From meditation with an avatar to the President of Portugal: how the last day of the Web Summit went
The last day of the Web Summit was marked by the presence of guru Deepak Chopra (and his avatar), by comments of encouragement from members of the Portuguese Government regarding the post-pandemic and, of course, by Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who promised to return next year – this when he has not yet announced his candidacy to the Presidency of the Republic.
Judging from the chat boxes, the enthusiasm of those who had high expectations of starting the third and final day of the Web Summit with a guided meditation with Deepak Chopra, for many the alternative medicine guru, quickly faded when they realized that instead of him, they would have an avatar with his voice. Only in the last minutes he appeared, reminding his talk later that day, about how Artificial Intelligence can help unlock people.
During the rest of the day, the options for things to attend were many. From this multiplicity, there were some moments worth highlighting.
Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition and regular presence at the event, said that “Europe has failed to provide a single digital market” and also revealed that it has already contacted the elected President of the United States, Joe Biden, to understand how the Union European Union can collaborate with Washington.
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“Our mission is to completely replace the use of animals as a food technology by 2035. We’re dead serious about it and we believe it’s doable.” … “I was confident that we would succeed when I launched this company, and now I’m completely confident. It’s game over for the incumbent industry – they just don’t realise it yet.”, Patrick Brown, Founder and CEO of Impossible Foods
Siza Vieira spoke of Portugal’s current economic situation and its expectations for recovery. The Deputy Minister and Minister of Economy and Digital Transition compared the moment we live with the Spanish flu, which occurred from 1918 to 1920. He spoke of the “crazy twenties”, coinciding with the post-flu economic recovery, leaving the I conviction the same will happen in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, but this time, with more inclusive growth and a greener economy.
In all editions, Web Summit holds a pitching contest for startups so that, in just a few minutes, they can promote their business. This year, the winner was highly acclaimed for being an Ethiopian startup, founded and managed by a woman. The company, Global Lalibela, develops solutions to digitally transform management processes in the healthcare sector in Africa.
Throughout the day, Paddy Cosgrave, co-founder and CEO of the company that organizes this and other events, was sharing metrics and curiosities of the conference participants, revealing that some participants spent about 60 hours on the web app since it was launched, days before the event.
The end of the day was exactly as expected, with the Portugal President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, leaving a message of encouragement to all who participated. He said that he would be attending the event next year, leaving many convinced of the answer to the question that has so much involved him in recent weeks: will he run again for the presidency? The (official) answer is expected to happen in the next few days.
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