What Web Summit 2018 has taught us this far
Highlights, commentaries and life lessons.
With a dynamic week still laying ahead of us in this year’s Web Summit, the feeling of adrenaline rush doesn’t seem to take a back seat any time soon. Every hour of the day, there is a panel, speaker, a conversation being held that demands your presence. Well, not that it’s mandatory of course, but the idea of taking a nap or eating while innovative ideas are being discussed by the pioneers of tech in the next room, seems a bit ridiculous, doesn’t it?!
For those of you feeling out of the loop, Web Summit is a technology conference that gathers around the founders and CEOs of technology companies, startups, policymakers and heads of state, held annually since 2009. The company was founded by Paddy Cosgrave, David Kelly, and Daire Hickey. For the first five years the event was held in Dublin, Ireland, but starting 2016, it altered location to Lisbon instead.
Fortunately, we were able to attend this exhilarating convention, but also keep a few notes during the various bright discourses. These are just a few of them, and the week isn’t even over yet!
The technology of storytelling
Darren Aronofsky is an American filmmaker, screenwriter, and overall environmental enthusiast. “Black Swan”, “Mother!”, “Requiem for a Dream”, “Noah”, do these little masterpieces ring any bells? He joined Lauren Goode in a conversation on the impact special effects have on our storytelling abilities and how intimate the experience of connecting with an audience through movies is.
“A film like Noah would’ve never been possible when I first thought of it 20 years earlier. It only just becomes possible because of computers. It has unlocked the possibility of what you can do and what type of stories you can tell.”
“That’s the beauty of storytelling in filmmaking. You can watch a movie from anywhere in the world and if it’s well told with honest emotion, everyone in the world, everyone in this room will understand it and take away a similar thing.”
“I think what’s exciting about art and film is that it ultimately isn’t a widget.”
As a continuous advocate for the preservation of our planet, when questioned about environmental awareness in a closing statement, he stirred our thoughts with the following remarks:
“It’s the paramount issue of our time, all other issues pale in comparison when you don’t have a home to live in.”
“We have to rely on governments to change and help us move into this new future. Vote for people who believe in science.”
As massive content consumers and passionate movie buffs, we highly recommend watching this bright discussion on the Web Summit Youtube channel.
Apple: Business doing well by doing good
Lisa Jackson is Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, reporting to CEO Tim Cook.
She oversees Apple’s efforts to minimize its impact on the environment by addressing climate change through renewable energy and energy efficiency, whilst also being responsible for the company’s education policy programs.
In an amazing talk on how the company reached its goal of powering their global operations with 100% renewable energy, she tackled the issues of future generation investment by saying:
“Education is a fundamental human right. To bring vital skills to learners of all ages, Apple launched ‘Everyone can create’ and ‘Everyone can code’. Because the language of coding opens doors and opportunities now and in the future for society! And we are making sure these new programs are accessible to everyone, including the ones with disabilities. We believe unless everyone can contribute, the conversation isn’t over, and our work is simply not done.”
Apple is pushing through with the ideology that lacking empathy and attentiveness towards matters that impact our life shouldn’t be justifiable or pushed aside by companies. Whether it’s the future of our youth, the planet, or educating our women:
“We can protect the planet and invest in our future, all while running a successful business. We can do well, by doing good.”
“We can’t find the answers we need without our girls being educated.”
In a world where it’s easy to be wrapped up in your personal concerns, without minding the impact and responsibility you have to the surrounding environment, having a successful woman give us this wake-up call was thrilling, to say the least.
Perpetual talks were being held these last two days with few interludes in sight. Without getting too much into detail on every single one of them, here are some cherished quotes we frantically drafted. Stay tuned for future Web Summit related posts and a recap of everything we took from it once it is over.
“What matters now is not to learn, but to learn how to learn”- United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, in “Nurturing a digital future that is safe and beneficial for all”.
“Privacy is a fundamental human right and we must fight, fight, fight for it!” – Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web in “A contract for the web”.
“You get all this training and responsibility and it’s a dream come true, it’s an important job but you need to be healthy and awake when you do it. Your performance is going to be affected by your nutrition, physical condition, but also by your sleep. And so these things become very important to you so you can be at your best. And it’s not really any different than any other job that we have where we want to be at our best.”- Mike Massimino, astronaut and professor at Columbia University in the panel of “Timeshifting: Jet lag is history”.
“We’re all on the go, we’re all using our phones constantly, it’s critical to be thinking: How’s that experience going to be?”- David Rusenko on the panel of “How to become a UX-pert”.
“Only freedom allows for creativity, technological innovation, and entrepreneurship.”- António Costa, the Prime Minister of Portugal in his opening address.