On 4 July over 400 delegates from the international technology community descended to the inspirationally beautiful Wellcome Genome Campus for a day of diverse networking, insightful track sessions and inspirational keynotes.
Underpinning the single day event were seven sessions book-ended by keynotes that elevated the day’s conversation to issues that matter, placing each section of the day in the context of wider socio-economic considerations. Providing these essential, grounding elements were Matt Hatton, VP of Research at Gartner, Rosalind Singleton, Chair of UK Broadband and Dame Wendy Hall, Regius Professor of Computing and Pro-Vice Chancellor at the University of Southampton.
We don't use it because it's interesting, we use it because it's actionable
Matt Hatton on the Gartner Hype Cycle
Rosalind can be commended for the simplicity and effectiveness of her message: don’t forget about the people, because without people all the technological solutions that will be discussed later in the day are worthless.
In the post-dinner address, Dame Wendy Hall discussed the impact AI will have on the UK and what we as a country need to do to get in a strong position to compete and thrive.
The draw of the CW International Conference is, for the majority of attendees, the opportunity to network intimately with C-Level decision makers and the engineers who “make things happen” (unless they simply had such a good time last year that they wanted to return!) Over 75% of attendees this year were senior management, a feature of the conference that can be traced back its entire ten year history. Feedback from 2018 delegates include:
A jamboree of experts, engaged audience and likeminded people in the wireless and connected world industry!
The range of delegates is excellent from CEO to engineers, big and small. The talks are excellent, and you never know what you learn or who you will meet.
It was an excellent update and networking opportunity for AI, blockchain, 5G and IoT. Dame Wendy Hall left us with a positive call to action to drive AI forward in the UK.
A strong networking opportunity and a chance to witness some realistic technology debates.
What makes CW events unique is the tone of conversation. Because CW is a neutral, inter-organisational networking platform whose activities are driven by the membership to help develop the capabilities of individual organisations and the wider industry, rather than being a day of corporate product pitches the International Conference is instead a considerable forum for debating fundamental technological issues productively and positively, and always with an element of realistic scepticism.
With over 30 speakers presenting during the day across the seven sessions, each session of the conference was able to present different viewpoints within a certain subject area. This was demonstrated particularly in the 5G and Network Innovation plenary where Dean Bubley of Disruptive Analysis was not afraid to be…disruptive; in the opportunity to hear perspectives of an operator (BT), an infrastructure supplier (IBM) and a device manufacturer (Bosch) in the Blockchain track; and for the AI & Machine Learning track to learn the views of an investor (Amelia Armour of Amadeus Capital Partners), an academic (Neil Lawrence of University of Sheffield and Amazon), a consultant (Monty Barlow of Cambridge Consultants) and an AI-based service provider (Max Heinemeyer of Darktrace).
It's a full house for the blockchain track!
Equally, thirty exhibitors lined the networking area with organisations ranging from CW’s Discovering Start-Up 2017 winners TG0, ZifiSense and Codeplay, to Darktrace, Coderus, the Defence and Security Accelerator and Beyond Media. These businesses provided ample additional commentary over the course of the day on issues that the delegates care about.
CW’s thanks go to all our sponsors, in particular the Platinum Sponsor, Magna, for helping to make the International Conference happen on such a large scale; to the CWIC committee who guide the conference’s mission, tone and content; and each and every speaker who kindly agreed to share their wisdom with delegates.
We hope to see you next year!