The Guardian: Activate London 2013


Chinwag was invited to The Guardian Activate: London 2013, which took place at King’s Place next to the Guardian offices in King’s Cross. Two members of the Chinwag team, Terri and myself, were sitting in the audience soaking up all the information.

It was evident from the beginning of the summit that bringing people together through technology was the theme of day.

The auditorium was packed all day, buzzing with exciting live demos and international speakers (a good old chunk of them were Americans making me a little home sick and realizing I am actually not that loud).

Jeff Jarvis, blogger of BuzzMachine, Journalism Professor at CUNY and author of Public Parts, What Should Google Do? was an incredible host for the day guiding us masterfully through the pack schedule with grace and humour.

The day was packed with information, it was coming out of our ears. With all the panels, presentations and sessions that took place; I decided to focus on three that really struck a chord with me.

Highlight 1: Girls Get Technology

Girls and technology seemed to be a perfect topic transition from the overall theme - use technology to stop poverty. Maria Eital’s presentation was highlighting the way the Girl Effect was working with the World Bank foundation to make sure that developing countries were aware of the economic gain in investing in girls in education and health. Not only that but helping them transition through the adolescent period successfully.

She discussed one project that they are launching, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (G.E.M).

Read more about G.E.M and Maria Eital’s work and projects here.

Highlight 2: Young Tech Talent Panel

They say that children are the future. well the future is now. This panel introduced us to the youngest members of the business and technology world (with youngest being 13 years old and the oldest being 32):

They discussed two important questions “what is the role of young people?” “Where technology going?” Listening to them it is clear to see why they have achieved early success by proving to be wise beyond their years.. David Carter seemed to reiterate what we had heard in the morning, that technology will be used for solution development. Whereas, Jordon Casey mentioned that teachers in schools should allow students to find their own solutions in their assignments - that there shouldn’t be any right or wrong answer.

Highlight 3: Hans Vestberg (President and CEO, Ericsson Group)

Hans Vestberg continued to inform the members of the audience about the growth of technology. He threw out some big theories about that topic. He stated that in the next 5 years, almost 3x the British population will be using phones and internet. But this isn’t just the same old email and texting but to solve government issues. He used a case study from Estonia, that showed the progress of using phones to solve traffic congestion.

There more amazing speakers and panels that filled out the whole day.

// Click here for the programme, the livestream and the speakers line up. 

Photo credit (cc) Farm 9.