Using mobile phones in Haiti after the earthquake

10 must-see events at #SMWLDN 2015

I’m reporting live from Social Media Week London again this year – covering the official event stream from the conference HQ in Holborn. So don’t worry if you don’t have a conference pass, just follow the #SMWLDN hashtag (or @JemimaG) on Twitter. There are also loads of unofficial (and free) events happening round town.

This year’s theme is Upwardly Mobile: The Rise of The Connected Class. The key question is how can all humans achieve more in a connected world? Fabulous question, but you might be disappointed looking down the schedule trying to find sessions that attempt to answer it. These ten get my vote:

1. Definitely Not Content Tues 15 Sept, 9am: Will Hayward spoke last year. He’s really good. This time he’s talking about the cultural significance of the social web and why why we should all aim higher than “content” marketing.

2. Attracting Diverse and Creative Talent in a World Where No One Wants A Job Tues 15 Sept, 11.30am: I’ll be going to this one mainly for the title. Organised by the very groovy Somewhere HQ.

3. Romance vs Algorithm: The Ultimate Showdown Tues 15 Sept, 5.45pm: I saw Tim Leberecht at this year’s Thinking Digital and he’s inspirational. He argues that in the future, only organisations comfortable with ambiguity and emotion will thrive: a delightful speaker who swims against the tide.

4. Your Phone Is Changing The World Wed 16 Sept, 9am: Well, obvs. But this session is worth it because Tariq Slim is highly entertaining and knows his stuff. He also works for Twitter so likely to share a few insights.

5. Investigative Journalism In A Digital Age Wed 16 Sept, 10.30am: I trained as a journalist in the days when we worked on typewriters and went to libraries to do ‘research’. So can never resist a talk on how digital is transforming the profession. Heidi Blake looks pretty cool – and she works for Buzzfeed (which is shaking up the ‘news’ something rotten).

6. Anti-social: Why Pinterest Is All About the Personal Experience Wed 16 Sept, 12pm: I love Pinterest and it’s definitely a social network but I’m happy to hear Zoe Pearson argue otherwise.

7. The Good Families Guide: Family Is A Group of People Who Miss The Same Imaginary Place Thu 17 Sept, 10:30am: This session promises ‘a masterclass on the state of the nation’s families and how they’re changing’, with a look at the new family structures and values being created. If Tuula Rea and Helen Rose live up to the billing, should be fascinating.

8. How Emoji Are Saving The Panda: Thu 17 Sept, 12:30pm: At last, a session that actually looks addresses the conference theme: how are humans achieving more in a connected world? Hurray for WWF’s Adrian Cockle and his #endangeredemoji campaign.

9. Saving Lives One Like At A Time Thu 17 Sept, 1.30pm: Like the session above, this one stands out in the schedule because it looks at social media for social good: Mark Perkins and Melissa Thermidor talk about the success of #MissingType – their National Blood Week campaign to recruit new donors.

10. Reaching The Connected Consumer Thu 17 Sept, 5.45pm: Facebook’s Ed Couchman reveals the “three seismic shifts in consumer behavior” being witnessed by the world’s number one social platform. I guess we just have to be there.

These ten events are a hand-picked selection from the many taking place at Social Media Week London, which runs throughout this week. You can find the full #SMWLDN schedule here.

Photo: Russell Watkins/ UK Department for International Development. The photo shows two women using a mobile phone in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake. Would have been great to see more on how social and mobile technologies are changing disaster relief, or even something on mobile’s role in the current refugee crisis. Maybe next year…

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