[event] Let’s Meet at Frontiers of Interaction in Rome

Next June 3 and 4 Frontiers of Interaction will take place in Rome, Italy (disclaimer: I’m the Conference Director). This will be the 6th edition of the conference and it represents a rara avis in the Italian scenario.

I first got in contact with Frontiers during 2009 as a “regular” delegate (my review of Frontiers 2009). I was surprised by the caliber of the event and the passion of the organizers: co-founders Leandro Agro‘ and Matteo Penzo, and Carlo Maria Medaglia leading the operations of the team based in Rome.

Frontiers was born in 2005 to explore topics and ideas in the world of Interaction Design and moved on to embrace innovative topics related to technology. As Riccardo Luna, Wired Italy’s director, said: “It feels like being in Silicon Valley”.

I joined Frontiers of Interaction as Conference Director to coordinate the effort and add my experience in managing international events. My goal is not to make it part of the international circuit of kick-ass events (formal definition) but also to give something back to Italy, by fostering a space for innovators, makers and entrepreneurs to meet.

Frontiers of Interaction V
Frontiers 2009 at the Acquario Romano

The 2010 edition will count several international and local speakers. We have privileged having a higher number of less mainstream names which have tons of value, projects and ideas to share. From robotics to economics for startups, from disruptive thinking to advanced data visualization… all embedded in a continuous show that stimulates all senses. We have even involved the Italian Minister of Public Administration and Innovation as a testimonial of the system the Italian innovators have to deal with.

Until now the pre-event has been a success: top quality sponsors have joined us, speakers are amazing and will surprise us… and the local audience is reacting rather well… but there are still challenges ahead. We are a small event with high hopes.

Frontiers will feature conference sessions, workshops, live music, videos, hands-on demos, great catering, top notch networking, cool gadgets and even an iPad App!…. Curious? Come and join us at the beautiful Acquario Romano… and hey, June is the best month for taking a short break in Rome too!

If you read so far you deserve a special treat: use the promocode “confbasics” to get a 20% discount on the full price.

[event] Brain Forum to Transform Rome in the “Davos of the Brain”

A new and exciting event has been launched in Rome: Brain Forum. “The idea is to create a sort of Davos of the brain (referring to the World Economic Forum of Davos, Ed.) or the Roma del Cervello in Italian” says Viviana Kasam, founder of Brain Forum and Brain Circle Italia, a non-profit organization that aims  promote the activities of  the Interdisciplinary Center for Neuronal Computation (ICNC), Hebrew University of Jerusalem, by organizing scientific and academic exchanges, meetings, fund-raising and keeping relations with academic institutions, business community and media. The event is organized with the collaboration of the Rome Chamber of Commerce and the marvelous team of Meet The Media Guru, with whom I had the pleasure to work in the past.

Why Brain Forum

Viviana quotes Prof. Idan Segev that claims that “We approach a brain-revolution, probably greater than the industrial and information revolutions. Society must be ready for this as it will change in the most dramatic manner the way we will live in the near future. It is the duty of brain scientists to communicate this revolution to society.”

These topics are not very well known. Until now it was believed that the brain studies and development was practically in a standstill, that there are a certain number of neurons, that progressively die and after that there’s nothing else that can be done. Well, recent discoveries have shown that the brain is rather plastic. It’s true that neurons die irreversibly but new synapses are continuously made, which means new connections. Research, through new technology, is finding ways to increase this capacity as a means to fight brain illnesses.

Brain studies involve a new kind of scientist very similar to the Renaissance scientist, what Prof. Segev calls a Da Vinci Scientist. According to Dr. Kasam “so far  scientific research  has been very sectorialized but brain-related research is bringing together physiologists, biologists, molecular biologists, neuroscientists, mathematicians, computer experts and other specialists plus new very complex technology so the scope is to hold all of these capacities if not under the same person at least under one roof. All major universities that deal with brain research are building multi-disciplinary centers to allow the interaction between these experts. A virtual community of brain-experts in continuous contact was born, and it’s allowing an exponential advancement in research projects. New technologies like MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Ed.) allow us to explore certain areas of the brain until now completely unknown”.

Confronted with this reality I decided to promote it because it concerns all of us, especially our children

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[event] Frontiers of Interaction V – Summary of a remarkable event

Leandro Agro'
Leandro Agro'

Today I have participated to a remarkable event in Rome: Frontiers of Interaction V, organized by Leandro Agro’, Matteo Penzo and Carlo Maria Medaglia.

Even though the event was on Monday, the room was full. Communication about this conference traveled mainly through word of mouth, supported by social networking activity on Facebook, Twitter and others.

I think that the main driver of success of Frontiers of Interaction V was the passion and dedication of the organizers and the atmosphere they created for this event. The excitement, sincerity, humility and energy of them all created a strong connection with the attendees, creating an absolute world-class event. It was fundamental that they put together a very rich program of speakers and content (check out the program here).

SUCCESS DRIVERS

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