Web Summit: Wrap-up of the first day
The biggest online conference on technology and innovation started yesterday, December 2nd. An event with many things happening at the same time, but with a few moments that are worth highlighting.
During the 3 days of the event, more than 104 thousand participants, 679 lectures, about 2700 speakers are expected. Completely online, the Web Summit took off and the trends of its conversations are already easy to guess: pandemic, cyber security and climate change.
The first day started with a Portuguese host, Filomena Cautela and it was at that moment that comment boxes on the event website were filled with complaints from people who either couldn’t get in or couldn’t see anything or couldn’t hear it. The website was buffering for many of them. The Portuguese presenter and actress was one of the four anchors of Eurovision 2018, is taking over the evening television programs and is now the face of the Web Summit. And she is great in that role. Electric and good-humored energy. This was a good surprise – and not surprising at the same time.
This was followed by the co-founder and CEO of Web Summit, who gave the floor to António Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal and Fernando Medina, Mayor of Lisbon.
From then on, events multiplied. Lectures, Q&A sessions, Masterclasses, messages and conversations between users and many many comments in the boxes for that purpose. Most regarding self-promotion.
It is not easy to summarize the day when, in the first 3 hours alone, there were already 15,332 conversations initiated by journalists, 36,937 initiated by startups and 8,558 initiated by speakers. We can still highlight some of the most memorable moments.
Right after the opening ceremony, Ursula Van Der Leyen, president of the European Commission, gave us her vision of Europe, stating that “Technology saves lives” and that users of social networks should be responsible for their own data and be able to make it usable.
Ridley Scott, director, known for the films Thelma & Louise, Gladiator and Black Hawk Down, in a conversation with the Secretary of State for Digital Transformation, André Aragão Azevedo and Luís Neves, CEO of the Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), told us that “The luxury of scifi is that it’s fantasy – we’re dealing with reality. We’re being way, way too polite with where we are. We are at a threshold of an abyss; of a disaster.”.
Regarding climate change, Franz Timmermans, vice-president of the European Commission praised Portugal, considering that it is at the pole of the climate transition.
The day was also marked by more relaxed and fun moments, with Portuguese people rejoicing over the list of Portuguese names butchered by journalists and presenters: Luís Neives, Filomiiiina Cautela, Mariana Barbosa; or the moment when Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, protagonists of the Netflix television series, Breaking Bad, made live cocktails, in a clear promotion for the mezcal brand launched by the two: Dos Hombres.
Outside the event’s website, social networks were full of reactions to what was happening, with many users praising the new functionality of the event, Mingle, in which the algorithm brings together two random people based on their interests, for just 3 minutes.
This year we couldn’t have the usual merchandising offers. On the other hand, there were also no queues for them.
“Technology saves lives” Ursula Van Der Leyen
Ursula Von Der Leyen (EC) says users of social media sites “should be in charge of their own data and be able to take it in a useable form”
“The luxury of scifi is that it’s fantasy – we’re dealing with reality. We’re being way, way too polite with where we are. We are at a threshold of an abyss; of a disaster.” Ridley Scott
“Portugal is on the pole position for climate transition” Franz Timmermans
Is there anything Filomena Cautela can’t host? The Portuguese TV presenter / actress is doing her own talkshow, was one of the four anchors for Eurovision 2018, is taking over night TV game shows and now is the face of Web Summit. And she’s great at it! Electric energy, humorous. This was a nice surprise — and not surprising at all, at the same time.
List of portuguese names butchered during Web Summit: Luís NYves, FilomEEna Cautela, Mariana Barbosa
Brian Cranston and Aaron Paul making cocktails live (we’ve seen worse when it comes to shameless self promotion
3 hours into Web Summit and 15,332 chats were started by journalists, 36,937 started by startups, 8,558 started by speakers. On the starting day!
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