Learnings from Web Summit 2018

  • Posted on November 21, 2018
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Avanade Spain Web Summit 2018

This article was originally written by Avanade alum Mirna Rodriguez.

Earlier this month, the Avanade Spain Digital Studio Team had the chance to attend one of the largest technology events in Europe: Web Summit 2018 in Lisbon. Close to 70,000 participants from 159 countries gathered to learn what big and small technology companies are doing to transform our reality; 31,000 of those were women. My colleague Esther Ramos and I set out to learn as much as possible.

On the first day of the event, Tim Berners Lee, the father of the web, unveiled “The contract for the Web,” a commitment to transform the internet into a more open and free space with respect for users’ privacy and responsibility to support the best and challenge the worst.

Next year, 50% of the world will be online, so all attendees were invited to become part of this transformation as the force of change to build the world we want and need.

With over 1,200 speakers, we selected the best sessions to attend and discovered a trend among them with the following topics being the most interesting:

  • The future of mobility: Smart cars at low costs and the possibility of space travel
  • Smart cities: The infrastructure needed to power them and the potential challenges and risks to build them
  • Blockchain: Not only for cryptocurrencies but expanding to other industries such as the art world and real state
  • Machine learning: How we can take advantage of it to create better content, learn from our customers and develop products that our users want and need
  • IoT: Integration of the technology into our day-to-day activities
  • VR, AR, MR: How these mixed realities can be applied to the health, education and gaming sectors
  • Diversity: Because that is what will allow us to collect different points of view and grow

Also, another very important topic at the event was how brands can stay relevant. Companies such as Amazon that sell you a “connection” are thriving and growing. These companies are betting big on innovation and advancing quickly and steadily.

That made me wonder, “What would it take for Avanade to take that leap?” We are a company that takes pride in transforming our clients’ digital workplace by providing and integrating Microsoft technology into their daily lives and that, for sure, makes a difference in improving day-to-day processes.

Like many people at Web Summit, most of us started our technology careers with the vision to improve people’s lives through what we can do, because in our minds we own the power to transform the future, to transform culture and to empower companies, their employees and their clients to be part of that evolution.

I saw many great ideas implemented by dedicated young people, which was impossible not to be inspired by: Improving this world through technology, together.

Please remember this: “Innovation happens at the intersection of brand and customer. True digital transformation begins inside, it begins with you.”

Sometimes we think that the context defines our reality, and most of the time it is, but as tech professionals we have the potential to change that and even become the force to change through proposals. Find the business case, share the idea and act on what is important for you.

We cannot keep living in silos and we should try to embrace the reality of how fast things are changing out there, adjust and thrive. Support and learn from startups and implement the learnings to better serve our clients.

Lastly, I invite you to go beyond your own bubble and remember why you chose the path you did. If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for everything. Become the change we need. Speak up and let’s keep working to make our world a better place through what we love to do the most to do!

Were you at Web Summit this year? Feel free to drop a comment below and share your stories about this event. You can also check out all the videos from the conference on YouTube.

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