Le Web 3 – Day Two

Moshe_shimon_and_locLike day one, Day Two appeared to be just as underwhelming – honestly, the programme seemed forgettable, but again there were some highlights, notably those segments with a political bent to the day…

  • Shimon Peres, Israel’s noted statesman and Deputy Prime Minister spoke eloquently of the intersection of globalism, technology and politics. Though uplifting and poetic, Peres conveniently glossed over Israel’s strangulation of the Palestinian people and suggested the use of nano-weapons in future conflict! I really wanted to ask how he’d seen technology alter Israeli society with regard to its role in the region, but the audience was limited to just three questions. Loïc Le Meur ended the session by suggesting to Peres that the audience was one of the most influential in the world and the basis for a global movement. A nice Utopian sentiment, but let’s not forget that Peres represents a state that utilises its military to brutalise other nations.
  • David Weinberger’s segment on Blogging Our Way to Democracy was phenomenal. Though I was familiar with the intricacies of the web-driven grassroots Dean campaign in 2004, Weinberger is a great storyteller and provided a whirlwind tour of the Deaniac movement for those less familiar with the US campaign…though I suspect too late in the day to influence next year’s French presidential race.
  • Interior Minister and presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy made a keynote speech that didn’t endear himself to the audience…and further antagonised the predominantly non-French audience by addressing them in French…translation was available, but this is kinda rude. A great many of the delegates left the auditorium out of sheer boredom whilst others were infuriated to be ‘campaigned at’ by an uninteresting politician…who has recently been endorsed by Loïc Le Meur.
  • The panel session on Mobility 2.0 was disappointing – the discussion focused on stress ting the entrenched, absolutist positions of the incumbents –  telcos, handset manufacture res and service developers – without attempting to explore wider questions of openness across the mobile sector. Counterposing the development of the fixed web with the mobile web would have been a useful starting point.
  • I caught Patrick de Laive from The Next Web and Fleck.com in one of the breaks. We exchanged some ideas about next year’s event in Amsterdam…I hope I can get involved in the planning…we’re also planning to buy a slot for mee:view 🙂
  • I managed to say my Orange farewells to many of my colleagues from FT R&D San Francisco (Georges Nahon, Virginie De Bel Air, Celine Decoux) as well as Patrice and David from NExT. Also, Asha and I managed to say hi for just a few minutes as I left the conference. I’ll really miss working with her 🙁
  • Unfortunately, I had to leave for the airport just as Iranian blogger, Hossein Derakhshan, began his speech on the censorship of blogs and web content in Iran.
  • After the conference, instead of walking to Corentin Celtin, I tried to hitch a cab ride to the airport from the nearby Sofitel. I ended up waiting for a cab with Mena Trott and finally split a cab to CDG with Heiko Hebig and Rupert Schäfer from Burda…we have a great conversation and they’ve invited me to the DLD conference in Munich next month.


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