ICT Delta 2010

Last Thursday I went to the ICTDelta 2010 in Rotterdam, with David from Netherpod. ICTDelta is an annual event on technology and innovation, featuring lectures, workshops, discussions, demos and much more. In fact so much more that it was obviously impossible to see everything, so choices had to be made. The sessions started every hour on the hour, so every hour we picked the most interesting session from the program and spent the minutes between sessions checking out some of the demos.

Our first session was a workshop on digital civil rights, by Axel Arnbak and Ot van Daalen from Bits of Freedom, which led to an interesting discussion in the privacy-risks of large-scale government projects involving the monitoring and storage of privacy-sensitive information.

For the next round we went to see a talk called Innovation by doing it, by Dr. Andy Stanford-Clark, Master Inventor at IBM. He talked about the many things he has done as personal projects and how some of them (are being) developed into commercial solutions by IBM. Andy is both an übergeek and a gifted, funny, charismatic speaker, so if you ever have a chance to see him speak, make sure you do.

Our third session was a presentation on distributed manufacturing and open design. Moderator Bas van Abel (Waag Society) gave a general introduction on the subject,  then Matt Cottam did a presentation on some projects in business and educational where his company, Tellart, used open design principles. He had so much cool stuff to show, the planned 45 minutes were over before he was finished, but Martijn Elserman (Elserman Design) was allowed to make his presentation in the 15 minute break, which still was a bit too short for his story about 3D printing. These three talks could have easily been sessions of their own and certainly deserved larger audience then the 25 people who turned up.

Straight after this extended session we sprinted on to what we decided would be the last session for today. A demonstration by TNO, called Smart Companions, about Ashley, a sort of avatar that would function as your personal assistant to help you access public and personal data from the cloud. They had a pretty big vision about where they wanted to take this project technologically, but sadly they didn’t have any clear answers to questions about security, privacy, or whether this will be commercialized or opened up to the community.

I’ll be posting more in-depth about the second and third sessions once I have digested all the notes and links from those sessions. I also have some ideas about the different forms of innovation presented during the day, so expect a comparison soon.

Overall it was a fun and educational experience, certainly worth visiting again next year.

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