TNW Conference Brings The Best of Tech to Europe

The two day conference brings the cutting edge of the business and tech world together in Amsterdam.

The who's who of Europe’s tech scene will gather in Amsterdam this weekend for the annual The Next Web (TNW) Conference.

A former shipyard on the banks of the River IJ in Amsterdam Noord will host the event for the 14th consecutive time. TNW brings together world-class speakers, tech executives, top-tier investors and emerging startups for knowledge sharing and networking.

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This year’s event will have more than 15, 000 people in attendance from over 3,500 companies worldwide. One of this year's big drawcards is Apple’s former chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki, who will kick off the packed program of speakers on the machine day on Day One.

Gender balance well addressed

The schedule is packed and TNW seems to have done a good job addressing the gender imbalances of other large tech conferences around the world. The program covers an impressive range of topics from health to cryptocurrency.

Some of the must-see speakers include Caroline Hargrove, Chief Technical Officer of Babylon Health, Jon Matonis, Founding Director of the Bitcoin Foundation and Louise Troen, Vice President of International Marketing & Communications at Bumble. As well as a diverse main lineup TNW has a women-specific section of the event called The Next Women Summit.

The summit aims ‘at emboldening women in the tech industry with roundtable discussions and keynote speakers from female leaders in tech and business, not only shining a spotlight on emerging female talent and the closing gap in gender inequality but to ensure TNW Conference stays part of the conversation and the solution.’

Following the disastrous attempts of diversity at the last CES, this is a positive step forward for other tech conferences to take note of.

Social Enterprises get a chance to pitch for a share in cash prize

Another brilliant endeavor by TNW is hosting the Chivas Venture competition. Describing itself as not a competition but a ‘call to action’ the project invites social entrepreneurs from around the world to pitch for a share of the Chivas Venture $1 million funds. 200 initial applicants have been whittled down to 27 finalists.

Last year's winner Change Please, received $350, 000 to continue their charity that helps kill homeless people in London through a barista training program.

The judging panel this year includes star of the Avatar and the Avengers franchise, and founder of BESE digital media, Zoe Saldana who will be joined by CEO of Change Please Cemal Ezel, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard Alexandre Ricard, and founding Executive Director of the Beeck Centre for Social Impact and Innovation, Sonal Shah.

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