & Home, FT Money, Arts and Travel – to delve into what’s going on in the world of creativity applied to business.

I kicked off my visit at the Arts tent with a talk by Schama, one of the most prominent presenters for BBC when it comes to art history. The session focused on how arts translates to television and other broadcast media. You may know him either because you have read his books on the arts, or because you’ve seen him on TV in front of some of the most important pieces of art across the world.

I picked my second talk thanks to its intriguing title. “Time: The ultimate luxury” was a panel about life in the digital age. As The Philosopher’s Magazine Founding Editor, Julian Baggini, and Vacheron’s Constantin‘s Creative Director, Christian Selmoni, were among the panellists, philosophy and luxury were the lenses through which explore how technology and connectivity impact the human condition.

The final event had to be Tyler Brûlé’s benchmarks. Monocle‘s Editor-in-Chief shared his tips and insights through a global tour across iconic cities in the world, and the less known gems between Europe and the Far East as well. On a personal note, I was glad to see that Japan was featured many times in his list: a good omen for my upcoming trip there. Design at all levels was at the core of his presentation, which was welcomed as if he was the rock star of contemporary lifestyle and travel magazines.

If you couldn’t make it to London that day, photos and podcasts from each session are available on the FT Live website here.