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Web Summit 2019: Our key take aways (Part 1)
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Web Summit 2019: Our key take aways (Part 1)

Written by Pieter Mijnendonckx on 11 November 2019 for Companies

It’s a wrap! After a spending a couple of days in Portugal for Web Summit 2019 it was time to go home and get back to business. During our flight we took some time to recapitulate and collect some of our key take aways. This is what several of our board members, key clients and trusted partners will remember…

Raf Seymus, Founder & CEO Exellys

My key take away from this year’s Web Summit is that it is not about the Web Summit (anymore). After visiting almost all of the previous editions I’ve came to the conclusion that this event has become too broad, resulting in talks barely scratching the surface or even worse, resembling a company sales pitch. I did, however, meet some very interesting people at events hosted outside of the summit. If I decide to go back next year, that is where most of my attention will be.

Web Summit 2019: Our key take aways (Part 1)

Jurgen Ingels, Serial Entrepreneur & Investor and Exellys Board Member

I don’t think this falls under the category of key take aways but during my talks with some of the startups at this year’s Web Summit I saw a trend that worries me. A lot of founders told me they started their company to have fun. Wanting to have fun is never a good reason to become an entrepreneur. Being innovative, having a great idea or wanting to change the world is. The fun part comes in the process, trust me.

Erwin Verstraelen, CIO Port of Antwerp

Based on the choices that we still have to make and the acceleration that still has to happen, we are entering what will most likely become one of the most defining decades in human history. Obviously, this was not something that came to me during this year’s Web Summit, but seeing several organizations that are working on the ingredients to build a better world, makes me hopeful about still making it to 2050 as a species without degrading our world to a planetary hell where it is everyone for his or herself.

Stefan Dierckx, Founder & CEO Projective and Exellys Board Member

A self-driving car running on 4G going 100kph needs 1,5 meters before it’s able to do any sort of intervention. 5G reduces this distance to just 10 centimeters. One of the things I am definitely excited about is the future of 5G and where this will take us as a society. Trust me, an example like this one is just the beginning…

Martijn van Dooren, Managing Partner Brainbridge

My key take away from this year’s Web Summit is that the traditional work is ripe for disruption. The best talent prefers a more independent work life and is thereby leaving the traditional workforce. Organizations need to figure out how to reorganize and retain this talent by incorporating independent workers into their workforce. We’ll need to wait and see how this will turn out, but these are definitely exciting times for Brainbridge.

Peter Wens, Founder & CEO Brainbridge and Exellys Founding Partner & Board Member

In contrary to some of the previous Web Summit editions, this year wasn’t as inspirational as I had hoped it to be. What will stick with me though is a keynote by a couple of teenagers who talked about climate change. The topic is omnipresent (with good reason), but what really struck me was the clearness when it came to the origins of the problem (energy production, energy storage & food production) and also the possible solutions. I’m looking forward to see where this will take us.

Web Summit 2019: Our key take aways (Part 1)

Pieter van Leugenhagen, Co-Founder & International Growth Director Yondr

During my first Web Summit, which was the last edition in Dublin in 2015, virtual reality was all over the place. But in recent years, VR had disappeared from the scene here in Lisbon. Meanwhile the technology has slightly evolved towards a mature state with more tangible and ROI-driven use cases. The next generation of entertainment is immersive, that’s for sure. I saw some interesting keynotes and examples showing how brands and IP owners can unlock possibilities for audience engagement through immersive entertainment. Nothing that really surprised me, but it definitely leads me to conclude that these are very exciting times for this industry that’s finally on the ‘slope of enlightenment’. Extended Reality (XR), which is the collective name for VR/AR, will become the interface of the future. We’ll be working beyond the edge of the frame and non-invasive neural control will transform how we interact with the world. And I can’t wait!

What’s next?

Did you attend this year’s Web Summit in Lisbon? We’re eager to hear what your key take aways or favorite talks were. Feel free to share them with us on LinkedIn!

Are you curious to see what some of our consultants took home with them? Check out part 2 of our Web Summit series right here.

Written by Pieter Mijnendonckx Digital Growth Marketeer