Digital North: Disruption

Thursday 9th February saw the 3rd Digital North event, which along with a heap of pizza and beer, was an evening which explored the idea of ‘digital disruption’ through 8 lightning talks from some of the North’s finest digital experts.

One of the most captivating talks of the evening came from Pulsar Healthcare exploring the differences between augmented and virtual reality, and the various ways in which both can be used in the future. As someone who has greatly enjoyed the gamification capabilities of VR, it was eye opening to hear (and see) how AR could be used to increase productivity in the workplace along with enhance innovation in many areas including medicine and construction. If there’s one thing to be learnt from this, take a toy to an event and you’ll get everyone’s interest.

Another great presentation came from Keith Braithwaite of Zuhlke Engineering, who presented ‘innovation is always the last place you look’ using the simple example of the lightbulb – seemingly the universal sign of innovation. Along with a smattering of comedy, Braithwaite presented that those who really excel with a product or an idea aren’t necessarily those who had the initial ‘lightbulb’ moment and reminded the audience that best selling ideas don’t always need to be the newest.

The final presentation of the evening came from Dan Nolan of TheEword, a hilarious and engaging talk surrounding ‘digital content and disruption’. Personally, I enjoyed Dan’s exploration of the new age of influencers (the average consumers) who will soon be taking over from YouTube sensations such as Zoella and Pewdiepie as the leading product promoters. Dan’s talk was truly brilliant and he is definitely one to keep on your radar!

Along with the great talks surrounding digital innovation, there was also a mild interlude from the Booth Centre, a local Mancunian charity helping to enrich the lives of the homeless population of manchester through activities, hot meals and rehabilitation. Certainly a great cause which deserves much more exposure.

The Digital North evening was filled with some great talks by some of the industry’s finest and I’ll be sure to attend the next one!

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