Day 2 at the Web Summit in Lisbon saw ENGINE Creative’s Chief Content Officer Dave Roberts energised by weighty topics which touch us all, but frustrated by all too familiar & repetitious musings on Content:

Google’s Sustainability Announcement – Google’s Sustainability Officer Kate Brandt used her spot on the Summit’s 20,000 capacity Centre Stage to announce ambitious plans for a new program to help start-ups who are working on sustainability products. They’re looking for 8-10 start-ups in Europe, with decisions on successful programmes based upon the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals; although there’s no promise of eventual investment, Brandt says they’ll promise to make introductions to investors. Read more here.

Tony Talks Tech – Having been caught up in the Brexit discussion on Day One, ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair today lambasted the relationship between politics & technology, “Politicians are simple people: what they don’t understand they don’t like, and what they don’t like they will regulate”. It’s an enormous issue in the populist world in which many of us now live, but Blair’s message was in fact one of optimism, “I’m optimistic about the future. I think this technology revolution will yield enormous benefits”.

Multi-Modality Mobility – From flying cars to shared ownership models, the future of transport was high on the agenda, but what shone through time and again was the issue of multi-modality – ie. how do we connect these next gen’ services in a way that creates a seamless travel experience for the end user. At a time when everyone’s competing for that elusive early adopter dollar, will the answer be collaboration, or simply multi-modal domination (a strategy that’s pretty evident here in Lisbon, with Uber’s Jump bikes & scooters the go-to transport options, alongside their omnipresent cars).

The A-word – The ‘Content Makers’ stage kicked-off and it seems that each and every speaker felt obliged to talk about ‘authenticity’, but none felt able to define it. This is a topic for another day, but let’s just say that with a few exceptions (in particular Unity 3D’s session on Real Time 3D), this stream left a lot to be desired. The one thing it did do however, was provide me with my quote of the day – “branded content should be treated like a first date, if you only talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date”.

More tomorrow, as the Web Summit draws to a close for another year (after the mandatory Closing Party).


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