Day 1 highlights: Why the future of VERGE is in the cards

The highlight of Monday was the morning's closing, led by Chris Luebkeman, the director of global foresight and innovation at Arup --- essentially, the resident futurist at a global design and engineering firm. He led the audience in an hourlong version of an exercise called Drivers of Change in which participants each receive a card that suggests some future state -- natural resource shortages, empowered consumers, rising oceans and more. Participants were asked to put their cards together with others at their tables to tell a story or address a challenge.

It was magic. The seemingly randomness of the cards and the people drew the group into conversations that were difficult to stop.

It's also very clear that people are craving ways to connect the dots, to get outside of their comfort zones, to see what others are seeing. And in so doing, to connect the stories they're telling with the larger story -- for themselves, their communities, their companies and their future.

It was exactly what we hoped would happen: a convergence of technologies, yes, but of visions, passions and skill sets. That's exactly what we need to accelerate change at the speed and scale required.

Welcome to VERGE, Day Two. During today's revelations, connections between new ideas -- and meeting participants -- are sure to be developed, and there will likely be many, many more of both to come.

Reporting contributed by Liz Enochs, Hannah Miller, Aaron Tilley, Derek Top and Kristine Wong

See the Storify pieces created by our reporters from the following sessions: