Spring not only brings good weather to Istanbul, it also brings many technology summits and events. One of the must-go-to events of these days was the Digital Age Summit that took place at Raffles in Istanbul on May 12-13. The motto of the ninth edition was “Think Logical, Act Digital.” Professionals from leading digital brands talked about their fields of expertise during the two-day event, while experts covered a number of subjects such as “content,” “design,” “mobile technologies” and “big data” in more depth. Tom Fishburne, one of the world’s most successful names in digital storytelling, delivered a keynote speech followed by an exclusive workshop with limited participants. Additionally, Nicholas Roope, the president of Poke London, the number-one agency on digital communication solutions, and Ramzi Moutran, the creative director of Memac Ogilvy Dubai, were other guest speakers. Memac Ogilvy’s popular campaign called the Autocomplete Truth features a series of ads developed for U.N. Women, using unique Google searches to reveal the widespread prevalence of sexism and discrimination against women around the world. There were so many amazing speakers that I cannot list them one-by-one.
However, there was a simple lesson to take from almost all of the speeches: Be mobile, just be mobile. Greg Stuart said we check our cell phones 150 times per day. He added parents think mobile devices have enabled them to be better parents. Just these two bits of information tell us we can get closest to anyone’s heart and mind by being mobile.
Türk Telekom’s Baran Yurdagül said four in five people check their mobile phones first thing when they wake up. He also said there are 64 million Whatsapp messages sent per day. Foursquare and Swarm Creative Director Swen Graham said there is a transition from big data to smaller, more local data. He told us they can map check-ins and know about societal behavior, even at a shopping mall-sized scale.
I value these types of organizations, as they help to spread the knowledge that being digital and being mobile is more important than being able to build concrete buildings. If we can reach enough people, I believe we can change how we perceive things as well. A person who has been to this event cannot think that the future lies in concrete alone. Anyone who was at the Summit was left speechless with the wonders and new doors that lead to new futures for themselves that did not exist before.
William Blake tells us that if the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is: Infinite. Aldous Huxley used it to describe his experience with mescaline. I say that knowledge is as effective as any drug. Once we clear our perception, then we can see that the possibilities for ourselves and for Turkey are not only about high buildings and big roads, but as infinite as ideas and technology together with the notion of mobility, which gives us a beautiful playground that we can all play in together to build a more creative and sustainable future.