This year’s Digital Tech Conference once again brought together over 600 people on November 30th at the Rennes Opera (France). Amazon, Google, Meetic and Mozilla were among the speakers present at this edition dedicated to voice assistants, food and love tech. For the first time, all of the conferences were bilingual.
28 speakers, over 600 attendees and more than 1,400 tweets*: La Digital Tech Conference has once again proven itself to be a major event in the French digital and technological ecosystem! The bold blend of the historical character of the Rennes Opera and the exploration of emerging trends continues to seduce a highly varied audience of entrepreneurs, researchers, students and other participants who all share a strong interest in technology. “Pondering on these cutting-edge technologies in a location that underscores the value of our cultural heritage adds “soul” to the unique event that is La Digital Tech Conference,” says Jérôme Tré-Hardy, President of La French Tech Rennes St Malo. And why did we choose these three topics for this year’s edition? “We found it highly stimulating to simultaneously address topics pertaining to the traditional economy – such as food or love tech – and to new solutions such as voice assistants,” Jérôme Tré-Hardy explains. This program is conducive to encounters between audiences that don’t normally meet, on topics that are as important for the economic world as for our daily lives. In fact, the Digital Tech Conference exactly corresponds to our role on the local territory!”
Woven into the programming of this 4th edition is the vision promoted by the futurist and humanist Rudy de Waele. “The age of awareness”, or how to find meaning in technology, whether from the consumers’, manufacturers’ or innovators’ perspective. And this transformation is already underway, with the famous generation of the Millennials, who question and commit to everything they do.
On the digital food table, Yael Rozencwajg contributed her insights on blockchain in the agri-food industry, from agricultural production to the supply chain. Thierry Graffagnino and Philippe Goldman – with their pizza-making robot ‘Pazzi’ – then shared with us a ‘slice’ of what tech can contribute to our daily meals. And the way to one’s heart may be through one’s stomach… but that is not the only way that love ties in with digital. Iris de Villars shared her analysis of love tech innovations and her thoughts on those who are ‘sexcluded’ – people with handicaps, seniors, or even couples, as SexTech remains terribly individualistic. Polly Rodriguez, who travelled all the way from New York for the occasion, completed this panorama with an optimistic message of “sexpowerment” [so many neologisms!] aimed at women. On these two topics, two highly animated battles created opportunities for some juicy confrontations of opinions that most certainly left audiences feeling satisfied.
In the media spotlight these last few months, voice assistants also raise the question of meaning. What better interpreters could we ask for than Nicolas Maynard (Amazon), Jean-Philippe Bécane (Google), Alexandre Lissy (Mozilla Foundation), Xavier de Baillenx (Meetic) and Yann Lechelle (Snips) on the main stage of the Opera to help us understand their significance?
Technological reflections and futuristic imaginings are not incompatible; in fact, La Digital Tech Conference is determined to prove the contrary! Computer Orchestra, an astonishing orchestra composed of 10 computers and a (human 🙂 ) conductor looked right at home in the prestigious Breton music venue. The electronic interlude by 16 Pineapples – a musical installation composed of connected pineapples – also led the audience down a path of techno fantasy become reality, accompanied by fruity notes. And the performance of the contemporary dancers Fragment(T) brought us where our minds rarely venture, combining sound, bodily movements and cosmically austere images.
The hosts’ energy – sometimes serious, and sometimes humorous – and an audience bewitched, amused, dumbfounded or even thrown off balance, were the cherry on top of this event whose perfection can only be topped by… the next edition!
In the words of Xavier, Nicolas, Audrey, etc.
Xavier de Baillenx confirms: “The Rennes Opera stage is magical, and the location is incredible. La Digital Tech Conference is a professional, yet relaxed event… and the audience is captivated!” Philippe Goldman, also a speaker, adds: “This event has an international outlook, the speakers are outstanding, and the organization is well structured. Bravo!” As for the audience, the participants seem to be equally taken with the ‘Digital Tech recipe’: “This event opens up new opportunities in sectors that might seem to already be widely explored – love and food. But what I’ve taken away is that we must not back down in the face of the Internet giants, because there is still space that remains to be occupied, including in emerging technologies such as digital assistants,” says Nicolas Desmons, project manager at ARCEP (the French independent administrative authority in charge of post and electronic communications regulation). The marketing manager at the French startup Ubiflow, Audrey Lepeigneul, adds: “Nearly all of the speakers placed users at the heart of their projects… and that’s most likely the reason for their success! Their backgrounds and testimonies are very inspiring.” This sentiment was echoed by Marie Le Bourdennec, the digital communication manager of the real estate group Launay, who also brought up a topic that was omnipresent throughout the day: “It’s becoming clear that today, innovation comes from consumers, from people like you and me. But now we need to make sense of this phenomenon…”
Relive the concentrated brainstorm that is Digital Tech in VIDEO (2 minutes)
Consider this crazy day through the sharp eyes of our PHOTOGRAPHER Laurent Guizard
A REPLAY please! Or perhaps several ! 🙂
Go back to the future with TWITTER MOMENTS created just for you! [mostly in French]
* Visibrain data