Welcome!

Eclipse Authors: Roger Strukhoff, Carmen Gonzalez, Lori MacVittie, Kevin Jackson, Mark R. Hinkle

Blog Feed Post

Converge+UK mashes up design, business & technology at Google Campus in Shoreditch

Converge+UK is a new series of events to bring together designers, developers, entrepreneurs and investors. The events are being toured around the various startup incubators in London over the course of 2012 and 2013. Converge+UK is being run on a non-profit basis and tickets are usually five pounds. The next event is on 3 October at the Innovation Warehouse.

Innovation happens when people from different backgrounds are thrown together. So 31 August 2012 saw 50 designers, developers and entrepreneurs converge on the Google startup incubator in Shoreditch. The event was the launch of Converge+UK, which is a community forum to bring together people from different backgrounds and encourage healthy debate.

The event was co-founded by a diverse group of London professionals including David Clare, Sallie Bale, Dan George, Klaus Bravenboer, Tim McCready and Peter Thomson. David, Sallie and Dan have provided the PR and communications powerhouse to bring people together. While Klaus, Tim and Peter have organised speakers and pulled together an informal advisory board to steer the group.

Launch of the group
Matt Morrison, Neil Tierney and Josh Mora generously contributed their networks and connections to secure industry speakers who represented the spirit of convergence and innovation. The speakers were Alfie Dennen, Ami Shpiro and Grant Harrison. This gave the group a speaker from each of the three different disciplines of design, business and technology.

The convergence of design, business and technology is equally relevant to large businesses or to entrepreneurs, but the startup community in London seems to be a great place for people from these different backgrounds to come together. Collaboration seems to thrive in startups where every day counts and rapidly proving a concept is the difference between launching a product (or not), getting funding (or not) and surviving as a business.

Co-founder Peter Thomson had just completed a Landmark Education leadership course. "In the course they challenge you to think about the charities and community groups that you could be more involved in. I had been thinking for a long time about how to bring my friends from different work backgrounds together, so Converge+UK was a perfect project to get involved with."

The speakers on the night had been briefed to be brief, to tell real war stories and to hold nothing back in terms of what worked and what didn't. As a result, there were fewer PowerPoint slides than usual and more anecdotes about innovation in the real world.

Group discussions
One of the main aims of Converge+UK was to prompt new conversations, so after each speaker there were a series of discussion topics and icebreaker exercises. Klaus Bravenboer noted, "One thing we learned from the launch event was that once people get chatting, they don't really want to stop, so timekeeping will be a bigger part of the next event." The most popular group discussion topic was "What should LOCOG have done about the empty seats at the Olympics?" The best answers included a pre-event airline-style check-in procedure (with standby tickets), using volunteer seat fillers and even creative ways to punish corporate sponsors who didn't use their allocations.

Alfie Dennen on creativity at the boundaries
Alfie gave a great introduction to the life of a Creative Technologist. Mixing installation art, digital technology and social engineering. One of Alfie's great habits is to never refer to "the internet" instead preferring the term "the network" because it reminds us that, behind the layer of technology, it's all about people. Alfie is obviously a master of bringing different disciplines together to execute a concept. Examples included the Caledonian Park clocktower being connected to twitter to remind the community when it needs winding, a stone glyph created across the UK and open-source digital signage on the top of bus shelters.

Grant Harrison on innovation in healthcare
Grant shared compelling war stories about the startups he's been involved in. From the founding of Tesco's ClubCard, through to online doctors visits and new models of insurance. Grant shared examples of innovation in the systems behind healthcare and the difference between fixing illness and creating health. Converge co-founders, David, Tim and Klaus particularly enjoyed the discussion of quantified-self tools like the Nike Fuel Band and the FitBit. Co-founder David, who also blogs for quantified self blog One More Life Hack commented "The quantified self movement has been going since 2006, yet it is really only just starting to get traction. Hearing Grant's experiences of how he has been self-tracking for such a long time reminds us why the quantified self is so important and how far (maybe even too far) we can take it."

Ami Shpiro on crossing the chasm by collaborating
Ami is the head of the Innovation Warehouse in Farringdon (the next Converge+UK venue). Ami talked about the businesses that he's started, invested in and mentored. His technical background has allowed him to ask tough questions of entrepreneurs. The audience particularly enjoyed his discussion of how products diffuse through a community. He prompted a good debate about the book "Crossing the Chasm" and what an entrepreneur can do to try and get their product ready to scale.

Event partners
The visual identity was created by Stephen Tolfrey. Photography was captured by Peter Alberti and Dan Wong. The t-shirts emblazoned with the catch phrase for the night, Get Sh+t Done were provided by Icon Printing and looked great. The posters were printed by printed.com which turned out (despite the corporate sounding name) to be friendly and helpful. Wine and beer was provided by Central Working.

The first event was a bit like a live prototype with lots of comedic errors, table legs breaking and rapidly improvised solutions. But we got there in the end, and learned a lot which will make the next event even better.

The next Converge+UK event is on 3 October at 7pm at the Innovation Warehouse in Farringdon. Tickets, speaker information and a chance to vote on the t-shirt designs are at the Converge+UK Facebook page

Information for editors:
Converge+UK is a non-profit series of events being held around London to promote collaboration and innovation in the overlap between design, business and technology. More information is available from www.converge-uk.org High resolution images, interviews, quotes and bios are available from [email protected]

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By RealWire News Distribution

RealWire is a global news release distribution service specialising in the online media. The RealWire approach focuses on delivering relevant content to the receivers of our client's news releases. As we know that it is only through delivering relevance, that influence can ever be achieved.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accelerate their digital channels with APIs, drive partner adoption, monetize their assets, and achieve a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
SYS-CON Events announced today that AgilePoint, the leading provider of Microsoft-centric Business Process Management software, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 2nd International @ThingsExpo which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. AgilePoint is the leading provider of Microsoft-based Business Process Management (BPM) software products, has 1,300+ on-premise and cloud deployments in 25+ countries and provides the same advanced BPM feature set as J2EE vendors like IBM and Appian for the Microsoft .NET native environment. AgilePoint customer...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., will show what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. He will discuss opportunities and challenges ahead for the IoT from a market and tec...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customizable platform to easily integrate into existing software solutions, embed business logic and build s...
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, will describe an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people’s real needs and desires.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TeleStax, the main sponsor of Mobicents, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TeleStax provides Open Source Communications software and services that facilitate the shift from legacy SS7 based IN networks to IP based LTE and IMS networks hosted on private (on-premise), hybrid or public clouds. TeleStax products include Restcomm, JSLEE, SMSC Gateway, USSD Gateway, SS7 Resource Adaptors, SIP Servlets, Rich Multimedia Services, Presence Services/RCS, Diame...
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: Samsung recognizes that true, accelerated innovation cannot be driven from one source, but requires a...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money! Speaker Bio: Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, has spent 16 years as a marketing, product management, and busin...
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, will address the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. How important are public, private, and hybrid cloud to the enterprise? How does one define Big Data? And how is the IoT tying all this together?
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
SYS-CON Events announces a new pavilion on the Cloud Expo floor where WebRTC converges with the Internet of Things. Pavilion will showcase WebRTC and the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices--computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors – connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic strategies that utility/cloud computing provides. Whether public, private, or in a hybrid form, clo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridsto...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP’s Printing and Personal Systems Group, will discuss how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, senso...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics...
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.