Future of Work: Virtual & Augmented Realities–Event Round-Up

Digital retail specialist, Eva Pascoe, came and gave us some insights particularly into recent uses of Virtual and Augmented Realities in retail for mine and Lloyd Davis’s fourth and final Future of Work session with Truphone. She also brought some devices with her so the attendees could sample the experiences for themselves.

One of the surprises for me was how much the retail sector was embracing virtual reality. As a sector, they’re not known for being early technology adopters – at least, not from my experience back in ZagMe days. Things seem to have changed, although, many of the projects sounded a bit gimmicky to me and out to gain column inches rather than further the use of technology. You can see her video below which highlights some really interesting examples and use cases.

 

Discussions afterwards included:

  • Do we need physical body to commune with others?
  • AR/VR very different
  • How immersive does the reality have to be to be virtual?
  • How will we avoid aggravating the Digital Divide?  (ie that those who do not have the technology access to the technology become left behind. VR on NHS?
  • (Virtually) When tomorrow is as immersive as today, how will we know what is real?
  • Getting Lost
  • Learning to see our hands in VR.  VR adapting to us.  Embodiment & VR
  • How do you know you are not in VR now?!
  • Will we be able to interact with other real things in the virtual way? If so what does that mean for our future?
  • The visual/sound bias – not immersion for physical beings until touch, smell, taste?

Future of Work: Drones, Robots & Internet of Things–Event Round-Up

Priya Prakash from Design for Social Change came along to mine and Lloyd Davis’s third Future of Work event at Truphone to talk about how work might change when some of our colleagues are a network of sensing machines talking to each other. You can see her talk in the video below.

 

Discussions that followed included:

  • IoT: Main uses in the next 10 years
  • Knowledge Management & Human to Human Interaction
  • What makes us human? What is human?
  • So what do *you* think will be the impact of IoT on the future of work?
  • Where are the lines between living & working?
  • What’s the future of design in this context?
  • What will work look like in the future?
  • Were Victorian entrepreneurs asking the same kinds of questions around the future of work?

At all of these sessions, we’ve ended in a circle asking people to record their reflections.  Listening to this should give you a better feel of what it was like in the room. You can do that over on Lloyd’s blog.

Future of Work: Blockchain–Event Round-Up

Although I’ve heard of Bitcoin and roughly understand how it works and I’m aware that its underlying technology is Blockchain, I can’t say I knew a lot more than that about it. That meant I was listening with all ears to the smarter people around me who did know more about the technology.

We (Lloyd Davis, myself and Truphone) started the second Future of Work event with an introduction to Mycelia from Imogen Heap. If you haven’t read it yet, the two-part interview she did on Forbes is a great starting point. In a nutshell, she calls it “Fairtrade for musicians”  it’s intended to be a way of using smart contracts on the blockchain to manage metadata about an artist’s works (including that important metadata about price and how money gets distributed after each sale). You can see her talk in the video below.

The discussions afterwards included:

  • Blockchain as a method of trust
  • How do we make Mycelia a foundation & make money for itself?
  • Autonomy embedded
  • Money creation on the blockchain
  • Beacon Music App
  • Mobile Blockchain
  • Does Technology democratize or amplify differences in Human Power Relationships?
  • Crowdsourced Artistic Market?
  • What is the Finance Industry?
  • Scaling and Sequestration
  • Distributed Identity
  • UI & UX How do we interact with the blockchain. Author User
  • Devising Gaming Mechanics on the block chain (Educational)
  • The Musician Development Bank
  • Fair Trade Music Light!
  • What is the overhead of running a blockchain system to record all, say FX transactions or all music plays

We finish each evening with a circle where we pass around an audio recorder to capture people’s immediate reactions.  Have a listen over on Lloyd’s blog to get more of a feel for what it was like in the room.

David Terrar also wrote a fantastic blog post about the session on Agile Elephant.

And if you want to know more about Blockchain, there’s a very useful primer on Business Insider and First Partner has prepared a new market map looking specifically at Blockchain and it’s free to download.

Future of Work: Artificial Intelligence–Event Round-Up

I recently ran a series of five events in London with Lloyd Davis of Tuttle Club fame and all hosted at Truphone’s 21st floor offices in Canary Wharf.

The second event was the first of four looking at The future of work in the context of four currently maturing technologies. We started off with a focus on Artificial Intelligence and were given a great overview by Benjamin Ellis of Redcatco. You can see his talk below and it’s well worth a look whether or not you work in the technology sector.

Discussions that followed included:

  • What happens when the AI is wrong?
    Social Machines (where/how/what)
  • The social acceptability of AI decisions, even if they are better than human ones
  • I want IRON MAN’s suit!
  • AI & Regulation Self/Gov
  • Are we driving AI… or does it drive us?
  • Why AI? Are we creating stuff because we can or because it adds to the human condition or…?
  • UIs How do we talk to them and them to us? How do they sell their ideas? Spectrum from Sound Hound to C3PO to HAL
  • If a machine/AI does something bad (kills someone) who is responsible? The owner, the manufacturer, the programmer or the victim?
  • What will we be using AI for in the next few years? What can I use it for now?
  • Is AI artificial ie not human?

We finish each evening with a circle where we pass around an audio recorder to capture people’s immediate reactions.  Have a listen over on Lloyd’s blog to get more of a feel for what it was like in the room.

David Terrar also did a write up for the Agile Elephant Blog.

More reasons to hang out with us in Leeds!

In case you’ve missed it, we have a whole bunch of events now listed for 3 and 4 November in Leeds. They’re all free to attend and you don’t need to be a mobile expert to enjoy them. You can see in the previous listings for the Innovation on the Fringe Goes to Leeds event, Swedish Beers Goes North! and the Ladies Lunch. Listed below are the recent additions to the line-up. We do hope you can join us. It’s going to be great.

Newly listed:

TuesdayFuture of Work: Open Space Session with Lloyd Davis and Nothing Great is Easy

WednesdayFuture of Mobile: Talk + Open Space Session with James Tagg and Lloyd Davis and also Future of Mobile Advertising: Open Space Session with Helen Keegan and Lloyd Davis

Fancy doing a session yourself? Get in touch with Helen to discuss.

Quick links to all listings on Tuesday 3 November and Wednesday 4 November 2015.

A big thank you to aql and Inspiring Interns for supporting all of these events.

aql logo 2015 inspiring interns logo-full-no-slogan

Ladies Lunch on 4 November 2015 in Leeds

Leeds ladies lunch 2015Having run an annual ladies lunch in Barcelona for female mobilists for the last ten years, I’m delighted to be organising one in the UK for the first time. And for this very special occasion, our friends in Leeds at aql will host us. We are going to a lovely restaurant which is located near to aql’s offices and once we have an idea on numbers, we’ll confirm that with you all. 

Lesley Cowley OBE will join us for this lunch and share some of her fantastic story with us and the event is sponsored and hosted by aql.

About Lesley

As well as being a Non-Executive Director of aql, Lesley is the first ever Chair of DVLA and a non-executive Director of CERT-UK, a Member of the British Computer Society Policy & Public Affairs Board and a Council Member of ICANN’s Country Code Names Supporting Organisation. 

She was previously CEO of Nominet, a role that she held from 2002-2014, after joining the organisation in 1999 as Operations Director. Under her leadership, Nominet became the trusted guardian of a vital part of the UK internet, providing services relied upon by millions of businesses and consumers. This success enabled £25m to be donated to its charitable foundation, the Nominet Trust, of which Lesley was a founding Trustee. 

She has an MBA (with distinction) and an Honorary Doctorate in Technology. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors, Institute of Credit Management and the British Computer Society. Lesley was made OBE for services to the internet and e-commerce in 2011. In 2013, she was the recipient of the inaugural ICANN Leadership award and in 2014, she was named by the Sunday Times & Debretts as one of the 500 most influential people in the UK. Find out more about her at her website.

I for one am very much looking forward to meeting her and with the other women working in mobile and technology in the North.

The lunch is informal and we can cater for most dietary requirements if you tell us about them in advance. There may be a small charge for the lunch (tbc) but it is being subsidised and sponsored by aql. Numbers are limited.

Men are welcome to attend, but must be accompanied by a female colleague.

We’ll be open from 12.30 and will start lunch at 13:00 promptly. There will be plenty of time for networking. Spread the word!

Swedish Beers Goes North! Leeds First Edition

Leeds 2015 swedish beersAs a Northerner by birth, and with lots of Northern friends, it’s about time we had a Swedish Beers bash up North and finally, it’s happening! with thanks to our friends at aql and Inspiring Interns.

We’re back with our favourite and long-standing Barcelona sponsors, aql and will enjoy the delights of their very own bar. If you haven’t visited before, you’re in for a treat. Doors will be open from 6.30pm and we’ll close when we’re done. It’s a school night, so I’m guessing that will be about 10.30pm ish.

If you haven’t been before, Swedish Beers is a business networking event for executives interested in mobile technology. Expect a friendly crowd, lots of chat about mobile, life, the universe and why Swedish Beers is called Swedish Beers and much more. There will be refreshments (soft drinks are available and in plentiful supply) courtesy of our lovely friends at aql. There will be people from all walks of mobile life there on the night – be that app developers, advertising, media, mobile marketing, handset manufacturers, payment providers, big data, brands, agencies, analysts, journalists, start-ups, veterans, noobs and much more. Come alone or come with a friend but do come.

Date: Tuesday 3 November 2015

Time: 6.30pm until closing

Place: aql Salem Bar, 11 to 15 Hunslet Road, Leeds LS10 1JQ. For out of towners, it’s about a 10 minute walk from Leeds station. There’s a pay and display car park nearby for those of you driving.

The events is free to attend. Registration is required and all registration details will be shared with our event sponsors and partners.

Spread the word and look forward to seeing you all soon.

Skål!

Helen

http://swedishbeers.org

@swedishbeers

http://facebook.com/swedishbeers

This is a Heroes of Mobile event.

About our sponsors

Lead sponsor and host: aql

If you’ve been to Swedish Beers in Barcelona before, you may well remember aql’s founder, Adam, and his crew from as they’ve supported us for several years now and are well known in Leeds and the surrounding area. They really know their onions when it comes to voice, SMS and hosting – feel free to test them on their knowledge on the night! They’ve been in the mobile business for a very long time, have the most amazing data centre in a converted church in Leeds and are great fun to boot. Meet the gang to chew the mobile fat, enjoy a few beers and have a good time. Find out more about aql on the night or from their website.

 

Supporting sponsor: Inspiring Interns

If you’ve been to any of the London Swedish Beers parties, it’s more than likely you’ve met onre or more of the Inspiring Interns team. They now have a new office in Manchester so they’re also supporting Swedish Beers Goes North. Inspiring Interns is a graduate recruitment agency connecting talented graduates with top companies and start-up businesses across the UK with offices in London and Manchester. Come and hang out with Martin and his friendly team.

Why I do improvisation. A follow up from the recent improv workshop.

stuart reid improv logoI recently ran an evening improvisation workshop in London with Stuart Reid. I attended one of his weekend workshops about a year or so ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. What I wasn’t expecting was how relevant it was in a work context. I had expected it to be all about laughing and enjoying ourselves – which it was. But it was also a powerful tool for improving communication skills, understanding how communication and collaboration work and for building confidence. With that in mind, we trialled a more work-related improv session to get some feedback from attendees to help us develop it further so we can offer more sessions in the future – both to the public and tailored sessions for teams and companies. It was great fun and a great success so we’ll be doing more of them in due course.

Stuart opened our improv session with a very short introduction as to why it was important so I asked him to put some words together on that to share with you all. Over to you Stuart.

Stuart- reid cropped“In my work as a consultant, advising leaders on how to after change in their organisations, I’ve discovered that there are two practices that make the biggest difference to how well prepared I am for my work.

The first is meditation. I don’t do it as often as I could, but when I do it makes a huge difference. And the second is improvisation.

These practices have three things in common. First they both encourage me to be present, to focus on the here and now instead of unpicking what’s already happened or being anxious about the future. And by being present I am also more aware of what’s going on, what’s happening in the room, more aware of my environment and I pay more attention to what I’m feeling and needing. It’s like being more awake.

Second, both these practices help me to accept what is. In meditation I accept whatever thoughts and feelings flow through my mind. In improv, I accept whatever my scene partner does  or says and it becomes my reality too – we build a shared world together.

The final thing these practices remind me to do is to trust the process. Improvisation, like meditation, is a process. At any particular moment I may not be enjoying what I’m doing, may feel out of sorts or not ‘in flow’. If I suspend my judgement, and trust the process, it will get me where I need to be.

What makes these activities a ‘practice’? It’s a bit of a grand-sounding word. Meditation comes in different forms: meditation of the breath, walking, eating, solo meditation, meditating in a group. Improvisation has games or activities with simple rules intended to teach specific improv skills.  What makes these a practice is that they are activities that are designed to be repeated again and again. I’ll never ‘master’ meditation: like taking exercise, it’s something I need to do on a regular basis. Improvisers return again and again to games that are old favourites, as well as playing new games to stretch their improv ‘muscles’.

So in an improv workshop, the games we learn are designed to reach fundamental improv skills, like listening, or finding inspiration in our environment, or building on ideas from our partners. And just like meditation,the skills we learn new improv ‘spill over’ into other parts of our lives. Being present, accepting, trusting. They are skills that can be developed, and everyone can do it. And improv let’s you do that and enjoy laughter at the same time. What’s not to like?”

hacklands circles plus 1Thanks Stuart. Watch out for more improv workshops from Heroes of Mobile in the coming months. And check out Stuart’s other classes and workshops. I highly recommend. Oh, and we may well have some improv tricks up our sleeves at next week’s Hacklands Festival. Come and join us!

Hacklands Festival of Technology 14 to 16 August 2015

It has been action stations at Heroes of Mobile what with Swedish Beers Midsummer Edition in London last month and the upcoming Hacklands Festival of Technology happening next month. So let me tell you a bit more about the festival.

hacklands circles plus 1 WHAT: Hacklands is a new hackathon and festival happening on a farm on the border of Kent and Surrey brought to you by Helen Keegan (Heroes of the Mobile Fringe Festival, Swedish Beers and more) and James Tagg, (author, farmer, entrepreneur, physicist and CTO & co-founder of Truphone).

WHEN: From 5pm on Friday 14 August to 5pm on Sunday 16 August.

AUDIENCE: We welcome adults and children who have an interest in technology either because they like building it or because they like to use it and are interested in future uses of technology. Under 18s will need to be accompanied by an adult. You do not have to be a developer to come. We will have sessions and space for both developers and non-developers and can cater for children too.

IMG_2023TELL ME MORE: It is a community oriented festival where we will combine elements of a hackathon (you can code and build stuff), an unconference or barcamp (you can talk about stuff) and a festival (you can chill at our campfire by our stone circle, camp under the stars, talk until the wee hours and enjoy the music and performances). And we have glamping too courtesy of our friends at Sleeping Bells.

We actively encourage you to get involved to build something, talk about something, perform something or learn something.

Interested in doing something – leading a session, giving access to APIs, arts and crafts, something else? Please tell us when you buy your ticket or you can fill in the form here.

WHAT’S ON: We have several areas available to use for unconference sessions, workshops or hacking (that’s what we call the software and hardware building bit). There are undercover spaces, tented areas and outdoor spaces. There’s wifi across the site (even the fields) and part of the farm is solar powered. We have some flat concrete floors which will be particular good for playing around with robots or landing drones. We have room for camping and plenty space for parking. We can look after 100 people comfortably, and we can make more space available if more people want to come.

Weekend tickets available now with or without camping. Food included in both tickets and a pay cafe bar available outside of meal times. Find out more at our website, Facebook page, Twitter or our Eventbrite page. You can also buy tickets by clicking below

If you’d like the glamping option, please find out more here and contact Gavin directly to book. Prices start at £80. Festival tickets must be bought separately.

 

Swedish Beers, London–Midsummer Edition–Wednesday 17 June 2015

Yes, it’s just a few days to go until our next party in London. It’s coming up for midsummer so it’s about time we had another Swedish Beers party. For those of you who were in Barcelona, it’s time to relive some of the memories and for those of you who weren’t, then it’s time to create some memories of your own in London town.

Drinks are courtesy of Buzzcity (mobile advertising specialists and our lead sponsor for the evening), Inspiring Interns (recruitment agency focussed on graduate roles), Fantastic Services (London’s largest cleaning company who are about to launch their cleaning app) and US Tax and Financial Services (there’s nothing these guys don’t know about tax issues for US citizens in the UK or for UK citizens and businesses headed Stateside).

There’ll be plenty drinks to go around of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic varieties. There is food available to buy on the night if you haven’t had time to grab a bite to eat before you come.

We’re back at our favourite London joint, The Nordic Bar, where Swedish Beers began back in 2001 in the mists of mobile time. Doors will be open from 6.15pm and the bar has a late licence until midnight for those of you who want to stay up late on a school night.

If you haven’t been before, expect a friendly crowd, lots of chat about mobile, life, the universe and why Swedish Beers is called Swedish Beers. There will also be beer pong (yes, there’s a ping pong table) and, of course, refreshments (soft drinks are available and in plentiful supply) courtesy of our lovely sponsors. There will be people from all walks of mobile life there on the night – be that app developers, advertising, media, mobile marketing, handset manufacturers, payment providers, big data, brands, agencies, analysts, journalists, start-ups, veterans, noobs and much more. There have already been a lot of RSVPs on eventbrite already. Why not join them? Come alone or come with a friend but do come.

Date: Wednesday 17 June 2015

Time: 6.15pm until closing

Place: The Nordic Bar, Newman Street, London W1 (nearest tube Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus or Goodge Street)

You can RSVP below or over on Facebook. Either way, it’s free to attend.

Spread the word and look forward to seeing you all soon.

Skål!

Helen

http://swedishbeers.org
@swedishbeers
http://facebook.com/swedishbeers
This is a Heroes of Mobile event.