Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

DIF 2015 explores the Internet of Everything

November 13, 2015

The second edition of the Disruptive Innovation Festival has kicked off, and well, it’s all been pretty exciting so far.

Over the next week we’re set to hear from some of the world’s biggest thinkers on the Internet of Everything (IoE), the circular economy, and loads more.

The festival, run by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, is entirely virtual and brings together some of the leading thinkers from around the world.

At Cisco we’re proud to be involved as the technology partner – it’s really important for us to be enabling these discussions that are shaping the vast economic developments of our world. What makes DIF so brilliant is that it’s totally free for anyone to tune in and get involved with the discussion.

As well as providing the uStream capability that lets us to hear from all of these great speakers, we’ve got a few of our own clan speaking as well.

Our CTO Alison Vincent has already been interviewed about the opportunities and challenges surrounding the Internet of Everything on Tuesday (the session will be free to view on catch-up soon).

Alison challenged the audience to think about how the rise of the Internet of Everything could benefit them, and how IoE could be used to solve pressing issues around the world.

“The Internet of Things is enabling a service-based economy,” Alison said. “There’s no more owning big stuff!

“Sensors are coming in rapidly and, frankly, companies will be disrupted or they need to disrupt themselves. The [companies] that will be successful are the ones which are able to reimagine what they have now.”

Alison raised the point that as technology develops, there needs to be a greater ethical and moral discussion around our use of technology.

“Yes, we can connect everything but there needs to be more dialogue,” she said.

Alison painted a picture by talking about baby monitors. We could connect them to the internet, she said, but would we want to run the risk of exposing that data?

Driverless cars are another example of were liability needs to be worked out – if one of these cars crashes, is the driver, the software, or the car manufacturer responsible?

It was a fascinating hour-long discussion, and well worth a watch (view the full session on catch-up). Tom Kneen DIF 2Tom Kneen DIF 2

On Thursday our very own Tom Kneen (above right) spoke alongside Unilever’s Jeremy Bassett and Kors van Wyngaarden from Philips on ‘Open Innovation Strategies’.

When quizzed on why companies should embrace open innovation, Tom said:

“Just to get to opportunities faster. To validate their idea and the problem, they think they’re solving, to the widest audience as possible.”

Tom explained the development of smart cities was an area ripe for development through these, given an estimated 75 per cent of people will live in an urban environment in the future.

“Bringing all sorts of ideas from all sorts of places is what we’re all about [at Cisco],” he said.

“Smart cities cries out for a lot of different ideas for open innovation. There’s the obvious things but having a more diverse range of different ideas that we can open opportunities for is a key area for us.”

The session will be available to view on catch-up soon.

For a full schedule of speakers head to the festival website and you’ll see there’s a whole host of sessions to cater for different areas of expertise. 

The Disruptive Innovation Festival runs from November 2nd to 20th and all sessions are free to view. You can also follow the discussion on Twitter on with the hashtag #thinkdif.

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