Having taken the weekend to recuperate from the Web Summit and of course the Night Summit fervor I’m finally documenting my reflections on the amazing Web Summit held last week that I finally got the chance to check out as a volunteer. This provided the perfect opportunity to meet new people and innovators through that experience but also hear from amazing leaders in the tech space. And wow inspired I was!
As someone doing a PhD in Web Science and currently figuring out how to combine economic geography with business innovation in an interdisciplinary way to understand business models on the web this was like being a chocolate lover at the Willy Wonka, chocolate factory! It brought to life so much of what I have been researching yet emphasised just how much research is still needed. I am currently focusing on ‘sharing economy’ or ‘on-demand’ models online, but there are so many different terms and interpretations of what that is. They can be peer to peer (P2P), business to business (B2B) or even consumer to business (C2B) nowadays and they are continually emerging to solve every-day nagging human and business problems.
At the Web Summit I got a chance to speak to so many of them and learn even more not only on my subject but on topics as diverse as the Internet of Things, Gaming, Music and Entertainment, Marketing, Machines, Coding, Fintech and much much more. You can have a look at the schedule on the Web Summit website and the video of talks from center stage are available on the Web Summit YouTube Channel. There were also TV stars (Davos Seaworth from the Game of Thrones), sport stars, and well known authors like Dan Brown wandering around and voicing their views on tech. The Nasdaq Closing Bell even rang at the Careers Summit. There was also the welcome announcement that the Web Summit would be giving away 10,000 tickets to women entrepreneurs to attend their events. This is a brilliant step in helping to address gender diversity in tech which will benefit women and by default wider society as well.
No matter how advanced communication technology gets, the magic of face to face interaction really cannot be replaced. The buzz at the Web Summit was overwhelming and electrifying. The social and networking element seemed to be as important as the tech that brought everyone together with many opportunities available for socialising, most notably the Night Summit. This provided for the unpredictability of serendipity for those truly in search of it. I hope I get the chance to attend yet again in Lisbon next year or one of their events in America, Hong Kong or India!