Upcoming Open Space sessions in London on 9 & 16 February 2016

BJP_Mobile_Fringe_0167I have two upcoming events for you in London next week and the week after. They’re both Open Space events and follow on from the successful series Lloyd Davis and I ran in Leeds and London in November and December 2015. These next two sessions will both be held at the rather fabulous WeWork Southbank and are free to attend. If you have a vague interest in either or both of the topics, please do join us for a stimulating discussion and food for thought.

RSVP is required due to security regulations in the building. Find out more and register:

Tuesday 9 Feb 6.30pm to 8.30pm – What are we going to do about Artificial Intelligence?

Tuesday 16 Feb 6.30pm to 8.30pm – What are we going to do about the Internet of Things?

Swedish Beers is off to Barcelona for the 11th time!

Oh, how time flies and it’s the time of year when mobilists around the world turn their thoughts to the annual gathering of the great and the good of the mobile world at Mobile World Congress at the end of February. And this year is no different. As usual, I’m running the Heroes of the Mobile Fringe Festival for the fifth time and I’m running the annual Swedish Beers party in Barcelona for the 11th time. 

Like our previous events, this is a relaxed evening for execs working in and around the mobile industry. You’ll find no formalities, no presentations, no speeches. Just come with an open mind, be prepared to see friends old and new, chat, enjoy a drink or three (courtesy of our sponsors – soft drinks also available) and have yourself a good time. Oh, and leave the ties, the corporate personas and the sales spiel at the door please. The Swedish Beers crew will be on hand to welcome you as will the friendliest bar staff in town.

It is likely to get a bit busy at times. But don’t worry, people will be coming in and out all evening. If it’s very busy, there’s no need to queue to get in, we’ll have a second bar nearby for you to hang out in which will be just as good and where there will be plenty of people for you to network with. This does mean that I can’t guarantee entry except for sponsors and the Swedish Beers Crew.

I’ll have some sponsor and venue announcements soon, but in the meantime, if you’re at all interested in joining the fun and buying some fellow mobilists a beer or two, please get in touch with me. I have sponsorship options for all budgets so don’t be shy! Check out previous Swedish Beers events in London, Leeds, Barcelona, New York, Berlin and San Francisco over on the blog. You can find last year’s party pictures here or on these two albums on Facebook – album 1 and album 2

In the meantime, please RSVP below and spread the word to your colleagues and clients.

See you in Barcelona!

This is a Heroes of the Mobile Fringe Festival Event http://mobileheroes.net/


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Swedish Beers bash BCN 2015

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.

Future of Mobile 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 first session had author and founder of Truphone’s, James Tagg, leading a romp through the current thinking about the future of artificial intelligence in the context of mobile, ie “When will your smartphone be smarter than you?”


We then went into a (relatively) short open space session with people suggesting conversations about “How & when the laws of robotics will apply to smartphone AIs”, “How can AI be used for creating world peace?” and “What does the AI world really look like in 2025?”

Lloyd managed to catch a few snippets of the conversations:


The format worked very well, here’s audio of the final circle (a sentence or two from everyone who wants to) many people said it was very refreshing and stimulating to have a chance to talk about what they wanted to talk about while also having plenty of time to quiz James.

For more reading about Artificial Intelligence, you might like a copy of James Tagg’s book – Are the Androids Dreaming Yet?: Amazing Brain. Human Communication, Creativity & Free Will. You can download a free chapter from his website or order a digital or paper version on Amazon (affiliate link).

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

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.






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!