South Summit 2018
From October 3-5, HumanSurge attended the South Summit Conference in Madrid, which hosted hundreds of innovators, businesses and startups. Marketed as a startup festival, there were multiple stages throughout the arena for attendees to choose which talks and presentations they wanted to go to. Additionally, there were booths for startups that were set up throughout the venue for attendees to get more information and test different products.
The events boasted a variety of speakers such as Paul Misener, Vice President of Amazon, Jeanette J. Epps, an astronaut from NASA, and Toni Nadal, former manager of Rafael Nadal, and none other than the President of Spain, Pedro Sanchez. The variation of speakers based on their backgrounds and careers created diverse panels and discussions, and ensured that there was something for everyone at the conference.
There were more than 100 talks and presentations given over the course of the three days, which meant that people were constantly on the move from one venue to the next. The talks were often short, with some being only 15-30 minutes, so this gave you more time to go to the different rooms and listen to different speakers. Although there were so many interesting talks, our two favorite were “Learning How to Learn” with keynote speaker Barbara Oakley, and “Technology, Humanity and Digital” with members of Edtech. As with many other talks that we heard, these talked about the importance of incorporating technology in growing your business, and how technology can be used to enhance our overall learning experience.
Of the seven different stages, our personal favorite was the Englighted stage, which hosted many educators, entrepreneurs and humanitarians. The different speakers discussed the importance of continued education and awareness so that your business, ideas and life can flourish, and also talked about how technology can help in the future of the humanitarian field.
With all of the conferences going on, it was easy to forget that one of the main aspects of the conference was a startup competition, and on the last day the top startups were recognized. Out of the thousands of applicants and participants, it was narrowed down to the top five startups with winners in categories such as Most Scalable, Most Disruptive, and Best Team. Ultimately the winner was awarded the opportunity to go to California to compete in an even bigger startup event, with the chance of winning $1 million dollars in investments.
Overall, this startup festival was a great place for listening to different speakers and learning about a variety of topics, from tech, to startups to education. Arguably the biggest downside was that even though there were hundreds of people at the events, it seemed less about making new connections and more about listening and learning about how to advance your business and ideas. That said, it was a well-organized event and well worth the trip if you’re interested in innovation and where the future of technology is headed.
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