Dublin Tech Summit Virtual went live this morning with over 5,000 attendees logging on. DTS gathers the most influential minds in tech and business from across the globe.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the events industry’s shift towards virtual activities last year, with the number of organisations hosting a virtual conference in 2020 doubling from that in 2019. The industry’s transition to virtual has been widely successful, with many benefiting from virtual conferences being accessible on a global basis. The uptick in virtual events is in line with wider trends in favour of online video streaming, with Cisco reporting that media consumption of this kind will make up over 80 percent of internet traffic by 2022.
Dublin Tech Virtual Summit aims to foster stronger cooperation across ecosystems, connect tech communities, and develop long-lasting partnerships that will drive innovation and entrepreneurship into a shared future. Themes this year include future workforce, digital transformation, tech for good, and cyber security, among others.
Speaking about the second Dublin Tech Summit Virtual, Managing Director Tracey Carney said: “We are very proud to be running our second virtual summit. The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on the events industry and we are delighted to be able to connect with attendees virtually. The pandemic has seen a vast transformation in tech, making it even more important to have the discussions we platform at Dublin Tech Summit. Like every other year, we will be providing opportunities for tech fans and professionals to gain and share cutting edge insights with industry professionals. We have reduced our ticket price (€29) to remove barriers for all to attend and make DTS Virtual as inclusive as possible.”
Here are some highlights of the day.
Events began on the Horizon Stage with a keynote by Annette Rippert, Group Chief Executive – Strategy & Consulting, Accenture, titled ‘Seeing and Seizing the Future‘. Later in the morning, in a fireside titled ‘The Future of Audio,’ Sten Garmark, VP Consumer Experience, Spotify, spoke with moderator Rob Pegoraro, journalist with USA Today, Fast Company, and Wirecutter.
Mr Garmark spoke about trends defining the music streaming service: “Trends have been changing, and at Spotify, what we try to build here is really not one Spotify but now 356 million Spotify(s) […] We’ve recently been launching a new library that merges music and podcasts in a really simple and powerful way.”
Mike Fisher, CTO, Etsy, joined moderator Ron Miller, Enterprise Reporter at TechCrunch, to discuss ‘Innovation on the Horizon: Discussing Machine Learning, Computer Vision & Augmented Reality.’ Mr Fisher discussed the move to becoming a ‘cloud native’: “We first got to the cloud and now we are in the process, in the second phase, of becoming more cloud native.”
He continued: “44% of our sellers started because of COVID and over 40% saw their sales double in 2020.”
Deeptha Khanna, Chief Business Leader, Personal Health, Philips, spoke to Rob Pegoraro, about ‘The End of the Waiting Room: Telehealth Brings the Doctor to your Living Room.’
Ms Khanna said: “At the core, we have to design for value to the consumer and that has been a very interesting learning curve for the organisation as well.” She later discussed using apps to better connect with consumers: “We have to think about the value proposition in total and one of the examples where the apps were useful for us is when we started using them to improve behaviours in a way in which it really connected with consumers […] Connectivity for its own sake could sometimes lead nowhere but I think what’s happened is it now has become a platform to be really meaningful.”
Connectivity for its own sake could sometimes lead nowhere but I think what’s happened is it now has become a platform to be really meaningful.
In a panel titled, ‘Control+Alt+Reinvent,’ Annette Rippert, Group Chief Executive, Strategy & Consulting, Accenture; Mark Curtis, Chief Innovation Officer – Accenture Interactive & Co-Founder Fjord Accenture; Marc Carrel-Billiard, Senior Managing Director and Lead – Technology Innovation and Accenture Labs, Accenture, joined moderator Susan Daly, Managing Editor, Journal Media.
Mr Curtis spoke about the pandemic and the changes it brought about: “I think what happened other the last year, we’ve seen two things which have been driving ingenuity, the first is that people had time to reconsider their personal purpose […] the second part of it is the way in which they looked at their purpose, but there’s also been a needs-driven re-evaluation of what people do which is, in many cases, they simply didn’t have work.” He also discussed how to develop your products and innovate: “Study the human and study at a deeper level and more frequently than you ever thought you should before.”
Mr Carrel-Billiard spoke about innovation and leadership: “I think that we need to consider that innovative culture has to start at the top, now every leader needs to be a technology leader […] I think the most visionary leaders are the ones that are using technology to master a change.”
Ms Rippert spoke about effective, quick decision-making: “Maybe an important change that we see coming in organisations and that is pushing more decision-making power to the edge [is] there’s this need to be able to be acting quickly, and acting in a way that quickly captures business […] I think it’s clear that a thriving world economy requires intentional decision making to move us forward.”
In a fireside titled, ‘Crypto and DeFi – What’s Next?‘, Toby Lewis CEO & Founder Novum Insights, spoke to moderator Fred Thiel, CEO, Marathon Digital Holdings.
Mr Lewis said: “I think in the marketplace today, institutional buyers are buying on dips, they don’t buy on exchanges, they buy on over the counter trade-desks […] I am a huge believer in bitcoin’s ability to make financial markets extremely more efficient in how they operate […] My belief is that there will be a lot of exciting DeFi companies that will spring up and many of them will be acquired by regulated financial institutions”
On the Ignite Stage, Mark Schaefer, Chief Operating Officer, B Squared Media, addressed attendees in a fireside entitled, ‘Cumulative Advantage: How to Build Momentum for your Ideas, Business and Life Against All Odds.’
Mr Schaefer said: “I believe that reaching out to people who can help you is one of the fastest ways to create a momentum, but it requires a new definition of mentorship and here’s what I mean: a traditional idea of mentorship means a long-term relationship with someone who teachers you something […] I think it is a old-fashioned idea. Today if you wanna learn something, you don’t need a mentor, you need YouTube […] But here’s what mentor can do, here’s something only a mentor can do: open new doors, create new opportunities, make introductions to other people who can help you.”
Ian Tien, CEO and Co-Founder of Mattermost, spoke to moderator, Ron Miller, Enterprise Reporter at TechCrunch, about ‘Democratising the Things that Mattermost: Open Source The Future.’ He said: “When we think about Mattermost, we think about open source, we think about what it means to really care about security in the open source community and to care about more than just the bottom line, care about that community. I think that is the difference with open source and secure organizations. It’s the spirit of community and it’s the mission of our company. Our mission is to make the world safer and more productive.”
It’s the spirit of community and it’s the mission of our company. Our mission is to make the world safer and more productive
Rashmi Gopinath, General Partner, B Capital Group spoke to moderator Ryan Browne, Tech Reporter at CNBC in a fireside titled, ‘The Investor Perspective: Emerging Enterprise Software & Crypto Trends For 2021 & Onwards.’
Ms Gopinath spoke about the uptick in remote healthcare work: “The acceleration of remote healthcare and telemedicine especially in the face of the pandemic has accelerated quite significantly.” Regarding emerging trends, she said: “In the SAAS world or Cloud World, a lot of companies are now forced to become digital first […] As we start seeing more and more of enterprises confirmation around crypto assets, it also increases the confidence of retail investors in transacting with crypto and digital currencies.”
Michele Romanow, President and Co-founder, Clearco, spoke to moderator Natasha Mascarenhas, Reporter at TechCrunch in a fireside titled, ‘From Dragons to Unicorns: Blazing the Trail For Entrepreneurship.’
Ms Romanow said: “What I fundamentally believe is that no one becomes a founder because they’re like ‘I can’t wait to fundraise,’ or ‘I can’t wait to choose a credit card,’ or ‘I can’t wait to do my financial statements’ […] At the end of the day what you should care about is growth and at some point a patch profitability.”
On the Reimagine Stage, Hamid Hashemi, Chief Product & Experience Officer, WeWork, spoke to moderator Angelica Krystle Donati, Head of Business Development, Donati S.p.A., in a fireside titled, ‘WeWork: Digitisation & the Future of the Office.’
Mr Hashemi said: “We learned that collaboration space is a much greater need today than it ever was […] People are looking for more open space than they are looking for enclosed spaces.”
Jorn Lambert, Chief Digital Officer, Mastercard, spoke to attendees in a fireside titled, ‘Powering The Planet.’ He said: “Innovation is not about just the latest gadgets or the latest gimmick. It’s about solving real problems for real people. And as technologists we have enormous power to make impact to society, to the environment.”
As technologists we have enormous power to make impact to society, to the environment.
Heather Ace, EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer Qualcomm, spoke to moderator Carolina Milanesi, President and Principal Analyst, Creative Strategies about ‘Workforce Evolution: Exploring 5G and The Future of Work.’
Ms Ace emphasised patience and the need for a ‘warm up’ period in the move towards the ‘new normal’: “People have established a lot of new norms and need a warm up period before we really think about embracing our next step to new normal.” She also spoke about how exciting new technology can impact work environments: “If you even look further out into the future and you think about people all over the world, imagine being able to meet with somebody as holographic presence.”
On the Evolution Stage, Rik Ferguson, Vice President Security Research, Trend Micro, spoke to Danny Palmer, Senior Reporter at ZDNet about ‘The Cyber Evolution: The New Technology and Cybersecurity Trends for 2021 and Beyond.’
He spoke about the move towards cloud-centric patterns: “One of the big shifts that we’ve seen over the years, but absolutely accelerated because of the pandemic, is this shift away from a data center-centric usage pattern to a cloud-centric usage pattern.”
He continued: “However we do need to learn the lessons from our past and we have constantly not been great at that as a society […] How do I threat model into the future rather than fight the fires of today?”
You’re going to need humans to basically do a good job for content moderation.
Chris Slowe, CTO, Reddit, and Allison Miller, CISO & VP of Trust, Reddit, spoke to moderator Mike Butcher MBE, Editor-at-Large, TechCrunch, on the topic, ‘In Community We Trust’.
Mr Slowe said: “The dangerousness of viral take off is that very very often, it is followed by a viral crash, so it ends up meaning that the retention of those users is actually what you care about.” He also spoke about content moderation: “I can’t play up the moderation model enough in that for any kind of skill, you’re going to need humans to basically do a good job for content moderation.”
Ms Miller echoed Mr Slowe’s comments: “It proves the power of our system of moderation so its one of our principles, there are no unmoderated spaces […] I think that we are really lucky at Reddit to have a people powered kind of foundation with folks who are in the community [that] are also participating to making sure it adheres to norms.”