Keeping pace with the evolving world of business, riding the tides of innovation and rapid development, the Amplify Festival delivered where so many others have dawdled. The central takeaway of the conference was that good business is a story, and customers the audience. Shift Happened; from Social Business to consumer-lead markets and the need for a comprehensive, engaging narrative that is at least equal, and often superior, to a quality product or service, the Amplify Festival - Innovation, leadership and business strategy conference covered all bases with insightful keynote talks, invigorating workshops and up-to-the-minute expertise.
Day 1 set the stage with a vital shot of energetic optimism as Craig Dunn’s keynote speech addressed the importance of innovation, elucidating the difference between a novel idea and a worthy investment. Craig established a historical narrative that compared and unified the current revolution in information technologies, specifically the Internet, with the Industrial Revolution. Behind the shiny veneer of new devices and enhanced usability, there lurks a story that has unfolded through increasing access to information since Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1425, bringing with it massive shifts and upheavals.
Alan Moore expanded on the theme of information and language with a discussion centred on the role of innovators and entrepreneurs in delivering solutions that have improved quality of life and business performance through breakthrough technologies. Combined, the pair presented the compelling narrative that underpins the nature of innovation in today’s business world. Tracy Willen-Daugnati went further, describing 'Future Skills' and the importance of redefining our roles and language to utilise them, while Sherwood Neiss and David Price took an overtly revolutionary angle that addressed the nature of crowdfunding and the phenomenon of open learning.
On Day 2, speakers such as JoAnn Stonier, Saul Kaplan and Dr. Ashwin Ram took to the stage with key insights into the social side of business, the people that drive the market, the customers, and to the technologies that utilise and support success. Social media, Peer-to-Peer computing, and the use of data by corporations were all discussed in the light of emerging trends not just in technology, but the way that it’s used.
Day 3 really brought the previous two days together and cemented the key takeaways of the festival, further unifying the Amplify Festival theme as speakers elucidated it with an exploration of language, storytelling, the games we play with both of these tools, and how they become valuable resources for establishing a business in today’s marketplace. Weaving the threads of information, language, technology, strategy and design, speakers such as John Heisen and Lee LeFever brought an infectious enthusiasm for selling and developing through clearly formed and passionate engagement with the values behind a business. The values of a business form relationships that become a story, and this story is central to the USP of any product.
Amy Bonsall’s exploration of “the role of human-centred design” continued to develop the Shift Happened theme on Day 4, a discussion enhanced by Rachel Botsman’s exploration of how reputation is now a commodity. All of this took place alongside ENYA’s Startup Pavilion, in tandem with BlueChilli’s venture funding team, and the presence of a whole host of organizations primed to deliver key advice and services that apply these revolutionary and innovative theories in practice.
Over 5,000 visitors arrived to glean the most cutting-edge of insights and participate in some groundbreaking workshops on pitching, funding, performing and improving from the very heart of your business. With infographics, a video recording of PhDs given 150 seconds to pitch for $5,000 and transcriptions of interviews still available, Amplify Festival delivered a rollercoaster ride on the information superhighway.