Archive for 'Traveling Geeks'

New York Times Travel Show Adds Wellness Focus This Year

by on January 26, 2016 at 8:54 am

This year’s New York Times Travel Show at the Jacob Javit’s Center in New York seemed to be busier than ever on opening day Saturday January 9. For the first time, The New York Times Travel Show created a Pavilion entirely devoted to Wellness Travel, with the assistance of wellness travel journalist and consultant Anne Dimon, CEO of Travel-to-Wellness.

I was thrilled that they dedicated an entire section of the conference to health and wellness since I’m a huge believer in holistic living, organic eating and exercise as a formula for being healthy and you can’t separate that approach to life when you’re on the road. Let’s take a look at some of the health and wellness gems I discovered at the show, some I had known for years and others, I hadn’t heard of before a month ago. If you’re not integrating wellness into your travel agendas, perhaps some of these retreats and experiences will encourage you to re-think how, why and where you travel.

Art of Living Retreat Center

The Art of Living Retreat Center is a unique wellness destination for travelers heading to America’s South Atlantic and lower Mid-Atlantic region. With a big focus on both spirituality and wellness, they offer a range of programs throughout the year that cater to guests who are looking for experiences of healing, personal transformation, inner peace, stillness and communion with nature, a favorite pastime of mine. They’re perched on a mountaintop in the Blue Ridge Mountains and are within driving distance of Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh and Washington DC. I’d also argue that it makes a great getaway retreat from Philly and New York City.

Part of the center is a Shankara Ayurveda Spa, a spa dedicated to the ancient healing traditions of Ayurveda. For those of you not familiar with Ayurveda, experience it — the results can be powerful! At Shankara, their main programs include weekend retreats and deep Ayurvedic cleanses, which gently cleanse, detox and revitalize the system with ancient combinations of therapies and diet. The cleanses last from 4-8 days and include personal consultations with an Ayurvedic Health Practitioner. There’s plenty of yoga classes on-site as well for the serious yogi’s among you.

In addition to on-site programs, yoga and spa facilities, they offer other unique retreats throughout the year. For example, coming up in February is a Sahaj Samadhi Meditation Retreat, where they offer an effortless meditation technique that infuses the mind with peace, clarity and creativity.  In March, they’re offering an Art of Living Happiness Program with Sudarshan Kriya where you can discover your unlimited power and freedom and a Yoga and Mindfulness Retreat, where you’ll experience yoga, Ayurveda and Living Yoga 4 Peace.  For the more advanced yoga practitioners among you, if you’ve ever thought of teaching, they offer a 30 day yoga teacher training and certification in April.

At the New York Times Travel event last weekend, they offered complimentary Ayurvedic assessments for guests who would like to know more about their personal constitution (called prakriti or dosha). Kim Rossi, the director of the spa, presented on “Increase Energy & Reduce Stress through the Ayurvedic Daily Routine” and “Natural Weight Balancing through the Ayurvedic Daily Routine.”

They have a unique offering called Taste of PK, which is deep Ayurveda Cleansing. It includes 3 nights and 4 days in a Spa room, daily meals, 5 Ayurveda Treatments customized to your needs, and daily Meditation and Yoga. Their Taste Of PK cleanses your system on the physical, emotional and even spiritual level through an ancient, time-tested regimen of healing time, therapeutic treatments, diet and Ayurvedic lifestyle education. This shortened version of the full Panchakarma offers an immersive experience in an Ayurveda lifestyle of health and wellness and a taste of PK with a more flexible schedule, which is great for people who don’t have enough time to dedicate to a longer program.

BodyHoliday in St. Lucia

BodyHoliday in St. Lucia is a unique combination of one of the world’s most beautiful islands, an all-inclusive resort that provides a truly luxurious and personal service, a Wellness Center that provides a range of treatments and a range of activities that could keep you busy from dawn until dusk.

This all inclusive resort’s Wellness Center has apparently been voted as one of the best spas in St Lucia and the BodyHoliday, one of the top all-inclusive resorts in the world. Renowned for their treatments, therapies and activities, they offer everything from archery to SCUBA, spinning to Pilates, and Ayurvedic treatments to Reiki. Twice a year, they also run a yoga retreat, two months dedicated to help yoga lovers improve their skills.

Set on a very private cove in the north west of the island, the BodyHoliday is very private and is centered around core pillars – relaxation, restorative beauty, exercise and good diet.   They currently run 6 specialized treatment courses that are designed around these key therapies and practices.  Dedicated to the pursuit of optimal wellness, BodyScience uses cutting edge technologies, such as DNA testing which is powerful. Combined with the preventative Eastern approach to well-being, the program takes a personalized health, fitness and nutrition programs to the next level.

A BodyScience program starts by the collection of a broad range of information about an individual’s physiology and biochemistry to identify imbalances in the body and mind that impact on wellness. BodyScience utilizes both Western science and Ayurvedic principles to gather all the data. Their programs are based on non-invasive diagnostics that are able to detect imbalances in key nutrient and hormone systems (including stress hormone assessment), heart and circulation health and stress reserve measurements. Correct “anti-inflammatory” diet, appropriate exercise, and appropriate food with natural and hormone supplements can make a huge difference.

By correcting sluggish metabolism people will tend to feel a sense of vitality and well-being that they did not feel before. One thing to add here is that given that I travel so much, I find that there are more foods in the states that encourage inflammation than ever before because of people’s reliance on fast food and processed food. A program like this could help you identify what you are eating that may be causing pain and other issues.

Some of their programs below:

The De-stress Health Program uses scientific lab tests to discover your body’s stress status at a physiological level. Based on the results, BodyScience provides a unique nutrition and lifestyle plan to help the body handle stress and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

The Fitness Program includes appropriate and reliable lab tests, which can give an insight into how your body is genetically pre-disposed to certain exercise regimes. It highlights any nutritional or functional deficiencies, so that you can address them, fuel your body appropriately and get the most out of your training. It is also possible from the tests to discover how the body recovers and repairs after training. The results can be further improved with the correct nutrients.

The Weight Management 360° Program uses scientific laboratory tests to evaluate hormones, genetic predisposition to weight gain, inflammation and food sensitivities all of which are important considerations when striving for optimal weight loss and maintenance. Based on laboratory test results, you receive your own personalised dietary and exercise plan, which addresses any biochemical imbalances and subsequently influences how you achieve and maintain your healthy weight.

The Healthy Aging Program identifies where your body needs extra support to slow down the aging process, and to function optimally. The results form the basis of a detailed bespoke health plan that is designed to restore more youthful function and support your body in ageing gracefully providing vitality whilst also looking great.

The Digestive Health Program investigates the cause of your symptoms and discomfort by using state of the art laboratory tests. Based on the results, you will be provided with a personal nutrition and lifestyle plan with the aim of restoring digestive health and comfort.

The Detox Health Program uses scientific lab tests to discover your body’s detoxification status. Based on the results, you receive a nutrition and lifestyle plan to help you optimize your detoxification.

They also do something called Ayurveda Ecstasy which is from South India. It is a two day program that focuses on your physical, mental and emotional levels using the best combination of four of the most popular Ayurveda therapies – Synchronized Abhyanga massage, Mukhalepam, Udvartana and Shirodhara.

Photo credit: www.telegraph.co.uk

Canyon Ranch

I’ve always been a fan of Canyon Ranch’s mission and have heard nothing but positive things from friends who have spent time at one of their properties. For those not familiar with them, they’re among the top in wellness resorts and now, they have properties on land and at sea. At the New York Times Travel Show, they co-hosted a relaxation lounge in the Wellness Pavilion and offered complimentary hand treatments from some of their top Canyon Ranch in Lenox massage therapists.

They also boast a number of philanthropic and community partners which help them provide such extraordinary experiences at their resorts.  Although I haven’t been to one of their locations yet (it’s on the list), the experience goes beyond your traditional spa experience. Canyon Ranch Founder Mel Zuckerman dubbed this distinction the Special Personalized Adventure. Expert Program Advisors are on-site to help you create an agenda that is personalized for your needs, interests and issues.

The property I’ve known about for years, largely because I lived in Boston for so long, is Lenox Massachusetts, however they also have a resort in Las Vegas and the Sonoran Desert around Tucson Arizona (below). Outside the country, you can veg out in Kaplankaya, Turkey or on a cruise ship — it’s called SpaClub at Sea.

Above, morning yoga at their Arizona location — don’t discount the power that a natural and pure environment can have on your well-being.

2016 is set to be an exciting year for Canyon Ranch and they highlighted many of the projects and initiatives at the show, including The Residences at Bellefontaine, their first condo living community at the Canyon Ranch in Lenox and the launch of their first international property, Canyon Ranch Wellness Resort at Kaplankaya.

They offer something they refer to as the Life Enhancement Program, which is designed for people who are looking for a first-hand experience in all-healthy living. This enlightening, engaging experience has helped thousands of people take positive, permanent steps toward reaching – and often surpassing – personal aspirations. The highly effective Life Enhancement Center preventive health program is currently being adapted by the Canyon Ranch Institute, for residents of one of the poorest neighborhoods in North America, in the South Bronx.

On-site, regardless of which location you choose, you can tap into a wealth of experts who help you improve your fitness, nutrition, stress, mood, sleep patterns and more. Their team draws on Western medicine as well as Eastern traditions, energy healing, spiritual awareness, lifestyle and proven alternative practices.  I’ve also know some people who head to Canyon Ranch to heal from sickness, surgery or an injury and they are known for this — people in my circles always return feeling renewed and transformed and since we’re all about Transformative Travel here at We Blog the World, we’re excited about the opportunity to take a look at one or two of their properties in more depth this and next year.

Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain

I love Ritz Carlton’s Dove Mountain property in Arizona although I may be a bit biased. Anthony and I had an incredible few day escape there last summer, where we relaxed in the desert, took in spa treatments and ate healthy dishes every morning and night. When you head off to a spa, whether it’s the luxury one at home you splurge on every month or when you’re on vacation, it needs to be more than just luxurious and pampering. Pampering goes without saying, but imagine a whole lotta pampering and service, but surrounded by remote desert tranquility where the environment itself supports your system in a nurturing and balanced way. Oh yeah, and the sunsets are incredible!

While we were at the Dove Mountain property, we were also surrounded by some of the rawest desert nature you’ll ever encounter in the United States and they offer evening and morning hikes out into some of the desert trails nearby by an expert guide. Because it’s dry heat, if you suffer from arthritis or achy joints and pains, your body will love the low humidity in this decadent southern Arizona resort.  See my resort write-up/review from this past summer, which includes some shots of our restorative hike.

I lived in Arizona for a stint of my life and have been to Phoenix and Sedona countless times over the years, but have never been so taken away by the size of the cactus that sprawls in all directions. I think that the nature which surrounds a spa (if not in a city center) is a critical part of your spa experience. The air, the sun or lack of it, the kinds of trees and soils…..all play into what kind of experience you’ll have at the spa, perhaps including what products they’re most inspired by.

The Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain property has both a dry sauna and a fairly large steam room. They also have a lovely inside relaxation room with lemon and rosemary infused water and herbal teas or two areas outside — the pool itself which has comfy outdoor beds and cabanas or a smaller same sex area where there’s a hot tub and access to both the steam room and sauna. The lovely thing about the resort is that while it attracts many families, it has an adult only outdoor pool behind the natural stone walls of its spa on the opposite side of the property. You’ll notice at the spa pool, you are surrounded by beautiful and pure nature in every direction — it reminded me a bit of Enchantment Resort and Spa in Sedona, which apparently sits on land that is part of a vortex, believed by many to be a very healing and transformative experience.

The other lovely thing about Dove Mountain’s spa pool is that it’s natural salt water, rather than chlorinated water. They also have a fabulous salt water jacuzzi at the spa pool, which has a cascading waterwall – oh so lovely for the sore muscles and joints. The other thing worth noting is that the resort has an extensive Fitness Center on-site, which is larger than most 5 star resort gyms. Equipment includes Cardiovascular & Strength Training which you can do in the gym itself or nearby studio, which they use for classes, including yoga.  There’s Elliptical trainers, Stationary bikes, Treadmills, Free weights, Weight training machines, and a Movement Studio.

Every day, they offer Yoga, Pilates, H.I.I.T., and Zumba. We had a private yoga class while we were there, largely because we wanted the individual treatment. We also opted for a full body assessment by one of their advanced trainers. It’s not a whole lotta fun learning what your optimal body fat percentage is, but it’s important to know what it is if you’re going to make any vital changes in your diet and exercise regiment.

The spa pool has a private entrance to it from the spa, making it a quiet escape from the larger outdoor pools on the property which tends to get traffic from a lot of families. You can choose to have your treatment in either an indoor or outdoor treatment room, and there’s an over-sized treatment suite for couples and small groups – complete with a private fireplace and courtyard. As noted, the luscious serenity pool terrace where guests are able to view ancient Native American carvings in nearby rocks.

We both had the HOT STONE MASSAGE, a treatment I’ve always been a fan of over the years, but not all spas offer it.  Here, they call it a Hohokam Stone Massage,  which is based on Native American traditions. Warm (I’d say closer to hot) mineral-rich basalt stones are used to give your body-earth energy.

Kurotel Longevity Medical Center and Spa 

This health center has been honored with a coveted Crystal Award for Best Wellness Travel Property in South and Central America, and a Country Award for Best in Brazil at the 2015 Wellness Travel Awards. Apparently, Kurotel also won a Category Award for:  Best for Beauty & Anti-Aging, Best for Fitness, Best for Going Solo, Best for Healthy Cuisine, Best for Medical Services, Best for Men, Best for Outdoor Adventure & Activities and Best Overall Healthy Living Program. Whoah Nelly, if that impressive list isn’t enough to bring you down to Brazil for a whole lotta rest and relaxation, then let’s learn a bit more about the people behind the center and the spa itself.

Photo credit: Spas of America

Longevity Medical Center and Spa medical director and co-owner, Mariela Silveira, MD, was invited to speak about the center’s innovative approach to Brain Health at this year’s New York Times Travel Show and although we were in touch prior to the show, I never managed to meet with her on-site, although I did visit their booth.

In addition to her talk, Kurotel hosted a table in the Wellness Discovery Path, where they answered questions about brain health with suggestions on how to keep the good health of one’s memory. The Center also ran a contest offering show attendees a chance to win a 5-night wellness retreat at the Center in Brazil.  And, they had a fun social media activity at the show, where you showed your support for Global Wellness Day by posting a photo with a “I Say Yes” sign and using hashtags to share the news on your favorite social media channels, which I did of course.

Founded by Dr Luis Carlos and Neusa Silveira, a husband and wife team, Kurotel has a 33 year history built on helping people live longer, healthier and meaningful lives. Inspired by the European Kur tradition, which focuses on preventative and rehabilitative medicine, the peaceful mountain sanctuary offers a scientific approach to health through optimistic lifestyle changes and balanced health. Combining wellness, longevity and medical services, the center offers treatments, assessments and healing therapies including everything from stress to sleep problems, addiction to smoking, cancer recovery, brain health, longevity and weight control.

Photo credit: www.tripadvisor.com.au

They have doctors and holistic practitioners at your disposal on site and a team who creates activities that combine different therapies to bring attendees into pure relaxation, beauty, wholeness and renewal. Services include facials, body treatments, relaxing or reducing therapies as well as something they refer to as the Water Circuit: a sequence of therapeutic baths which refers to European stations.

What I love about this place is that it appears to be broad in it’s activity and offering approach – in other words, because they are also close to nature, they offer outdoor recreational activities as well in a natural environment, which can be very healing in itself.  From hiking, special dinners, artistic performances and dance classes to forums, lectures, swimming, tennis and functional cooking classes, they go beyond traditional health, wellness and spa treatments. It appears to be all about balance and integrating a healthy approach to your life through that balance, from exercise, knowledge, food, supplements, healing therapies, body work and more.

They even have a Post-Cancer Program which this past year, received the international certification Cancer Aware by Wellness for Cancer, as a complete program for post-cancer treatment. There are exercise classes, guidance on how best to prepare healthy meals conducted in an experimental kitchen at their Spa Bistro and plenty of doctors, nutritionists, fitness trainers, physical therapists, dentists and psychologists on-site to guide you towards a healthier and more holistic lifestyle, guidance you can take home and implement into your daily lives.

Color Spa

Color Spa is a multi-product brand that marries the ancient modality of colored light with smart tech for a 21st century interactive experience that provides an instant energy tune-up. I’ve always been a fan of the use of color for adding creativity, energy and relaxation to whatever activity you’re doing. I find that people are often afraid of color and tend to stick to more muted and conservative colors on a regular basis — from keeping their walls white or off-white in their homes, to sticking to black and white clothing rather than a purple sweater with a colorful necklace instead. People often argue that it’s easier or safer, or that they simply don’t have the time or know how to get creative with color. “It takes effort,” said one woman I talked to at the New York Times Travel Show when we spoke of the dynamics of color.

And so, as someone who loves art and has had plenty of it plastered on walls over the years, and repaints rooms all the time, I’m a huge fan of the power that color can create in one’s life. The team behind Color Spa has published a book called Color Spa: Color Yourself In, that articulates the basics of co-founder Robyn Lee’s process. She says, “What light and color offer is communion with our primary energy. Just being in colored light instigates healing, brings equilibrium to body and soul and shows us that light is natural medicine.”

The above shot is of Robyn Lee, one of the main forces behind Color Spa doing a demonstration at the New York Times Travel Show in the Wellness Pavilion where I spent most of my afternoon on the last day. The photo may look a little “funky” but it’s because we were in an area sectioned off by curtains where she had beams of lights in different colors facing another set of beams of lights in different colors and the result was a soft muted color spread in all directions – kinda fun! The reason she created this environment, was to let people experience a type of “color therapy.”

Color Spa has several parts:

  • Mobile App which uses your smartphone for an instant energy tune-up. (pictured above)
  • Spas: for clients at destination spas or on a wellness cruise, instead of a mud bath, you can step into an immersive Color Spa treatment that cleanses and refreshes with colored light and sound.
  • Workshops: an in-depth session on the relationship between colored light and our seven chakras and an energy healing real-time. They offer this for groups, corporations, cruise ships and at wellness retreats.

There’s also two not-for-profit applications:

  • Custom Coach: a bus that is an interactive, mobile light show. It tours to schools, museums, hospitals, shopping malls – and gives the general public, (especially under-privileged kids in poorer neighborhoods) an experience.
  • Larger Lightshow/Workshop: like Oprah’s The Life You Want Tour, this is a full-scale show that combines Robyn Lee’s teachings, guests and a scaled experience, booked in large venues. A percentage of each performance is apparently donated to charity.

Color Spa is a unique experience as it opens a window to the people on a gently therapeutic level where consciousness is the currency, engagement the process and personal balance the result. Below is a shot taken at one of her workshops.

 Photo credit: Emily Hewitt

Wellness Travel is exploding as a category and it’s no surprise. I’ve been committed to it as a way of life (not simply a travel category on our site) for years. With processed food being an unfortunate “go to” in the western world and fast and “always-on” schedules encouraging more time on mobile devices and laptops, where we work longer hours per day than ever before, it’s no wonder that our bodies are breaking down and craving that necessary relaxation break. It’s no longer just about spa getaways in today’s hectic world; a massage or facial here and there isn’t enough to reset our stressed body from the months of tension and stress that regularly get thrown our way.

By experiencing creative, non-traditional therapies, learning about healthy diets you can incorporate into your life at home and when traveling, making time for exercise and nature, we stand a chance — a more successful chance — at living a holistic and healthy life where we can feel at peace with the world. This is part of travel or should be! Learning more about the negative impact of things in our environment like plastic, processed meals, chemicals in our food and beauty products, hormones that get pumped into the livestock we eat and the ill-effect of EMFs from our cell phones, is all key to living a better life.

Be sure to read my recent article on 15 Tips for Healthy Travel, a piece I wrote about the power of silence and nature during a recent Yoga and Wellness trip to Jamaica, and my detailed article that outlines what you need to know about EMF emissions and the health risks many are experiencing as a result of high EMF’s from things like smart meters, cell phones, powerful modems in homes and more.

Being aware is necessary in today’s toxic environment. Having that knowledge and experiencing it first hand, which you can do through some of the wellness companies above, is critical to your well-being and happiness in life, on and off the road.

Digital Health Summer Summit & Their Digital Health Playground

by on June 23, 2015 at 10:26 am

I’ve experienced some of Digital Health Summit’s energy, largely at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, where it has grown in size over the years and now represents some of the most innovative technologies happening in the health, wellness and medical arena.
Last week, they held their Digital Health Summer Summit in San Francisco, which consisted of a full day of panel discussions, keynotes and something they refer to as Digital Health Playground, which is an expo of companies showing off their latest products.

Photo credit: LearnersOnline.com
The reason I’ve been so interested in digital health lately is not just because of the marketing and communications work I’ve done for HAPILABS and Kolibree over the past few years, both of which announced the world’s first in their respective categories (connected fork and connected electric toothbrush).
This world obviously got me into deeper into the world of quantified self and devices that measure everything you do, from the quality of your breathe, to your sleep patterns and the steps you take every day. While I find quantified self interesting and in some cases, leaps ahead of our time, empowering individuals about their bodies in ways that was never possible before, I’m also concerned about over monitoring since doing so means that the EMFs emitted and other electrical energy that comes from these devices are close to our bodies if not on them 24/7.

I for one sleep more peacefully when I’m far away from anything that has bluetooth or wifi connectivity and when I’m not using my phone for texting or browsing, I turn it to Airplane Mode as a safety precaution. That said, the benefits of self monitoring for more serious medical conditions can be a godsend, particularly for kids and seniors, so that other family members can stay on top of their loved one’s health as well. It’s also useful for sending data back to your family when you’re traveling and they’re not with you.  

Photo credit: www.kpcb.com
The idea of digital health centers on the convergence of the digital and genetics with health, healthcare, medicine, living, and society.
The biggest benefits of digital health as noted above, include the empowerment of consumers to better track, manage, and improve their own and their family’s health. There are of course compliance issues, as well as hospital and corporate adoption curves that run alongside these revolutionary changes happening in the digital world today.
At the Summit, we heard from Chief Medical Officer for AFIA Rob Smythe MD and author of The Digital Doctor, Professor and Associate Chair for the Department of Medicine Robert W. Watchter MD, who addressed the need for digital health to better demonstrate its effectiveness, as well as the issues around privacy, security and regulatory challenges.
With the abundance of health tech accelerators and seed funders pushing out a wide array of digital health companies, we also heard tips on how to avoid the funding valley of death given the long time gap between institutional funding and ultimate launch. Reps from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Launchpad Digital Health, dRx Capital AG and DNAnexus took this subject on, which was soon followed by an interesting keynote from Michael Blum, MD and Associate Vice Chancellor for Informatics and Professor of Medicine and Cardiology/Chief Medical Information Office at UCSF.
Other panels discussed how partnering with strategic companies can better harness the power of talents and resources from both sides.
One of the more interesting dialogues was between moderator Karyn Skultety, Ph.D. and VP of Health Services at the Institute of Aging, and Commercial Lead at Big Health Dickson Waterfield and Co-Founder of Ginger.io Karan Singh. I like what they’re doing at Ginger.io, which uses smartphones to improve mental health care.
Their app uses sensor data collected through the phone and self-reported information to identify people who may need help. Providers can use this data to better deliver support to the right people at the right time, making care more timely, effective and engaging. Ginger.io’s Android and iPhone apps use data from your phone to safely and securely watch for days when your health may take a hit.

The Dealmaking, Piloting and Scaling panel presented the question: You Have What It Takes? Travis Good, MD and CEO & Co-Founder of Catalyze, Molly Coye MD and Sense.ly CEO Adam Odessky took on the topic head on, sharing insights on how to sell, pilot and scale successfully within the healthcare system.
Questions addressed included what healthcare systems looking for when they evaluate new technology, are all hospitals different or are there unified approaches entrepreneurs can take when working with them, and do you have a product that hospitals can actually implement to scale, among others.

Although nature will always win if I had a choice between trees, mountains and lakes and gadgets, toys and devices, I am a bit of a tech nerd when it comes to nifty things that can improve the quality of my life or my productivity. I’d argue that more devices than not add hassle to my life and extra time trying to figure out how they work and their effectiveness than the benefit they may actually provide.
One of the more interesting products being shown in the Expo part of the show, a small area set up for companies to do demos and show off their greatest, was Breathometer. Their mission is to build the World’s First Portable Breath Analysis Platform to help people make smarter decisions, improve healthcare and to save lives.

You download the Breathometer mobile app on your smartphone, power on the Breeze product using the small button on the bottom of the product and the Breeze should automatically pair / connect with your smartphone.
Once connected, confirm it has been 20 minutes since your last drink, take a deep breath and blow into the mouth of Breeze for 5 seconds and Breathometer will give you your results. Beyond providing dependable blood alcohol concentration levels, the Breathometer app is designed to help you make informed, dependable decisions.

Another cool product at the event was Splitsecnd, emergency assistance the instant you need it. Splitsecnd is the only plug-in device that can provide live trip data, detect a crash, call for emergency help in less than 7 seconds and notify your emergency contact in an instant.
This is a great device when you’re traveling of course, but it’s also great for seniors and teenagers — parents can not only detect if and where there has been a crash instantly, but monitor the driving behavior as well. The device plugs into any vehicle’s 12V lighter outlet and uses airbag sensor technology to activate the emergency response system on impact, calling for help even when you can’t respond.
The GPS monitoring features allow you to keep up with family and loved ones on the road. Using build in location software, splitsecnd works with local 911 dispatchers to send emergency aid right away. The splitsecnd response team will call your emergency contact so your family knows within minutes you have been in a car crash.

You can also view the past 10 trips of anyone on your account — where and when they went and even the route they took. For android users only, it currently also tracks how often the driver texts while driving making it easy to see how often they are making safety a priority. Wow!
I also learned a lot about hearing loss — I had no idea it was such a huge problem in the states, how much hearing loss impacts one’s emotional state, how expensive hearing aids are and the fact that they’re not covered by insurance. Huh? When they’re priced in the $2-6K price range per hearing aid, imagine how many seniors go without, trying to live day to day without accurate hearing?
Apparently there are a significant and growing number of kids who suffer from hearing loss as well. I chatted to the Audicus team at the show, who focus on providing affordable hearing aids. Apparently traditional providers and manufacturers mark hearing aids up more than 10x to cover overhead and other miscellaneous costs whereas Audicus cuts out the middlemen by working with a top-tier, independent German manufacturer and delivering it straight to the consumer.
They believe that everyone deserves to “Live Loudly” so are focusing on dramatically bringing the cost of hearing aids down so it’s more affordable to the average American. They also sell accessories — two thumbs up!
Producer Jill Gilbert, Organizer and founder of Living in Digital Times Robin Raskin and their team put together an incredibly enriching event full of great ideas, people, products, services and platforms.
The event was co-hosted by CDHI – Center for Digital Health Innovation at UCSF — more information can be found at www.digitalhealthsummit.com. Be sure to watch for their developments, updates, future event dates and locations.

(From an original article by Renee Blodgett)
 

Fun New Travel Apps Tout Their Horns at Web Summit

by on June 9, 2015 at 11:40 am

At the fourth annual Web Summit event in Dublin from November 4-6, 2014, 22,000 people from around the world came to see new gadgets, get cool demos and hear the latest scoop on where technology is heading. Since we love travel, we decided to spend a little time learning about what some of the new travel start-ups were up to on the show floor.
While we mostly cover news and destinations for the luxury traveler, we threw in several apps into the mix that would be useful for hotels, airlines, property and guest house owners and even boat owners.

What I found fascinating was just how diverse the nationalities were across the board — there are some creative apps coming out of Portugal, Israel, Germany, Finland, Greece, the states, France, England, Ireland, Italy, Finland, Russia, Brazil, Austria, Holland, Belgium, Australia and even Monaco and Malta, among countless others. I put together a curation of some of the apps I came across during my scouting exercise across three days at this massive technology event.
Yonderbound is another B2B solution. Based in of all places Monaco, the female founder team (uncanny fact but they’re both named Barbara), is trying to help travelers get a kick back for sharing their knowledge and travel experiences. Millions of people share their travel knowledge on popular sites for free and Yonderbound thinks you should be rewarded for it — up to 70% of the net revenue you produce.

TripFlr is a new travel app from London-based co-founder Jerome Lapaire and team. The pitch? What else but “travel with flair.” Remembering the name of a bar or a shop is often a pain. City by city, you can now store your favorite spots and all the places you have yet to discover in your private Triplogs!

Georama is a real-time vicarious travel platform. They help people experience the world anytime, anywhere. Georama’s technology allows viewers to explore a destination in real-time by interacting with a guide who is live streaming their perspective.
They’re targeting tourism organizations, hotels, airlines and more to help them inspire and engage with prospective travelers around the world.
The Find Out App helps restaurants, nightclubs and bars interact with users on their key information to improve the experience they have on the ground. Based in Paris, they only started out about a month ago so are trying to add new venues as quickly as they can, and will expand to other cities as things progress. Guestvista is aimed at social travelers. Travelers can learn about useful hints and tips from others. The company is based in Ireland.

InLoco gives you an opportunity to travel with locals. This Brazilian-based company has been loading their content from Brazil and will be adding European users soon. The idea is to discover non-tourist sites, meet new people and find more interesting alternatives by traveling with a local resident.
Plan Chat lets you create a plan for anything with content from everywhere in a familiar centric manner. Hotel Booking say they are the best hotel search engine. It looks a bit like an Expedia but for hotel booking only.

Guest 2gether out of Austria, is a social network for hotels. They create a new vacation experience for each customer.
When you’re at your hotel, you can meet up with other people staying at the same hotel and meet up to do activities together or dine together based on common interests.
BookBedder say that they can make hotel booking even better. I chatted with Swiss-based co-founder Yannick Blondeau at the event. BookBedder is a collaborative hotel booking website where hotels and guests join forces to get reduced costs and better deals on hotels.
Quicket is a mobile travel service that combines existing flights, hotels, cars, fees and air services for independent travelers.
BookGreener gives travelers lists of authoritatively rated eco-friendly hotels from around the world. Based out of Indonesia, the ever so eco-conscious founder Alexandre Tsuk wants to change the way people think about hotels and make travelers more conscious about where they stay. What else is cool is that every time a traveler books a hotel, BookGreener plants a tree.

Social Airways has a great idea. The Cyprus-based founder and CEO Stylianos Lambrou wants to help flyers get more value from others on their flight, every time they fly.
It’s a social flights platform that connects people who are on the same flight, so they can share rides, information and anything else that might be useful. I love this and hope it sticks.

Conichi say that they plan to revolutionize the interaction between hotels & restaurants and their guests. Through the Conichi App, guests are automatically recognized and their visits are tracked in order to provide optimal customer service.

In addition to being able to greet guests personally, their preferences are stored so hotels and restaurants can grant them personalized recommendations and provide additional benefits that best suit their interests and preferences. 
Big-data, personalization and smart-analytics are combined to optimize the guest experience and explore new levels of guest loyalty.

Family Vacation is a cool app based in Bucharest and New York that helps families book travel. Think of it more like a marketplace where families can find, customize and book personalized vacations provided by locals from around the world.

Inn Style is a web based alternative to irksome spreadsheets and dusty diaries for all kinds of accommodations owners — they tout, that it will be the easiest way for you or your clients to start taking online bookings.
Hero & Creatives is run by a woman CEO based out of Portugal. I love this idea – essentially they match you up with guide photographers in your destination of choice. How cool to explore the world with a local photographer who can show you an entirely different perspective on a country or city.

Direct Hoteling is a database of hotels and other businesses providing accommodations so you can find the best offer out there.
Travel Myth is another hotel recommendation engine, but one which is based on your interests. Based in Greece, this company’s app could be really useful if it sticks – we need more granular ways to search, discover and book hotels based on our personal likes and dislikes, so I really like the idea.

Gloudio is a fun idea out of the UK. They are combining traditional pre-recorded geo-located audio guides for well visited sites like museums with crowd-based audio content for an enhanced user experience when they’re on the road.
Exploranza out of the Czech Republic hopes to help travelers discover hidden gems. There’s no doubt we need more sites who can curate experiences for travelers in a much more efficient and high quality way but I’m not sure they have quite nailed it yet.
That said, they don’t plan on charging tourists for this curated premium content and they hope the value will get better and better over time. Kymboo.com’s tagline is Tourism 4.0.
Based in Spain, they say they are the first professional booking system for hotels, resorts, cottages and property owners where they can share marketing of their products.
Boatsetter out of Florida, hopes to offer a safe and secure way for boat owners to charter out their vessels to selected clients. Each charter includes state-of-the-art insurance, on-water support provided by BoatUS and US Coast Guard licensed captains available to hire.
Nifty idea but probably pretty niche, at least initially. The idea is obviously that customers will see value-add immediately since they can subsidize the cost of ownership and have a better maintained boat over time.

Roaming Byme is based in France and their team hopes to solve the roaming cell phone issue. They tout themselves as the traveler’s mobile operator, where they hope to solve traveler’s roaming bill shock issues.
YapQ, based in Israel, has created a mobile app that tells you what’s around you. They curate destinations and activities you want to do frequently in a city or town, such as a well known museum. The other beautiful thing about their app for a traveler is that you can use it offline and get the same benefit.

Pimp Your Stay with a team out of Malta, has certainly found a memorable name that is suggestive but also fun. They provide hotels access to detailed guest data (with opt in permission from the guest of course), so the hotels can add extra value to their stay.
Now, with additional personalized information on a guest in advance, hotels can turn a standardized service into a truly personalized stay.

Naymit, out of Germany, makes places findable, allowing you to create a one word address so visitors can find your front door or any other location in an instant. Imagine in the future that you might be able to type your “Naymit” name into your car navigation system and it’ll just work.

Let’s Open Now is based in Holland and is trying to help travelers find what they’re looking for that is open when they need them. Outria out of Belgium, crowdsources events, information from members and social networks and they distribute that information to new members.

Green Hopping is all about green travel. Through their site greenhopping.eu, you can browse, discover and get inspired by green travel ideas and places.
Cyclister, you shouldn’t be surprised to hear, is based out of Copenhagen Denmark, a city of cyclists. You can list your bike on Cyclister, decide on the price you want to rent your bike for and make money off each rental, a bit like the services that allow people to rent out their cars when they’re not in use. This is certainly useful in cities where cycling is a preferred way to get around like Copenhagen for example and I could also see this working in Amsterdam and Montreal.

Next to Me, out of Italy, is creating an accurate submeter indoor navigation system that allows users to locate and access their services within their location.
Audio Trip, out of Poland, is a storytelling app that changes your smart phone into a personal local guide.
Cruise Me allows you to search, discover and connect, all within the cruise world. It’s still a bit hush hush as they haven’t officially launched yet, but apparently the app from this Florida-based startup is slated to go live sometime in January or February 2015.

Share My Taxi, based out of Munich Germany, is a blend of Uber and Lyft. They use professional drivers and there’s also a mobile app that makes traveling with taxis, Uber, Wundercar and others social and green by sharing a ride if its available. This is also more economical for travelers who want to get from A to B safely.

Cityist has started out with Paris-based content since that’s where they’re currently based. They tout themselves as the next Generation Of City Guides. They are a website, offline mobile app & marketplace that turns tourists into local experts.
Local Fixer’s Co-Founder Elliot Costello and team are based in Melbourne Australia. Finally, a fun travel app from the Aussies. It’s a bit like a LinkedIn for the travel sector, where you can include offers in your profile, ranging from offering your pad to rent for the week, or posts of other things you can offer travelers, such as bikes, your car to use, or things you’d like to sell which might be useful to them during their stay.

Deal Broker is a B2B solution that is targeting travel suppliers and help them find great tours and activities for travelers. They customize the content under the tour operators brand/logo that they can then send out to their travel prospects.

DealBroker can also send mobile notifications through social media, text or email. Deal Broker specializes in relevant offers around a specific destination, such as tours and activity offers. They are leveraging the trend that tour operators and activity suppliers want to cooperate and need easier ways to do so. It would be a great multi-touch solution for example, for rental car companies or airlines.

Tziip is based out of Finland and their pitch is a bit like like Lyft but more social. In other words – get a ride and/or share a ride.
Group Booked from Ireland, touts themselves as the AirBNB for groups, but for more than just accommodations. Another value-add they say is that while they book for groups, they’ll take individual payments, making it more flexible for groups of people to book.
Hudway is a mobile app that helps drivers follow directions in fog, snow, rain and at night via road windshield projections.

Tour Plus, based out of Malaysia helps you plan, enjoy and share your trip by creating an automatic itinerary for you. In other words, you put the places you want to see into their app and they’ll map out the best way to do it for you. You can also share that itinerary with others.
Travel Appeal from Italy, allows hotels to control, manage and improve their reputation.
BELOW SHOTS: On the Show Floor at Web Summit 2014 in Dublin  
 
Photos of apps from vendor websites, 1st Photo taken from Travelblat and photos from Web Summit Show Floor from Renee Blodgett.    

(From an original article by Renee Blodgett)
 

FutureCast & Andrew Keen Take on Wearables at AT&T Foundry

by on June 9, 2015 at 11:40 am

AT&T Foundry Innovation centers are the home to technology collaboration, innovative ideas and new projects. The center in Palo Alto teamed up with Ericsson and earlier this year, they kicked off a series of interactive discussions led by Cult of the Amateur and Digital Vertigo author Andrew Keen.   

They host a series of salon-style discussions called FutureCasts, where they bring together the brightest minds in Silicon Valley to tackle the future of a wide array of technologies. Each event brings together more than 30 leading experts – enterprise executives, startup founders, academics, journalists and public officials – on a technology topic. 
The latest FutureCast focused on the Wearable Revolution and featured Recon CEO Dan Eisenhardt Wednesday night, May 7.

The discussion centered around how wearable technology will change our lives in the areas of sports, manufacturing, health, lifestyle and beyond. Dan talked about how their heads up display technology got started and is now being frequently used by skiiers and athletes around the world.  

Says Dan about simplicity and design in wearables, “you have to focus on the user and what they want. It’s often about saying no rather than saying yes which is harder to do. In other words, we need to take more things away and dumb it down so it’s an easier experience for the user.”
Andrew organically brought people into the conversation including myself….my input focused on my hot button, the #1 reason I don’t wear ANY wearable product on the market today — Design — or rather lack thereof. Since it’s still early days, we have a whole lotta technology being built by technologists for technologists and designers are not an integral part of the development process.
To my left was one of the guys behind the Rufus Cuff from Rufus Labs which is currently on IndieGoGo. The Rufus Cuff is an advanced wearable device that has 3-inch wide screen, a radical design, and what they refer to as a reimagined form factor. While their campaign is doing well, the product is far too geeky “looking” for me to ever wear, despite how useful it may be.

Today, there’s not enough conversations between creative designers who care about form factor and the technologists who care about function. Since the space is still premature, early adopters are the ones driving sales and interest. A wearable product has to solve a problem between form and function yet it also has to be stylish and attractive.
Monisha Prakash from Lumo Bodytech piped in whose product tracks your body’s position and alerts you when you’re slouching. They have sold 23,000 units so far with Lumo Back being their flagship product, a wearable sensor and smartphone app for lower back posture and activity, which impacts back pain, fitness, confidence, and yes…appearance.
Lumo Lift, their other product, focuses on chest, shoulder, and upper back slouching, a big problem for many office workers who sit at desks all day long.   

AT&T’s Chris McConnell and David Garver shared several insights along the way, including to the above, “23,000 units sold” stat. Their main point was while the numbers may be decent, whether that number will explode or not will dependo on whether that product (or any other product in the wearables space for that matter), can continuously solve a problem of contextual relevance.
In other words, if someone has a back problem then a niche wearable solution will be useful enough for them to spend the money. It solves their problem so its a worthwhile spend and in this case, a beautiful design will likely be secondary, although if its something they need to wear long term, then design will increasingly become more important.

Says Dan of Recon, “if you want to go out for a run or a ski, you may want to be able to leave your phone home especially if a watch, a necklace or a band can give you the data you need and perhaps just the text messages from only 3 people you care about.”
In addition to regular communication, there’s also communication when security and safety is a concern. Meet Artemis, whose tagline is smart jewelry for personal safety.
The team behind the products are seasoned travelers who have experienced adventure, street crime and worry over the safety of loved ones. I spoke to founder and CEO Jeff Axup who feels that wearable products will play an important role in making that happen. Their goal is to use Artemis wearable jewelry to help reduce the threat of personal violence.
A different approach but also one that focuses on safety comes from Zach Vorhies and his team at Zackees who have created cycling gloves with comfortable leather palms, an absorbent towel around the thumb, retro-reflective trim and breathable spandex throughout.
If you need to get around a car that’s blocking a bike lane, you can extend your left hand and active the turn signal gloves and check the lane for oncoming traffic. Signaling your intent before you pop out of that bike lane will go a long way in making your intent clear, keeping you safer from other drivers sharing the road.
 
The Magellan guys were also there and while they’re mostly known for their GPS systems, they’re out and about pumping up their Echo Smart Sports Watch.The Magellan Echo solves the biggest problem when doing sports with a smartphone — viewing and controlling apps while the phone is tucked away. Echo streams data and controls from your smartphone to your wrist.
At a glance, you can see distance, pace, and heart rate from apps in realtime. While the colors are bright, fun and oh so sporty looking, they’re still a bit clunky and masculine looking for me.

 
Clark Weber from their team however had a great point when he said to me, “it’s designed to be worn when you go off and do a sport and don’t want to bring your phone with you or a larger device, not necessarily for everyday use.” It made me rethink the usefulness and functionality of it and perhaps even testing it out.
I was there with Kolibree, the world’s first connected electric toothbrush. While not a traditional wearable, a lot of people have been throwing connected devices into the wearables space. As our phones become less of an attachment and more of a fixure on our clothing, purses and wrist bands, smart phones that share data on what’s happening with our health, including dental health, start to fall into the wearable space.

Kolibree is currently on Kickstarter until May 25 and while their goal has already been met, you can still order toothbrushes for less than you will be able to get them when the product ships in the Fall.
The real question the AT&T guys ask – “are mainstream consumers ready for wearable clothing and products that are connected and fixtures of our “selves”? They think not, although agree with the Accenture guys who are mostly focused on larger scale B2B projects.
Enterprise makes sense and in that space, price point is less of an issue if increased productivity will save tens of thousands or millions of dollars on an expensive running conveyor belt. Fashion is also less likely to be an issue.
Brent Bloom from Accenture talked about the work they’re doing in the enterprise space, helping Fortune 1000 companies save money. If someone can do their job more efficiently then we have a win win. Today, they are already successfully helping desk-less workers keep their hands free and be more productive while getting access to data.    
Says Greylock’s Sean White, “products need to be both utility and fashion and we need to understand the social implications of what the utility will create if the fashion isn’t there.” Hear hear Sean! Dutch born fashion designer and engineer Anouk Wipprect, who is currently doing a project with AutoDesk, couldn’t agree more. 
The holy grail asserts the AT&T guys is that as a consumer, I want to pay one price per month and connect to all of my devices. Will carriers across the globe add smaller low bandwidth devices to your existing services in the future? Inherently economic models will change — they have to.  
Simplified plans that support more devices without making a serious dent in your wallet is what needs to happen for wearables to become mainstream says Anthony Pelossi of Magellan, who asked the room who has a tablet and pays for 3 or 4G service rather than just rely on the wifi. Only a few people raised their hands and remember that this audience is a room full of early adopters and movers and shakers in Silicon Valley, so you can imagine that price is a serious consideration for mainstream users.

“Solve that problem,” says Pelossi and “you’ve solved half the battle with wearable devices.” I’d agree on this to a point, but bottom line, as a woman who does care about fashion as much as function, until the wearables also become stylish enough to WANT to wear, there will be a significant delay on adoption and social acceptability. I’d also argue that we’ll expect to buy wearables at more traditional retail outlets rather than Best Buy or some geeky online site.

Keep your eye on AT&T Foundary’s upcoming FutureCasts. While a list of topics and categories haven’t been officially announced nor have specific dates, they promise that many more of these engaging discussions are coming. Thanks Ericsson, AT&T Foundary and Andrew Keen for a tintilizing evening!

(From an original article by Renee Blodgett)
 

Fun New Travel Apps Tout Their Horns at Web Summit

by on June 9, 2015 at 11:40 am

At the fourth annual Web Summit event in Dublin from November 4-6, 2014, 22,000 people from around the world came to see new gadgets, get cool demos and hear the latest scoop on where technology is heading. Since we love travel, we decided to spend a little time learning about what some of the new travel start-ups were up to on the show floor.
While we mostly cover news and destinations for the luxury traveler, we threw in several apps into the mix that would be useful for hotels, airlines, property and guest house owners and even boat owners.

What I found fascinating was just how diverse the nationalities were across the board — there are some creative apps coming out of Portugal, Israel, Germany, Finland, Greece, the states, France, England, Ireland, Italy, Finland, Russia, Brazil, Austria, Holland, Belgium, Australia and even Monaco and Malta, among countless others. I put together a curation of some of the apps I came across during my scouting exercise across three days at this massive technology event.
Yonderbound is another B2B solution. Based in of all places Monaco, the female founder team (uncanny fact but they’re both named Barbara), is trying to help travelers get a kick back for sharing their knowledge and travel experiences. Millions of people share their travel knowledge on popular sites for free and Yonderbound thinks you should be rewarded for it — up to 70% of the net revenue you produce.

TripFlr is a new travel app from London-based co-founder Jerome Lapaire and team. The pitch? What else but “travel with flair.” Remembering the name of a bar or a shop is often a pain. City by city, you can now store your favorite spots and all the places you have yet to discover in your private Triplogs!

Georama is a real-time vicarious travel platform. They help people experience the world anytime, anywhere. Georama’s technology allows viewers to explore a destination in real-time by interacting with a guide who is live streaming their perspective.
They’re targeting tourism organizations, hotels, airlines and more to help them inspire and engage with prospective travelers around the world.
The Find Out App helps restaurants, nightclubs and bars interact with users on their key information to improve the experience they have on the ground. Based in Paris, they only started out about a month ago so are trying to add new venues as quickly as they can, and will expand to other cities as things progress. Guestvista is aimed at social travelers. Travelers can learn about useful hints and tips from others. The company is based in Ireland.

InLoco gives you an opportunity to travel with locals. This Brazilian-based company has been loading their content from Brazil and will be adding European users soon. The idea is to discover non-tourist sites, meet new people and find more interesting alternatives by traveling with a local resident.
Plan Chat lets you create a plan for anything with content from everywhere in a familiar centric manner. Hotel Booking say they are the best hotel search engine. It looks a bit like an Expedia but for hotel booking only.

Guest 2gether out of Austria, is a social network for hotels. They create a new vacation experience for each customer.
When you’re at your hotel, you can meet up with other people staying at the same hotel and meet up to do activities together or dine together based on common interests.
BookBedder say that they can make hotel booking even better. I chatted with Swiss-based co-founder Yannick Blondeau at the event. BookBedder is a collaborative hotel booking website where hotels and guests join forces to get reduced costs and better deals on hotels.
Quicket is a mobile travel service that combines existing flights, hotels, cars, fees and air services for independent travelers.
BookGreener gives travelers lists of authoritatively rated eco-friendly hotels from around the world. Based out of Indonesia, the ever so eco-conscious founder Alexandre Tsuk wants to change the way people think about hotels and make travelers more conscious about where they stay. What else is cool is that every time a traveler books a hotel, BookGreener plants a tree.

Social Airways has a great idea. The Cyprus-based founder and CEO Stylianos Lambrou wants to help flyers get more value from others on their flight, every time they fly.
It’s a social flights platform that connects people who are on the same flight, so they can share rides, information and anything else that might be useful. I love this and hope it sticks.

Conichi say that they plan to revolutionize the interaction between hotels & restaurants and their guests. Through the Conichi App, guests are automatically recognized and their visits are tracked in order to provide optimal customer service.

In addition to being able to greet guests personally, their preferences are stored so hotels and restaurants can grant them personalized recommendations and provide additional benefits that best suit their interests and preferences. 
Big-data, personalization and smart-analytics are combined to optimize the guest experience and explore new levels of guest loyalty.

Family Vacation is a cool app based in Bucharest and New York that helps families book travel. Think of it more like a marketplace where families can find, customize and book personalized vacations provided by locals from around the world.

Inn Style is a web based alternative to irksome spreadsheets and dusty diaries for all kinds of accommodations owners — they tout, that it will be the easiest way for you or your clients to start taking online bookings.
Hero & Creatives is run by a woman CEO based out of Portugal. I love this idea – essentially they match you up with guide photographers in your destination of choice. How cool to explore the world with a local photographer who can show you an entirely different perspective on a country or city.

Direct Hoteling is a database of hotels and other businesses providing accommodations so you can find the best offer out there.
Travel Myth is another hotel recommendation engine, but one which is based on your interests. Based in Greece, this company’s app could be really useful if it sticks – we need more granular ways to search, discover and book hotels based on our personal likes and dislikes, so I really like the idea.

Gloudio is a fun idea out of the UK. They are combining traditional pre-recorded geo-located audio guides for well visited sites like museums with crowd-based audio content for an enhanced user experience when they’re on the road.
Exploranza out of the Czech Republic hopes to help travelers discover hidden gems. There’s no doubt we need more sites who can curate experiences for travelers in a much more efficient and high quality way but I’m not sure they have quite nailed it yet.
That said, they don’t plan on charging tourists for this curated premium content and they hope the value will get better and better over time. Kymboo.com’s tagline is Tourism 4.0.
Based in Spain, they say they are the first professional booking system for hotels, resorts, cottages and property owners where they can share marketing of their products.
Boatsetter out of Florida, hopes to offer a safe and secure way for boat owners to charter out their vessels to selected clients. Each charter includes state-of-the-art insurance, on-water support provided by BoatUS and US Coast Guard licensed captains available to hire.
Nifty idea but probably pretty niche, at least initially. The idea is obviously that customers will see value-add immediately since they can subsidize the cost of ownership and have a better maintained boat over time.

Roaming Byme is based in France and their team hopes to solve the roaming cell phone issue. They tout themselves as the traveler’s mobile operator, where they hope to solve traveler’s roaming bill shock issues.
YapQ, based in Israel, has created a mobile app that tells you what’s around you. They curate destinations and activities you want to do frequently in a city or town, such as a well known museum. The other beautiful thing about their app for a traveler is that you can use it offline and get the same benefit.

Pimp Your Stay with a team out of Malta, has certainly found a memorable name that is suggestive but also fun. They provide hotels access to detailed guest data (with opt in permission from the guest of course), so the hotels can add extra value to their stay.
Now, with additional personalized information on a guest in advance, hotels can turn a standardized service into a truly personalized stay.

Naymit, out of Germany, makes places findable, allowing you to create a one word address so visitors can find your front door or any other location in an instant. Imagine in the future that you might be able to type your “Naymit” name into your car navigation system and it’ll just work.

Let’s Open Now is based in Holland and is trying to help travelers find what they’re looking for that is open when they need them. Outria out of Belgium, crowdsources events, information from members and social networks and they distribute that information to new members.

Green Hopping is all about green travel. Through their site greenhopping.eu, you can browse, discover and get inspired by green travel ideas and places.
Cyclister, you shouldn’t be surprised to hear, is based out of Copenhagen Denmark, a city of cyclists. You can list your bike on Cyclister, decide on the price you want to rent your bike for and make money off each rental, a bit like the services that allow people to rent out their cars when they’re not in use. This is certainly useful in cities where cycling is a preferred way to get around like Copenhagen for example and I could also see this working in Amsterdam and Montreal.

Next to Me, out of Italy, is creating an accurate submeter indoor navigation system that allows users to locate and access their services within their location.
Audio Trip, out of Poland, is a storytelling app that changes your smart phone into a personal local guide.
Cruise Me allows you to search, discover and connect, all within the cruise world. It’s still a bit hush hush as they haven’t officially launched yet, but apparently the app from this Florida-based startup is slated to go live sometime in January or February 2015.

Share My Taxi, based out of Munich Germany, is a blend of Uber and Lyft. They use professional drivers and there’s also a mobile app that makes traveling with taxis, Uber, Wundercar and others social and green by sharing a ride if its available. This is also more economical for travelers who want to get from A to B safely.

Cityist has started out with Paris-based content since that’s where they’re currently based. They tout themselves as the next Generation Of City Guides. They are a website, offline mobile app & marketplace that turns tourists into local experts.
Local Fixer’s Co-Founder Elliot Costello and team are based in Melbourne Australia. Finally, a fun travel app from the Aussies. It’s a bit like a LinkedIn for the travel sector, where you can include offers in your profile, ranging from offering your pad to rent for the week, or posts of other things you can offer travelers, such as bikes, your car to use, or things you’d like to sell which might be useful to them during their stay.

Deal Broker is a B2B solution that is targeting travel suppliers and help them find great tours and activities for travelers. They customize the content under the tour operators brand/logo that they can then send out to their travel prospects.

DealBroker can also send mobile notifications through social media, text or email. Deal Broker specializes in relevant offers around a specific destination, such as tours and activity offers. They are leveraging the trend that tour operators and activity suppliers want to cooperate and need easier ways to do so. It would be a great multi-touch solution for example, for rental car companies or airlines.

Tziip is based out of Finland and their pitch is a bit like like Lyft but more social. In other words – get a ride and/or share a ride.
Group Booked from Ireland, touts themselves as the AirBNB for groups, but for more than just accommodations. Another value-add they say is that while they book for groups, they’ll take individual payments, making it more flexible for groups of people to book.
Hudway is a mobile app that helps drivers follow directions in fog, snow, rain and at night via road windshield projections.

Tour Plus, based out of Malaysia helps you plan, enjoy and share your trip by creating an automatic itinerary for you. In other words, you put the places you want to see into their app and they’ll map out the best way to do it for you. You can also share that itinerary with others.
Travel Appeal from Italy, allows hotels to control, manage and improve their reputation.
BELOW SHOTS: On the Show Floor at Web Summit 2014 in Dublin  
 
Photos of apps from vendor websites, 1st Photo taken from Travelblat and photos from Web Summit Show Floor from Renee Blodgett.    

(From an original article by Renee Blodgett)
 

DLD Kicks Off Their First NYC Event in Chelsea

by on June 9, 2015 at 11:40 am

The DLD (Digital-Life-Design) Conference has been around for awhile albeit more well known in Europe than in the states. It makes sense since it started in Munich Germany in 2005 and only expanded in recent years, first in Israel and most recently to the states with their first official U.S. conference in New York City from April 30-May 1, 2014.

Their mission is to act as a global network on innovation, digitization, science and culture which connects business, creative and social leaders, opinion-formers and influencers for crossover conversation and inspiration.  
DLD is organized by DLD Media, which is part of Burda Digital and originally founded by Steffi Czerny and Marcel Reichart. DLD has also hosted events in Beijing, San Francisco, London, Moscow, New Delhi, Rio, Hong Kong and Tel Aviv, where there is a growing community because of the efforts of Israeli-based Yossi Vardi who acts as Chairman of the conference together with Hubert Burda.

Who attends? The conference is invite only, but the categories and interests of those who make up the audience are aligned with the content. Think creative communities, international leaders, disruptors and thinkers from digital and consumer markets, as well as media, technologists, scientists, designers, politicians, artists and social scientists from around the globe.

The format is a combination of keynote style talks and panels.  

I last attended the original DLD in 2010 and still remember the magic of Munich in January. Snow fell on me as I walked from my hotel to the venue every morning and back every night, the majority of my commute on pedestrian only streets. As cold as it was, I took plenty of shots of remarkable people and activites over the course of a few days.
I lived on salty pretzels, sausage, beer and coffee and recall having a fight with my new Google Nexus phone, brutal enough that I tossed it in a snowbank because it wouldn’t work after umpteen attempts. DLD felt like early days of TED except without the celebrities and Monterey Beach nearby. 
One of the things that make DLD so unique is the eclectic and rich curation of tantilizing voices and minds from around the globe by Steffi, Marcel, Hubert and Yossi. Like TED, Davos and Renaissance Weekend, the attendees could equally be speakers because they all have inspiring, compelling content to share.
When the audience is as engaging as the people on stage, but are also compassionate and eager to help make the world a better place, then you have a “creative global community with heart” in a business setting. It’s a bit how I see and would describe DLD! 
Imagine hearing and engaging in discussions on the future of investment, net neutrality, youth marketing, the future of art and design, urban planning, violence, social physics, failure and neuro science all within a 48 hour period.
Imagine in that same 48 hour period, having a chat with Deepak Chopra on spirituality in the workplace and then hearing about future plans for the Arctic Passage from Iceland’s President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson. I originally met Grimsson at the Startup Iceland Conference in Reykjavik last summer (refer to my write up on the event including his talk). Below is a shot I took of him in the networking area at DLD during a tea break.

By now, you’re pretty energized, which is great preparation for your visit to a nearby German biergarten for massive plates of sausage, pretzels, sauerkraut and pickled vegetables while listening to an authentic Bavarian band. 
Imagine that sometime during your day, you discovered an interesting project or two by Victor Chan, the Founding Director of the Dalai Lama Center, who has also co-authored books with the Dali Lama. Below, he reflects in the courtyard while we took a session break after the rain finally cleared.

Then, later, you dive deep into a discussion about where beauty is missing in the world from architecture to schools and churches.This small group of really smart people you met over German beer care enough to think of solutions about where the world can start. 
I chatted with right brain and left brain thinkers from Sweden, China, France, England, South Africa, Australia, Germany, Israel, Finland, Austria, India, Iran, Pakistan, Estonia, Russia, Singapore, Ireland, Denmark, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Canada.
This is a sample of some of my warmest memories over the course of two days. Welcome to DLD! Their first New York event did not disappoint and held to the same top notch standards they’re so known for at their main event in Munich every winter.
One of the other fabulous things about a European run event, is that they care about food. And, of course, presentation matters!

While the conversations in the lounge areas and the after parties could keep you engaged for hours, they also have an hourly agenda for conversations happening on the main stage. I’ll start with one of my favorite talks by an Austrian designer I originally met at TED more than a decade ago.
Stefan Sagmeister kicked off his thoughtful and quietly provactive session on Beauty with stunning images of a medieval castle in Lisbon. He said, “Every aspect of this castle was informed by form.”

He asks, “how did we manage to get from the darkest side of the middle ages into the 20th century and somehow along the way, lost our desire to make things beautiful?”

He points out that the end of the 19th century was obsessed with beauty and weaving in culture and history into architecture, art and design: the Parliament which is Greek, the Opera which is of Renaissance architecture and the Gothic-ness of Vienna’s City Hall.
Yet today, Sagmeister asserts, “theres not a single high end designer who talks about beauty, which IS about being human.”
Below is an image taken from his design website.

I had an interesting chat with Dutch-Brazilian visual artist Rafaël Rozendaal who uses the Internet as his canvas. His artistic practice consists of websites, installations, lenticulars, writings and lectures. Spread out over a vast network of domain names, he attracts a large online audience of over 30 million visits per year.

His work researches the screen as a pictorial space, reverse engineering reality into condensed bits, in a space somewhere between animated cartoons and paintings. Rafaël’s installations involve moving light and reflections, taking online works and transforming them into spatial experiences.
The below digital image is a website called Room Warp. Note that the below screen capture is a still of a moving digital image that will make you a tad dizzy if you stare at it for too long. You need to go to roomwarp.com to see the live image in action.
He creates digital art that all have their own website name. Others fun examples include FutureIsUncertain.com and IfYesNo.com. 

While we’re on the topic of art, let’s move to Kollabora founder Nora Abousteit who was on a panel entitled Creative Cities which Peter Hirshberg moderated. Says Nora on art as it relates to cities and technology, “Art helps us reframe things in the technology world.” What’s happening in Las Vegas with the Downtown Project is certainly an example of this.
Also in the discussion was Burning Man’s Jenn Sander, Gidi Schmerling from the Tel Aviv Municipiality and CEA’s Gary Shapiro.

This engaging discussion was about all the elements that make cities thrive. How do you turn a city/metro area into a creative technological hub like Silicon Valley?
If similar factors come together argues Shapiro then a similar ecosystem can evolve. He pointed out that Tel Aviv and Silicon Valley share a culture that allows failure and supports entrepreneurs taking risks which is necessary for a startup culture to succeed.

While I missed the Cracking the Code of the Art Business panel, Arty’s Carter Cleveland, Artnet’s Ben Genocchio, Christopher Vroom from ArtSpace, Aditya Julka from Paddle 8 and Michaela de Pury explored this topic in depth.
Digital Music was also part of the agenda, another game changing industry. Says Shazam’s CEO Rich Riley, “the way people consume music is changing dramatically and it’s important that the industry responds to how people want to listen to and share music.” In other words, don’t force a square hole into a circle! 

Below, Blaise Belville and Torsten Schmidt discuss digital trends in music.

I’m a sucker for meeting a new musician regardless of what instrument they play or style they’re passionate about. As a storyteller, I often find that musicians have the most interesting stories at conferences, particularly technology ones.

Given how many Israeli attendees there are, it was no surprise to see Israeli violinist Miri Ben-Ari perform on the main stage. She had me at hello; her energy is electric, her style vibrant and her music foot tapping. 

I also attended the Wearables Panel because it’s a hot topic right now and one I have a personal interest in because the design is crying for innovation. What was most refreshing is that of the four panelists, three were women.

The problem with wearables today for me as a woman, is that none of them are desirable enough to want to wear. Despite how functional and cool they are, the design behind the wearable is still being made by technologists for technologists.
Intel’s Sandra Lopez, MIT’s Amanda Parkes and Nike’s Stefan Olander discussed the future of wearables and where it’s heading. The session was moderated by the Financial Times’ Vanessa Friedman.

Sandra and Amanda noted that while today, we might think of buying a wearable device or object of clothing on a technology site or online store, in the future, if it is a fashionable item we want to wear because of how it looks and makes us feel, then we’ll expect to buy them at more traditional retail outlets.
I certainly don’t need another technology infused bulky plastic black watch or geeky looking Fitbit-like arm band to clash with my outfits. 
Another fabulous panel of all women was the Freedom of the Internet in the U.S. and Europe. Bloomberg’s Diane Brady moderated a discussion between Miriam Meckel from the University of St. Gallen (solo shot below) and the European Commission’s Viviane Reding. 

As if suggesting that it rarely happens, Viviane says “a government should have power to do precisely what they want and need to do to make Internet safe and open.” She was fabulous btw.

The “Building a Vertical Business for the Consumer Internet” Panel

Adding some humor and controversy to the DLD stage was Douglas Rushkoff, author of Present Shock. “A photo with $4.6 billion dollars printed under Evan William’s face in the Wall Street Journal is NOT disruption,” he asserts as he talks about humanism and how current economic and investment models are not necessarily supporting the best entrepreneurs and ideas.

If there’s not a significant return on investment, then the idea and entrepreneur doesn’t get funded, when in fact, it could return a small return on investment and perhaps offer something of great value to the world. The money guys around me seemed to have smoke coming out of their ears while he was talking. It would have been fun (and spicy) to have a debate after his talk!
On a media panel moderated by Jessica Lessin, John Markoff and Steven Levy discussed the state of technology journalism and how it has evolved over the past twenty years.  

“The art of real investigative reporting has been lost to fast twitch journalism,” says Levy who went on to share his opinion on the pitfalls of curation. He suggests that after content gets recycled umpteen times, no one knows who the original author is anymore since the primary source gets lost when it is replicated so frequently. 
Below, the 20 Years of Funding panel included Landmark Ventures’ Zeev Klein, Acton Capital Partners Christoph Braun, Time Warner Investments Scott Levine, Israel Growth Partners Moshe Lichtman and Greycroft’s Alan Patricof.

The closing interview was originally slated to be a fireside chat between Richard Saul Wurman and Iceland’s president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson but there was a change of plans. The final act was instead, a touching interview between Yossi Vardi and his former “boss” Steve Case.

Steve talked about his old days at AOL where he said he was less of a CEO and more of a mayor. In those days, he said the focus was on the 3 C’s: context, content and community.  

Other pressing issues he raised was the fact that we’ll fall far behind the innovation ladder if we don’t make it a priority. “Immigration reform necessary to make sure we attract the best people to Startup America,” he said. Vardi agreed which led to the role of startups today and how people will succeed. “People are not interested in facts, they’re interested in good stories,” says Yossi. 

Now, please join me on a visual journey to DLD NYC, starting with the DLD NYC Band Michael Aranella and his Dreamland Orchestra.

 Shahar Nechmad
 
 
Dina Kaplan

Ryan Rzepecki of Social Bicycles, David Rose with his new book Angel Investing, Brad Templeton and Dr. Amol Sarva.

 Steve Case watching one of the presentations from the front row.

I went back in time when I ran into this trio — a former dynamic team together so many years later minus Jerry Michalski of course. Below, Daphne Kis, Kevin Werbach and Esther Dyson.

 Gino Yu, Renee Blodgett

 Yossi on stage

 Lakshmi Pratury, Steve Case, Renee Blodgett

 Sunny Bates and Nate Mook

 Dan Dubno and Gary Bolles

 Don Dodge, Petra Vorsteher, Renee Blodgett, Shara Nechmad

 Peter Hirshberg

 Jeff Jarvis

 Lakshmi Pratury, Asha and crew

 Lara Stein and Yossi Vardi

Steffi Czerny

 

 Renee Blodgett, Burda’s Olga Kammerer and ELLE Magazine U.S. Correspondent Nadine Sieger 

The sax player gave me a closer look at his marvelous instrument.

Simeone Simeonov 
 

 Stephanie Hospital
 

 
Holly Harper Dodge & Don Dodge

Andrew Keen

 
 
 Stuart Gannes
 

Did I mention that they had live entertainment at the closing night after party? 

Kudos and hats off to Steffi, Yossi and team for pulling off yet another perfectly crafted and curated event!
All photo credits: Renee Blodgett, except for the group shot of Creative Cities which was pulled from the DLD blog.

(From an original article by Renee Blodgett)
 

Web Summit 2014 Exceeds 20,000 Attendees in the Heart of Dublin

by on June 9, 2015 at 11:40 am

Last year I missed Web Summit, what has become Europe’s number one technology event, amusingly labeled as the Davos For Geeks. I went the first two years and this year’s event is a far cry from my year one experience when they only had 500 attendees.
Now in its fourth year, 20,000 people flew into Dublin early this week for the premier 3 day event. Founder, Paddy Cosgrave opened the Summit in the morning, emphasizing the importance of the social element to the Summit where deals can – and have been – done. That said, there was still a lot of activity around the main stage, where they had a host of high level discussions and speakers on the hour all day.

The center stage had Brendan Iribe, the founder of Oculus Rift who spoke about the rise of virtual reality and its applications in everyday life. Skip Rizzo the Director for Medical Virtual Reality and early stage developer of Oculus Rift gave a demonstration of the technology’s uses for post-traumatic stress disorder for returning veterans.

From being shot at to street explosions, the virtual reality exposure therapy has assisted veterans in dealing with their PSD, explained Rizzo, outlining how in one recent study, of 23 completers of the therapy, 16 showed gains and benefits resulting from it. Next stage development will be treating civilians who have experienced stressful situations in their lives. Index Ventures partner Saul Klein talked about how entrepreneurialism is becoming mainstream.
From money and venture hype to an emotional topic around healthcare.  Jorge Soto described how from a personal family diagnosis of cancer, a way to decode disease and identify cancerous cells in their earliest stages may have been found.
Then, John Collins of Stripe spoke of the rise of his online payment company and how it has disrupted the existing online payments ecosystem.”
Gary Marcus, scientist, best-selling author and NYU professor took on the topic of artificial intelligence,  Amazon’s Werner Vogels chatted with Ben Rooney, Stewart Baker, Matthew Prince and James Ball took on privacy rights, and Dropbox CEO Drew Houston chatted with Laurie Segall from CNN on the main stage. Below Paddy talking to a speaker.

Evernote’s CEO Phil Libin spoke about his company being an ‘anti-social network’ and that ‘you should be able to say less and do more.’
From a geek app to acting,  actress, businesswoman and philantropist Eva Longoria spoke to Jemima Khan about the importance of women in business.  “Women start businesses at three times the average yet can’t get funding,” she said issuing a challenge to the women in the audience. ”
Later in the afternoon, former CEO of Apple John Sculley took questions after his main stage appearance with David Carr.

One thing about a conference growing to 20,000 attendees so quickly, is that rather than it feeling like a conference, it felt more like a university campus, or even a small town if you will. Within the web summit, there were micro-summits that addressed various topic sectors. 
For example, they had a Builders, Enterprise, Machine, and Marketing Summit, and at each of them, there were a host of start-ups demoing their latest.
Town Square and Village Green also had their own selection of start-ups and then there were “alpha company booths” in the main exhibit hall dedicated to early start-ups, which was about a 10-15 minute walk from the main stage. Here I was able to see demos from lifestyle vendors, specifically digital health — Kolibree, the connected electric toothbrush (disclosure, I’m an advisor), Gudpod, who hopes to revolutionize the way people take vitamins & supplements with a ‘Keurig like’ internet connected appliance & pod system and Bluetens, who is bringing medical grade mobile electro-stimulation device to the masses to help relax your muscles.

Food Summit was a great addition to the event this year. I wrote about their initial announcement back in November of 2013.
The Food Summit portion has also grown quickly and there were countless vendors touting their latest in fresh ingredients and farm-to-table practices. Gluten and GMO-free were buzz words throughout and I saw everything from a fresh apple stand surrounded by pumpkins (t’is the season) to homemade yoghurt, ice cream, jams, jellies, honey and olive oils.

I absolutely loved tasting the oh so many samples from Crossogue Preserves. Imagine these flavors on your toast in the morning: grapefruit, Irish whiskey, orange and ginger, lime and brandy, plum and port, gooseberry and elderberry, hedgerow, fig and apple and more. Yum!!

Other favorites were the Irish sea salt and Harnett’s Oils, such as hemp, grapeseed, orange and rosemary and basil oils.  I was in heaven. It was a great way to spend an hour or so away from the tech and the noise.

To get to the Food Summit, you had to pass by Herbert Park, which was on the grounds of the main event, which was held this year at the well known Royal Dublin Society on Merrion Road in Dublin. It was a perfect fall day with plenty of ducks on the pond and vibrant colors exploding from the trees.

Photo credits: Stage photos from the Web Summit sportsfile Flickr stream. Photo of Kolibree & Bluetens, Herbert Park and all Food Summit Photos: Renee Blodgett.    
 

(From an original article by Renee Blodgett)
 

DLD Kicks Off Their First NYC Event in Chelsea

by on June 9, 2015 at 11:40 am

The DLD (Digital-Life-Design) Conference has been around for awhile albeit more well known in Europe than in the states. It makes sense since it started in Munich Germany in 2005 and only expanded in recent years, first in Israel and most recently to the states with their first official U.S. conference in New York City from April 30-May 1, 2014.

Their mission is to act as a global network on innovation, digitization, science and culture which connects business, creative and social leaders, opinion-formers and influencers for crossover conversation and inspiration.  
DLD is organized by DLD Media, which is part of Burda Digital and originally founded by Steffi Czerny and Marcel Reichart. DLD has also hosted events in Beijing, San Francisco, London, Moscow, New Delhi, Rio, Hong Kong and Tel Aviv, where there is a growing community because of the efforts of Israeli-based Yossi Vardi who acts as Chairman of the conference together with Hubert Burda.

Who attends? The conference is invite only, but the categories and interests of those who make up the audience are aligned with the content. Think creative communities, international leaders, disruptors and thinkers from digital and consumer markets, as well as media, technologists, scientists, designers, politicians, artists and social scientists from around the globe.

The format is a combination of keynote style talks and panels.  

I last attended the original DLD in 2010 and still remember the magic of Munich in January. Snow fell on me as I walked from my hotel to the venue every morning and back every night, the majority of my commute on pedestrian only streets. As cold as it was, I took plenty of shots of remarkable people and activites over the course of a few days.
I lived on salty pretzels, sausage, beer and coffee and recall having a fight with my new Google Nexus phone, brutal enough that I tossed it in a snowbank because it wouldn’t work after umpteen attempts. DLD felt like early days of TED except without the celebrities and Monterey Beach nearby. 
One of the things that make DLD so unique is the eclectic and rich curation of tantilizing voices and minds from around the globe by Steffi, Marcel, Hubert and Yossi. Like TED, Davos and Renaissance Weekend, the attendees could equally be speakers because they all have inspiring, compelling content to share.
When the audience is as engaging as the people on stage, but are also compassionate and eager to help make the world a better place, then you have a “creative global community with heart” in a business setting. It’s a bit how I see and would describe DLD! 
Imagine hearing and engaging in discussions on the future of investment, net neutrality, youth marketing, the future of art and design, urban planning, violence, social physics, failure and neuro science all within a 48 hour period.
Imagine in that same 48 hour period, having a chat with Deepak Chopra on spirituality in the workplace and then hearing about future plans for the Arctic Passage from Iceland’s President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson. I originally met Grimsson at the Startup Iceland Conference in Reykjavik last summer (refer to my write up on the event including his talk). Below is a shot I took of him in the networking area at DLD during a tea break.

By now, you’re pretty energized, which is great preparation for your visit to a nearby German biergarten for massive plates of sausage, pretzels, sauerkraut and pickled vegetables while listening to an authentic Bavarian band. 
Imagine that sometime during your day, you discovered an interesting project or two by Victor Chan, the Founding Director of the Dalai Lama Center, who has also co-authored books with the Dali Lama. Below, he reflects in the courtyard while we took a session break after the rain finally cleared.

Then, later, you dive deep into a discussion about where beauty is missing in the world from architecture to schools and churches.This small group of really smart people you met over German beer care enough to think of solutions about where the world can start. 
I chatted with right brain and left brain thinkers from Sweden, China, France, England, South Africa, Australia, Germany, Israel, Finland, Austria, India, Iran, Pakistan, Estonia, Russia, Singapore, Ireland, Denmark, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Canada.
This is a sample of some of my warmest memories over the course of two days. Welcome to DLD! Their first New York event did not disappoint and held to the same top notch standards they’re so known for at their main event in Munich every winter.
One of the other fabulous things about a European run event, is that they care about food. And, of course, presentation matters!

While the conversations in the lounge areas and the after parties could keep you engaged for hours, they also have an hourly agenda for conversations happening on the main stage. I’ll start with one of my favorite talks by an Austrian designer I originally met at TED more than a decade ago.
Stefan Sagmeister kicked off his thoughtful and quietly provactive session on Beauty with stunning images of a medieval castle in Lisbon. He said, “Every aspect of this castle was informed by form.”

He asks, “how did we manage to get from the darkest side of the middle ages into the 20th century and somehow along the way, lost our desire to make things beautiful?”

He points out that the end of the 19th century was obsessed with beauty and weaving in culture and history into architecture, art and design: the Parliament which is Greek, the Opera which is of Renaissance architecture and the Gothic-ness of Vienna’s City Hall.
Yet today, Sagmeister asserts, “theres not a single high end designer who talks about beauty, which IS about being human.”
Below is an image taken from his design website.

I had an interesting chat with Dutch-Brazilian visual artist Rafaël Rozendaal who uses the Internet as his canvas. His artistic practice consists of websites, installations, lenticulars, writings and lectures. Spread out over a vast network of domain names, he attracts a large online audience of over 30 million visits per year.

His work researches the screen as a pictorial space, reverse engineering reality into condensed bits, in a space somewhere between animated cartoons and paintings. Rafaël’s installations involve moving light and reflections, taking online works and transforming them into spatial experiences.
The below digital image is a website called Room Warp. Note that the below screen capture is a still of a moving digital image that will make you a tad dizzy if you stare at it for too long. You need to go to roomwarp.com to see the live image in action.
He creates digital art that all have their own website name. Others fun examples include FutureIsUncertain.com and IfYesNo.com. 

While we’re on the topic of art, let’s move to Kollabora founder Nora Abousteit who was on a panel entitled Creative Cities which Peter Hirshberg moderated. Says Nora on art as it relates to cities and technology, “Art helps us reframe things in the technology world.” What’s happening in Las Vegas with the Downtown Project is certainly an example of this.
Also in the discussion was Burning Man’s Jenn Sander, Gidi Schmerling from the Tel Aviv Municipiality and CEA’s Gary Shapiro.

This engaging discussion was about all the elements that make cities thrive. How do you turn a city/metro area into a creative technological hub like Silicon Valley?
If similar factors come together argues Shapiro then a similar ecosystem can evolve. He pointed out that Tel Aviv and Silicon Valley share a culture that allows failure and supports entrepreneurs taking risks which is necessary for a startup culture to succeed.

While I missed the Cracking the Code of the Art Business panel, Arty’s Carter Cleveland, Artnet’s Ben Genocchio, Christopher Vroom from ArtSpace, Aditya Julka from Paddle 8 and Michaela de Pury explored this topic in depth.
Digital Music was also part of the agenda, another game changing industry. Says Shazam’s CEO Rich Riley, “the way people consume music is changing dramatically and it’s important that the industry responds to how people want to listen to and share music.” In other words, don’t force a square hole into a circle! 

Below, Blaise Belville and Torsten Schmidt discuss digital trends in music.

I’m a sucker for meeting a new musician regardless of what instrument they play or style they’re passionate about. As a storyteller, I often find that musicians have the most interesting stories at conferences, particularly technology ones.

Given how many Israeli attendees there are, it was no surprise to see Israeli violinist Miri Ben-Ari perform on the main stage. She had me at hello; her energy is electric, her style vibrant and her music foot tapping. 

I also attended the Wearables Panel because it’s a hot topic right now and one I have a personal interest in because the design is crying for innovation. What was most refreshing is that of the four panelists, three were women.

The problem with wearables today for me as a woman, is that none of them are desirable enough to want to wear. Despite how functional and cool they are, the design behind the wearable is still being made by technologists for technologists.
Intel’s Sandra Lopez, MIT’s Amanda Parkes and Nike’s Stefan Olander discussed the future of wearables and where it’s heading. The session was moderated by the Financial Times’ Vanessa Friedman.

Sandra and Amanda noted that while today, we might think of buying a wearable device or object of clothing on a technology site or online store, in the future, if it is a fashionable item we want to wear because of how it looks and makes us feel, then we’ll expect to buy them at more traditional retail outlets.
I certainly don’t need another technology infused bulky plastic black watch or geeky looking Fitbit-like arm band to clash with my outfits. 
Another fabulous panel of all women was the Freedom of the Internet in the U.S. and Europe. Bloomberg’s Diane Brady moderated a discussion between Miriam Meckel from the University of St. Gallen (solo shot below) and the European Commission’s Viviane Reding. 

As if suggesting that it rarely happens, Viviane says “a government should have power to do precisely what they want and need to do to make Internet safe and open.” She was fabulous btw.

The “Building a Vertical Business for the Consumer Internet” Panel

Adding some humor and controversy to the DLD stage was Douglas Rushkoff, author of Present Shock. “A photo with $4.6 billion dollars printed under Evan William’s face in the Wall Street Journal is NOT disruption,” he asserts as he talks about humanism and how current economic and investment models are not necessarily supporting the best entrepreneurs and ideas.

If there’s not a significant return on investment, then the idea and entrepreneur doesn’t get funded, when in fact, it could return a small return on investment and perhaps offer something of great value to the world. The money guys around me seemed to have smoke coming out of their ears while he was talking. It would have been fun (and spicy) to have a debate after his talk!
On a media panel moderated by Jessica Lessin, John Markoff and Steven Levy discussed the state of technology journalism and how it has evolved over the past twenty years.  

“The art of real investigative reporting has been lost to fast twitch journalism,” says Levy who went on to share his opinion on the pitfalls of curation. He suggests that after content gets recycled umpteen times, no one knows who the original author is anymore since the primary source gets lost when it is replicated so frequently. 
Below, the 20 Years of Funding panel included Landmark Ventures’ Zeev Klein, Acton Capital Partners Christoph Braun, Time Warner Investments Scott Levine, Israel Growth Partners Moshe Lichtman and Greycroft’s Alan Patricof.

The closing interview was originally slated to be a fireside chat between Richard Saul Wurman and Iceland’s president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson but there was a change of plans. The final act was instead, a touching interview between Yossi Vardi and his former “boss” Steve Case.

Steve talked about his old days at AOL where he said he was less of a CEO and more of a mayor. In those days, he said the focus was on the 3 C’s: context, content and community.  

Other pressing issues he raised was the fact that we’ll fall far behind the innovation ladder if we don’t make it a priority. “Immigration reform necessary to make sure we attract the best people to Startup America,” he said. Vardi agreed which led to the role of startups today and how people will succeed. “People are not interested in facts, they’re interested in good stories,” says Yossi. 

Now, please join me on a visual journey to DLD NYC, starting with the DLD NYC Band Michael Aranella and his Dreamland Orchestra.

 Shahar Nechmad
 
 
Dina Kaplan

Ryan Rzepecki of Social Bicycles, David Rose with his new book Angel Investing, Brad Templeton and Dr. Amol Sarva.

 Steve Case watching one of the presentations from the front row.

I went back in time when I ran into this trio — a former dynamic team together so many years later minus Jerry Michalski of course. Below, Daphne Kis, Kevin Werbach and Esther Dyson.

 Gino Yu, Renee Blodgett

 Yossi on stage

 Lakshmi Pratury, Steve Case, Renee Blodgett

 Sunny Bates and Nate Mook

 Dan Dubno and Gary Bolles

 Don Dodge, Petra Vorsteher, Renee Blodgett, Shara Nechmad

 Peter Hirshberg

 Jeff Jarvis

 Lakshmi Pratury, Asha and crew

 Lara Stein and Yossi Vardi

Steffi Czerny

 

 Renee Blodgett, Burda’s Olga Kammerer and ELLE Magazine U.S. Correspondent Nadine Sieger 

The sax player gave me a closer look at his marvelous instrument.

Simeone Simeonov 
 

 Stephanie Hospital
 

 
Holly Harper Dodge & Don Dodge

Andrew Keen

 
 
 Stuart Gannes
 

Did I mention that they had live entertainment at the closing night after party? 

Kudos and hats off to Steffi, Yossi and team for pulling off yet another perfectly crafted and curated event!
All photo credits: Renee Blodgett, except for the group shot of Creative Cities which was pulled from the DLD blog.

(From an original article by Renee Blodgett)
 

Web Summit 2014 Exceeds 20,000 Attendees in the Heart of Dublin

by on June 9, 2015 at 11:40 am

Last year I missed Web Summit, what has become Europe’s number one technology event, amusingly labeled as the Davos For Geeks. I went the first two years and this year’s event is a far cry from my year one experience when they only had 500 attendees.
Now in its fourth year, 20,000 people flew into Dublin early this week for the premier 3 day event. Founder, Paddy Cosgrave opened the Summit in the morning, emphasizing the importance of the social element to the Summit where deals can – and have been – done. That said, there was still a lot of activity around the main stage, where they had a host of high level discussions and speakers on the hour all day.

The center stage had Brendan Iribe, the founder of Oculus Rift who spoke about the rise of virtual reality and its applications in everyday life. Skip Rizzo the Director for Medical Virtual Reality and early stage developer of Oculus Rift gave a demonstration of the technology’s uses for post-traumatic stress disorder for returning veterans.

From being shot at to street explosions, the virtual reality exposure therapy has assisted veterans in dealing with their PSD, explained Rizzo, outlining how in one recent study, of 23 completers of the therapy, 16 showed gains and benefits resulting from it. Next stage development will be treating civilians who have experienced stressful situations in their lives. Index Ventures partner Saul Klein talked about how entrepreneurialism is becoming mainstream.
From money and venture hype to an emotional topic around healthcare.  Jorge Soto described how from a personal family diagnosis of cancer, a way to decode disease and identify cancerous cells in their earliest stages may have been found.
Then, John Collins of Stripe spoke of the rise of his online payment company and how it has disrupted the existing online payments ecosystem.”
Gary Marcus, scientist, best-selling author and NYU professor took on the topic of artificial intelligence,  Amazon’s Werner Vogels chatted with Ben Rooney, Stewart Baker, Matthew Prince and James Ball took on privacy rights, and Dropbox CEO Drew Houston chatted with Laurie Segall from CNN on the main stage. Below Paddy talking to a speaker.

Evernote’s CEO Phil Libin spoke about his company being an ‘anti-social network’ and that ‘you should be able to say less and do more.’
From a geek app to acting,  actress, businesswoman and philantropist Eva Longoria spoke to Jemima Khan about the importance of women in business.  “Women start businesses at three times the average yet can’t get funding,” she said issuing a challenge to the women in the audience. ”
Later in the afternoon, former CEO of Apple John Sculley took questions after his main stage appearance with David Carr.

One thing about a conference growing to 20,000 attendees so quickly, is that rather than it feeling like a conference, it felt more like a university campus, or even a small town if you will. Within the web summit, there were micro-summits that addressed various topic sectors. 
For example, they had a Builders, Enterprise, Machine, and Marketing Summit, and at each of them, there were a host of start-ups demoing their latest.
Town Square and Village Green also had their own selection of start-ups and then there were “alpha company booths” in the main exhibit hall dedicated to early start-ups, which was about a 10-15 minute walk from the main stage. Here I was able to see demos from lifestyle vendors, specifically digital health — Kolibree, the connected electric toothbrush (disclosure, I’m an advisor), Gudpod, who hopes to revolutionize the way people take vitamins & supplements with a ‘Keurig like’ internet connected appliance & pod system and Bluetens, who is bringing medical grade mobile electro-stimulation device to the masses to help relax your muscles.

Food Summit was a great addition to the event this year. I wrote about their initial announcement back in November of 2013.
The Food Summit portion has also grown quickly and there were countless vendors touting their latest in fresh ingredients and farm-to-table practices. Gluten and GMO-free were buzz words throughout and I saw everything from a fresh apple stand surrounded by pumpkins (t’is the season) to homemade yoghurt, ice cream, jams, jellies, honey and olive oils.

I absolutely loved tasting the oh so many samples from Crossogue Preserves. Imagine these flavors on your toast in the morning: grapefruit, Irish whiskey, orange and ginger, lime and brandy, plum and port, gooseberry and elderberry, hedgerow, fig and apple and more. Yum!!

Other favorites were the Irish sea salt and Harnett’s Oils, such as hemp, grapeseed, orange and rosemary and basil oils.  I was in heaven. It was a great way to spend an hour or so away from the tech and the noise.

To get to the Food Summit, you had to pass by Herbert Park, which was on the grounds of the main event, which was held this year at the well known Royal Dublin Society on Merrion Road in Dublin. It was a perfect fall day with plenty of ducks on the pond and vibrant colors exploding from the trees.

Photo credits: Stage photos from the Web Summit sportsfile Flickr stream. Photo of Kolibree & Bluetens, Herbert Park and all Food Summit Photos: Renee Blodgett.    
 

(From an original article by Renee Blodgett)
 

DLD Kicks Off Their First NYC Event in Chelsea

by on June 9, 2015 at 11:40 am

The DLD (Digital-Life-Design) Conference has been around for awhile albeit more well known in Europe than in the states. It makes sense since it started in Munich Germany in 2005 and only expanded in recent years, first in Israel and most recently to the states with their first official U.S. conference in New York City from April 30-May 1, 2014.

Their mission is to act as a global network on innovation, digitization, science and culture which connects business, creative and social leaders, opinion-formers and influencers for crossover conversation and inspiration.  
DLD is organized by DLD Media, which is part of Burda Digital and originally founded by Steffi Czerny and Marcel Reichart. DLD has also hosted events in Beijing, San Francisco, London, Moscow, New Delhi, Rio, Hong Kong and Tel Aviv, where there is a growing community because of the efforts of Israeli-based Yossi Vardi who acts as Chairman of the conference together with Hubert Burda.

Who attends? The conference is invite only, but the categories and interests of those who make up the audience are aligned with the content. Think creative communities, international leaders, disruptors and thinkers from digital and consumer markets, as well as media, technologists, scientists, designers, politicians, artists and social scientists from around the globe.

The format is a combination of keynote style talks and panels.  

I last attended the original DLD in 2010 and still remember the magic of Munich in January. Snow fell on me as I walked from my hotel to the venue every morning and back every night, the majority of my commute on pedestrian only streets. As cold as it was, I took plenty of shots of remarkable people and activites over the course of a few days.
I lived on salty pretzels, sausage, beer and coffee and recall having a fight with my new Google Nexus phone, brutal enough that I tossed it in a snowbank because it wouldn’t work after umpteen attempts. DLD felt like early days of TED except without the celebrities and Monterey Beach nearby. 
One of the things that make DLD so unique is the eclectic and rich curation of tantilizing voices and minds from around the globe by Steffi, Marcel, Hubert and Yossi. Like TED, Davos and Renaissance Weekend, the attendees could equally be speakers because they all have inspiring, compelling content to share.
When the audience is as engaging as the people on stage, but are also compassionate and eager to help make the world a better place, then you have a “creative global community with heart” in a business setting. It’s a bit how I see and would describe DLD! 
Imagine hearing and engaging in discussions on the future of investment, net neutrality, youth marketing, the future of art and design, urban planning, violence, social physics, failure and neuro science all within a 48 hour period.
Imagine in that same 48 hour period, having a chat with Deepak Chopra on spirituality in the workplace and then hearing about future plans for the Arctic Passage from Iceland’s President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson. I originally met Grimsson at the Startup Iceland Conference in Reykjavik last summer (refer to my write up on the event including his talk). Below is a shot I took of him in the networking area at DLD during a tea break.

By now, you’re pretty energized, which is great preparation for your visit to a nearby German biergarten for massive plates of sausage, pretzels, sauerkraut and pickled vegetables while listening to an authentic Bavarian band. 
Imagine that sometime during your day, you discovered an interesting project or two by Victor Chan, the Founding Director of the Dalai Lama Center, who has also co-authored books with the Dali Lama. Below, he reflects in the courtyard while we took a session break after the rain finally cleared.

Then, later, you dive deep into a discussion about where beauty is missing in the world from architecture to schools and churches.This small group of really smart people you met over German beer care enough to think of solutions about where the world can start. 
I chatted with right brain and left brain thinkers from Sweden, China, France, England, South Africa, Australia, Germany, Israel, Finland, Austria, India, Iran, Pakistan, Estonia, Russia, Singapore, Ireland, Denmark, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Canada.
This is a sample of some of my warmest memories over the course of two days. Welcome to DLD! Their first New York event did not disappoint and held to the same top notch standards they’re so known for at their main event in Munich every winter.
One of the other fabulous things about a European run event, is that they care about food. And, of course, presentation matters!

While the conversations in the lounge areas and the after parties could keep you engaged for hours, they also have an hourly agenda for conversations happening on the main stage. I’ll start with one of my favorite talks by an Austrian designer I originally met at TED more than a decade ago.
Stefan Sagmeister kicked off his thoughtful and quietly provactive session on Beauty with stunning images of a medieval castle in Lisbon. He said, “Every aspect of this castle was informed by form.”

He asks, “how did we manage to get from the darkest side of the middle ages into the 20th century and somehow along the way, lost our desire to make things beautiful?”

He points out that the end of the 19th century was obsessed with beauty and weaving in culture and history into architecture, art and design: the Parliament which is Greek, the Opera which is of Renaissance architecture and the Gothic-ness of Vienna’s City Hall.
Yet today, Sagmeister asserts, “theres not a single high end designer who talks about beauty, which IS about being human.”
Below is an image taken from his design website.

I had an interesting chat with Dutch-Brazilian visual artist Rafaël Rozendaal who uses the Internet as his canvas. His artistic practice consists of websites, installations, lenticulars, writings and lectures. Spread out over a vast network of domain names, he attracts a large online audience of over 30 million visits per year.

His work researches the screen as a pictorial space, reverse engineering reality into condensed bits, in a space somewhere between animated cartoons and paintings. Rafaël’s installations involve moving light and reflections, taking online works and transforming them into spatial experiences.
The below digital image is a website called Room Warp. Note that the below screen capture is a still of a moving digital image that will make you a tad dizzy if you stare at it for too long. You need to go to roomwarp.com to see the live image in action.
He creates digital art that all have their own website name. Others fun examples include FutureIsUncertain.com and IfYesNo.com. 

While we’re on the topic of art, let’s move to Kollabora founder Nora Abousteit who was on a panel entitled Creative Cities which Peter Hirshberg moderated. Says Nora on art as it relates to cities and technology, “Art helps us reframe things in the technology world.” What’s happening in Las Vegas with the Downtown Project is certainly an example of this.
Also in the discussion was Burning Man’s Jenn Sander, Gidi Schmerling from the Tel Aviv Municipiality and CEA’s Gary Shapiro.

This engaging discussion was about all the elements that make cities thrive. How do you turn a city/metro area into a creative technological hub like Silicon Valley?
If similar factors come together argues Shapiro then a similar ecosystem can evolve. He pointed out that Tel Aviv and Silicon Valley share a culture that allows failure and supports entrepreneurs taking risks which is necessary for a startup culture to succeed.

While I missed the Cracking the Code of the Art Business panel, Arty’s Carter Cleveland, Artnet’s Ben Genocchio, Christopher Vroom from ArtSpace, Aditya Julka from Paddle 8 and Michaela de Pury explored this topic in depth.
Digital Music was also part of the agenda, another game changing industry. Says Shazam’s CEO Rich Riley, “the way people consume music is changing dramatically and it’s important that the industry responds to how people want to listen to and share music.” In other words, don’t force a square hole into a circle! 

Below, Blaise Belville and Torsten Schmidt discuss digital trends in music.

I’m a sucker for meeting a new musician regardless of what instrument they play or style they’re passionate about. As a storyteller, I often find that musicians have the most interesting stories at conferences, particularly technology ones.

Given how many Israeli attendees there are, it was no surprise to see Israeli violinist Miri Ben-Ari perform on the main stage. She had me at hello; her energy is electric, her style vibrant and her music foot tapping. 

I also attended the Wearables Panel because it’s a hot topic right now and one I have a personal interest in because the design is crying for innovation. What was most refreshing is that of the four panelists, three were women.

The problem with wearables today for me as a woman, is that none of them are desirable enough to want to wear. Despite how functional and cool they are, the design behind the wearable is still being made by technologists for technologists.
Intel’s Sandra Lopez, MIT’s Amanda Parkes and Nike’s Stefan Olander discussed the future of wearables and where it’s heading. The session was moderated by the Financial Times’ Vanessa Friedman.

Sandra and Amanda noted that while today, we might think of buying a wearable device or object of clothing on a technology site or online store, in the future, if it is a fashionable item we want to wear because of how it looks and makes us feel, then we’ll expect to buy them at more traditional retail outlets.
I certainly don’t need another technology infused bulky plastic black watch or geeky looking Fitbit-like arm band to clash with my outfits. 
Another fabulous panel of all women was the Freedom of the Internet in the U.S. and Europe. Bloomberg’s Diane Brady moderated a discussion between Miriam Meckel from the University of St. Gallen (solo shot below) and the European Commission’s Viviane Reding. 

As if suggesting that it rarely happens, Viviane says “a government should have power to do precisely what they want and need to do to make Internet safe and open.” She was fabulous btw.

The “Building a Vertical Business for the Consumer Internet” Panel

Adding some humor and controversy to the DLD stage was Douglas Rushkoff, author of Present Shock. “A photo with $4.6 billion dollars printed under Evan William’s face in the Wall Street Journal is NOT disruption,” he asserts as he talks about humanism and how current economic and investment models are not necessarily supporting the best entrepreneurs and ideas.

If there’s not a significant return on investment, then the idea and entrepreneur doesn’t get funded, when in fact, it could return a small return on investment and perhaps offer something of great value to the world. The money guys around me seemed to have smoke coming out of their ears while he was talking. It would have been fun (and spicy) to have a debate after his talk!
On a media panel moderated by Jessica Lessin, John Markoff and Steven Levy discussed the state of technology journalism and how it has evolved over the past twenty years.  

“The art of real investigative reporting has been lost to fast twitch journalism,” says Levy who went on to share his opinion on the pitfalls of curation. He suggests that after content gets recycled umpteen times, no one knows who the original author is anymore since the primary source gets lost when it is replicated so frequently. 
Below, the 20 Years of Funding panel included Landmark Ventures’ Zeev Klein, Acton Capital Partners Christoph Braun, Time Warner Investments Scott Levine, Israel Growth Partners Moshe Lichtman and Greycroft’s Alan Patricof.

The closing interview was originally slated to be a fireside chat between Richard Saul Wurman and Iceland’s president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson but there was a change of plans. The final act was instead, a touching interview between Yossi Vardi and his former “boss” Steve Case.

Steve talked about his old days at AOL where he said he was less of a CEO and more of a mayor. In those days, he said the focus was on the 3 C’s: context, content and community.  

Other pressing issues he raised was the fact that we’ll fall far behind the innovation ladder if we don’t make it a priority. “Immigration reform necessary to make sure we attract the best people to Startup America,” he said. Vardi agreed which led to the role of startups today and how people will succeed. “People are not interested in facts, they’re interested in good stories,” says Yossi. 

Now, please join me on a visual journey to DLD NYC, starting with the DLD NYC Band Michael Aranella and his Dreamland Orchestra.

 Shahar Nechmad
 
 
Dina Kaplan

Ryan Rzepecki of Social Bicycles, David Rose with his new book Angel Investing, Brad Templeton and Dr. Amol Sarva.

 Steve Case watching one of the presentations from the front row.

I went back in time when I ran into this trio — a former dynamic team together so many years later minus Jerry Michalski of course. Below, Daphne Kis, Kevin Werbach and Esther Dyson.

 Gino Yu, Renee Blodgett

 Yossi on stage

 Lakshmi Pratury, Steve Case, Renee Blodgett

 Sunny Bates and Nate Mook

 Dan Dubno and Gary Bolles

 Don Dodge, Petra Vorsteher, Renee Blodgett, Shara Nechmad

 Peter Hirshberg

 Jeff Jarvis

 Lakshmi Pratury, Asha and crew

 Lara Stein and Yossi Vardi

Steffi Czerny

 

 Renee Blodgett, Burda’s Olga Kammerer and ELLE Magazine U.S. Correspondent Nadine Sieger 

The sax player gave me a closer look at his marvelous instrument.

Simeone Simeonov 
 

 Stephanie Hospital
 

 
Holly Harper Dodge & Don Dodge

Andrew Keen

 
 
 Stuart Gannes
 

Did I mention that they had live entertainment at the closing night after party? 

Kudos and hats off to Steffi, Yossi and team for pulling off yet another perfectly crafted and curated event!
All photo credits: Renee Blodgett, except for the group shot of Creative Cities which was pulled from the DLD blog.

(From an original article by Renee Blodgett)
 

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