It’s like when the fair leaves town or your favourite show finishes on TV, the come down is always hard in the days immediately after something momentous finishes. And so it was with Thinking Digital 2011. All the build up and expectation, the promise of new friendships and touching base with thinkers from last year was palpable in the tweets of people looking forward to this year’s conference. We we’re all fully satisfied by the conference itself. What a roller coaster of a ride that was! The come down is palpable however but soon the ideas we’ve been inspired by will start to feed into our thinking and influence our work.
Stand out speakers for me this year (though to be fair everyone really delivered for me) were Gerd Leonhard from The Futures Agency, who Skyped in from Spain to open the conference, Erin McKean who spoke with real social conviction about Wordnik, Conrad Wolfram from Wolfram Research, who wowed us all with Wolfram Alpha (You could see developers in the audience coo over the two line app creation tool) and Steven Bathiche from Microsoft’s Applied Science Group, who gave us a glimpse into the future interactions between human beings and computers. Dan Lyons, made a timely dial in from Boston, the man seems to know everything that’s going on! And Heather Knight was the quintessential straight man to her robot.
Nancy Duarte from Duarte Design really shone for me. She helped us all think about how we present our content and reinforced this by dissecting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” address, pinpointing how he re-enforced the key messages in his speech. Check out how Nancy did this on YouTube, it’s well worth a watch.
What impressed most thinkers was the relaxed vibe of the conference. No one was pitching hard at each other, everyone was in learning mode and the chat between sessions was warm and engaging. Tom Scott, back for the third year I believe, delivered a great finale, everyone laughed and them made sure they checked the security settings in their social accounts!
I’m already looking forward to next year!
Check out some of our photo’s taken during the conference below.
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