Welcome!

Eclipse Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, David H Deans, JP Morgenthal

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
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.