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One of the taglines we used for mesh is it’s the place to explore and discuss what’s coming over the digital horizon.
It is why we bring in speakers who are actively involved in new ideas, trends and businesses that are changing the digital landscape. These sessions are great food for thought because they’re designed to make you think, explore new angles and consider new and different concepts that are shaping how the Web is evolving.
This year, for example, our keynote speakers – Ryan Carson, JP Rangaswami, Josh Benton and Kyle Monson – will bring you into the fast-moving worlds of education, work, media and brand journalism.
And we’ve got panels focused on the future of money, books, education, politics and travel.
But the other side of mesh is where we deliver panels and workshops that deliver insight and information about how to do your jobs differently or better.
These are hands-on and interactive sessions with a focus on learning, training and education. They are led by people in the trenches who can provide real-world examples and case studies to give you tactical insights, tools and best practices.
For us, success comes when you walk away from of these sessions with inspiration and a list of to-dos when you get back to the office.
This year’s line-up of our get-stuff-done better sessions include Joe Pulizzi (content marketing), Ashley Wilson (email marketing), Scott Lake, Joel Yashinsky and Hessie Jones (social media), Chris Sukornyk, Ray Philipose and Roy Pereira (digital advertising) and Amanda Richardson (presentations).
The bottom line is mesh offers a great one-two punch of strategic thinking and tactical learning, which makes for a great two days.
Pre-registration tickets for mesh are $579. If two days is too much time out of the office, no problem: we have one-day tickets for $399.
Here’s where you can see the complete schedule for mesh, which happens May 15 & 16 at the Allstream Centre in downtown Toronto
Highlighting a mesh13 business panel
It used to be an employer would have to sift through a pile of candidate resumes only to read through the demonstrated abilities, consult Myers-Briggs and hope for the best. Maybe a consultant would be called to shorten the process, but the placement was still reliant on what the candidate offered or the research revealed.
Then came the Web and, more recently, social media. We share everything so it only makes sense the practice of hiring would start to leverage digital to tell the story of the future employee to find the match. It also makes sense prospective employees would study an organization’s online assets to see if there is a good fit. Like any partnership, the more you understand each other the better chance everyone has in the long run.
For this session on May 16, we have gathered Ben Baldwin (ClearFit), David Ain (Egon Zehnder) and Gary Swart (oDesk) to help us understand how the dynamics of hiring talent have changed as employers and potential employees leverage social media and their digital networks to find opportunities.
Ben Baldwin is the co-CEO with ClearFit, an online service solution that provides small and medium size businesses with a better way to find the best employees. ClearFit matches candidates with new employers using patented data analysis. The startup, which recently received $7-million in venture capital, analyses the prospect’s experience, organization’s culture and other measurable factors.
Joining Ben is David Ain, a Partner in Egon Zehnder’s Toronto office. David is a member of the firm’s Consumer, Technology and Private Equity Practice Groups. His practice is largely focused on consumer, technology and digital clients across North America. He also works extensively with private equity firms on CEO, CFO and other senior searches for a wide range of portfolio companies. David will share his insights on how the industry has changed.
Rounding out the panel is Gary Swart, CEO of oDesk. With more than 2.7 million registered contractors, the world’s largest online workplace lets businesses and contractors to work together. By using technology to remove the barriers of traditional hiring, oDesk’s platform enables businesses to find and collaborate with talented contractors regardless of where they are located..
According to the oDesk CEO, “Businesses are recognizing the competitive advantage of being able to hire the skilled professionals they need, regardless of where they happen to be, and scaling their teams on-demand. We see this as a massive market opportunity — any work that can be done via the Internet — and predict that by 2020 one in every three people will be hired to work online.”
From securing contractors to finding the right full-time employee, the hiring game has changed and it’s tough to know your next move. Learn from these three thought leaders so that you an get a head of the competition for the best talent for your next project or your business…or to seek out your next great work adventure.
Highlighting a mesh13 society panel
Over the past decade, we have studied and learned more about memory and cognitive function. We have come to understand the brain is a muscle that can be trained. Using this knowledge, we have been creating tools that can help us combat aged-related memory loss as well as those brought on by an array of health factors ranging from depression and thyroid conditions to Alzheimer’s disease. The Web has offered opportunities that let us explore and improve our collective “brain health.”
In a session called “The Web as a Gym for the Brain,” we’ll explore the virtual playground through the ideas and innovations of Cogniciti’s Veronika Litinkski, SharpBrains’ Alvaro Fernandez and Vivity Labs CEO Michael Cole.
Veronika Litinkski created and launched Cogniciti. While brain health can be measured in a variety of different ways, the startup is a unique science-based digital brain health platform to address concerns specific to the aging process. The platform leverages the wealth of research on memory and cognitive function amassed by Baycrest Hospital’s's interdisciplinary team. When it is ready for general use, the report will tell you if your overall cognitive abilities are within the normal range for your age, or whether further assessment by your doctor is advised. The report will also provide information about factors known to be associated with cognitive health, such as health conditions, medications, or changes in your mood, as well as information about how to maximize your cognitive and brain health.
Alvaro Fernandez is the CEO of SharpBrains.com, an independent market research and think tank tracking health, education, and productivity applications of neuroscience. Alvaro is the editor-in-chief of the industry report “The Digital Brain Health Market 2012-2020: Web-based, mobile and biometrics-based technology to assess, monitor and enhance cognition and brain functioning,” and the co-author of “The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness,” recognized as a “Best Book” by AARP.
Michael Cole is the CEO of Vivity Labs, creators of Fit Brains. The Fit Brains Trainer app was downloaded more than 1.5 million times in the first 60 days of launch. The online brain fitness platform combines casual brain games, personalized tracking and customized recommendations with a motivational rewards system and a variety of social features. The team has seamlessly blended entertainment, science and technology to create something fun for anyone looking to keep their brain sharp!
Veronika, Alvaro and Michael have been creating tools, sharing information and building organizations so our brains work better and memory lasts longer. All, in their own way, ensuring we have places online to better understand our minds. On May 15, we will look at how the Web is playing a key role in the brain training and fitness marketplace by giving consumers more ways to get active.
A mesh13 media panel
At last year’s mesh conference, David Weinberger joined us on the mesh main stage to talk about how we need networked forms of knowledge and collaboration even more now to understand the world around us.. Though we spoke for close to an hour, it felt like we just scratched the surface of our conversation. David generously shared his insight with us and, honestly, left us wanting to just continue talking.
So earlier this year when we started talking about putting together a session about what’s happening in books beyond publishing, we knew that we wanted to have David join the conversation. As the co-director of the Harvard Library Lab, David has been actively working on projects that transforms the way that we use libraries. These projects include ShelfLife—a community-based wayfinding tool for navigating the vast Harvard Library System, LibraryCloud —a cloud based infrastructure to share what libraries know, and the Library Test Kitchen—an academic collaboration exploring the future of libraries. With more e-books now being sold than paper-based books, the multi-billion dollar business has entered a new stage. But there are many areas where the impact and business models for digital books are still unfolding. Libraries are one of these areas. But it is not the only space where business models are changing. We are also seeing changes in how talent and his or her works are being discovered.
Joining David on this panel are two talented innovators, Beth Jefferson (BiblioCommons) and Allen Lau (WattPad).
Beth Jefferson is the co-founder of BiblioCommons, a shared catalog and social discovery experience to millions of patrons worldwide. BiblioCommons emerged from Beth’s work as the founder of The perF!NK Project, a non-profit youth literacy initiative that sought to enable the same social context for reading that is at the heart of forms of popular culture. BiblioCommons has a lofty goal,
“To help public libraries deliver the same kind of rich discovery and community connection experiences online that the library has always delivered in its branches — all built around the heart of the library: its collections.”
With BiblioCore and a full suite of SaaS solutions, BiblioCommons has created a platform that allows the users to search, explore, borrow, track, share and connect, replacing a library’s existing public access catalogue to create a better patron experience.
Allen is the CEO and co-founder of Toronto-based WattPad, the world’s largest community for readers and writers to discover and share stories. WattPad builds on a somewhat lost tradition of sharing—when the writer was the author, publisher and the distributor of the work. As Margaret Atwood—who has embraced WattPad, said in an interview:
“It’s not a new thing, it’s an old thing that has come back via the Internet….The Brontes wrote for one another in their famous little booklets….Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Treasure Island and read it to the family circle and they found it interesting enough that he kept on with it.”
It may not be new, but that does take anything away from the fact that WattPad fundamentally changes the way that we now interact with books and with authors. This vehicle for discussion and sharing that allows for readers to become fans while they talk with the author about the poems or prose. Allen and the WattPad team have created a space for author and reader that collapses the line drawn between the creator and the consumer
For all of these reasons, we ask is the book as we know it about to fade? How will we share and discover our next great works? We look forward to learning what’s next for the book.
Highlighting a mesh13 media panel
TV is no longer a single-sided conversation where the tube talks at you. Today, it is about experiencing it. Content is king and its consumption is a journey of discovery, interaction, personalization, communication and control. Stories are integrated across platforms and multiple screens. The connected TV takes the next steps to new market opportunities and vastly richer user/customer experiences.
In this panel with Jeremy Toeman of NextGuide and Marie-José Montpetit of MIT Media Lab, we will delve into how content is being created and how our consumers’ relationship with TV is changing. When a TV is connected to the internet, the game of storytelling and sharing information changes, but what does it look like? How have advances in the hardware changed how we interact with the technology, the content and other viewers. When TV watchers can share their thoughts via social media, this one-way talk is now a conversation on multi-channels, so how do producers and creators leverage this data to drive the story and ultimately increase viewership.
Jeremy Toeman is the CEO for Dijit Media, a venture-funded startup focusing on discovery and analytics in the TV industry. Jeremy has over 11 years experience in the convergence of digital media, mobile entertainment, social entertainment, smart TV and consumer technology. He has a proven track record of designing and delivering award-winning products and technologies to the connected home.
While Dr. Marie-José Montpetit is a lecturer at the MIT Media Lab and an advisor to Boston area startups in video and social networking. Her pioneering work on Social, Wireless and Multi-screen television is recognized world wide. In January 2013 she was named one of the 20 most influential thinkers in social TV and second screen by appmarket.tv.
To offer deep context and a vibrant conversation, Jeremy and Marie-José will help us explore what’s next in a medium that has educated and entertained for close to five decades. They’ll help us understand the next decade and what it may bring.