5 mins with Peter Whale

Blog published by CW (Cambridge Wireless)

In November 2017 we launched our annual technology conference - CWIC 2018 which is taking place on July 4th at Hinxton Genome Campus in Cambridgeshire. This years theme is ‘Beyond the Hype’ and the conference will be celebrating its 10th year so it’s a major milestone for the organising committee.

We caught up with Peter Whale, Founder of Vision Formers Ltd, who is on the CWIC 2018 committee.

Q: What is your role at Vision Formers Ltd

I’m the founder of Vision Formers, a specialist consultancy that helps visionary technology businesses get product to market and turn ideas into reality. Vision Formers provides significant expertise in building great teams and building great products in order to achieve great businesses! Businesses need help to build well-functioning teams of incredible people with diverse talents, and to harness that human potential with focus, skill and expertise to build world-changing products. We help with that.

Q: When did you first start out in the world of tech?

I started out in the world of tech back in 1980 at age 16 when my school bought its first ever computer. I quickly taught myself to code, was enthralled with the possibilities, and decided to set my career direction by taking a degree in Computer Science – still quite a new course at that time. My first job was with a software consultancy, helping other businesses develop products utilising software, perhaps for the first time in their business.

Q: Tell us about your involvement with CW

I got involved in CW when the first SIGs (Special Interest Groups) were formed, which I think was around 2001. I found the idea of people from across different businesses having a way of exchanging ideas, learning from each other, and finding opportunities to work together amazing. I’ve since helped organise many events – it must be over 50 by now. I became a CW Board member in 2009 and for many years led the team organising CW’s flagship Future of Wireless conference, of which CWIC is the current form.

Q: What are you looking forward to the most by being on the CWIC Committee?

I’m looking forward very much to the conference, and making it engaging and to challenge our pre-conceptions. I very much enjoy working as part of a team to achieve something big, and it’s great to be working together with my fellow CWIC Committee members to transform the early stage idea into the reality of a major event.

Q: What do you think the biggest innovations and challenges will be in the tech sector in 2018 or beyond?

One of my technology focus areas is AI. I believe we are just at the very beginnings of a hugely innovative and transformative period, just as I have personally experienced with other technology revolutions including microcomputers, the Internet, digital media and mobile phones. The opportunity is to harness the potential of such technologies to transform our lives in very positive ways, whilst being just as forward-looking about potential downsides, and ensuring we deal with these well. Of course there are so many big innovation areas at the moment, which is why I like the idea of this year’s conference which is looking beyond the hype of a number of very promising technology areas.

Q: What is your top reason for attending technology conferences?

Well I am a very curious individual, so probably the top reason is to learn. A key part of learning is to meet and discuss with others and challenge each other’s ideas and thinking – I think a good conference is a great place to do that.

Q: CWIC will explore various key tech themes – which one are you most looking forward to unpicking?

I’ve already mentioned AI, which I am leading on. After that for me I want to dig into blockchain a lot more, and be better informed in separating hype from reality. It’s said that we over-estimate the impacts of technology in the short term, but under-estimate it’s long term impacts. I think blockchain falls into that category.

For more information on this year's International Conference, visit the CWIC event page.

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