Taking place in Izola, Slovenia, I am recording reflections at the 16th conference that brings together academics and industrial practitioners from different disciplines, sectors and countries to explore purpose and innovation in technology.
It a began with a drinks reception at Hotel San Simon with conference founder Miha Junkar…
I just gave a keynote on the Technological singularity. I explored the dangers of an emerging technocratic form.of governance in society.
This is a diverse conference, in terms of people and knowledge. Multiple perspectives mske for rich discussion.
Technology can be a journey. I was inspired by the classic poem, Monday’s child…
Technology innovation usually begins with good intentions, creates over-expectation, leading to disappointment and then can (with reflections and more humble inquiry) arrive somewhere more realistic and beneficial, after shared effort. I find the poem reflects that.
We are now listening to a keynote from Uros Novak on innovation in plastics in the context of the environmental problem. There are alternatives to plastics… His question: What can Nature offer us as an alternative to single use plastics?
Conference chair, Josko Valentincic who heads up the Laboratory for Alternative Technologies at the University of Ljubljana works with laser, water and ice jet cutting research pointed out that freedom of choice should be a core principle as we head towards the Technological Singularity.
Now, what is in the box ? Yes! There are alternatives to coffee! Radical innovation can provide fresh alternatives to environmentally toxic products but substitution innovation is also a key possibility. Carrier bags made of sugar ! But also alternatives to carrying food such as local.food box delivery or permanent storage solutions.
Oh yes, the box…
We head to the first coffee break on Day 1…
Then Henri Orbanic reminds us that “creativity cannot be forced” in his talk on managing the innovation process. So what really drives creativity ? Purpose and also people in a creative mindset, who are restless to change something.
An afternoon of more formal presentations. Much of the innovation presented here is radical, and increasingly focused on the environmental agenda.
Virtual reality plays into machine control and the role of ethics in technological development is also represented but only slightly.
A fascinating presentation about capturing movement of autistic children using VR to enhance education. And several on addictive manufacturing and the green agenda and its use in art.
A poem about sunsets, emergence and how the end of the day is the perfect time to let go.
Do you understand how powerful
A gentle sunset can be?
Do you ever feel the magical force
This golden, maroon-wash
Is an is-ness that calls forth no strategy.
It settles for its own soft delight;
And, without an act,
Lays down its challenge to you,
To finally find your gentle self;
The self that moves the cliff-face
Without so much as a glancing touch.
It whispers: “Drop your patterning.
Enjoy the emergent happening.”
Supper on a boat out in the Adriatic.
Here are some audio interviews on the boat with conference presenters…
And my reflections at the end of Day 1…
Many of the presenters are engaged in different kinds of innovation research. I am in discussions with Professor Emil Cotet from the University of Bucharest in Romania about a potential Erasmus project.
He also showed some short films about the use of a virtual app developed by his research team based on a virtual learning and collaboration environment…
It is a virtual building and even city where video, audio, conferencing and collaboration comes together and can take place as an event – a lecture, an exhibition, virtual laptops, virtual classrooms – much more.
Here on Day 2, Henning Ziedler is talking about biobased and biodegradable materials and their use in additive manufacturing. This innovative approach enables upcycling.
Fibrecasting is also used. It is all about environmental approaches to reuse. One application is 3D printing of architectural models.
The end of the second and final day, we reflect on the conference and the importance of interdisciplinary research and how this conference, over the years has brought people from different fields together, different academic fields and different industrial and business sectors. Our KTP associate from Brighton is highlighted by many as an insightful and interesting workshop earlier in the day.
Tomorrow is the Conference Fringe and I’ll piloting some new ideas and exercises about digital skills and innovative practice. How do we ‘hold our own’ in the digital realm- a place of distraction and smartphone addiction ?
Two more interviews…
Joško Valentinčič from the Laboratory for Alternative Technologies, and co-chair of the conference. talking about the ethos of this unique event …
Henri Orbanić from the same lab, talking about innovation…
Saturday – the Conference Fringe
I am leading an experimental workshop on ideas for my new book, the Seven Day Digital Detox. Some of it is based around the following journal article…