With under three weeks to go before MWC19 begins, the planning phase is over, and the hectic execution phase reaches its peak. The official MWC conference programme is complete, with 59 conference session, totalling 62 hours of content, from 330 speakers, 43% of which, lead their respective organisations. These speakers come from 40 countries from all over the world. MWC is a truly global event.
At the risk of sounding a little smug, it is our strongest line up of speakers in many years, perhaps ever. The presence of such industry titans as Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Diamler AG and Mercedes Benz’s, Dieter Zetsche, HTC’s, Cher Wang and Universal Music’s Sir Lucian Grainge, combined with Amina Mohammed the UN Deputy Secretary General, and new blood in the form of Vimeo’s Anjali Sud and Heba Bevan of Utterberry are just some of the highlights of this year’s show.
Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft and Dieter Zetsche, Chairman, Daimler AG & Mercedes Benz will take to the stage together, in a clear sign that industries are colliding, due to digital transformation and the rapid disruptive innovation cycles it creates. To back this up further, they will be followed by Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations.
After 15 years attending the show, the scale and buzz never disappoints. The transformation of FIRA Gran Via in the last two days is simply astonishing. See you in Barcelona.
Keynote 1 – Intelligently Connecting the World
09:00 to 10:30 – 25th February
Network operators are the great enabler of the digital economy. Their contribution and statistics are astonishing;
• The mobile industry eco-system has an economic impact of $3.9 trillion
• The industry connects ½ the world’s population to the Internet
• 5.1 billion people subscribe to a mobile service
The mobile industry has a tremendous impact and therefore responsibility toward individual, national and international security, privacy and society.
The opening keynote of MWC19 will see the world’s leading operators, including for the first time Vodafone’s new CEO Nick Read, discuss how they continue to push the boundaries of technological innovation through 5G, AI, IoT, and Big Data.
They will also discuss the regulatory environment required to ensure operators are able to deploy these technologies, and the strategies, business models and internal systems needed to ensure they deliver on their promise. All within the context of their wider social and environmental responsibilities.
Keynote 2 – AI Innovation, Ethics and Diversity
12:30 to 13:30 – 25th February
The conventional wisdom is that when it comes to bias in decision-making, artificial intelligence is the great equaliser. Superficially, it makes sense: if we delegate complex decisions to AI, it becomes all about the maths, cold calculations uncoloured by the bias or prejudices we may hold as people. As we’ve entered the infancy of the AI age, the fallacy in this thinking has revealed itself in some spectacular ways. The key to avoiding algorithmic bias is in striving to avoid discrimination (including that which is inadvertent) in the data that is provided to the AI in the first place.
Code that learns is both powerful and dangerous, especially when it is controlled by a dominant minority. It threatens the basic rules of markets and civic life. AI requires a new technical and civic infrastructure, a new way to conduct business, a new way to be together in community. If AI is going to be the interface between people and critical services they need, how is it going to be fair and inclusive? How is it going to engage and support the marginalized people and the most vulnerable in our society? We are at a critical inflexion point, and have much to consider, if we are going to make the right decisions that will have ramifications for years to come.
Keynote 3 – Immersive Experiences
14:30 to 15:30 – 25th February
The entertainment and content industry has gone through a tremendous period of change and disruption, as the means of distribution has dramatically shifted to mobile networks and devices, enabling disruptive new players and high scale business models.
Perhaps the definition of immersive content is virtual reality, and the keynote will see the legendary Cher Wang, Philanthropist, Founder and CEO, HTC discuss how they will continue to drive VR innovation.
Video now accounts for the majority of internet traffic, and so video content has become the primary engagement medium for consumers, be it as a product in itself, or as a marketing vehicle for brands and all organisations. Vimeo’s CEO Anjali Sud will discuss how Vimeo is positioning itself to be the ultimate platform for creators and creatives to host, distribute and monetise their content.
Finally, the music industry has already been through a tremendous period of change. No one has shaped the industry more than Sir Lucian Grainge. The man at the helm of the music industries dominant force, has been the guiding light through a period of extraordinary market change and disruption. Widely considered the most powerful person in the music industry. Grainge led the 2017 multi-year global license agreement between UMG and Spotify. Following the deal, Grainge was praised by Spotify Chairman & CEO Daniel Ek for his leadership and for delivering “on the promise of the new music economy for all the people who make music and all the people who love it.”
Keynote 4: An Intelligent Future for All
17:00 to 18:30 – 25th February
The confluence of a number of significant technologies, including AI, hyper-connectivity, cloud and big data, has created a disruptive and dynamic industrial, economic and social environment, namely the fourth industrial revolution. No industry, and therefore company, will be unaffected by this new paradigm.
The first part of this keynote will see two of the world’s largest companies and biggest brands Daimler & Mercedes Benz and Microsoft discuss how they are managing and leading this global digital transformation.
Industrial disruption on this scale, is obviously not in isolation, economies, societies, countries and regions are effected. The second part of this keynote will exam how technology can be both a democratising force by providing economic and social access to billions, as well as crucial in preventing and managing humanitarian disasters, but conversely has the potential to increase the digital divide and further centralise economic and political power.
The second part of this keynote will look out how private companies and governments need to work together to ensure that technology is the inclusive force for good it has the potential to be. Ensuring an intelligent future for all.
Keynote 5: Intelligent Connectivity: The Great Enabler
09:00 to 10:30 – 26th February
We have reached a point where physical technology (devices, sensors and ubiquitous connectivity) and digital technologies (artificial intelligence, blockchain, and big data analytics) will converge to create a truly intelligently connected world.
The intersection of these technologies is creating a new intelligent service paradigm for businesses and governments to engage with and serve partners, consumers and citizens. The depth and complexity of this value chain is unparalleled, but it is more than matched, by the scale of the opportunity for governments, industries, and the world’s citizens.
In this keynote, we will hear from four organisations using this technology to create new experiences and services for their customers and citizens;
• Huawei, the world’s leading network infrastructure provider
• Smart Dubai, who are creating the city of the future,
• The International Olympic Committee, the world’s largest event organiser
• Two unexpected automotive partners speaking about how they are using these technologies to create better experiences and services for their customers
Keynote 6: Intelligently Connected Experiences
11:00 to 12:00 – 26th February
Connected digital innovations are redefining consumers experiences with brands, products, services, and individuals. The imminent widespread deployment of advanced 5G networks and even smarter devices will integrate the real and virtual world. They will continue to enable, anticipate and transform consumers’ experiences.
Conventional connected usage has multiplied across communication platforms, social engagement spaces, information portals, financial transactions, gaming and video content, to include a burgeoning appetite for online shopping, events, experiences and virtual experiences.
Keynote 7: The Next Generation
09:30 to 11:00 – 27th February
As connectivity capabilities improve and our relationship with devices expands and becomes an ever increasing part of our lives. The next generation of services, people and companies is making the digital world their own and moving away from the strictly physical. The web has moved on from an online representation of the high street, to an entirely digital end-to-end experience. From shops that have no front, to car services without drivers, connectivity has moved from serving as distribution channel to an intelligently connected business model.
The “next generation” applies not only to technology, but to people as well. As such, the keynote will feature participants from all ages in an effort to show intelligent connectivity as a unifier across geographies and ages, and a tool for future and present entrepreneurs and innovators.
Keynote 8: The Next Unicorns
09:30 to 10:45 – 28th February
Intelligent connectivity is at the heart of innovation not only in cellular technology, but enabling hundreds of new ecosystems and business models. Picking up from the innovation showcased at 4 Years From Now earlier in the week, this keynote session, aptly named “The Next Unicorn”, will highlight young and up-and-coming companies that are using connectivity and new technology such as AI to disrupt their competitors, markets, and change the way people interact with technology and each other. From AI to enhanced imaging, to the democratisation of scientific research, the companies featured in this session are likely those you will be hearing from for a long time to come.