Web Summit 2019: Highlights From Day 1 ♦ In the opening session, temperatures rose with Edward Snowden, but not much. Huawei’s chairman froze the room and Portuguese Daniela Braga showed what fibre Portuguese technology is made of. Web Summit begins with the darker side of technology. “What do you do when the most powerful institutions in society are the least responsible?” Asked Edward Snowden, the computer scientist who exposed massive US cyber-surveillance. Secrets From Portugal brings you the top moments and highlights of the Web Summit of 2019, stay tuned for more.
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It was on two giant screens and a dark background behind that Edward Snowden, live while exiled in Russia, addressed the thousands watching the Web Summit kick-off at the Altice Arena. It was the big headliner – one of those who make fans rush to the box office in December to sell out daily festival passes that only happen in July next year. Edward Snowden had everything to make the Web Summit scorch at Monday’s opening session.
Snowden warned that today’s technology and business power deserve it and has called people to account for their online lives. The great power of technology, the exploited and manipulated data, the governments that use their tools to fight crimes against their own citizens and the need to legislate data privacy.
DANIELA BRAGA, founder and CEO of DefinedCrowd
If Edward Snowden were not the headliner on Monday, it would have been the Portuguese Daniela Braga to raise (to maximum) the temperature of the night. And no, not even Will Smith’s son, artist Jaden Smith was close to stealing his stage – even though Paddy Cosgrave tried to raise the bar with a more irreverent announcement in the middle of the Altice Arena, which brought little results.
DefinedCrowd founder and CEO was on stage with Michelle Zatlyn, co-founder and chief operating officer of Cloudflare and host Filomena Cautela. Daniela Braga was a double pride on stage: “First, because I’m Portuguese,” he said. The rest we add: because it’s a tech woman who can employ “41% women” at a startup who has already caught the attention of media like Forbes. “I come from a world of engineers, I’m always the only woman in the room since I’m 22 years old. My company has 41% women and we are not doing it on purpose. ”
GUO PING, HUAWEI CEO
On the Web Summit stage, Guo Ping spoke about the wonders that 5G will bring to people’s lives, how it will revolutionize industries across the board, how it will make all connections faster, but political distrust and the recent crisis with the USA has not heard a word.
Although in the US Huawei is blacklisted by the government and US companies are banned from trading with China’s technology, the issue has not existed. It was not even mentioned. Ping’s intervention was more of a business pitch than anything else, as startups do.
Tomorrow we’ll be here again to hear names like Rohit Prasad, vice president and research officer of Alexa, Amazon (Alexa’s “father”), Kevin Weil, vice president of product for Calibra, a Facebook subsidiary responsible for raising the financial services and the software behind Facebook’s new digital currency, the Pound, Michel Barnier – head of negotiations for the European Commission’s British Brexit. In addition, Brittany Kaiser, former director of business development at SCL Group, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica, the company that misused data from 87 million Facebook profiles to influence Americans’ vote and help elect Donald Trump as US President. See you tomorrow!