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Highlights of Thinking Digital Conference 2011

Pinevio team has attended the Thinking Digital Conference in Gateshead, UK. It was the first time for us both and to be honest, the conference blew our minds away even more then expected. It was professionally organised, the speakers were inspiring and the atmosphere was remarkable. I think it’s our duty to help spread the most remarkable ideas of the conference for the benefit of those who couldn’t be there.

Throughout the course of three days there were many speakers who all inspired the audience in their own ways. In this post I will recap the most interesting talks and ideas on last day of the conference, Thursday (26h of May, 2011).

On the last day of conference there was a wide selections of topics to choose from: entrepreneurship, brain-computer interfaces, cure for cancer, future of the web, uncertainty, 3D art, and more.

I would like to start with a rather philosophical talk delivered by a professional poker player, presenter, anthropologist and economist Caspar Berry. The topic of this talk was – uncertainty of the future.  Caspar argued we are frustrated due the unpredictability of the future: in terms of what’s going to happened in a minute, after a month or in 10 years. He raised a though that people have learned to live with uncertainty and that it’s its exactly this frustrating, insecure and mind bobbling feeling which drives us to grow and develop. Uncertainty itself is what makes life interesting and worth living, it’s what makes us look forward to the following day.

Personally, I can relate to his ideas, because the start-up world, which I’m currently in, is built on uncertainty and constant struggle to abandon your comfort zone, work beyond expectations, do something never done before. This is how you can create something valuable and interesting. Yes, this feeling is stressful and can be difficult to manage, but at the end of the day it makes something you do worth doing.

Secondly, I would like to talk about the future of the web and talk given by Allen Cohen, VP at Cisco in San Francisco. This talk has been very interesting for both me and colleague because Mr.Cohen was arguing that context is the future of the web, which is also at the core of Pinevio’s value proposition and ideology.  The main point of the talk was that contemporary web systems and applications on lack contextual value for the end user. Therefore, the next-gen web systems have to be more transparent, real-time and contextual.

Lets put this in context.

We can use foursquare to let people know our whereabouts. We can use Facebook to find out what our friends are doing.  But if for example we walk in to a conference and want to find who are the VCs I should approach about funding my web star-up or who of them are connected with relevant people, contemporary web systems might find it difficult to help you out. It’s exactly this real time contextual information discovery linking people with computer systems, which will be at the core of the next generation of corporations’ value proposition for the user.

Here at Pinevio we share the vision and believe that technology through real-time communication, transparency and contextual relevance can improve the quality and efficiency of our lives to an unprecedented extent. Its just a matter of who captures public’s imagination with the right value offering first. Next Facebook will be born in this space.

Dr.Vincent W.Li, the co-founder of the Angiogenesis Foundation, delivered third talk, which has caught my imagination. He was talking about a revolutionary method of treating and hopefully curing cancer. The approach is called anti-angiogenesis. The concept is simple. Both healthy and cancer cells in our body are fed in the same way. That’s via blood vessels. If a certain healthy part of the body is deprived of blood vessels - it dies due to lack of nutrients. The same thing happens to cancer cells if you cut of the vessels supplying it. The process by which body builds new blood vessels is called Angiogenesis and preventing that from happening is called Anti-Angiogenesis. If you cut the blood supply to cancer tumors they can’t grow and die.

However, the really interesting part of the approach is that you can adjust your diet to control your angiogenesis process naturally and basically prevent blood vessels from developing, which also prevents cancer cells from growing. Effectively you can medicate your cancer by eating the right stuff. Even more interesting is this anti-cancer diet includes regular, tasty, everyday products like strawberries, dark chocolate, green tea and a variety of other stuff, which we all love. Furthermore, if you cook these products in a right way, their anti-angiogenesis characteristics can increase sustainably.

This information is a huge breakthrough in terms of the approaches used to fight cancer. Majority of treatments used nowadays look as dangerous as the cancer itself: radiation, operations, transplants. This new knowledge enables us to prevent dangerous cancers from forming in the first place in a way that’s harmless to our body.

The key challenge here is capture public imagination and develop awareness that by eating the right stuff we can prevent cancer. For more information please click here and help spread the word as much as possible.

Lastly, I would like to tell you about a talk, which left the most impression and simply blew our minds away. Tan Lee, co-founder of Emotiv, introduced a revolutionary brain-computer interface. It works like this: you put an elegant head-net  with a bunch of sensors, which monitor brain waves,  on your head and via sophisticated software you are able to move objects with your…mind! Yes mind! Mrs. Lee showed a life demo on stage with a member from the audience.  Application of this is limitless but just to give you a taste of what it means: so far Emotiv has enabled people to drive cars, wheel chairs, create art, operate smart-home systems. All controlled with your thoughts.

Emotiv has opened their API for the developer community to engage and build great software around this brain-computer interface. The plethora of opportunities this creates has especially excited Pinevio team. So if you are a crazy developer and want to build insane stuff get in touch with us.  A cloud of start-ups is bound to explode as a result of the potential eco-system generated by the Emotiv. And the best part about this invention is its price – just $299.

That’s the end of our short report on the TDC 11. Please spend some time browsing the links provided in the post. There is so much more exciting stuff these talks had to offer.

Pinevio team is looking forward to the next year’s TDC. Hopefully we’ll also get the opportunity to share our ideas with people across the globe.

P.S. The man behind this event is Mr. Herb Kim . Special thank you to him for making this great event happen and inspiring so many people.

Post by Daumantas

Co-Founder @ Pinevio


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