Introducing Travel Tech Con
, an independent conference organized by a group of travel startup founders who share a common passion of moving the travel industry forward. Now in its first year, the event this month spanned over two days, the first of which had 15 startups present at the Plug & Play Center
in Sunnyvale California. Day two focused on players in the world of travel tech addressing what needs to change in the next ten years to bring an industry with an antiquated infrastructure up to what consumers expect in 2016 and beyond.
Photo credit: EMaze.
From Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, the Internet of Things, Big Data, Open Travel Standards, Automotive Innovations and more, we heard from Adobe’s Head of Global Industry Strategy & Marketing for Travel & Hospitality Mohammad Gaber, Emergent VR’s Peter Wilkins on the future of VR and Travel, OSLET’s Gadi Bashvitz on using personalization to drive conversions, Chute’s Ranvir Gujral on AI, GEIOS’ Michael Frischkorn talked about using IoT to help travelers create more memories, and Roomstorm’s Maksim Izmaylov talked standards, a necessary for efficient global communication.
There was also an interesting panel on emerging automotive tech which was addressed…
Putting a dent in the future — isn’t that a compelling idea? And, what’s even more compelling is that it means such different things to different people and why the eclectic DENT Conference
in Sun Valley Idaho
, is so unique. From technologists, entrepreneurs and scientists, to artists, astronauts and Olympic Gold medalists, people gather around to hear radical new ideas, learn from the best of the best
and share their best practices, all under the roof of the Sun Valley Inn, a stone’s throw from Baldy Mountain
and incredible skiing, even in the Spring.
The brain child of Seattle-based Steve Broback
and Jason Preston
, DENT is now in its fourth year and my third year of attending, DENT’s format is a mix of educational, interactive and thought provoking, with un-conference break-out sessions, fireside chats and general talks.
Since the backbone of the conference stems from the technology community, it seemed fitting that American futurist and author Amy Webb
would speak. As the Founder of the Future Today Institute and an Adjunct Professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, she dabbles in a lot of projects. She asks us wryly: “What happens
A foreclosed building might either be viewed as a fiscal setback or future opportunity. In Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, a once vacant 30,000-square-foot warehouse has been turned into a cooperative workspace focusing on locally-driven economic growth. It’s called Ponyride.
Founded by Detroit restaurateur Phillip Cooley and overseen by a board of entrepreneurs and urban developers, Ponyride provides studios and co-working spaces at inexpensive rents to small business owners (it also has an artist residency program) that give back to the area through products and opportunities.
Ponyride’s tenants are as diverse in expertise and skill sets as their goods and services are: designers, blacksmiths, roasters, musicians. During a visit to Detroit, I took a tour of Ponyride and got to see the various studios and workshops and catch their tenants at work. Here, I’ll spotlight some of the occupants that particularly touched me.
Smith Shop produces decorative and functional works of metal and iron. Photo via Smith Shop’s Facebook page
1. Smith Shop
Full on metal work that’s both ornamental and functional is being assembled here. Materials such as steel, brass and coper are used to create jewelry, belt buckles and household…
I’ve been fortunate to be involved in TEDxBerkeley
for six years now, a non-profit independently organized TEDx
event which takes place at Zellerbach Hall
every February. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience and there have been close to 15,000 of them worldwide since the initiative began. Each year, TEDTalks video and live speakers spark deep discussion and connection to a pack-filled auditorium of over 2,000 attendees.
Sixteen innovative and thought provoking speakers who are trying to change the global conversation about important issues such as healthcare, gender equality, education and privacy to technology, medicine, life balance, water safety and the search for extraterrestrial life brought tears and laughter to attendees over eight hours, all of which was live streamed from their website on February 6. In between heady and emotional talks, over 50 performers hit the Zellerbach stage, ranging from Bollywood and an inspiring cello group to piano, guitar and violin tapping tunes and gospel music.
Entrepreneur and philanthropist Naveen Jain
, who I’ve known for years from our mutual involvement in Singularity University, talked about the difference we can make in the world if we embrace more of an abundant mindset…
I discovered a fabulous initiative while I was in Kentucky
this past September for Idea Festival
called Making Smiles Happen,
which is all about improving health through better oral care.
Photo credit: www.bestevents.us
New in 2015, the Delta Dental of Kentucky
charitable initiative Making Smiles Happen
supports non-profits. They’re providing financial support in the form of a charitable donation to a variety of non-profit partners focused on ensuring children and adults in Kentucky have access to oral care and oral health education. Their goal is to fund programs that can overall help Kentuckians live healthier lives, which I love given the state of our healthcare system.
They also apparently accept applications for organizations that are of great service to the communities in which Delta Dental serves and since its inception, they have already awarded grants to more than 60 organizations statewide. I love this idea — it would be great to see other states step up to the plate and take on similar programs around the country. Bravo!
Photo credit: Delta Dental KY
At this year’s Idea Festival, their team set up a massive larger than life-sized green horse at the Kentucky Center
and asked people to write…
While I’m not a 100,000 mile gal, I spend a lot of time on planes throughout the course of a year. When it comes to flying these days, I think we can all agree — it’s a far cry from fun. Barely tolerable is what comes to mind.
Photo credit: Outsidethebeltway.com.
The saddening reality is that airlines worldwide brought in $31.5 billion in non-ticket revenue in 2013 – including passenger fees –
which is MORE than 11 times their non-ticket revenue six years prior, adjusted for inflation according to CNN Money
. Unfortunately, there’s little that we can do about it. There’s no plea here and our voices go unnoticed….otherwise, the price increases wouldn’t continue to soar year after year, not to mention new fees being added for incredulous things.
Photo credit: Dave Granlund.com.
Customer feedback no longer matters since it’s become an industry that treats people more like helpless cattle in tow than worthful customers they care about “serving.” Truth be told, I haven’t had a memorable and rewarding experience flying coach in about 8 or 9 years and it’s getting worse.
The smile comes on the video screen…
Ever heard of a Jeffersonian Dinner
? I’ve been invited to one or two over the last few years, one of which was being held in Washington DC, where it was birthed in the 1800′s by none other than Thomas Jefferson himself. Because of those invitations, I had some vague idea of what they were, but never actually participated in one until the Arc Fusion
folks hosted one recently in San Francisco.
Photo credit: www.smithsonianmag.com
Rewind the clock to 1819 and visualize yourself at a long and decadently adorned table with Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, his elegant Virginia home. Around the table, you’re seated with a group of people steeped deep in culture, philosophy, education, history, politics, art, literature, science and theology.
The idea behind a Jeffersonian Dinner is to bring people together from different disciplines, creating a new cause-centered community around a topic of importance or significance you might want to discuss for whatever reason. This can be done to tap into new resources, raise funds for a non profit or important issue, or simply to expand the group’s thinking about a variety of topics.
It’s important that it be somewhat intimate so…
I rarely fly Southwest Airlines, not because I’m not a fan, but largely because they don’t fly direct to most of the locations I travel to regularly. There are a couple of exceptions every year of course, Austin, Las Vegas and LA being on that list and more recently, Boise.
I love Idaho, a state I never expected to travel to never mind fall in love with. Truth be told, when a friend asked me to join him on a stint through the west for a few weeks roughly 15 years ago, I chose 3 states for that exploration, ones I figured would be vast but plain and boring. I couldn’t have been more wrong about all three. To say that Idaho, Montana and Wyoming did not disappoint is an understatement.
The breathtaking Idaho Sawtooth Mountain range is a sight to be seen, one which I’d argue is a transformative experience if you have an opportunity to hike or picnic on her soil.
Years later, I ended up in Idaho to see friends and then not again until last year when industry pals dragged me to a new-on-the-scene technology event in beautiful Sun Valley called DENT.
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