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Lisbon – Web Summit 2022

Updated: Nov 8, 2022

Harry Hopkins' experience at Lisbon Web Summit 2022.

I’ve just returned from a truly mega week in Lisbon, attending the 2022 Web Summit. This event happens each year, bringing some of the brightest and most innovative minds together, to talk about tech and offer a sneak peek into what lies ahead.

This event hosts almost everything in the tech space, from planet saving start-ups using solar farms at sea to scarily good AI tools that can create art in an instance.

More than seventy thousand attendees, 2500 start-ups and some very important figures giving inspiring talks and an insight into their methodology and how they got where they are today.

I listened to the First Lady of Ukraine speak about how Putin is using high-tech drones to infiltrate Kyiv, how this is a new age of warfare, and these are the times where innovation is most important. I heard the founder of Binance, Changpeng Zhao say that crypto is the most stable thing on the market (controversial but interesting).

We listened to the Prime minister of Portugal talk of how we are shaping the future, how bringing people together in times of turmoil can only lead to further development. What is going to happen throughout the coming years with new technology will shape and change the way we live our lives.

I met people from all over the world, people developing software that impacts life in all kinds of manners, health tech that can track the way your body moves to the slightest of angles to aid recovery after prosthesis, to a company that uses AI to distinguish smoke with wildfires alerting firefighters in an instant.

There were people pitching their businesses, giving a real insight on how to take something to market and gain the confidence of investors, I feel I’ve come away understanding what it takes to step up and deliver a strong pitch. It was like Dragons Den, but cooler.

One of these companies uses NFTs to lease properties, something that really utilises the power of NFTs beyond twitter profile pictures and something that hasn’t yet been done…

There’s a company that literally puts urban sports on the map, enabling fellow shredders to share and name awesome spots on a live global map, really bringing the community together offering a platform to share, compete and inspire, locally and further afield. – CityLegends for any of you gnarly folk.

AI is something everyone is thinking about, it can be implemented into almost anything and can seriously change the game.

I saw an AI drawing tool that enables people to write what they can imagine, the AI then creates the image, giving the potential for someone like me, a not so brilliant artist, to create incredible images to almost to a professional standard.

There are companies developing self-flying drones as taxis, software that enables companies to reach people all over the world by translating text to any language making things more accessible, but what was really incredible was how diverse it was and how together everyone became.

Even competitors seemed like great friends. Know your enemy though eh?

Of course, this barely touches the surface of what was there.

Lisbon as a whole is an eye-opening place, somewhere that is quickly evolving and becoming a tech hub of the world, yet still has a wonderful and immersive feel of authenticity and culture. Every street was littered with history, art was everywhere. I couldn’t tell if I was looking at a mosaic or it was just the pavement!

I made some incredible friends from all over the world, some that had been in Lisbon all their lives, they showed me what most tourists might not see. Welcomed with open arms and offered a real insight into their extraordinary lives which I could have so easily missed.

The whole thing was an experience I can’t take for granted. The people, the food, the culture, and the tech, all was incredible.

THANK YOU LISBON - till next year!

Harry Hopkins.

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