Uh-oh, we're sold out!

But, shed no tears. There are 30 something more reasons to spend the week (Aug 15-19) in Malmö. We call them our side events, but they could just as well be the main events. Semantic schemantics. Go explore the side event program!

If you’re still eager to attend The Conference, sign up for the waiting list and we’ll get in touch if someone cancels their ticket.

What happens on site?

For two days we explore complexity and trends in the digital world of ours. We invite 50 speakers from all over the world from a wide range of disciplines. The sessions are carefully curated to help you connect the dots between the widespread disciplines and topics. Think of it like your favorite arts museum.

On the stages

You can expect everything from brain scientists and activists to marketing experts and cool makers who’ll cover topics like UX, psychology, ai, marketing and so on. In the end, it all comes down to exploring our three main themes: Human behavior, new technology and how to make it happen. 2015, 50 % of the speakers were men.

The Conference

August 16-17
50 speakers
1000 participants
Venue: Slagthuset

Side events

August 15-19
Workshops, masterclasses, festivities arranged by the Malmö community.

20 speakers so far

  • Caroline Sinders (USA) Independent

    Caroline Sinders

    Independent (USA)

    Caroline will be presenting her design thinking methodologies and strategies for using design to combat social media harassment. Her presentation will cover ethnographic and user research strategies, user experience design centered around social media and machine learning within language and conversations.

    Caroline Sinders is an artist and researcher. Her work explores how technology and social media changes, shapes and creates language, culture, fandom, and online harassment, and how to solve complex emotional problems using design.

    As a native New Orleanian, Caroline has been interested in linguistics since an early age. The two languages spoken in Louisiana are English and Cajun, an oral based language that is a variation of French. As a user researcher for IBM Watson, her day job is spent designing software that structures language for chat robots.

    What You'll Learn

    • How to use design thinking methodologies and strategies to combat social media harassment.
    • How to design systems for what can go wrong.
  • Charles Spence (UK) University of Oxford

    Charles Spence

    University of Oxford (UK)

    Charles is speaking in a session on the future of food and will show how design and technology can, and in some cases already do, deliver augmented food and drink experiences. The role of technology in the delivery of multisensory experiences and sensploration will be discussed.

    Charles Spence is an expert in the field of multi-sensory flavour perception, packaging and experience design. Charles is passionate about designing better-tasting, more stimulating, more memorable, and healthier food and drink experiences.

    Charles’ research lies at the interface of modernist cuisine and commercial food and beverage design. Over the past decade he has worked with many of the world’s largest food and beverage companies, including PepsiCo, Diageo, Unilever, Perrier Jouet, Starbucks and at the other end of the spectrum, Michelin starred chefs including Heston Blumenthal, Ferran Adriás and Paul Bocuse.

    What You'll Learn

    • How will technology change the food and beverage landscape in years to come.
    • How citizen science research is changing the food landscape.
    • You’ll never look at a spoon in the same way again.
  • Deborah Harrison (USA) Microsoft Cortana

    Deborah Harrison

    Microsoft Cortana (USA)

    In a session on AI in services Deborah will talk about the process of making an AI feel personal.

    Deborah Harrison is one of the original architects of the personality for Microsoft's digital assistant, Cortana. She crafted the core principles that define Cortana's approach to communication and now helps shepherd those principles as Cortana lights up on other devices, on other operating systems, and in other countries.

    Today, while the field of AI is still in adolescence, we in the industry stand in a brilliant position to shape not only technological innovation but also the culture of conversation between humans and machines. If we approach this task with intention, then people can come to expect civility, connection, humor, transparency, and kindness from their interactions with AI just as surely as they expect the ability to update a calendar or dictate a text.

    What You'll Learn

    • Why designing likeable personalities for AI is important.
  • Fernanda Saboia (BRA) Huge
    Senior Product Strategist

    Fernanda Saboia

    Huge (BRA)

    Fernanda will explore the one-to-one communication trend by looking at the rise of WhatsApp in Brazil, a landscape where one-to-many communication is no longer the preferred way of managing relationships.

    Fernanda Saboia is a Senior Product Strategist at digital agency Huge in Rio de Janeiro, where she develops business, product, and social media strategies for some of the agency's largest clients. Over the course of her career, she has worked with a variety of leading local and global brands including Oi, Vale, Rock in Rio, Globo.com, Whirlpool, and Coca-Cola. Fernanda has spoken at SXSW and holds a degree from PUC-Rio for Communications and Marketing.

    What You'll Learn

    • Why people prefer one-to-one communication.
    • How this trend affects the landscape of digital products.
    • What this means for companies of all types and sizes.
  • Guy Standing (UK) University of London

    Guy Standing

    University of London (UK)

    In a session on new economy Guy is going to talk about the growing precariat and its potential to become the new revolutionary class.

    Guy Standing is Professor of Development Studies at SOAS, University of London, and was previously Professor of Economic Security at the University of Bath, Professor of Labour Economics at Monash University, Director of the ILO’s Socio-Economic Security Programme (1999-2006) and Director of the ILO’s Labour Market Policies Branch.

    He is a founder and co-President of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), an NGO promoting basic income. He has been consultant to many international agencies, including the UNDP, UNICEF, World Bank, European Commission and DFID, as well as governments and trades unions.

    Recent books are A Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens, The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class and Work after Globalization: Building Occupational Citizenship.

    What You'll Learn

    • Why rentiers thrive and work does not pay.
    • The coming precariat revolt.
    • Why a basic income is essential.
  • Henri Bergius (FIN) The Grid

    Henri Bergius

    The Grid (FIN)

    In a session on artificial intelligence Henri will talk about AI websites that design themselves.

    Henri Bergius is an open source content management pioneer. He is the author of the Create.js web editing interface and the NoFlo flow-based programming environment.

    He has been working with web technologies since early '90s. His background is in Midgard, a PHP content management system, and he has authored several popular JavaScript tools and libraries. He also participated as an invited expert in the W3C RDF Web Applications workgroup.

    More recently Henri has focused his development efforts on AI-driven web design on Node.js, most of that written in the NoFlo visual programming environment. The Grid's web design AI is currently in a closed beta.

    What You'll Learn

    • How computers can be taught to do creative work
    • How The Grid's AI creates websites driven by content and purpose
    • How we can reclaim the decentralized, social web
  • Indy Johar (UK) Zero Zero

    Indy Johar

    Zero Zero (UK)

    In a keynote session Indy is going to take on the important task of zooming out, discussing multi stakeholder systems and what a 21st century town hall should look like.

    Indy Johar is an architect, co-founder of Zero Zero (project00.cc) and a Senior Innovation Associate with the Young Foundation.

    Indy, on behalf of 00, has co-founded multiple social ventures from Impact Hub Westminster to Impact Hub Birmingham and the HubLaunchpad.net - Open Venture Accelerator] and has also co-led research projects such as The Compendium for the Civic Economy, whilst supporting several 00 explorations/experiments including the wikihouse.cc, opendesk.cc. Indy is an Advisor to the Earth Security Initiative and a director of WikiHouse Foundation and Civic Systems Laboratory.

    What You'll Learn

    • How do we democratize cities
    • How to do collaborative innovation
    • Why there’s a need for new institutional economics
  • Isha Datar (USA) New Harvest

    Isha Datar

    New Harvest (USA)

    In a session on the future of food Isha is going to talk about making agriculture products from cell cultures rather than whole plants or animals.

    Isha Datar is the CEO of New Harvest, the grantmaking organization accelerating breakthroughs in cellular agriculture since 2004. New Harvest is establishing the industry and academic discipline focused on animal products made without animals by funding early stage research and acting as the convening point for people in the emerging field.

    Isha has a B.Sc in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Alberta and Masters of Biotechnology from the University of Toronto. She has published scientific literature on the "Possibilities of an in-vitro meat production system" in the journal Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies and co-founded a company making milk without cows and another making eggs without hens.

    What You'll Learn

    • Our current systems for producing animal products are a threat to public health, the environment, and animals.
    • Cellular agriculture - making agriculture products from cell cultures rather than whole plants or animals - offers a means to solve the problems associated with conventional intensive animal agriculture.
    • Despite the many benefits, cellular agriculture remains an underfunded area of research.
  • Jemma Xu (CHN) Tripalocal

    Jemma Xu

    Tripalocal (CHN)

    Jemma is going to talk about the Chinese startup scene in our session Global Outlook.

    Jemma Xu is an angel investor and advisor to a number of cross border startups with a focus on China, a market in which she sees enormous opportunities. Jemma is the CEO and co-founder of Tripalocal, an online travel platform focused on bringing authentic local experiences through customized itineraries to Chinese outbound travelers.

    Prior to her startup life, Jemma was an investment banker with Macquarie Group, primarily focusing on M&A and capital raising opportunities in the natural resources sector. Jemma was also a National Executive for the Australia China Young Professionals Initiative.

    Jemma completed a double bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering (Honours) / Commerce from the University of Melbourne in 2011. Jemma also holds an Associate Diploma in Music on Clarinet with Distinction.

    What You'll Learn

    • The current major tech trends in China and segmentation of the Chinese market.
    • Innovation Chinese style (ie mostly in business models) with various local examples.
    • The power of Wechat.
    • Future trends in China. (ie a lot of cross border startups, rather than just Chinese domestic startups)
  • Jessica Brillhart (USA) Google
    Principal filmmaker for VR

    Jessica Brillhart

    Google (USA)

    In our session about VR and storytelling Jessica will tell a cautionary tale of a filmmaker's journey into virtual reality.

    Jessica Brillhart is the principal filmmaker for VR at Google. In 2009, she joined Google's Creative Lab where she spearheaded numerous award winning shorts and documentaries before joining the VR team in 2015.

    Since directing, World Tour – the first VR film made with the Jump ecosystem – Brillhart has continued traveling the world, filming and experimenting, all in an effort to better understand and help inform others about this emergent medium.

    What You'll Learn

    • The emerging language of VR.
    • How to think in world’s instead of frames.
  • John V. Willshire (UK) Smithery

    John V. Willshire

    Smithery (UK)

    Where once a strategy would hold for years, we are now witnessing a world in which a strategy can’t even hold for the time it takes to formulate one. John will talk about how everything keeps changing and discuss how we can learn from the mechanics of the internet to see this as a positive, useful thing.

    John V. Willshire is the founder of Smithery, a strategic design unit based in London since 2011. They help organisations make things people want, rather than making people want things. Their work spans many disciplines, but centres around four areas: Strategy, design, culture, and prototyping.

    Recent projects have included creating a new “Future of The Workplace” platform for Konica Minolta, running collaborative design workshops with maths teachers and programmers for the British Council in Mexico City, developing strategy for The Design Museum’s move to a new building, designing a future strategy game for the global leadership team at Experian, and collaborating with the Bletchley Park Trust on engaging more of the local community.

    What You'll Learn

    • The realisation that the desire for finding fixed patterns disadvantages us in the complexity of the non-replicable internet.
    • An understanding of why instead of one strategy, you need a meta-strategy - a strategy of strategies.
    • The introduction of a macro-method to help you design appropriately given any circumstance.
  • Komal Ahmad (USA) Copia

    Komal Ahmad

    Copia (USA)

    In our session about the future of food Komal will talk about how to solve what she calls the world's dumbest problem, food waste.

    Komal was first deeply struck by the issues of poverty, homelessness, and hunger while a student at UC Berkeley. Coming in contact with impoverished and hungry veterans hit home, as she was training to become an officer in the Navy upon graduation. The realization of a solution in the ever present food waste problem bred a determination to make food more equitably accessible. This led to the founding of Copia, an on-demand platform that enables those with excess food, currently businesses and event organizers, to easily schedule regular and on-demand pickups of their excess food and have it instantly delivered to communities in need. With technology, Copia eliminates hunger while reducing food waste.

    Through Copia, Komal has recovered over 820,000 pounds of food, feeding over 700,000 people (enough to feed the entire country of Luxembourg), and saving businesses over $4.6M. Copia is on its way to feeding 1 million people this year, and as a result was recently named one of the top 3 hottest startups run by women in the U.S. and one of the top 8 startups at Y Combinator.

  • Leah Reich (USA) Slack
    User/UX Researcher

    Leah Reich

    Slack (USA)

    In a session on how companies can do good Leah is going to talk about empathy, and the importance of stepping out of one’s perspective to understand others.

    Leah Reich is a writer, ethnographer and researcher based in Berkeley. Her work explores the intersection of the universal and the personal – how each illuminates the other, and how they both help us navigate the challenges of being human.

    A long-time essayist and columnist, Leah currently writes an advice column for The Verge called "How To Be Human." She works at Slack as a senior user researcher, where she was brought on in part to develop a deeply human qualitative user research practice and discipline. She draws on her industry experience and the experience she gained as an ethnographer while working toward her PhD in sociology.

    What You'll Learn

    • How to learn about other people
    • How to establish an empathetic company culture
  • Liam Young (UK) Tomorrows thoughts today

    Liam Young

    Tomorrows thoughts today (UK)

    Through his talk "Hello, City!" Liam Young will take you on a tour in a driverless taxi through a network of software systems, autonomous infrastructures, ghost architectures, anomalies, glitches, and sprites, searching for the wilds beyond the machine. This performance is an audio-visual expedition to a city found somewhere between the present and the predicted, the real and the imagined, stitched together from fragments of real landscapes and designed urban fictions. Set in the Chinese-owned and -controlled Detroit Economic Zone (DEZ) and shot using laser scanners, the film presents this near-future city through the eyes of the robots that manage it.

    Commissioned by Abandon Normal Devices/Chicago Architecture Biennial and reimagined for The Conference, Hello, City! is a live performance of Where the City Can’t See*, the world’s first fiction film made entirely from data (directed by Liam Young and written by fiction author Tim Maughan). The computer vision of Google maps, urban management systems and CCTV surveillance are now fundamentally reshaping urban experience and the cultures of our city. Shot without any human intervention, we see through the eyes of the robots that are in charge.

    What You'll Learn

    • We will examine the implications of new technologies on the future of the city.
    • We will look at the latest developments in smart city technologies and how they have evolved.
    • We will look at how film, fiction and storytelling can be used as critical tools to understand and speculate on the future.
  • Marcela Sapone (USA) Alfred

    Marcela Sapone

    Alfred (USA)

    In a session about empathy Marcel will talk about how to make sure a company is being empathetic all the way down to its business model.

    Marcela Sapone is the Co-Founder and CEO of Hello Alfred. She is a thought leader in the sharing economy and human-centric, tech-enabled hospitality. The Secretary of Labor and The White House have highlighted her thinking on job creation by startups and she was one of Goldman Sachs' Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs, the face of consumer tech in Forbes 30 under 30, and the 2014 winner of TechCrunch Disrupt SF. Marcela has an MBA from Harvard Business School with distinction and spent time at Mckinsey, Bridgewater, and American Securities.

  • Michael Krona (SWE) Malmö University
    Senior Lecturer and researcher

    Michael Krona

    Malmö University (SWE)

    In a session on extremist communication, Michael will present his findings from almost two years of researching the scope of narratives in Islamic State propaganda, with an emphasis on how this knowledge can contribute to improve contemporary counter-strategies online.

    Michael Krona is a media scholar, holds a PhD in Media and Communication studies and works as a Senior Lecturer at Malmö University. He is an expert on media activism in the Middle East, with international publications about the role of social media for political change during the Arab Spring. Since 2014 he's been studying Islamic State propaganda as communication strategies for recruitment and radicalization.

    What You'll Learn

    • How extremist organizations communication strategies have developed since 9/11.
    • How Islamic State religious violence is mediated and the role of different media technologies in this process.
    • How an enhanced knowledge may contribute to a more efficient counter-strategy online
  • Michelle Mederos (USA) Facebook
    Product Designer

    Michelle Mederos

    Facebook (USA)

    In a session about online harassment, Michelle Mederos will talk about the challenges of designing for women’s online safety, particularly in emerging markets.

    As a Product Designer at Facebook, Michelle creates products around women’s moments of struggle, uncertainty and vulnerability in order to prevent and mitigate negative experiences. Her work focuses on problems that take place both in an online space and the real world, such as "unwanted contact" and other forms of harassment.

    Previously Michelle studied mechanical engineering at Stanford University, but fell in love with product design after realizing the wider cultural impact of socially conscious products, like the Hippo Roller. She is also a lecturer at Stanford University and helps teach an undergraduate class on people-centric design research techniques.

    What You'll Learn

    • How to design with empathy.
    • How to create culturally responsive projects.
  • Nazanin Daneshvar (IR) Takhfifan

    Nazanin Daneshvar

    Takhfifan (IR)

    In the global outlook session, Nazanin is going to give an introduction of how it is to run a start-up in Iran.

    Like most of her peers, Nazanin Daneshvar left her country to look for opportunities abroad after graduating university. At the age of 26 she decided to go back home to launch her own start-up in Tehran.

    Undeterred by sanctions and Iran's declining economy, she saw a great opportunity and founded Takhfifan, Iran's first group-buying website. Over the last four years Takhfifan has grown organically, to become one of Iran's fastest growing start-ups, a success story that has received widespread recognition both nationally and internationally. Today, millions of Iranians are shopping at Takhfifan to buy anything from half-price meals at popular restaurants to the latest fashion accessories at unbeatable prices. Nazanin's story is remarkable in many ways, she is undoubtedly one of Iran's most highly acclaimed entrepreneurs and serves as an inspiration to aspiring female leaders.

    What You'll Learn

    • Iranians are used to dealing with adversity, it is possible to achieve goals anyway.
    • Women in Iran have more rights than you may think: they can lead companies.
    • Starting a company in Iran requires the knowledge and help of locals.
  • Sha Hwang (USA) Nava
    Information Designer

    Sha Hwang

    Nava (USA)

    Sha will bring his experience designing for both the tech industry and the government to talk about the incentives, responsibilities, and implications of both.

    Sha Hwang is an information designer whose work focuses on designing complex systems while staying human. Sha is a cofounder of Nava, a team formed as a part of the efforts to fix HealthCare.gov that now works with government agencies to radically improve their services.

    A failed architect and accidental entrepreneur, Sha has worked with clients such as the New York Times, the Harvard Library Lab, MTV, Flickr, and Adobe. Previous to Nava, Sha worked at Stamen Design in San Francisco, and later co-founded the visualization and mapping startup Movity, the generative jewelry company Meshu, and the physical gif printing company Gifpop.

    What You'll Learn

    • How tech companies enhance or subvert systemic abuse.
    • Who gets disrupted when disruption happens.
    • How policy shapes technology, and vice versa
  • Tricia Wang (USA) Constellate Data

    Tricia Wang

    Constellate Data (USA)

    To open The Conference Tricia Wang will talk about the importance of not being fooled by the promise of the one truth.

    Tricia Wang is a global technology ethnographer with more than 15 years’ experience working with designers, engineers, and scientists, Tricia has a particular interest in designing human-centered systems. She advises organizations on integrating “Big Data” and what she calls Thick Data — data brought to light using digital age ethnographic research methods that uncover emotions, stories, and meaning — to improve strategy, policy, products, and services. Tricia Wang is a global technology ethnographer and co-founder of Constellate Data.

    When not working with organizations, she spends the other half of her life researching online anonymity and the bias towards the quantifiable. Recognized as a leading authority on applied research, human-centered design, social media, and Chinese internet culture.

    Tricia spoke at The Conference both 2012 and 2013. She was a participator 2014 and 2015. We’re super happy to have her back to open our eyes on what truths technology can’t tell.

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