Web Summit is back after 18 months of lockdown to an audience of 40, 000; Paddy Cosgrave, David Kelly and Daire Hickey, the founders of Web Summit, are serious in their key message.

With Ayo Tometi & Frances Haugen opening the Summit, the agenda is clear this year: human-centric, tech for good.

Getting inspired at Web Summit

Ayo reminds us of the “power of community, love, dignity & pride in ourselves despite when your accent doesn’t match those of your surroundings – the status quo does not have to win. People of courage and confidence are the majority. Human rights matter, when black people win it creates a world where everyone benefits!

Different people find their strengths because of #blacklivesmatter. Racism exists on a continuum, it’s not a binary issue. Tech can move this forward in line with human values, with justice & dignity.”

Frances’ (pictured below) opening statement was, “How long can you sit with knowledge, what is the maximum impact you can have?” When is enough actually enough for you to speak out?

There is a human cost. Facebook is putting people’s lives in jeopardy, promoting and amplifying extreme content in some of the most fragile places in the world, like Ethiopia where there are 100 million people, who speak 6 languages with 95 dialects. The foundations of security do not scale to the majority in the most fragile places across the globe.

Technologists need to also be well-rounded in humanities. As the consequences of our actions echo we need mandated, accountable and transparent data to combat misinformation.

I left the opening evening inspired and looking forwards to today’s afternoon of optimism, hosted by The Factory & The Ethical Essembly.

Finally,  I would like to echo Ayo’s final words from Web Summit, when she asked us all, “Why are we here, right now? Who will we be coming out of this Summit?

“We are the solution. Use tech to expedite the realisation of our values.

“It is us, it is time, the time is now!’

Image Credits: Web Summit 2021