A rather obvious blog title for such an innovative event, already titled ‘Thinking Digital’, but it illustrates the event perfectly – we’re all now Thinking Digital, whether we like it or not.
Sitting in Auditorium 1 of The Sage, Gateshead, I have to admit, I was possibly a little out of place at this conference. I first realised this when I was one of only two people in the room without an iPhone. And again, when I climbed to the top of the auditorium to take an aerial photo of the audience whilst the host, Herb Kim, was opening the conference, and all I could see were little glowing rectangles on everyone’s lap. I’ve got a pretty good camera so zooming in I could see that each little glowing rectangle was either an iPad or an iphone, and even further I could see that almost everyone was on either facebook or twitter. At one point, someone lost their Blackberry and it was brought up to the stage, and the owner was playfully mocked in front of the whole auditorium. Sure enough, they’ll return to the conference next year whored out with iDevices – I think they’ve learned their lesson.
Despite being primitively stocked, myself, I definitely appreciated what was to come. With almost 30 speakers talking about their digital discoveries, or day to day breakthroughs made with the aid of pioneering technology, I often forgot that I was supposed to be taking pictures. Don’t worry though, I didn’t miss a thing. If you were there and can say that you aren’t in any of my pictures, I’ll come round to your house and personally shoot you (with a camera, of course).
My favourite speaker, and probably others would agree, was Magnus Lindkvist, who appropriately coined himself ‘the Comedic Trend-spotter’. What a brilliantly funny guy, whose English is encyclopaedic! Another favourite of mine was Professor Sugata Mitra, humorously talking us through his wacky methods of research and educational findings from the slums of India. Ken Segal, the namer of the iMac, was a pretty epic addition to the line-up. Sebastian Seung gave a memorable talk – the creator of an Android game which helps scientists go beyond the realms of theory and actually map out the entire human brain. A Facebook guy, Simon Cross, was there, promoting hacking (naturally), and speaking amongst many other incredible minds.
Coming back to the beginning, I have to be grateful for the exsistance of twitter for my being here. If it wasn’t for Michael Raven at Blink Collective, linking me up with Emilia Flockhart of Thinking Digital, I wouldn’t have had the awesome opportunity to witness this world event and at the same time promote my photography to the whole of the UK and beyond – my photos from this conference have now featured in print in The Metro Newspaper, The Journal, and online on TNW (The Next Web) to name just a few. So a big shout out to twitter and its tweeters, and the organisers of TDC12 that gave me access-all-areas at the conference!
And finally… My favourite pic of the whole two days has to be of BBC’s Ralph Rivera. I liked him.
To see all 245 official photos from the Thinking Digital Conference 2012, click here and tag yourself and others!
If you are a newspaper or blogger and would like to use any of my pictures, please click here, help yourself, and credit me as ‘Leah Pattem’.