Web Summit is an incredible networking event and we took every opportunity to meet with new businesses and people while we were there.
Some of the most exciting conversations we had were with startups such as:
Mapify - Mapify is a platform providing location intelligence solutions; it provides businesses with geospatial data that business decisions can be based around.
Share My Bag - A shared economy platform, Share My Bag is “the Airbnb for fashion”. Users can make money from their wardrobe by renting out items.
Wishu - Wishu is a new platform that enables students to earn money off their skills and talents by joining the campus marketplace.
Like Locals - Like Locals is the must have travel companion: an app which uses local expertises to tailor tour guides, with rewards along the way.
“At Web Summit, it’s the people you meet throughout the week that make it a truly memorable event.” Brannan, CEO
Not only is Web Summit an outstanding networking event, the great mix of speakers facilitate a diverse range of discussions. We’ve selected and summarised some of the overarching topics from this year’s conference.
Contract For The Web
The opening ceremony for Web Summit saw Sir Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web, call on companies, governments and users of the internet to support his new “Contract for the Web”.
His concern for the future of the web has been shaped by governmental struggle to effectively regulate the internet and prevent the inundation of fascist material.
“A clear takeaway from this years summit is the overwhelming desire from the leaders of the industry to ensure that the web is used as a force for good and Tim Berners-Lee's proposed 'Contract For The Web' is a huge step in the right direction.” Brannan
His announcement marked another major theme of this year’s Web Summit - privacy concern. In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica whistleblowing, people have been increasingly concerned about how their data is being used - and potentially misused.
The whistleblower himself, Christopher Wylie, was another highlight. His conversation with Krishnan Guru-Murthy was fascinating and powerful. The main message: “If we can regulate nuclear power, why can’t we regulate some code?”
It came as no surprise that gender ratio was a huge topic at Web Summit this year and there was a noted commitment to inclusion. 44% of attendees were female and there was dedicated spaces, such as Booking.com’s Women in Tech lounge, to reflect this.
It was not only attendees that signalled a focus on gender equality - many of the speakers were women too. Lisa Jackson, Apple’s VP of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, spoke of the pressing need to educate girls: “We can’t find the answers we need without women being involved”.
It was great to see such attention being paid to the topic of sustainability by the organisers of Web Summit. Concern for the environmental impact of such a massive conference was reflected in Paddy Cosgrave’s discussion about the importance of Web Summit being “at the forefront of finding solutions to the world’s greatest problems”.
Biodegradable and recyclable cutlery were provided, alongside free metal water bottles, to minimise waste. Web Summit also partnered with IKEA to repurpose and reuse furniture and with startup Ecosia to plant a tree per every attendee: that’s approximately 70,000 trees.
“A personal highlight was going to a talk by Nico Rosberg (2016 F1 World Champion) about human performance and how he’s transformed his focus and drive to win into a business perspective.” Jack
“Some highlights of the trip for me were hearing Sir Tim Berners-Lee set out his vision for the new web contract and speaking with new startups about their great ideas.” Rob
“We had some fantastic meetings with potential suppliers, investors and customers and heard from world-class speakers, one of them being Tim Berners-Lee. His talk was hugely inspirational. As humble as he is his invention has so significantly affected all our lives and is the foundation of our entire industry.” Brannan