As one of the biggest tech events in the world, Web Summit is now gathering not just tech enthusiasts, but also the people simply interested in technology and the way it influences our daily lives. In just 4 days, Web Summit presented 25 different conferences with around 1.200 speakers which were seen by nearly 60.000 attendees and – the experience is amazing!
The four of us girls from HTEC had an opportunity to experience it this year and you can find some of our impressions here.
Networking – from startups to corporations
Web Summit is at its core a networking event. On the very opening, Paddy Cosgrave, founder of WS, initiated the first interactions with a request to the audience – turn around and introduce yourself to three people you don’t know yet. Objectively, it all started a bit before, with the launching of the Web Summit app, which enabled you to connect with everyone at the event, from Paddy himself to Al Gore, or any other speaker or attendee. Talking about attendees – you can run into anyone, from startups in Alpha phase pitching their ideas, to people from tech giants like Microsoft, Google, Booking.com organizing mini-lectures or mentoring sessions for the lucky ones.
AI, VR/AR, blockchain, bitcoin…
The buzzword during the whole conference was no doubt AI and how good, or bad, will it influence our lives. An interesting discussion by Bryan Johnson, named Rebooting the brain, presented the work which is being done by his own company, Kernel. We had an opportunity to hear about a different vision and perspective – in order to adapt to an increasingly complex world, Kernel is trying to develop a new set of technology driven by humanity and expand the scope of human ability. On the other stage, Einstein and Sophia were debating what AI truly means for us (Einstein and Sophia being robots, by the way).
Marketing lessons from Lego
At the Summit, there is something for everybody. 25 conferences ranging from FullSTK, SaaS to Content Makers, and more than 1.200 speakers. One of the interesting presentations was by Lars Siberbauer on the creative power of communities, or a story of how Lego engaged the world with George, an easy to make Lego guy, with everyone sharing his journey around the globe. Conferences Creatiff and Content Makers are definitely a place to be for those looking for inspiring and creative talks.
Still on a side of storytelling and creativity, we had a chance to travel from small screens to outer space, with NASA astronaut and Hollywood producer, Mike Massimino and Michael Shamberg, and hear the story on the edge of tech and storytelling, played in the TV series “The Planets.”
The future of our workplace
One very interesting story about the future of came from non-other than Facebook Product Manager Facebook, Simon Cross. Simon presented us with a question – what does CC in the email mean? Yes, carbon copy, but what many people don’t know, CC is referencing a piece of technology from the 1800s, used to duplicate and spread information. Today’s tools and technologies, which have been created in the last decade, are rotted in the last centuries. Facebook Workplace is trying to make a change by looking through the lens of young people who are growing up with mobile devices, not even computers.
Booking.com and Women in Tech program
This year, Booking.com in partnership with Web Summit launched the Women in Tech mentor program. Participants had an opportunity to hear from some of the most inspiring women in the technology industry through one-to-one mentoring sessions, with an ultimate goal to help them on their journey to charting their own path in tech.
All in all, Web Summit is an event which should not be missed. But, if you are looking to deepen your knowledge in a specific area, you should look in different place. Web Summit is a roller-coaster of different topics, people, and technologies and gives an amazing overview of the tech industry and where it currently stands. So, use it wisely, to inform, connect, and inspire yourself for the next year and the new Web Summit edition.