Posts Tagged ‘thinking digital’

5 reasons you should go to Thinking Digital 2014


I’ve written about Thinking Digital before, on a couple of occasions.

If you’ve seen any of the tweets over the last couple of days (search #tdc13) it may have piqued your interest but is it for you?

If you say ‘Yes’ to these 5 questions then you have your answer:

  1. Do you want to feel again the excitement you felt as a child when you discovered something new?
  2. Do you want to know what our future looks like and how to make a better present?
  3. Do you want to hear from those who are right at the heart of making, disrupting, changing and shaping the world around us?
  4. Do you enjoy meeting people who are open, authentic, unique and inspiring?
  5. Do you believe there is value to looking at everything from a different perspective, at least once in a while?

Go, and this time next year I guarantee you’ll be telling people that Thinking Digital is one of the best events you’ve ever been too.

*Photo: The incredible Sugata Mitra at Thinking Digital 2013

Thinking Digital 2012

This year’s Thinking Digital was much anticipated (particularly after my love fest last year…) and it didn’t disappoint.  Once again, an eclectic mix of speakers enthralled, entertained and amazed the audience.  I always think that reading about live events is similar to listen to someone talking about their dreams; to them it was staggering, to you it seems less incredible.

But once again I would urge you to put Thinking Digital on your list for next year.  It’s not just the speakers that makes it great, it’s the intimacy of the event that is perfectly placed to encourage conversations between like-minded souls.

It’s incredibly difficult to single out highlights but if forced…

Our social media panel at TDC University: it’s probably cheating to choose something I was involved with (as panel chair) but with such knowledgeable set of panelists, there were some great debates around the future of established and newer platforms and emerging trends, such as social discovery, niche networks, privacy issues and social businesses

Mikko Hypponen : an eye-opening and somewhat alarming talk about the dangers of internet virus.  Clearly we saw a tip of an (albeit frightening) iceberg.  I dread to think of the things this guy has seen but it’s good to know that people like him are on the case.

Pam Warhurst from Incredible Edible: nothing to do with digital or technology but everything to do with the power of working collaboratively and just getting on with getting stuff done.  There were quite a few damp eyes in the audience by the end.

Sugata Mitra: Having seen Sugata before at Guardian Active8, I was aware of the incredible work done by this charming, humble man. Genuinely revolutionising the way we think about education and the way in which its delivered.  Go read about his work.

Richard Banks: an interaction designer at Microsoft who made us all consider our digital legacies and how future generations will deal with the mountains of content we are all creating.

Jennifer Gardy: Every audience member fell for this intelligent, engaging and funny scientist, who spoke about her work researching contagious diseases.  The little book she ‘just wrote’ showed that she’s also an amazing cartoonist and writer.  Is it fair for one person to have so much talent?

I conducted a few audio interviews.  A cracking one with Tom Scott, which sadly crashed half way through and I didn’t find out until much later (gutted as he’s such interesting character with an usual skill set – how many programmers do you know that can do stand up comedy?).

Sarah Hartley about notice and the future of hyperlocal journalism

Will McInnes about running a business that has an open and transparent business model

Adrian Hon from Six to Start (creators of the hugely popular Zombies! Run) about how he turned his agency into a product company and  funding projects through crowd sourcing sites like Kickstarter.

Thanks Herb.  Until next year.

Yesterday I fell in love

Not once but over and over again.

I’m at Thinking Digital in Newcastle, a 2 day conference of ideas, culture and technology; yesterday was day one and by the end of it, I’d given away my heart.  Before I explain who was the object of my affections, I know that hearing about someone else’s experience of a conference can be similar to listening to them re-tell a dream; to them it blew their mind, to you it’s fairly inconsequential but this was a dream of passion and love so bear with me.

I don’t go to many conferences or events, a lot of them seem to regurgitate the same content, trotting out the same speakers.  But year after year I kept hearing fantastic things about Thinking Digital from people I respect and admire.

Which is why, yesterday, I found myself in the Sage being carried away on a tide of incredible people and falling head over heels. Scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, writers, all with stories or projects that left you longing for more. Steven BathicheErin McKean, Conrad Wolfram, Nancy Duarte, Dan Lyons, Maryanne Hobbs, Heather Knight… I won’t even attempt to explain what they each talked about, I couldn’t possibly do them justice.

Herb Kim has managed a rare feat with Thinking Digital, the word ‘inspired’ is used to death these days but there is no other word that adequately describes the way Thinking Digital makes you feel.  The speakers are people who draw you completely into their particular passion; you want to hear more, learn more, absorb yourself into their world.

Hence the falling in love thing…

*photo: trustypics