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Did You Miss the Web Summit 2018 in Lisbon?

Did You Miss the Web Summit 2018 in Lisbon?

Don't worry! Read KPMG's Top 5 learnings.

Karina Kuperus

Partner en Head of Innovation & Digital

KPMG Nederland


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Did You Miss the Web Summit 2018 in Lisbon? Don't worry! Read KPMG's Top 5 learnings

Since 2009, Web Summit connects entrepreneurs, corporates, public sector and everyone else hungry for the latest developments in the world of tech. KPMG had the privilege to be one of the founding partners and is still one of Web Summit's proud partners today. During the opening night in the Altice Arena, Web Summit's co-founder and CEO Paddy Cosgrave announced that Lisbon will be hosting the event for the next ten years.

Here are 5 key takeaways from an incredible three-day pressure cooker experience.

1. Contract for the Web' to Rebuild Trust in the Web

Who would be better suited to open Web Summit than Tim Berners Lee? The founder of the World Wide Web opened the biggest European Tech conference and immediately dove into an analysis of negative aspects of the web. Abuse of personal data, manipulation of elections and online hate speech are only a few examples. While Berners-Lee in 1989 conceived the Web as an open space for everyone, pursuing freedom of speech worldwide, he expressed his worries about tech giants and hackers becoming too powerful. He therefore recently launched a campaign to persuade governments, companies and individuals to sign a so-called 'Contract for the Web'. A set of principles, designed to defend a free and open internet for everyone, an idea that makes perfect sense in a world where almost 50% (2019) of global citizens are now online! Check out the principles here… and read more about Berners-Lee in the articles listed below:

For more information: Web creator Berners-Lee launches contract for better internet

In Dutch: Web Summit 2018: ‘Internet is kapot en technologie moet het repareren’

2. DWeb as an Alternative for the Centrally Controlled Web

For those who want to take things a step further, the Decentralised Web might be the solution. It is supposed to be like the web you know but without relying on centralised operators like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon. Instead, users keep control of data and connect, interact and exchange messages directly with others in their network. At Web Summit, several companies preparing for the Decentralised Web were preaching about their mission concerning DWeb. A great example is Dutch startup Simply Edit, that focuses on very early adopters of the Decentralised Web.

Would you like to know more about DWeb? Check out this article: Decentralisation: the next big step for the world wide web

3. Blockchain: Hype or Hope?

As in previous years, there was much talk again about blockchain. But more than before, everyone questioned the added value of blockchain and the speed by which its technology is taking off. Titles of a few talks about blockchain: Inspiring Hype or Hope: Does Blockchain Finally Mean Business?, Blockchain's Big Leap: The Decentralised Dream Realized, and In Blockchain We Trust: Building Beyond Finance. However, the new, and highly invested in, Elixxer could speed up the process of realisation. The Elixxir design is capable of processing hundreds of thousands of confidential transactions in a matter of seconds. No existing blockchain platform has been capable of achieving this scale to date. This holds the potential of realising the dream of scaling decentralised technology, providing consumers with the speed they are accustomed to and the privacy they expect — all without compromising security.

4. Unboxing to the Next Level

Everyone knows that geeks love to watch other geeks unbox the latest and greatest technology gadgets. This year's edition of Web Summit, an entire UnBoxed conference was dedicated to this phenomenon. Reviews of the latest Samsung Galaxy note 9, followed by Bose Home 500, Apple Watch 4, you name it, everything was there. On the third day of the conference, even the Centre Stage in the Altice Arena (with 10,000 seats!) hosted an 'Unboxing What's Coming for Christmas' session, with Keaton Keller (TechSmartt), Kris Carlon (Android Authority), Tom Honeyands (The Tech Chap) and Alex Cranz (Gizmodo).

5. Will a Robot Steal My Job?

The inevitable question: Whether, and if so, when will a robot steal my job? This question was discussed by, among others, Martin Kern (European Institute of Innovation and Technology), Luca Visentini (European Trade Union Confederation), Kevin Johnson (Udemy) and Holly Liu (Y Combinator). The answer, of course, is not so simple, but it is clear that RPA and AI will significantly impact various job fields.

Within KPMG's Smart Tech Solutions department, we have seen that first-hand, of course, selling invoice automation software to large SSCs is just one of many examples. For individuals, that means that we should not only take into account where AI will replace jobs, but also where it will not. Rest assured, not everyone will have to learn how to code or 'do' tech, but everyone should make an effort to learn to understand and use tech. After all, it is to their benefit. Ignorance is the one thing that will hurt the most – on that the discussion panel unanimously agreed.

Interested in how we can help you in the tech environment? Contact us by leaving your contact details: Smart Tech Solutions.

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