Attending Collision in Toronto is a bit of a whirlwind experience. With 25,711 registered attendees from 125 countries and 730 speakers across 15 tracks, there is no shortage of inspiring people with incredible ideas.
I was also pleased to be a part of this statistic: 45.7% of attendees of this year’s event are women -- a 3.2% increase over last year.
Here’s what else I learned on day one of Collision:
Technology making creativity harder?
Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt kicked things off with an interesting point on how today’s social channels are stunting creativity. He believes people are creating content based on likes, shares, new followers, etc., and discussed the need for new technology that allows people to collaborate in more creative ways. “We need platforms that measure meaningful creative processes, not metrics,” said Gordon-Levitt, who is also the founder of HITRECORD, an open online community for creative collaboration.
Managing the “Techlash”
Our own John Saunders took to the PandaConf stage to discuss how technology companies can better manage their reputation in an age of heightened scrutiny. He discussed the recent “Techlash” brought on by increased privacy invasions, personal information theft and a growing fear of AI-related workplace disruption. John ultimately believes that technology has changed our world for the better and that tech companies can rebuild public trust through working directly with government, industry and academia, and investing in building relationships.
Rise of the challenger bank
Denis Barrier, Co-Founder and CEO of Cathay Innovation, and Chris Britt, CEO of Chime, held an informative fireside chat on the future of financial services. The two discussed the growing competition between traditional banks and tech companies, citing how digital advancement has helped people better manage their financial health in many ways: spending, saving, borrowing, investing. They also stressed three must-haves for any financial services technology: transparency, authenticity, and most importantly, a free user experience.
Conquering the app store
Kristen Garcia Dumont, CEO of MZ and creator of the hit game “Game of War: Fire Age”, stressed the need for more diversity in mobile gaming while sharing tips for prevailing in the cut-throat world of monetized apps. In order to innovate and break through the noise, Dumont believes developers need to be at the forefront of the game’s initial creation, pivot in real time, and push seamless app updates.
Solving our planet’s biggest challenges
Collision’s Planet : tech stage featured speakers examining some of the most pressing problems facing our society and our world. In an illuminating panel discussion, Chelsea F. Briganti, CEO of LOLIWARE, said she believes “there is profit for doing good for the ocean” and that social entrepreneurship can be part of the solution. Dianna Cohen, CEO of Plastic Pollution Coalition, also discussed the need for businesses to create and publicize trash-reducing incentives for customers, such as specials for those who bring their own mug to a coffee franchise.
Everything above is just a small taste of all the smart ideas being shared at Collision. I’ll be posting another recap of day three, so please check back tomorrow.