Have you ever wanted to change the world through digital technologies? Over 100 participants had this in mind when they descended upon Imperial College London last weekend to take part in the UK’s first Urban Prototyping (UP London) Hackathon.
Multi-disciplinary teams of developers, programmers, technicians and designers competed for a chance to win over £100,000 worth of awards including up to £80,000 cash in follow on funding. Teams were challenged to create a technology based prototype that would result in real-world changes to either the environment, local economy or local community.
But what is a Hackathon?
Simply put, a Hackathon allows teams of hackers to ‘hack’ large data sets (such as weather / transport / traffic data) over a short amount of time, in this case one weekend.
Tuesday 22 May 2012, Crayon London
By Koen van Dam
After previously attending the Internet of Things Meetup Meetup #6, it was only a matter of time before DCE would return to another edition of this informal get-together of a community focused on machine to machine communication, open data and trying to change the world. For IoT Meetup #8 the talks had a smart city/smart home/energy focus.
Before the three speakers gave their short presentation sparking off some interesting debates, Owen Davies explained the recent rebranding of Pachube to Cosm. In addition to providing a fresh new design and a name which is easier to pronounce (no more feeling smug hearing other people struggle with this after finally getting it right yourself), the new website wants to offer users more than just a place to store their data to be processed elsewhere.
Wednesday 28 March 2012, Crayon London
By Koen van Dam and Claire Thorne
The “Internet of Things”, the vision of a world where physical objects are connected and part of a world-wide information network, has been a buzzword for more than a decade now. With the widespread use of smart phones, the availability of cheap sensors and microcontrollers and the rise of data sharing platforms such as Pachube (pronounced as “patch bay”), groups of enthusiastic people are working on making this idea come true and developing business plans taking advantage of the recent momentum.
In cities around the world people are gathering at monthly “IoT Tech Meetups”: informal, evening discussion groups with speakers presenting their work/ideas/businesses.
Tuesday 6th March, Imperial College Business School
By Antoine Vernet
Anthony Finkelstein, dean of the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at UCL and a professor of Computer Science was at Imperial College Business School on March 6, to give a talk entitled “Engineering Challenges of the Digital Economy”. His talk addressed discrepancies between technical issues of software development and the necessity to address consumer demand and to build sustainable business models for software companies.
The discipline of software engineering needs to rise to the challenges presented by the digital economy. In his talk, Anthony Finkelstein addressed 10 challenges facing software engineering in the digital economy.
Wednesday 8th March, Imperial College Business School
By Richard Foulsham
Lem Lasher, as Group President of Global Business Solutions and Chief Innovation Officer of CSC is in a unique position to assess the influences upon and potential future direction of the digital economy, having both the analytical capabilities of a leading edge consultancy and a business that’s involved in the day to deployment of IT around the world within his remit.
During this lecture he shared with us some of the “points of view” that his organisation has developed around “next practice”, likely developments that clever players in the IT market can use to gain an advantage, and identified some of the areas that he thinks will grow and become important as the digital revolution gets underway.
Driving New Business Development: From Insights to Innovation
18:30-19:30, 22nd November 2011, Imperial College Business School
Blog by Richard Foulsham
The world has changed. A company like Ericsson cannot rely on developing its current technology to generate income in the future. That was the message that Magnus Karlsson, Director, New Business Development & Innovation at Ericsson left us with when he came to deliver a distinguished guest lecture at Imperial College Business School. We are moving towards a networked society. It is becoming cheaper and cheaper to connect ‘things’ to the internet and along with this diversity of things come a far wider number of participants and a consequent breakdown of traditional industry boundaries.
‘Fast and Happy’ – The Google Viewpoint
Matt Brittin, Vice President, Google– Northern & Central Europe
18.30 – 19.30, 10 November 2011, Imperial College Business School
Blog by Andrew Fletcher
Moving towards a world where everything will be connected all of the time; it will undoubtedly become more common to see presentations streamed from the cloud. However, Matt Brittin decided to take a high risk strategy by relying on internet connectivity on his phone and web browser to do a series of live demos of Google’s products. The result was certainly impressive. Frequently reciting the mantra ‘fast and happy,’ Matt explained the guiding principles behind one of the world’s largest brands, where even experimenting with different shades of blue for text links can shave fractions of a second off our searches.
Our future digital economy: Creative ownership in a post-scarcity world
19:00 – 20:00, 31 October 2011, Imperial College Business School
Blog by Sherry Morris and Andrew Fletcher
The third Tech City Talk, hosted by Imperial College Business School and the Guardian’s Tech Weekly team focused on intellectual property and copyright, building on the Hargreaves review commissioned by the Government – ‘Digital Opportunity’.
Introduced as part of an administration that was somewhat unique in having had a technology agenda from the get-go, Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, empathized with the need to balance protecting content creators, whilst also enabling innovators, since it was embodied within his role.
Our Future Digital Economy: If You Build It, Will They Come?
18:30-19:30, 24th October 2011, Imperial College Business School
Blog by Sherry Morris and Andrew Fletcher
The second of four Tech City Talks, hosted by Imperial College Business School and the Guardian’s Tech Weekly team focused on whether Government intervention in Tech City / Silicon Roundabout have been beneficial, and how it fits with other clusters and interventions.
Asked if Tech City was simply a brand to attract investment or whether the Government wants to invest in companies on the ground, Eric Pickles, secretary of state for communities and local government, made it clear direct government investment in companies would be the ‘kiss of death.’
Our Future Digital Economy: Who Will Build It?
18:30-19:30, 10th October 2011, Imperial College Business School
Blog by Andrew Fletcher
Launching a series of talks on different aspects of Tech City, the Guardian’s Tech Weekly team brought together a panel at Imperial College Business School to discuss the big issues.
Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts, kicked things off by highlighting the need to inspire people into Computer Science. This was a theme which was re-visited throughout the evening; How can we create the ‘Brian Cox effect’ in the digital economy? Turing was picked out as an inspiration, and with his centenary year coming up there is perhaps an opportunity there to inspire and bring on the future digital economy generation.