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04 Feb

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NEXT joins Reeperbahn Festival

February 4, 2015 | By |

NEXT goes Reeperbahn Festival Image: SinnerSchrader

As of today, the news is out – NEXT Conference will be moving back to Hamburg and join Reeperbahn Festival. After many years of very enjoyable collaboration and building great conferences with the NEXT team, I’m happy to be on board for another round of NEXT.

First details in the press release.

11 Dec

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A tipping point for bio

December 11, 2014 | By |

Bio hacking lab at Share Conf 2013

It’s both my job and a great pleasure to be looking out for signals that point to something fundamentally new and interesting. Something that might be driven by a technology (or a combination of technologies) that will have a massive impact on the way we live – or at least offers that opportunity.

Over the last ten years, just to name a few, these mega trends (or tectonic shifts) include the whole way we connect more deeply online through what today is called Social Media and a normal part of our everyday lives; the way these connections started following us around more seamlessly through the mobile web; the way manufacturing and “reproduceability” changed through 3D printing and the fabbing movement; how the physical world joined us online in the Internet of Things, turning our physical environment more responsive.

Let’s look at all things bio

But for a couple of years now, there have been more and more signals – weak and odd and quirky at first, but quickly gaining strength – around biology: bio synthesis, DIY bio hacking and the like.

Just like 3D printing before, this all very much happens in the space of atoms – or of the organic – but with the thinking of the web overlaid. A combination of atoms & bits in the most literal way. And much like what later became known as Social Media started out with a myriad of competing terminologies (ubicomp, social computing, web 2.0…), I don’t think that the final terminology has yet emerged, making it somewhat harder to follow the many parallel discussions around bio/organic hacking in a structured way.

This phase of competing ideas and terminologies is usually a good sign that something is interesting enough that stakeholders from different angles are feeling out the same area, trying to figure out what’s going on there and where to take it. It’s when stuff is at Peak Interesting, long before the real impact becomes tangible. And no doubt, this area will have massive, profound impact on society, business, medical, industry. And no doubt this impact will come in many unexpected ways.

Tipping point

We’ve been talking about this for a while, and just a little while back I remember mentioning that the the signals are still just a little bit too scattered for me to fully engage. Not quite there yet, for the way I operate. But just now, this recent brief blog post over on O’Reilly Radar about the BioFabricate Summit kind of put me over the edge. I mentally mark this as a personal tipping point for the signal-to-noise ratio that triggers my dig-deeper impulse.

So I’ll be reading up on bio fabrication, bio hacking, bio synthesis. If I find enough interesting stimulus, the next step for me will be to think about a new conference around the issue: I still find it the best way to dive in and get all the players together.

If you’re aware of interesting stuff happening around this, particularly in Europe, please do share. Thanks!

10 Nov

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That was ThingsConAMS

November 10, 2014 | By |

Last weekend, ThingsCon came to Amsterdam as ThingsConAMS on the occasion of info.nl’s 20th anniversary, and what fun it was. The info.nl team around Iskander Smit and Monique van Dusseldorp pulled off a great line-up of speakers – incl. Alper Çu?un, Brendan Dawes, Aduén Darriba, Theo Gevers, Elisa Giaccardi, Rafi Haladjian, Antoine Hogenboom, Ianus Keller, Raimo van der Klein, Rob van Kranenburg, Jeroen Langendam, Martin van Rijn, Koen Schellekens, Marcel Schouwenaar, Scott Smith, Freek van ‘t Ooster, Amin Zayani, Omar Tegel and many more – and an all-round energetic, inspiring event. (For more photos, see this Flickr set.)

A big thank you to Monique and Iskander as well as supporters info.nl and click.nl.

My mini keynote slides are on Slideshare.

For ThingsCon, this first local satellite event was an important experiment. We’d love to grow the ThingsCon network into a truly global family.

07 Nov

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ThingsConAMS: The State of Things

November 7, 2014 | By |

This weekend I’m in Amsterdam for ThingsConAMS, our first satellite event for ThingsCon. The Monique, Iskander and the info.nl team have done a fantastic job bringing the atmosphere and energy of ThingsCon to Amsterdam.

Above, the slides for my keynote. Enjoy!