Now I might have been making an assumption here but I didn't expect Newcastle Upon Tyne to be the venue of choice for a great digital event like Thinking Digital …but I must say, after attending this year's conference, I was impressed.
Quite recently, I was fortunate enough for our Marketing Manager Kate to introduce me to Herb Kim , a guy that whoever we spoke about globally, he seemed to have spent time with, an extremely well connected guy. You may remember his guest blog post in April's newsletter.
Herb is the founder and curator of Thinking Digital, which has just held its 7th annual conference, boasting 30 speakers and around 650 attendees over 3 days. The conference was also multi-city as the event was streamed live to Manchester’s arts venue, the cornerhouse.
Herb set up Thinking Digital after he saw first-hand what TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) had created, it's undoubtedly a leader in its field. Herb felt strongly that this doesn't mean there’s no room for other events and as such decided to create something similar in Britain.
So what did I take away from the event?
Besides a 3D printed tool, which we created in a workshop challenge, I listened to some great speakers including a developer who's worked on "Watson" from IBM, the new artificially intelligent computer system capable of answering questions posed in a natural language.
Another notable speech was delivered by the inventors of Spritz a system to help you read at a staggering 600 words a minute. Try it .:-)
However, the most interesting and you could say controversial speaker of the event was Aral Balkin . An extremely outspoken guy with a possible solution to a problem we may not have realised was even happening. He shared how Facebook knows, perhaps before you do, who is going to start a new relationship and how all of your data is being used for more reasons than you can ever imagine. It is in many ways a giant sales pitch for his solution but I genuinely believe it’s an interesting view that he paints. Watch the whole presentation here.
In summary, a really well produced event so I was so engaged and certainly felt a digital buzz after my visit. I even left without picking up a Stottie from Greggs!