MONTREAL – If you would have told me ten years ago that a small tech conference based in Dublin would become one of the biggest and most successful technology conferences in the world, I’d have said that I wouldn’t be surprised by it.
Because from the start, you could see their drive for success and the determination to surpass themselves to be the very best each year.
In 2020, with the world falling into chaos due to the curveball thrown by the pandemic, was the Web Summit team stopped?
Not at all.
Collision from Home was such a success that Paddy Cosgrave and his team have so much inspiration for their next big conference, their own SuperBowl, the Web Summit in Portugal.
Their online platform for this year’s Collision was built in just 8 weeks! It was so innovative that other partners and companies will probably use their template.
During the conference’s three days, we were in this beautiful ecosystem of knowledge, curiosity, innovation, passion, and pure fun.
I had the honor of participating in two media roundtables. I was nervous to be speaking next to Charlotte Jee from the MIT Technology Review, but she made sure we were all comfortable and had a good conversation about how to regulate misinformation in the time of coronavirus.
God only knows that it is a challenge! Listening to Victor Ferreira from Publico and Jordan Wildon from Deutsche Welle just confirmed that misinformation is another global pandemic we face, just like COVID-19 and racism.
I participated in a second media roundtable with Xian Horn from Forbes, Justin Hendrix from NYC Media Lab, Maria Saras-Voutsinas from the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada, and Anjalee Khemlani of Yahoo Finance. We talked about the role of media in supporting and advocating for diversity and multiculturalism.
With everything that is going on in the world today, we want to be fighting the good fight regarding diversity in the press and part of the change that comes about because of it.
Later on, I was watching a press conference with Al Harrington, a former basketball player in the NBA and one of the biggest entrepreneurs out there, Langston Galloway from the Detroit Pistons, and Randy Osei who created a confence which connects athletes to Canada’s tech eco system for business opps.
This press conference was so interesting! They spoke on their business ventures and it was obvious they were exploring their entrepreneurial side with the same determination they played ball with.
On Thursday, I watched Molly Bloom (the movie Molly’s Game is actually based on her story) talking about her journey frombeing an Olympic hopeful to a high-stakes poker phenomenon.
I watched the Gronkowski brothers talking about building their business empire. They spoke with such humour and charm.
At the end of the conference, as I watched our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and Gillian Tett from the Financial Times, I was suddenly nostalgic over how fast these three days went by. Although it was from the comfort of my home, I didn’t have to book a hotel room, or walk from stage to stage, I did miss meeting new partners, new startups, and attendees in-person.
The Web Summit team did create a new way to meet people on their platform (Mingle). I promised myself, next time, I will use it.
Collision from Home was definitely an experience I will never forget.