Ladies and gentlemen, friends and nemeses, the moment has finally arrived: TNW Conference is this week!
Expect our usual smorgasbord of talks, networking, learning, and festival vibes, but with a new unifying theme. Following a turbulent few years, this year we want to reclaim the future — and reignite the positive power that tech can have.
That spirit has been infused throughout the conference agenda. It featured prominently in our guide to day one, and it’s equally pervasive in our top picks for day two. Read on for our highlights from the jam-packed agenda.
1. Spellbinding speakers
Our stellar schedule is bursting with splendid speakers, but we have to whittle the day down to four faves. Why? Well, because that’s what we did for day one, and we love our conference days like our kids: equally (at least, that’s what we tell them).
Lila Ibrahim, Chief Operating Officer of Google DeepMind
DeepMind is one of the most exciting artificial intelligence labs in the world. From its humble roots as a UK startup conquering games, the company has risen to lead the AI revolution at Google. At 10: 10 on the Vision Stage, we’ll be hearing from the woman helming the company’s growth: Lila Ibrahim, DeepMind’s first-ever COO.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Lila ahead of her keynote, which left us eager to hear more on the epochal subject of her talk: the future of AI.
Viktoriia Itskovych, Deputy CIO of Kyiv City
Ukraine’s tech sector has proven remarkably resilient since Russia’s invasion. As well as keeping the country’s economy afloat, IT has played a central role in fighting the war.
At 14: 40 on the Vision Stage, we’ll get the inside story from one of the key figures on the digital frontline: Victoria Itskovich, the deputy CIO of Kyiv.
Philip Rosedale, Founder of Second Life
Virtual worlds existed long before the metaverse hype. The most popular of them all, Second Life, has provided a parallel reality for 20 years.
At 16: 00 on the Discovery Stage, the platform’s founder, Phillip Rosedale, will share his insights from running the community — and what it can teach us about the future of virtual worlds.
Nagin Cox, Spacecraft Systems Engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Lab
Nothing excites us more about the future than space travel. At 16: 10 on the Vision Stage, we’ll get an inside glimpse into the direction we’re heading.
Nagin Cox, spacecraft systems engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will explain our path towards the cosmos — and the role that robots will play in the mission.
2. Fun and games at our revamped festival site
Our festival site has had a major makeover this year. The Wi-Fi’s been souped-up, the co-working spaces have expanded, and the badge pick-up’s gone auto. But most importantly of all, we’re bringing games.
You can find the likes of ping-pong and Dutch shuffleboard around the venue. It’s a great way to break the ice, do business, or ruthlessly humiliate your rivals.
To find your way around the fun and games, you can use our floor map.
3. Healthy runs and indulgent breakfasts
On the sidelines of the big show are a medley of marvellous side events. Our recommendation for day two is a healthy run around the picturesque Vondel Park, followed by some unhealthy drinks with our friends at Techleap.
If that balanced diet doesn’t appeal, there are options on the menu to suit every taste.
4. The Startup Liasion Network + Netherlands Point of Entry Breakfast Session
TNW Conference is an international festival, but we’re also highlighting the opportunities in our home country. At 09: 00 in TNW HQ, we’re opening a gateway to the Dutch tech ecosystem.
Over breakfast, the Netherlands Point of Entry and the Startup Liaison Network from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are joining forces to unite entrepreneurs and explain how the Dutch government can support startups. After the grub, the hosts will whisk you straight to TNW Conference by bus.
You can reserve a spot at the event here.
5. DEI talks, mentoring, and networking
TNW Conference 2023 has partnered with the Dutch DEI Coalition to celebrate and accelerate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in tech.
The day’s agenda begins with a roundtable on the challenges and opportunities to spur DEI in the sector. Next up is a plenary talk on the role of tech and new metrics in DEI strategies. In the afternoon, there are mentoring sessions with senior representatives from Diversity Hero, Techleap, Taskforce D&I by NLdigital, and Booking.com. We’ll then bring the programme to a close with networking drinks.
You can find the full itinerary for the day here.
6. Startup pitch battles (and lessons)
It wouldn’t be a TNW Conference without a pitch battle, but this year’s contest has a more harmonious edge. In line with our conference theme, we’ll be shining a sector spotlight on tech for good at 10: 10 on the Glasshouse stage. The winner will progress to the finals at 16: 10 on the Growth Quarters stage.
The pitching doesn’t end there. At 14.00 at the Glasshouse, pitching coach David Beckett will provide a masterclass on the art. There’s also the second half of the impact-driven Startup Pitch Hour at the Amsterdam Pavilion at 14: 00.
7. The official closing party
What would TNW Conference be without a massive closing party? From 17: 00, we’ll close the event in style at the event garden. Bring your dancing shoes and head to the giant disco ball to catch our DJ on the wheels of steel.
8. The ferry shuttle
We like to think that the whole agenda is full of unmissable events, but one thing you definitely shouldn’t miss is your ride to the venue.
Our favourite mode of transport is the free ferry service. The pick-up spot is next to Amsterdam Central at SUPPER Cruise. You can find the location on Google Maps and the full timetable here. The boat journey from there to our conference site takes around 45 minutes.
If you prefer to travel by road, you can get to the venue by public transport, car, or bike. We’re also providing a free shuttle bus service between Zaandam Central Station and the venue. Check out our travel guide for everything you need to plan your trip to the event.
See you there!
If you want to experience TNW Conference (and say hi to our editorial team!), we’ve got something special for our loyal readers. Use the promo code READ-TNW-25 and get a 25% discount on your business pass for the event. See you in Amsterdam!
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