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
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICC-USA, a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. ICC is a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances to meet a wide range of ...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smart...
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
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 ...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
We are seeing a major migration of enterprises applications to the cloud. As cloud and business use of real time applications accelerate, legacy networks are no longer able to architecturally support cloud adoption and deliver the performance and security required by highly distributed enterprises. These outdated solutions have become more costly and complicated to implement, install, manage, and maintain.SD-WAN offers unlimited capabilities for accessing the benefits of the cloud and Internet. ...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
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...
Michael Maximilien, better known as max or Dr. Max, is a computer scientist with IBM. At IBM Research Triangle Park, he was a principal engineer for the worldwide industry point-of-sale standard: JavaPOS. At IBM Research, some highlights include pioneering research on semantic Web services, mashups, and cloud computing, and platform-as-a-service. He joined the IBM Cloud Labs in 2014 and works closely with Pivotal Inc., to help make the Cloud Found the best PaaS.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
"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.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
The Founder of NostaLab and a member of the Google Health Advisory Board, John is a unique combination of strategic thinker, marketer and entrepreneur. His career was built on the "science of advertising" combining strategy, creativity and marketing for industry-leading results. Combined with his ability to communicate complicated scientific concepts in a way that consumers and scientists alike can appreciate, John is a sought-after speaker for conferences on the forefront of healthcare science,...