#Lift13: the after-action report

I was in Geneva last week for Lift13, the eighth iteration of an annual conference exploring ‘the business and social implications of technological innovation’. I’d tunnelled into last year’s conference with a press pass, and helped Nicolas Nova run a workshop exploring some possible futures at the intersection of nomadic work, mobility and big data, which went something like this …


This year, I gave a talk about 3D printing and design. My first talk to an audience of this size, it was slightly too long and – in retrospect – wildly overambitious, but seemed to go down well. A great learning opportunity and a broad success, particularly you take into account I’d spent most of the preceding fortnight substituting coffee for sleep. I’ll probably get around to putting up the slides at some point, but, in the meantime, you can watch it here.

Much more importantly, I fell into a series of incredible 1-on-1 conversations with gnarly, multi-faceted individuals, and was lucky to be able to bask in the reflected glory of the other speakers. IMO, those talks that worked best tended to approach the question of technology and innovation from an oblique angle, and I want to spotlight a few of my favourites. I’m going to pass on offering any notes or commentary (for now, at least), as I think they speak for themselves.

Venkatesh Rao:

Christopher Kirkley:

Sebastian Dieguez:

And with that out of the way, I can brute force the phantom conference syndrome and reverse culture shock, start processing some of the many new inputs, and get on with the rest of my life.

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