I just came back home from a conference in Italy. I'm completely exhausted because we had very tough program and short sleeps however that is the only one negative thing I can say in context of previous few days in Venice.
I got an invitation to the conference thanks to an educational program of Junior Achievement. The program supports young people in business and so it supported one subject at my university. The conference was enjoying the attendance of 161 young innovators from 24 European countries, who were supposed to propose creative ideas related to the topic of digital Europe. (You can find more info about Digital Venice here)
Girls attending the conference were mostly also JA-YE alumni, focused mostly on business or management unlike me studying Computer Science. I met one very interesting group of boys from Poland. Their origin was a huge advantage of your communication, because when some language failure happened we could explain the word in our native language and be understood Those boys were so cool, finally, like all of the participants of the Digital Venice 2014 conference.
The atmosphere was overstuffed by energy, ideas and mix of culture and languages. I mostly enjoyed the moment of realizing that I'm already thinking in another language.
We were divided into 5 groups: Digital Cities, Digital Economy, Digital Education, Digital Jobs and Digital Democracy. Before the conference we should have written an article what do we consider the most important as preferences and goals in our topic. During the workshop we discussed our ideas and tried to choose the most important one that should have been presented to European parliament (one within a group).
We have heard incredible amount of ideas, they were literally shaking the building of meeting, that was intended to be a place for building ships in the past. The results in your group were tight, we must have decided between 3 ideas: European ID Cards, Monitoring System + Open Data and Rewarding System. Every idea was very original and innovative.
Besides the official program, lectures and workshops we had also a day off for visiting Venice. I think one of the Polish guys mentioned that according to Knuth, you can actually pick a random orientation in graph but you will get wherever you want. I haven't heard about it yet but in case of Venice it is absolutely true. Whatever direction we decided to follow, we always got to the place we wanted. (Even we tried to get lost in Venice, just for fun.)
Venice is amazing city. You can almost touch the culture and history that is fulfilled with. I liked those moments of wind in air, smiling of random people at you, wi-fi everywhere, seagulls, ice creams (yummi!) and boat transport we were using so often (actually I can still feel the swinging).
I think that even I don't have so much experience like my new friends from Poland (who work/worked for Microsoft, were interns in Google or IBM and have their own startups) have, it was interesting opportunity to get to know new people, get motivated, discover other options, city and broaden horizons and way of thinking about things in general. I'm looking forward to be a part of other conferences, to experience other flights with Australian airlines (and their tasty biscuits Prinzen Rolle Minis), Italian delicacies, cool people at events like this - it's motivating like cold water in summer, it's energizing like water for mills.
They wrote about me here
and you can find short and catchy promo video here
Photo album from the conference is on my Facebook page, feel free to comment or share.