— blending the mix

Thinking Digital 2010 – Day 1


Wow, what a day, it’s 1.40am and the energy that has persisted throughout the day has almost dissipated. Still, if I was Rory Sutherland, I’d probably still be wide awake and regaling audiences with some painfully witty insights into the human condition!

What a day, and one which I wish you could all experience. Thinking Digital does, unlike many conferences, gets you thinking about this wonderful new digital world in which we live.

This isn’t your conventional crap about new age of consumer control and social networks, this is about a hugely diverse group of people who are helping shape our world with incredible vision, observations and above all, imagination. If you didn’t make it this year, I compel you to get your tickets next week (or within the next few days anyway).

In short, today we had:

Rory Sutherland talking about behavioural economics – not your wooly, enthusiastic amateur-sociologist Rory. He’s one of the most entertaining, compelling and credible people I have ever heard speak.

The hugely entertaining, Luis von Ahn, the guy who invented the captcha image, telling the story about how each time you type captcha text you are really, actually, helping to digitise a book.

Brian Solis who talked about contextual networks and relationships (really fascinating stuff when you consider personalisation of the web experience thanks to what Facebook is doing/did with our privacy settings these last 2 weeks.)

Quite the most spectacular display or Origami I PROMISE you will ever have seen from Robert Lang. He explained how, post-NASA, he decided to apply proper maths to Origami to enable him to create some spectacular works of art.


Julian Treasure from The Sound Agency, who work to help businesses understand the impact of noise on their sales, productivity, happiness etc. From a somewhat “what on earth is this guys going to talk about”, Julian turned his talk into a really compelling and exciting (and involved) journey into how sounds affects out mental state. I now feel guilty typing this as I listen to Spotify…


We also hosted a small lunch session with Brian which, from the feedback we’ve had so far was really well received.

(there was actually some other really good speakers today, but a Clayton and Solis-induced hangover prevented me from lifting my head off the pillow before 9am…and I do have a 2-week old son so I think I have a pretty decent excuse…) Check out Wadds’ blog for a much more detailed view of things.

Herb, you and the gang have pulled it off again. Thought-provoking, interesting and utterly enjoyable.

See you all tomorrow…


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