Happy 2017 everyone, or HNY!, as people are saying on social media. We want to wish you a great year, filled with promise and potential.
HNY 2017 from Lisa Devaney’s Bitmoji!
In case you are wondering what we are up to this year, here’s a few things that we have planned:
We’ll continue to be supporting tech startups with public relations services, including working with a few early stage startups that have plans to launch in 2017. We are currently helping to rally beta testers for some of our clients, develop social media presence and begin media relation’s activities. A few clients we work with are still in stealth mode, while they plan their strategy for public debut.
Here on this blog, we’ll be periodically featuring startups from around the world, with our ‘Startup Spotlight’ feature that has proven to be very popular. If you are a startup and would like to be featured, please contact us. We’ll also continue blogging here about happenings from our network, including conferences, events, beta test opportunities from our clients, client launches and more!
At the start of 2017, we are nearly at full capacity for new business, but would love to hear from you if you are interested in pursuing our services. We can always make room for more clients!
Also in 2017, Our Founder & Director Lisa Devaney will be hosting her DIY PR Workshops for Startups & Entrepreneurs for various organizations, including UCL. She’s also serving as a mentor and a non-executive board adviser to a few tech startups.
Look for us elsewhere online, for more current updates, of our Hai Media Group’s activities at:
For years now, the team with Hai Media Group have been watching the news reports about the refugee crisis – and with the headlines, tears result. But what can be done?
With millions (more than 65 million globally according to the UNHCR) fleeing their homelands to try and stay alive and to make a safer better life in other parts of the world – how can anybody help?
During this festive season, rather than buy gifts for our clients or send cards, we are admiring and contributing to the global effort of a group of hard working, generous members of the tech community who are trying to do their part in making a difference to the refugee community with Techfugees. This is a non-profit organization, which aims to bring creativity and innovation to the refugee community, which got its start back in 2015. Organizing conferences, workshops, hackathons and meetups around the world, all in an effort to generate tech solutions that can help refugees.
Joséphine Goube, one of the Directors of Techfugees, told us this week: “Our idea from the start has always been: refugees are human beings, that have lost it all and need to rebuild their lives: friends, family, networks. Technology, because it scales, has the power to make a difference. So let’s do make it happen.”
Techfugees was founded by Editor-At-Large of TechCrunch Mike Butcher, who recently was awarded an MBE, with the Queen’s birthday honours list. Petra Johansson is also a Director.
For the best projects, Techfugees works to implement these in the field.
At the recent TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon, held in London in December 2016, three new projects to aid refugees emerged:
- RefuTweet aims to provide refugees on the move with the help they need by connecting with local individuals sympathetic to their cause.
- ResID: When refugees are in a foreign country they often have very limited papers with text information, papers which can be easily lost or stolen. ResID helps people never lose track of who they are.
- Sensei Hub provides a simple capture mobile app that photographs and records student test papers.
According to Techfugees website, As well as operational goals, such as becoming a sustainable organisation, Techfugees has defined five main focus areas of work where tech can have a significant impact. See these five areas in the infographic below.
Techfugees is even inspiring entrepreneurship among refugees. Hai Media Group especially admires this approach, for its positivity and offering of hope to millions in how they may rebuild their lives in a new community.
It is the festive season of 2016, and a time when many will give. We’ve donated to Techfugees and we hope you will also support this worthwhile organization. You can pledge to a crowdfunding campaign here. Or make a direct donation at the Techfugee website here.
You can also support Techfugees on social media by using the hashtag #Techfugees.
Like the Facebook Page.
Follow on Twitter.
A conference or event is an important place for any up-and-coming tech startup to meet and greet with potential customers, partners and to showcase your thought leadership to an audience, if you can get a speaking opportunity. Among our network there are a few top conferences that tech startups we know are talking about and heading to soon. We thought you’d like to know where and when these happenings are taking place, here in London, and beyond.
Technology: The Innovators
November 2, 2016 (6 PM – 10 PM)
5 Bonhill Street, London EC2A 4BX, UK
Huxley is bringing together a group of passionate technology founders, Investors/VCs and tech start-up enthusiasts for a showcase of the most innovative home grown technology. This will be a true evening of innovation giving you up close and personal access to the next tech unicorn to come out of the UK.
*Sign up on the Eventbrite link to get on the waiting list for this fully booked event, or, watch remotely through a live stream.
November 7-10, 2016
The biggest gathering of tech startups and large companies is happening soon, and it isn’t to late to book a ticket at a discount rate. You’ll get to engage with 50,000+ attendees, 7,000+ CEOs and 15,000 companies from 150+ countries. Described by CNBC as being the “Biggest Event of Its Kind in Europe” and by Bloomberg as being “Davos for Geeks” you’ll not want to miss this business extravaganza.
TechCrunch’s Disrupt London
December 5-6, 2016
With a Startup Battlefield competition, a 24-hour Hackathon, Startup Alley, Hardware Alley and After Parties planned for this conference, it is sure to be a lot of fun and productive.
Dublin Tech Summit
February 15-16, 2017
Leaders, Founder & Influencers shaping technology across the globe will come together for this conference, held across Dublin’s iconic Silicon Docks and in the Convention Centre Dublin, and the two-day event will showcase everything Dublin has to offer to tech startups. Expected are 10,000+ attendants, 50+ world media outlets and 200+ speakers & global investors.
South By Southwest (SXSW)
Austin, Texas, USA
March 10-19, 2017
Famous for being where Twitter launched, among other exciting startup success stories, the tech startup injection at this world famous music and technology conference includes a Startup Village and plenty for the tech-savvy to be informed and entertained by.
May 2-4, 2017
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
USA Today bills this conference as “The anti-CES” and it takes place at the time of Jazz Fest in New Orleans, so you can stay in town for that happening. Jazz fest goes on the weekend before, and after the Collision conference. With 20,000+ attendants, 4,000+ CEOs and 4,500+ companies from more than 50 countries participating, this is a true collision opportunity for building your business.
February 21-22, 2017
Redwood City, California, USA
Google for Entrepreneurs’ StartupGrind says it connects 400,000 founders in more than 200 cities in 85 countries. The annual meet up is a culmination of ongoing monthly events, of which there have been 2,000+ fireside chats since it’s founding in 2010. The event promises to educate, inspire and connect and help entrepreneurs find mentorship, connect to partners and hires, pursue funding and reach new users.
For keeping up with startup conferences and events, here’s a few places to visit and to subscribe to newsletters:
Tech City News
Do you want help positioning your tech startup to win speaking opportunities at conferences worldwide? Get in touch with Lisa Devaney, the founder and director of Hai Media Group, today to discuss a plan of action for your 2017 thought leadership strategy. Email: [email protected]
In 30 years time, the very essence of who we are may shift in directions we can only imagine right now – every visceral emotion and human need from what we eat to how we express love for each other and how we interact with machines is all changing. These far-reaching ideas, and many more, which aren’t just science fiction fantasies, were demonstrated and explored over two days (September 17-18) for innovation foundation Nesta’s FutureFest 2016.
The third year of FutureFest attracted 4,000 people to Tobacco Dock in London and turned the venue into a playground of possibility. Talks from Brian Eno, DJ Spooky, Will Self, Sherry Coutu CBE, Mustafa Suleyman, Ghislaine Boddington (also a curator of Future Love happenings), Ruth Amos, Claire Lomas, Laurie Penny, Anjali Ramachandran, Kate Russell, Pat Kane (who curated the Futre Play programme), Cindy Gallop, Es Devlin, Bill Burnett, Dr. Trudy Barber, Rhyannon Styles and many, many more fascinating speakers, took place, along with a mix of digital art and performances.
What was most striking is the exploration of the absolute most basic of human existence with discussions on how we will all love, play, work and thrive taking centre stage in conversations. While big questions of politics (Caroline Lucas MP with the Green Party participated in this discussion about where things are headed politically), how we’ll use data, combat disease, consider gender identity, and more, were bantered about among the guest experts, their on-stage conversations inspired attendants to tackle monstrous ideas, and debate between themselves about the positive and negative consequences future life may bring.
Some may have found these beyond-the-now explorations a little bit creepy, such as taking a visit to the Love After Death exhibit, where 15 minute conversations with counsellors helped people chart a course for extending your presence, digitally, after you die and discussing how you want your body to be treated post-death. Also for thought exploration was a fertility exhibit about the pros and cons, and questions and concerns, of egg freezing. These topics may make some squeamish or uncomfortable, but are all good for thought provocation, and important, for thinking about future scenarios.
In fact, it is letting your brain tackle sometimes unnerving concepts that leads to amazing innovation, such as was demonstrated in the Cybathlon exhibit where examples of assistive technology and robotics showed how futuristic technology is helping people with disabilities become mobile again. Or, when cyber-athlete Claire Lomas walked onto the stage in a fully robotic exoskeleton. Bravo! This is where the future gets so exciting, and promising.
Cyber-athlete Claire Lomas walks on stage at FutureFest 2016 in exoskeleton. *Photo courtesy of FutureFest
Kicking things off at FutureFest on the Saturday morning, in the mission to push your thinking into new boundaries, was Hannes Sjoblad (a biohacking and human augmentation activist) who led a “Implant Party” on stage by having two volunteers get computer chips inserted into their hands. The chips allow them to interact with digital devices, such as finding lost keys or activating other technologies.
Among the high energy speaker presentations were appearances by Cindy Gallop (an influential woman in the advertising business and founder of IfWeRanTheWorld and MakeLoveNotPorn) who challenged work place structures and gender roles with commentary in sessions that set the room on fire, such as proclaiming “You will never own the future if you care what other people think!” and living up to her reputation of blowing things up, as “the Michael Bay of business”.
Cindy Gallop on the Debate stage at FutureFest 2016
Headlining FutureFest was Brian Eno who discussed the importance of play in learning, and criticized traditional education for turning the process into something that becomes un-fun, when A-Level exams take place. Also a popular speaker was super smart DJ Spooky who offered some interesting insight into how music and technology wrap around the theme of love.
When the futuristic ideas all filled your head to overload, there were plenty of calming places to retreat to, especially the beautiful Collective Reality (an installation by body>data>space), where you could dance and move with others in a space of swirling visuals, or perch on a comfortable bean bag chair and watch professional dancers perform. Or, relax outside the venue and enjoy street food while looking at an old ship docked in the canal.
Dancer Eliza DeLite in Collective Reality at FutureFest 2016
So what does 2030 hold? It is fantastic that Nesta and all the involved partners and organizers and curators provided a place to unleash what is a smorgasbord of inspiring ideas for the future. Much discussed is so far ahead from our known existence today, that it is difficult to visualize the reality, but unless we all think about it, and act toward positive, well-calibrated, outcomes –progress will never happen.
Like they say in Star Trek, FutureFest encourages us “to boldly go where no man (or woman!) has gone before.”
FutureFest 2016 was supported by innovation partner Nissan and the University of Greenwich, Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford, D3 Technologies and EUNIC London.
The two-day event takes place every 18 months and details can be found at: futurefest.org
Twenty years into the future, how we love, work, play and thrive may change drastically, and be enhanced and entwined with technology,
Pat Kane, FutureFest 2016 curator
future thinkers and leaders will discuss at the annual FutureFest, brought to London by Nesta. The event takes place this weekend (September 17-18) and promises to deliver a mind-opening collection of talks, debates and immersive experiences that will get you contemplating far ahead to what’s in store for humanity, and how individuals can alter and influence the course of things to come.
The line-up this year includes music pioneers Brian Eno and DJ Spooky, writing pioneer Will Self, and AI pioneer Mustafa Suleyman – the co-founder of Google DeepMind. Attendants will also hear from must-see radicals like Cindy Gallop, the entrepreneur actively shaking up the workplace gender debate, and Claire Lomas, the cyber-athlete who completed the London Marathon in an exoskeleton. Others on the bill include the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas, MP, and journalists Kate Russell and Bill Thompson and body technologist Ghislaine Boddington.
While visions of the future may be utopian or dystopian, many attending FutureFest will enjoy using their imaginations to explore both scenarios, along with the science that can offer concrete insights of how we are progressing. Research released ahead of FutureFest by Nesta reports that 60% of people in the UK think that technology will improve their future wellbeing. European neighbours, however, revealed more pessimism toward future tech, with French people believing it will lead to unemployment and Spaniards expressing concern it will lead to a breakdown of trust. More details about the research findings are here.
One topic sure to be of interest is how we will love in the future, with Ghislaine Boddington (see her thoughts on this topic here) sharing how we can think toward the most universal of all emotions, exploring what happens to romance, dating, identity and even skin when we move beyond the physical and merge with the virtual, by inviting pioneers, innovators and future thinkers to share their visions. More about the Future Love programme schedule for FutureFest can be found here.
FutureFest happens at The Dock, Tobacco Quay, London. Social media fans can follow the discussion with the hashtag #FutureFest16. Tickets are available from £25 (students) up to £80 for the weekend.
Hai Media Group will be in attendance, live tweeting as talks and debates happen from our Twitter (@HaiMediaGroup) and Instagram (@HaiMediaGroup) channels.
FutureFest 2016: Food for your brain