In November 2022, I spent a wonderful week in Lisbon attending one of the world’s largest annual technology conferences, WebSummit. At a time of great uncertainty for many industries and, indeed, the world itself, Web Summit gathered founders and CEOs of technology companies, fast-growing startups, policymakers, and heads of state to ask a simple question: Where next, and what role does tech have to play?
What makes this conference unique is how it keeps the technology topics at the core and then look at it in a holistic way, rather than just an abstract one.
In addition to hearing about exciting hypes in technology, e.g., Web 3.0, metaverse, cryptocurrency, development in artificial intelligence, for me the aspect of women in technology was a big highlight.
This year, 42% of 71,033 attendees were women. Buying a ticket to Web Summit isn’t cheap, but this year theywanted to encourage a greater female presence at the event, andoffered a limited number of tickets for women in tech, 2 tickets for 85 Euros, which enabled people like me to attend at my own expense.
One of the very inspiring sessions from WiT perspective was the #IamRemarkable workshop. This Google initiative aims to:
- Encourage everyone, but particularly those in under-represented groups to develop the confidence and competence to engage in self-promotion
- Challenge the perceptions around self-promotion.
It was also amazing to see many other great female presenters, especially seeing more ladies at C-level. To name a few:
- Meredith Whittaker (President of Signal): “Can David compete with Goliath?” (link to the video 3:26:17 – 3:46:48)
- Christina Cacioppo (Co-founder and CEO of Vanta)& Edith Harbaugh (Co-founder and CEO of Launch Darkly): Panel discussion about Leading: triumphs and “f-ups” (linkto the video 3:47:58 –4:07:29)
SAP also had a booth representing Grow by SAP, which provides a special cloud offering for global startups and scale-up companies designed to provide them with the necessary tools to not only run their business but to collaborate and grow into their full potential with SAP. The main organizer of the booth was Tiffany Monahan, the “Global Head of Marketing & Brand for Grow with SAP”. Well, yes, it was nice to meet another strong WiT from SAP in such an event.
In my conversations with the great women I was surrounded by at the event, I also received some reading recommendations, which I’d like to share with you all:
For me, #websummit2022 was really an inspiring event, a great forum to discuss and reflect about the influence of tech on our life, which helps me personally to remind myself to make conscious decisions on how to use technology. Hope to see many more WiT there in the coming years!