Connected Ink 2022.

Two Questions that hold the Key to the Future.

From the universe to the future of humanity

Connected Ink 2022 is the seventh incarnation of this unique experience since it was launched in 2016.

Themed around “Creative Chaos”, Connected Ink enables from all walks of life to come together and share unexpected discoveries and realizations that emerge from their creativity and encounters.

At Connected Ink, perspectives and expressions are shared and converge as the genesis and evolution of a new culture and Zeitgeist that continue to unfold over time.

This year, we put the question, “Have Humans really evolved since their origins?” front and center. At the same time, we also raise the question, “Can we say that Wacom’s technology and tools really contribute to human creativity?”

These questions complement one another perfectly, with creativity being intrinsic and unique to every human being.

In 2021, the theme for Connected Ink was about “the universe”, focusing on macroscopic explorations of human existence within the infinite scale and dimensions of the universe.

This year, Connected Ink’s theme is about inherent perspectives on the human mind and our innate curiosity, informed by deep scientific research into brain functions and skin sensations, and how our physical bodies interact with our external environments and our internal minds.

Key questions for people reflecting on the paths they have taken, and their next steps into the future.

Have humans really evolved since their origins?

Do Wacom’s technology and tools really contribute to human creativity?

At first glance, these key questions may seem pessimistic, questioning the progress of human evolution and asking whether science and technology are really as powerful and effective as we believe them to be. However, they should be interpreted as anything but blatant and dismissive. Our intent is to apply new perspectives and trigger novel reflections on the (often unanticipated) follies of human beings throughout time. These include the violence of war and oppression, accepting environmental destruction as the price of economic growth and prosperity, and celebrating the accumulation of excessive wealth. If we only look at these aspects of evolution, it may seem as if humans have not progressed, even after more than 200,000 years since modern humanity was born. How do you see it?

Furthermore, these questions also imply that we should be more aware of how digital technology has the potential to jeopardize what we call the “root of humanity”. Simply pursuing and prioritizing the convenience of digital technology will not increase our awareness of these threats.

Digitization represents two sides of the same coin, with the inherent opportunities and threats being inseparable. We must take an open and reflective perspective on our own progress and recognize its meaning, value and even karma – and take bold new steps towards the future. Our key questions suggest that we must always consider both sides of the proverbial coin.

A protected space where free thoughts can mingle freely

As the host of Connected Ink 2022, Nobutaka (Nobu) Ide, President and CEO of Wacom, sees powerful potential in the questioning approach. He doesn’t see progress in the harsh impact of seeking "answers" but rather in the centripetal force embodied in asking "questions”. With today’s society reaching a variety of turning points, the questioning approach should shed new light on our thinking and perspectives.

Nobu shares his thoughts about the two key questions for Connected Ink 2022 that help us make sense of humanity’s long journey and evolution from a creative perspective:

“I believe this pair of key questions are impactful for everyone living in today’s world. In my imagination, these powerful questions form a thematic umbrella for Connected Ink 2022. They allow us to create a dedicated space for everyone participating and contributing. Inside Connected Ink, any opinion and any individual value is to be permitted and respected. Everyone is free to join in or just observe. Any interpretation is allowed. Connected Ink must provide a protected space that allows individual thoughts and feelings about these fundamental questions to converge.

We hope that these key questions addressing and connecting the essence of our modern society will inspire many people to reflect about the future of humanity.

We invite you to join Connected Ink 2022 and experience a diverse range of discoveries, perspectives and expressions that resonate with these key questions.

editor / text _ (Chikara Kawakami)