SinnerSchrader, the good folks behind the conference NEXT Berlin (where I’m a program director), just published a bit of an outlook for some of the most relevant emerging technologies for the coming year.
NEXT14 is over, and again, I didn’t take as many pics as intended, but here are a few:
I also recommend checking out the official conference photos (all CC by licensed, I think) that are both numerous and professionally taken. In other words, the good stuff.
Just briefly some link for you to peruse:
Over at ThingsCon, we have a more or less final program for day 2, an unpolished draft program for day 1, a location for the workshop day (day 1, at Betahaus), and the last few days of early bird tickets. (We extended them to this Friday, 6pm CET.)
At NEXT Berlin, ticket sales will go live any day now, and the program is announced step by step.
In other news: Setting up my new company as an umbrella for all my activities is in process, more on that soon. The schedule and speaker list for SolidCon is online and seeing the other speakers I feel humbled to be part of that list.
Not that I’m about to start writing regular weekly updates again, but here’s a quick snapshot of what’s been going on, what I’ve been up to, and what I’ve been thinking about.
The Call for Proposals has ended and we’ve just notified the submitters. It’s painful to have to reject good proposals, but of course at this scale it’s impossible not to. (We had almost 50 proposals just through the official form, plus countless more on all kinds of other channels.)
Realized all of a sudden just how awesome & comprehensive the whole industry is going to be represented at ThingsCon. As far as I can tell, there will be representatives of Intel, Highway1/PCH, Bosch, BERGCloud, Good Night Lamp, reaDIYmate, Silabs, Fairphone, Phonebloks, Dustcloud, Ultimaker, Xively, Blaze, Provenance, Technology Will Save Us, Product Club, IxDS/Fritzing and many more. It’s going to be quite wild.
The Call for Proposals at UIKonf is still ongoing – it’s a different process altogether. First of all, it’s completely anonymous to foster diversity and give a better chance to lesser known names. It’s closed for submissions now, so we enter the phase where feedback can be given and we’ll start the voting phase next week. Check out all proposals here (all you need to vote & give feedback is a Github account).
We’re getting to the point where a concrete program is emerging out of the mass of proposals and potential speakers.
Taking a hint from both friends and clients, I am (at last!) preparing a portfolio site of sorts. Basically a quick overview of what I do, to make it easier to share with others and make introductions easier for those introducing me.
I might also transition my business into a new company of sorts, but for now it’s mainly a communications thing.
Part of this is to also make it even easier to recognize how I split my time between client work and self-initiated projects (like ThingsCon, UIKonf and a few as of yet largely announced ones). Scribbles like this one help me structure my thoughts:
Scribble: my process and value chain
So what about that new portfolio site? The draft is live at guildindustries.com:
Screenshot of guildindustries.com
Yes, it’s live, and yes, it’s a draft. If you’re wondering about the name – I wanted to reflect that I tend (and try) to work with external, trusted experts whenever possible. While my skill set is necessarily wide so I can connect the dots and discover the best opportunities for both clients and my own projects/products/services, I find it tremendously helpful and effective to work with experts whose skills go deep rather than wide. Domain experts that truly know their field inside and out, people who don’t just know the field damn well but also advance and shape it. Which is kind of what I associate with a guild in the best, traditional sense of the word.
Since a good deal – and my main motivation – of my work is knowledge transfer (aka Empowering Others To Be Even More Awesome), I find it useful as a metaphor for sharing the insights of these innovators.
What can I say? It’s a work in progress. Things
might will change. Once I find it’s ready I’ll probably flip the switch and retire my other site (peterbihr.com) that currently serves the same function.
What do you think?
Quite often I’m asked for some examples of what my work consists of, and of some projects I helped get off the ground.
A little while ago, I started collecting some of these things on a single page: Things I’ve worked on.
I tend to update that page pretty infrequently. But here’s a current snapshot since I just did update the page for the first time in quite a while.
It’s a quick overview of some of the bigger or more interesting milestones in my work. In other words, these are some of the things I’m a bit proud of, and that can serve as a glimpse into what kind of stuff I like working on.
If you wonder why there are so many events in there, it’s quite simple: While most of my work used to be for clients and it doesn’t feel right to claim any credit for those, most of these events were more or less direct results of my initiative. Since I tend to explore topics that interest me through the vehicle of events or writing, these projects listed here can give you a glimpse into the topics I’ve been focusing on over time.
Berlin’s first English-language iOS developer conference. Co-organizing this as an independent event with Matt Patterson and Chris Eidhof since 2013 (website)
Making should be easier: Currently an early stage company, Natasha Carolan and I co-founded Makers Make to allow independent product designers more easily to get from idea to market. (website)
I serve as Editor at Large, Europe, for the print-only, bi-annual magazine The Alpine Review. At The Alpine Review, we “assemble emerging signals, connections and patterns and tie them together with the people, places and things that draw our attention. A compendium of ideas for a world in transition.” In my own words, a mag by our tribe for our tribe.
Ignite is a global event series with an interesting format constraint: For 5 minutes, speakers get to talk about a topic they are passionate about, and their slides automatically forward every 15 seconds. It’s both inspiring and entertaining. I’ve been organizing Ignite Berlin since 2010, first with Matt Biddulph, then with my collaborators Claudia Rauch and Yasmina Haryono. Enlighten us, but make it quick!
I’m the Program Director for NEXT Berlin, one of Europe’s leading (and biggest) web conferences. In previous years I’ve curated several stages at NEXT, too. Disclosure: NEXT are a client of mine.
At Third Wave, I wrote this report on the macro trends shaping the years to come. It’s a little forecasting project based on input of the fantastic Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, Dannie Jost, Georgina Voss, Mike Arauz, Sami Niemelä, Stefan Erschwendner and Tamao Funahashi. It is available in full length here: A Glimpse Into The Future
At Third Wave I co-authored this extensive dossier about the Quantified Self. It was an ongoing series that aimed to both give an introduction into personal analytics and to dive deeper into the implications and relevant issues. Available here: The Quantified Self
In 2010, I co-founded Third Wave with two partners, as part think tank, part digital strategy consultancy. Among many other things, Third Wave published an extensive series on the Quantified Self and a glimpse into the near future, and organized Cognitive Cities Conference. I left in 2012 to pursue other interests.
Cognitive Cities Conference explored the future of connected cities. I organized this independent conference along with my partners at Third Wave and a bunch of friends in 2012 to look at the future of cities & technology, and how both fields interface. We had a number of fantastic speakers ranging from a Sci-Fi author to MIT researchers to data viz folks. We also put together a CoCities Salon in Amsterdam. More about CoCities in my blog.
Atoms&Bits Festival was a conference and festival to celebrate the maker culture and what we might call the “post-digital” today: An event to explore the intersection of the digital and physical world. Organized in 2009 by a loose group of local technologists and activists (my blogposts here).
During the German federal elections 2009, I was the external strategic lead for the SPD (social democrats) youth organization’s online campaign. We focused on giving young voters the tools to engage their communities and spread their messages. Disclosure: This was client work.
Way back in 2006, I wrote my masters thesis about the role of blogs for the work of political journalists in Germany. (Full text here. Spoiler: At the time, blogs weren’t relevant for political journalists in Germany.) It was part of my MA in Media & Communications at Freie Universität Berlin, and was graded 1,0 (the German equivalent of a straight A). I also co-authored a text book on virtual worlds for UOC Barcelona together with my friends Max Senges and Thomas Praus.