More than 3,000 industry professionals met in Montpellier to debate the crucial issues shaping the digital economy
IDATE’s annual international conference has taken hold as one of the rare opportunities for frank and open discussion on the economic and strategic issues that digital innovation stakeholders are grapplingw ith. The success of this 37th edition confirms the importance of having a premier annual event in France and in Europe to debate the shared evolution of the Internet, telecoms and digital media industries, and the many sectors now entering a new stage in their digital transformation.
François Barrault stressed that, “with the dramatic circumstances that marked this year’s edition, we were especially touched by the presence of all of the invited speakers who travelled from the four corners of the globe to be here, and by the loyalty of the participants who made the event such a success. So I would like to extend our warmest thanks to each and every one of them”.
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The DigiWorld Summit’s popularity has not waned. Attendance was strong once again for this 37th
edition, with more than 1,200 participants on hand (a 3% increase over last year) to debate the issues with 120 invited speakers, during plenary sessions devoted to the core theme of “Digital first”, and at the many thematic forums: Connected things, TV & Video, Future networks: the Gigabit era, Future networks: virtualisation, Video games, Smart city and Digital economy.
But it was the quality of the speakers and their talks that made this such an outstanding year, along with the involvement of IDATE experts whose job was to provide context and perspective on each of the topics. If it is impossible to provide a full account of many points of view expressed during the two days of the DigiWorld Summit, we will cite as noteworthy the debate between Sébastien Soriano, Chairman of French telecom regulator, ARCEP, who called for a rebalancing of the
regulation governing telcos and the Internet giants, saying, “to regulate the barbarians, regulation needs to be barbaric,” whereas Bruno Lasserre, Chairman of France’s Competition authority, in theory prefers not to impose regulations on the Internet which is a still untapped source of innovation, and because, “we do not regulate in the name of economic protectionism”. Another highlight was the keynote from the representative of Youku Tudou, often called the Chinese YouTube, which surprised everyone with the power and originality of its business model, and which has announced the launch of a European version in Q1 2016, starting in France, Germany and the UK. Also noteworthy were much talked
about contributions from Airbnb, Booking.com, Sigfox and the LoRa alliance, IBM, Telefonica, SFR and Orange, along with newcomers to our event, now in the throes of a major digital transformation, including General Electric, Legrand, SEB and TV networks such as the BBC, France Télévisions and TDF…
This year was also an opportunity to place the DigiWorld Summit firmly at the heart of DigiWorld Week. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales travelled to Montpellier as our special guest and to talk about the power of crowdsourcing, which does note need massive spending on marketing to succeed and continue to deliver an open approach, such as providing free access to the famous digital encyclopaedia in Africa thanks to partnerships with mobile operators. A week devoted to all things digital that played host to more than 3,000 industry professionals and over 300 speakers at some 40 events of all
shapes and sizes (symposiums, workshops, hackathons, one-on-one meetings, exhibits, etc.), exploring a wide range of topics and formats: the Internet of Things, e-health, smart agriculture, video games, speed recruiting, start-up marathon, design applications, the digital arts… A hugely popular event that has helped to confirm the Languedoc-Roussillon region and Montpellier, its French Tech city, as a vibrant hub on the global digital industry map.
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The first edition of the DigiWorld Awards, hosted in partnership with Business France and La French Tech, capped off the week’s events by throwing the spotlight on start-ups created by French entrepreneurs outside of France. And the winners were: Sharalike (USA), Locarise (Japan), Powertime (South Africa) and Fruition Sciences (Special Jury Prize, France).
on the 2015 DigiWorld Summit plenary sessions, forums, exhibitions and evening events: