CIOs go to Barcelona, Digital Leaders to Dublin

CIONET attends the Worlds Digital Leadership Networking Extravaganza

What do you get when a couple of young – angry – entrepreneurial Irish minds believe they can launch another symposium on tech innovation? The fastest growing event in Europe! November 4 to November 7 Dublin hosted 20.000 attendees from across the globe for – just – the 4th edition of the Websummit.

The Davos for Geeks

How best to describe the Websummit? Forbes calls it “The new hot ticket on the tech conference scene”. It’s been called “the best technology conference on the planet”. But for sure it‘s different. And that difference works for the attendees, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to the most exciting startups in the world. The speakers may be world class, but the networking is “simply legendary”.
The giants of the web assembled in Dublin as well over 2,000 startups (!) as exhibitors. 500 speakers in just 3 days. CEOs of the worlds most innovate companies, the wannabe & will be CEOs of tomorrow and a 9 year old ‘EU Digital girl of the year’. Oh, and of course: the King of the Irish Republic: U2’s Bono.

Tomorrow’s opportunities

The Websummit is not about today’s problems, it’s about tomorrow’s opportunities. And that’s why Enterprise Ireland contacted Johan de Wit (Associated Partner CIONET and Former CIO) to select a group of 20 digital leaders from Belgium and The Netherlands to experience the Websummit. A blended group of Enterprise CIOs, Digital Entrepreneurs and Online Strategists benefited from Access All Areas as VIP guests.
To make it even more overwhelming: the Websummit is actually not one Summit. It covers multiple areas or angles of the Digital Industry: about the Internet of Things at the Machine Summit, or the future of Entertainment at the Music Summit. Let’s not forget the Sports Summit, the Marketing Summit, the Builders Summit, the Food Summit and – finally a place to touch solid ground for us – the Enterprise Summit. For the first time this year, but glad we could join in to round table discussions on topics like: Cloud, Big Data and The Internet of Things.

Digital Immigrants explore the world of Digital Natives: CIONET & Assembl3D group.

The Websummit was somewhat a – digital – lifetime experience for many of us. Dublin’s Websummit has acclaimed full rights to become the digital lighthouse for CIOs and CIONET members in the years to come!

The Dublin Experience

The Websummit 2015 was a great event and many thanks to Mick, Paul and Jeroen. For me personally, this event helps me to understand what the future will bring and how far developments already are. This is truly unlike any other event that I visited before. Also, the drive, enthusiasm and sheer high numbers of people promoting their ideas and products was impressive.
Axel van Lamsweerde, Hoofd Informatisering, Autoriteit Financiële Markten
The content during most of the session of the Websummit was not bad at all, but the real value was in meeting numerous interesting people. I thank you for that opportunity!
Hans Wanders, CIO Randstad Holding nv
I would also like to thank you for a great event! At first I rated the content at the summit somewhat low, but later I realized I have met many more great people than usual, and I experienced an energy I never saw before. This has more value than I expected, so thanks for this experience!
Wouter Schmitz, Head of Architecture, ABN Amro Bank
This conference will be a new regular visit for ANWB management!
Teun van der Vorm, CIO ANWB
The amount of startups was overwhelming; I found it extremely difficult to choose between potentials and potential failures. I am glad I am not an investor in these things. Disruption! I found that most initiatives are out of the normal comfort zone of what we know as IT.
My most remarkable experience: the CoderDojo with the 9-year-old Lauren (EU Digital girl of the year) who is helping other kids with learning to code as she remarked: “the technology changes so rapidly”.  And another Digital Native: young Eric Lassard who has setup the Adacadabra Creative School and is motivational speaker as well: Digital Leaders are being born in Ireland!
Johan de Wit, Former CIO ING Bank & SWETS
As a regular visitor of innovation and tech events (usually not of this magnitude however) I found the content and information somewhat shallow. Relying on sheer luck to find the bits that triggered and inspired me most was thus the way to go.
However, whilst going around in “lucky-shot-mode”, I found a lot of time to reflect on my current project and the ambitions I have for that matter.
Most disruptive by far was young Eric Lassard. The other one that really triggered me was the concept by Branto that I will incorporate in my Business Concept. It’s no Rocketscience however, it’s fairly simple.
Thanks so much to Paul, Jeroen and Mick but that rest as well for all the good fun and inspiration.
 Bob Kronenburg, Alliander Strategy Department



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