Web Summit is the biggest tech conference in Europe, and it aims to bring the global tech industry together. Over 1200 speakers sharing their ideas in 15 different tracks on 20 different stages and 70.000 attendees, it is a collaborator for tech companies and start-ups to move their business into a bigger and global scale. The conference started yesterday with the opening speech followed by Edward Snowden.
He raised awareness of how we use data and privacy and stated, “It is not data that is being exploited, it is people that are being exploited’.
Different tracks like technology, marketing, entrepreneurship, and innovation and pavilions filled with tech startups is a place to be inspired to learn and to share.
On the first day of the summit the center stage and the 5 main tracks Corporate Innovation, Future Societies, Venture, Panda Conferences and Growth Summit has raised awareness to various globally essential issues such as the use and development of technology in terms of privacy and ethics, sustainability in tech and the importance of AI and user experience based on cultural insights.
We report daily stories from the festival and you can check it out on Instagram. #WebSummit
1. Looking back to go forward: 50 years of the Internet
Internet hitting its 50th anniversary, in the Future Societies track, Mark Scott Chief Technology Correspondent at POLITICO hosted a panel with Lee Rainie, the Director of Pew Research Center and Mitchell Baker, the Co-founder & Chairwoman of Mozilla about the history of the internet and what is expected from the future. Looking at technological developments about internet technologies from both research and corporate perspective, both speakers agreed on the importance of data privacy. Having both optimistic and pessimistic scenarios about the future of the internet, the internet is expected to be omnipresent and omnipotent. With the rise of the talks about techlash, the distrust of big tech companies monopolization has raised questions about whether or not the government should interfere with the data privacy.
Baker stated that if governments interfere with the data with regulations, it might push users to exit the regulated platforms. Privacy regulations being a vague issue on one side, bra internet in another raising topic on the other. With the bra internet, people’s brain data will be tracked solutions will be provided based on that. Brainternet is going to disrupt the privacy said Rainie. In this changing ecosystem, what tech companies and brands can do to adapt is to have a consumer-centric approach, not a system-centric approach, and create equality for all parties to have a sustainable, happy ecosystem.
2. Digitization of Banking: Debunking the unbanked
In most developing countries, the number of digital banking is deficient. To make them more digitized and to give the SME’s a platform to grow themselves, panelists (Mark Roden, founder & CEO of Ding, Tunde Kehinde co-founder of Lidya, Christopher Leacock, Jillionaire LLC and Joon Ian Wong managing Director at CoinDesk) hosted a panel talking about how they are touching the lives of SME’s with their business models.
In the developing economies, SME’s lack showing credible growth plans and accredited bank accounts. Hence they can’t get loans for their facilities. To overcome the credibility problems, both Lidya, Ding, and Jillionaire are working on digital solutions to finance the fast-growing, high-velocity companies. Doing business across the world, they all state that the leading solution to adapt digital finance technologies is to look into the culture and cultural barriers. Especially in developing countries and the baby boomers population, it is harder to overcome the distrust of the technology barrier. As a case, Roden stated that Careem developed its business by taking cash instead of the credit card on the rides in the Gulf Area. As an addition to looking deep into the culture and providing cultural/personalized experiences, excellent customer service is a must in implementing financial technologies.
3. Getting inside the brand marketing engine
After listening to technology and their adaptation to cross cultures, it is crucial to figure out how to market and advertising technology. In the Getting inside the brand marketing engine, Alan Boehme global CTO of P&G, Cynthia Johnson CEO of Bell +Ivy, Dominic Grounsell MD at GVC and Marty Swant from Forbes talked about the different perspectives of ad tech and marketing tech solutions. To provide a better service to customers, using data is crucial. That’s where technology comes in handy. With the rising distrust of data, it is essential to have an end-to-end business model where customers know-how providing personal information & data improves their lives via personalized experiences.
Boehme stated that being a house of brands, you have to develop relationships with people and provide them local experiences so that they can engage with your brand. To give users the unique experiences they want, reading data through AI and Emotional Intelligence will ease the lives of people and help them understand the benefits of data.
4. The good, the bad and the future of big data
At the Corporate Innovation Summit, we came across the most popular topic of last year, which is data privacy. All data-driven companies’ common issues and trying solutions were on the table in the panel with the well-experienced speakers in the field. These are François-Xavier Pierrel Chief Data Officer, JCDecaux / Steve Rempel CIO, Walgreen Boots Alliance / Lori Fink Chief Legal Officer, Xandr / Joaquim Bretcha Boix President, ESOMAR.
Pierrel says that “The data strategy should build on trust. It starts with making sure your employees trust your data. And so, we hire multidisciplinary talents from different backgrounds.”
5. Making it better: Good disruptions
At the Venture stage, one of today’s attractive panel was together with Christian Nagel @earlybird / Jalak Jobanputra @FuturePerfect Ventures / Marcelo de Andrade @Eart Capital Partners / George Henry @LocalGlobe and moderated by Caleb Silver @Investopedia.
Those investors funded thousands of startups shared their common experience to build a good operating funding team to support startups’ growth. Jobanputra mentioned startup’s failure reasons on our social media post, please check more on Hackquarters Instagram highlights.
A great question asked by Silver, their primary focus in next year answered by each panelist like these listed below:
- Andrade: As industry-wise, we will focus on water, energy, and food most.
- Jobanputra: The fund’s primary focus will be India, which is one of the largest populations and emerging potential markets.
- Nagel: We will invest more in Berlin, where we can find diversified talent than Silicon Valley.
- Henry: The focus will be UK as we always did. It’s one of the largest consumer markets in the world. The secondary is Amsterdam and more European cities next.