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Web Summit 2019: Our key take aways (Part 2)
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Web Summit 2019: Our key take aways (Part 2)

Written by Raf Seymus on 11 November 2019 for Tech Professionals

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 consultants will remember…

Web Summit 2019: Our key take aways (Part 2)

Caroline Marien – Functional Analyst at Belfius Insurance

These last couple of days were great to get a glimpse of the current trends in tech. I saw a lot of companies working on innovative services and products, which is great. But these companies were also collecting enormous amounts of (personal) data in order to improve those products. Obviously, this raises questions regarding data governance. Seeing how these questions are going to be tackled is something I definitely look forward to.

Pieter Mijnendonckx – Digital Growth Marketeer at Exellys

What really stuck with me was the fact that, although Web Summit is a tech conference, there was an incredible amount of focus on the importance of talent. There is an incredible need for human capital to shape tomorrow’s innovations and hearing this from today’s industry leaders really opened my eyes. People often say that the war for talent already in full swing but hearing this talk after talk, it’s probably smarter to conclude that, so far, we ain’t seen nothing yet. With recruitment tactics become more aggressive on a daily basis, I’m curious to see where this is gonna go. But if there’s one thing that I’m certain of, is that it is going to make my job at Exellys even more interesting.

Web Summit 2019: Our key take aways (Part 2)

Also, I’d quickly like to mention Burger King’s CMO Fernando Machado since some of his quotes were simply too good not to share. Here’s why being innovative and able to think outside the box is crucial: “If you’re the first one to send a urinal to a museum you’re an artist, if you’re the second one you’re probably the plumber.”

Laura Vandenhove – Functional Analyst at Belfius Insurance

I was really fascinated by the technological innovations in healthcare. Obviously, as a Functional Analyst at Belfius Insurance, this is something I don’t come across every day, but seeing how we’re able to manipulate genes to battle genetic disorders or using implants to fight addictions really blew my mind. I was also very intrigued by Banjo Robinson, one of the startups in this year’s pitch final. Their concept was so simple and brilliant at the same time and I strongly encourage everyone to check out this company.

Bo Vande Sompele – BI/Functional Data Analyst at Belfius Insurance

“Show, don’t tell”, if you get the chance to speak to an entire arena it’s probably not a good idea to start with a sales pitch. Apparently (and unfortunately) not every speaker agreed with that. I did really enjoy some talks where speakers took the effort to show demos or to give the audience a glimpse of what could (and would) be next. Samsung and Amazon Alexa were some great examples of that. Anyway, the most important thing I’ll remember from my very first Web Summit is how important it is to become more vigilant about your data. Almost every device or service is dependent from it but there’s still so much vagueness about what exactly happens with it.

Web Summit 2019: Our key take aways (Part 2)

Bram Van Asschodt – Front End Developer at KBC

The one thing I’ll remember from my first Web Summit is that “making the world a better place” is becoming more than a dreadful Silicon Valley baseline. I’ve seen hundreds of companies from every niche in the tech industry putting sustainability first. In times of rapid climate change and humanitarian crises, it’s really hopeful to see so many corporates, startups and investors using their skills to solve the problems that we’re all facing.

Dorien Vandenhove – Application Engineer at Belfius Insurance

One talk that really hit the nail on the head in my opinion was the one by Sudheesh Nair, CEO of ThoughtSpot. He started with the words “learn”, “create” and “share” and told the audience that all three were important when it came to gathering knowledge. He also talked about a better collaboration between machine learning and human interaction. We need machine learning to gain more insights in the available data where humans should be there to decide what actions should be next, based on those insights.

Another keynote I found particularly interesting was the one by Arthur Hu, Global CIO of Lenovo. He talked about the fact that the IT sector is often inclined to implement the latest technologies (like Agile, Blockchain, etc.), but technology alone is not going to save a company. It is crucial to match your desired results with the right technology.

Sabrina Deley – Functional Analyst at Belfius Insurance

Although the Web Summit is a tech conference, my personal key take away is about entrepreneurship. The number one reason people don’t “start” is fear of failure, but failure isn’t caused by personal traits. People often don’t succeed due to a lack of information, that’s why preparation is key. Investing in your network has proved to be one of the best ways to counter this (but always make sure to get actionable advice out of it).

Web Summit 2020?

Besides our in-depth training and coaching program, every Exellyst gets €5.000 every year to pick and choose his or her own trainings and/or conferences. And Web Summit can be one of them. Want to join us for the 2020 edition? Head over to our website and apply nowOr check our part 1 of our Web Summit series to learn more about the key take aways of the Exellys board members, key clients and trusted partners.