Deloitte Digital spent November 7 to 10 at Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, with more than 50,000 participants to look for answers to the questions posed by the tech revolution we’re living in, to share ideas, and to get inspired. Here's a report on the great experience.
Web Summit 2016, Lisbon, Portugal.

Deloitte Digital spent November 7 to 10 at Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, where more than 50,000 tech CEOs, founders, startups, investors, celebrities, and political leaders came together to look for answers to the questions posed by the tech revolution we’re living in, to share ideas, and to get inspired.

On Monday, Deloitte Digital hosted an EMEA meeting from the DD Portugal office, in a charming area of Lisbon and very cool! We were excited to meet our DD Portugal colleagues and check out their new space. Be sure to check out our Facebook album for photos.

Tuesday, we were off and running at Web Summit! Held in the MEO Arena, the conference featured tons of presentations, panels, workshops and sessions with tech leaders from all over the world. Our presence kicked off in the afternoon, with Deloitte Digital Global Lead Mike Brinker, Deloitte Consulting LLP CTO Bill Briggs, Deloitte Digital National Creative Director Nelson Kunkel, and CMO of Deloitte Digital U.K. Jason Warnes emceeing four of the Summit’s very interestingly named main stages for the afternoon.

Mike hosted the Marketing Stage, also known as PandaConf. Highlights of the PandaConf stage included Pete Blackshaw, CDO of Nestle and Reggie Brandford, SVP of Oracle, discussing how marketers can succeed by thinking like startups. Tom Davis, CMO of Forbes, Karin Klein of Bloomberg Beta, and Div Turakia of were interviewed by Jim Cooper of AdWeek on how media makes money. We also saw Jean-Marie Dru of TBWA (he coined the term “disruption”!) talk about paths to innovation for marketers.

Over on the Enterprise Stage, AKA SaaS Monster, Bill Briggs introduced Matt Garratt from Salesforce Ventures, Sean Ryan from Workplace by Facebook, John Suh from LegalZoom and Jeremy Ashley from Oracle discussing a variety of topics that are key to the enterprise, from investing in 2017 to customer service and engagement.

On the CreaTIFF Stage, design professionals and aficionados alike were treated to a host of inspiring and educational talks from style and reason in design and designing at scale to product design, emceed by Nelson Kunkel and featuring Anne Pascual from IDEO, Rasmus Skoldan from Magnolia International, and Oliver Reichenstein from iA International, among others.

And last but not least, on the Auto Tech – Talk Robot stage, Jason Warnes featured Rowan Trollope from Cisco Systems, Jana Rosenmann of Airbus Industrie, and Carl Bass from Autodesk on topics ranging from VR to unmanned aircraft to 3D Printing.

It was a busy day, full of amazing and inspiring talks, panels and debates, and even some celebrity sightings (Shailene Woodley! Joseph-Gordon Levitt! Ronaldinho!). By the end of the day, we had just enough time to put our party clothes on and host clients, media, and colleagues from around the world for cocktails at Silk Club, with its incredible views over Lisbon, followed by dinner at Bico do Sapato on the banks of the Tagus river. Many of our guests and staff participated in Night Summit on Tuesday, with a group heading to O Purista Barbeire, a barbershop that is also a bar (doesn’t seem like a smart idea, in retrospect) in Lisbon’s trendy Bairro Alto neighborhood.

Day two got off to a slow start for those who stayed up late to watch election coverage from the U.S., but we shook off the sleepiness with back-to-back presentations in the Workshop rooms.

First up, our Deloitte Digital U.K. colleagues: Mike Robinson, CTO; Alex Shelkovnikov, corporate venturing & blockchain lead; and Andy Loughran, technical architect, presented an interesting and informative talk on smart identity and how it can change the way identities are managed by people, organizations, and things. The presentation showcased Deloitte’s Smart Identity platform enabled by blockchain technology, which allows users to create, manage, and share elements of identity in a secure way, and lets anyone participate in the future identity ecosystem.

Next, we heard from Nelson Kunkel on designing new realities in AR and VR. In this session, we explored how the role of design has moved from an understanding of visual objects to mastering the art of voice, sound, emotion, and intent, and how to design for the human condition. This was a lively session, with lots of audience participation and questions.

Both workshops were a big success, standing-room-only and with more than 100 participants! Big round of applause to Nelson, Mike, Alex, and Andy.

Alex Shelkovnikov pulled double-duty on Tuesday, not only presenting the Smart Identities workshop, but participating in an incredibly interesting panel with Herman Gref, CEO and chairman of the Executive Board, Sberbank. Alex and Herman discussed how IoT, big data, and biometrics impact not only our personal lives, but our public and professional lives.

Web Summit veteran and all-around superstar Bill Briggs was back at the SaaS Monster stage on Wednesday morning as the morning emcee and a debate participant. He joined Charles Manning from Kochava for a lively debate on technology: does it help or hinder work-life balance? The audience was divided nearly evenly, with half squarely in Camp Hinder and half in Camp Help.

Perhaps the most talked-about events at Web Summit this year were the mentor workshops. Sort of like speed-dating for entrepreneurs, participants were matched up with mentors for 15 minutes (it was timed!) for advice and assistance on everything from how to launch a startup to how to market their products. Nelson Kunkel and Deloitte Digital U.K. CEO Sam Roddick met with participants on Tuesday to offer their advice.

Capping off our participation in Web Summit 2016, Marketing Team leads Elizabeth Kent and Heather Graubard, along with Deloitte Consulting LLP CTO Bill Briggs, joined Paddy Cosgrove, the founder of Web Summit, and other Web Summit partners and speakers to ring the opening bell of the Nasdaq live from Center Stage. The bell ceremony was streamed live in Times Square.

Thanks to everyone who participated in Web Summit from Deloitte Digital and Deloitte member firms! We’ll see you next year in Lisbon. Tchau!