Web Summit 2016 – global movement converges on LisbonLast Updated: January 1, 2019
Web Summit gets under way in Lisbon today, November 7, for a four-day extravaganza that is less an event than a global movement.
MORE than 50,000 people from 165 countries have converged on the Portugese capital of Lisbon for Web Summit 2016, the world’s largest non-trade technology event.
‘Event’ is probably underselling Web Summit. ‘Movement’ seems more appropriate to describe something that has mushroomed from the 400 attendees at its inception in 2010, to the 50,000 people who will be thronging the MEO Arena and the Feira Internacional de Lisboa (FIL) in Lisbon from November 7-10.
Indeed, just 24 hours ahead of the opening of Web Summit 2016, the organisation’s website announced that the event had sold out, and invited sign-ups for 2019. The media interest alone is enormous, with more than 2,000 editors and reporters from upwards of 1,000 media markets in situ for the four-day occasion..
“The giants of the web assemble”, the Wall Street Journal has written of Web Summit 2016, which is the brainchild of Irish tech entrepreneurs Paddy Cosgrave, Daire Hickey and David Kelly. This description does not read like hyperbole when casting an eye over the events, themes and featured speakers and guests who have travelled to Lisbon for Web Summit 2016.
The opening of the four-day Web Summit 2016 alone has a diverse feel, incorporating an opening addresses by Paddy Cosgrave and Portugese Prime Minister, António Costa; in addition to an event on new economic realities that features contributions from French Secretary of State Axelle Lemaire; the President of the United Nations, Mogens Lykketoft; World Trade Organisation Director-General, Roberto Azevêdo; and European Commission President (2004-14), José Manuel Barroso.
Also on day one is a presentation on creativity and commerce, by actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is also founder and director of hitRECord on creativity on commerce; a focus event on Portugal as a Startup Nation; the PITCH competition Group Stages; as well as ‘Night Summit’. As Scott Stanford, co-founder of Sherpa Capital has remarked, “The magic began basically after the conference was over, in the evening, when everyone goes to the pubs. It was truly magical.”
Throughout the week, some of the major themes include technology in the automobile sector; government/entrepreneurial collaborations; advertising; artificial intelligence; Fintech; the drone industry; raising capital; mobile technology; internet security; the future of work; the app economy; the future of media and entertainment; marketing; the fallout from the US election; data and privacy; virtual reality; recruitment, and much more.
Approximately 15,000 companies will be represented at Web Summit 2016, including some 7,000 CEOs and other business leaders and figures, and the list of more than 600 speakers over the four days is truly mind-boggling in its volume and diversity, including such notable figures as Sean Rad of Tinder; Gary Vaynerchuk; Sarah Friar, CFO of Square; Just Eat CEO, David Buttress; Soundcloud co-founder and CTO Eric Wahlforss; Audi Sport driver Lucas Di Grassi; Mashable chief content officer, Gregory Gittrich; Facebook CTO, Mike Schroepfer; and UK musician Tinie Tempah.
Simply put, whether you are in Lisbon or following on-line, Web Summit 2016 is an occasion not to be missed.