Macro, Meta, Micro

The ASCEND program is built as a three-tiered system. Starting from the 10,000-foot view (or perhaps we should say, “the 100 km view”), the sessions begin by posing the big questions about the future of space. As the event progresses, sessions narrow in focus and drill down into these questions, generating more practical and actionable discussions.

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MACRO sessions offer insight and inspiration around a big theme that is relevant to all attendees.

In many cases, this is introduced as a question or issue that requires the full ecosystem to work together to resolve. The Macro topic is introduced in a high-energy opening session where the full community—exhibitors included—is present. The macro sessions are the “what,” and work well when they can be framed as questions.
META-layer engagement provides the opportunity to connect the macro theme to each attendee’s discipline and interests.

The meta layer offers discussion, distillation, and debate. This meta layer is the link between the macro opening sessions and the micro technical sessions and business meetings, and is critical to a unified, connected event. Meta sessions are specifically relevant to two or more groups of attendees. The meta sessions are the “so what.”
The MICRO layer is where attendees dive deep and apply ideas they’ve picked up throughout the day.

The micro layer includes today’s technical sessions and poster sessions, carefully curated to follow the macro topics, along with business meetings. This is where the best problem-solving happens and the reason the community comes to ASCEND. The micro sessions are the “now what.”