This was Future Week 2019

Published 21.06.2019
An estimated 3000+ people attended the more than 50 events and workshops during the Media City Bergen Future Week. - We are proud, we are humble, we are moved beyond words by what the Media Cluster family have created and delivered, says Anne Jacobsen, Media Cluster CEO.

Visitors to the Media City Bergen Future Week and the mcb tech conference got a glimpse of what’s brewing in the R&D labs in the media cluster and beyond. Most importantly, they got to learn from those who are actually creating the future.

Over 50 events, seminars, talks, debates, demos, and workshops were successfully organized during the Future Week, in addition to a full day conference, mcb tech .19. This eventful week also included the launch of NCE Media’s Stavanger Satellite, as well as the official kickoff of one of the largest cross-industry initiatives in the history of this region: The Norwegian Cognitive Centre. The consortium behind the center comprises The City of Bergen, GCE Ocean Technology, NCE Finance Innovation, NCE Seafood Innovation, Bergen Chamber of Commerce, VIS Innovasjon, Helse Vest, and IBM, in addition to NCE Media, who have initiated the project. At mcb tech .19 representatives from the consortium launched the center with a digital cornerstone ceremony. Read more about the launch here.

Partners laying the digital cornerstone for the new cognitive center in Bergen, during the mcb tech conference.  

One of the definite highlights at Future Week was Product Discovery guru Marty Cagan, founder of Silicon Valley Product Group,  

- When venturing into the unknown, it is tempting for leaders and managers to hold on tight, and monitor their teams closely. But if you want to achieve extraordinary things with ordinary people, you need to let go. You need to trust and empower your people, especially the product-teams, to solve problems for your customers, not for the management, he said.

Product Discovery: Marty Cagan from Silicon Valley Product Group talking about the importance of trust and empowerment.

Marty Cagan held a sold-out workshop in the Media Lab the day after the conference, where he shared his insight and expertise on Product Discovery to 50 participants. One of them, Ketil Moland Olsen, VP Product Management in Vimond, had been looking forward to this for a long time.   

- Marty Cagan has been the north star of the product community for as long as I can remember, and being able to watch him live in my home town of Bergen is a dream come true. Cagan did not disappoint, either – the full-day workshop he hosted at MCB is, without doubt, the most intense and knowledge-heavy learning session I have ever attended, Moland Olsen said.

From the Product Discovery Workshop with Marty Cagan in the Media Lab

– It was genuinely inspirational in every way. Kudos to our friends at NCE Media and NCE Finance Innovation for making it happen – I hope that “Cagan in Bergen” will become a yearly tradition from now on, Moland Olsen said.  

Get a recap of the mcb tech conference here.

A Dark Data Quest
High on the Future Week agenda was the dangers and pitfalls of intelligent technology, as well as good governance. Professor David Carroll, the New Yorker who exposed Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, shared his Dark Data Quest: What he learned chasing his Cambridge Analytica voter profile across the Atlantic, and why data rights are the new civil rights.

Professor David Carroll shared his Dark Data Quest at mcb tech  

Carroll took the owners of Cambridge Analytica to court after the company secretly had collected data from 87 million Facebook users. These data were used to make political profiles, and through targeted political marketing they tried to influence elections such as the US presidential elections 2016 and the Brexit election. Carroll tried to recapture his hidden voter profile and discovered along the way that he as an American citizen had few or no rights to obtain this.

- There is a lot of enthusiasm around AI. But there is also a dark side. As little as 170 Facebook-likes is enough to predict your ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and whether you drink, smoke or use illegal drugs. If your parents are divorced, and which political party you are most likely to vote for. This data abuse is a threat to democracy, Carroll explained.

Carroll's Dark Data Quest made an impression on the audience.

- It was both interesting and shocking to learn how it actually went down. It is terrifying to see how our data could be used to threaten our democracy. I am comforted that we have people like Carroll that takes on this fight and brings it to the public, said Alf Gunnar Andersen, CEO, Horde. 

Another speaker at the conference, Dr Ayesha Khanna, CEO of ADDO AI, also warned about the unintended consequences of intelligent new technology.

- Today, it is possible to write a fake speech, delivering it with a fake voice, and a fake face. This is a powerful tool for manipulation, she said.

Khanna lives and works in Singapore, the city state which in recent years has emerged as a leading global innovation hub. According to her, other governments have a lot to learn from Singapore, when it comes to governance and ethics for AI. It is something that their government is taking very seriously.

Dr Ayesha Khanna on stage at mcb tech, presenting Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization

Future Week: Discover what's brewing
The more than 50 events during Future Week, included a first glimpse of new technology, things never before seen, and the opportunity to learn from industry experts and researchers. Participants learned how to build a fancy AR-app, or their very own sensor driven weather station to take home.

New journalistic formats were explored, including how algorithms run the newsroom. Future Week also declared death to the traditional PowerPoint presentations and said hello to the new virtual presentations. The attendees dived into artificial intelligence with researchers, students and industry authorities, and had a go playing the the esport pros. Every event was focused on topics that challenge our common future as it is driven and shaped by technology.

Strong joint effort
The topics were mostly within the Media Cluster’s disciplines and organized by NCE Media in collaboration with the cluster members. 

- The joint effort from media cluster members and partners, including a strong program from the University of Bergen, is unmatched, said Anne Jacobsen, CEO of NCE Media 

- I would also have to extend our heartfelt thanks to the Media Cluster Advisory Board for their work to make Future Week such a success.

Scroll for more highlights from the Future Week:

From left: Doug Clark (IBM), Lars Kristiansen (NRK), and Steinar Søreide (Mjoll) discussing "the AI Impact on Media", moderated by Eivind Sandstrand (NCE Media). 

Future Week included a special AI-track where we looked into the opportunities and benefits across the industry, from content creation, via analysis and meta data management, to audience experience. Industry experts and pioneers gave the audience a glimpse into what’s to come and how artificial intelligence will impact the media industry. 

Vizrt's Chris Black Demonstrating real-time 3D graphics in Media City Bergen

During "Augment your Reality" at the center stage in the Atrium, Vizrt's Chris Black gave the audience a glimpse into the Viz Magic of Viz Engine 4, demonstrating the capabilities for rendering photorealistic data-driven graphics blended with a physical studio. Here, the Media City Bergen Atrium became the studio - with the audience impressed by a rendered, photo-realistic version of the original Ferrari GTO from the early 60s.

The University of Bergen (UiB) was a large contributor to the Future Week and hosted several events throughout the week. One of the highlights was a seminar with professor David Carroll, who gave a talk on "Elections, Privacy Data, and Violations of Law – The Severe Democratic Challenge". The session included a discussion panel consisting of Frøy Gudbrandsen, Political Editor, Bergens Tidende; Truls Pedersen, Associate Professor in Information Science, UiB; Sjur Dyrkolbotn, Associate Professor in Law and Technology, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. The panel was moderated by Per Christian Magnus, Head of Centre for Investigative Journalism, University of Bergen at Media City Bergen.

Hege Kallestad and Kjell Ove Skarsbø from TV 2 talking about their digital transformation journey.

While artificial intelligence (AI) was the most talked-about subject, permeating newsrooms, movie studios and our everyday lives, this year’s Future Week also shed some light on the most important component of digital transformation: Humans.

- Digital transformation is not just another IT-development project. Digital transformation is about venturing into the unknown, and dealing with uncertainty. It’s about humans having their daily routines turned upside down, and the stress that comes with it, explained Hege Kallestad, Head of Publishing at TV 2.

The TV channel had to put psychologist and coaching fees into the budget for their digital transformation project.

- The human side of change, is something that is not often talked about, and people are saying that we are very brave for putting it out there, said Kallestad.

Live podcast with Ingeborg Myhre (left) and Eli Kari Gjengedal (right) to finish off a successful Future Week 2019. 

Machine learning workshop with Sonat's David Fredman in the Media Lab.

Workshop participants learning how to make their own weather sensor. 

Ketil Moland Olsen (Vimond and the NCE Media Advisory Board) was one of the initiators behind the Weather Track at Future Week. Here he is assisting a participant during the weather sensor workshop. 

Yes, computers can be creative. Anders Norås from Itera with his popular talk 'A brief history of computer art.' 

Dr. Mario Garcia with his talk "Storytelling in the Age of Mobile First", where he taught how to tell stories specifically for mobile devices, including long pieces and investigative reports.

The popular podcast Tinius Talks from the Tinius Trust was recorded live from the Media Bar on the last day of Future Week, with guest appearances from Petter Ole Jakobsen (Vizrt), Ketil Moland Olsen (Vimond), Anne Jacobsen, (Media City Bergen) and Grethe Hjetland (Highsoft). Kjersti Løken Stavrum (Tinius Trust)

NRK's Lise May Spissøy presented "Norge Rundt", one of NRK's oldest shows, is still the among the most popular Friday night shows in Norway. A brainchild of journalist Lise May Spissøy, the show, which takes viewers on a tour of rural Norway, showcasing people, animals and quirkiness, has been running for 43 years, and counting. 

Make your Data Come Alive: Håvard Tveit (Highsoft) presenting how data vizualisation can fuel your digital storytelling. 

Thomas Hellum (NRK) gave a talk on daring to fail, and spoke about the culture of innovation in slow motion in "10 years of Slow TV". 

Geir Engen (MBL) presented interested findings in a recent research on Brand Safety and how Norwegian advertisers may end up on so called fake news sites.

Fadi Radi (Al Arabiya) presented the Next Generation AR Weather Forecast, showing how complex climate changes and weather phenomena can be explained by the use of augmented reality.  

Ingrid Agasøster (Mediability) and Rune Smistad (NCE Media) wanted to "go beyond PowerPoint" with their workshop on how to present and communicate through new formats like video with AR, holograms, VR, as well as live and on-demand streaming.   

Ingrid Skrede (Ludenso/MovieMask) gave a talk on and demonstrated how we can use AR to explore technology in new ways, how we can unleash the creative potential of students who want to create their own AR apps, and how learning with AR creates a more inclusive learning environment. 

Future Week included a seminar on e-sports and e-football in the Nordics, with Christian Sørensen, the CEO of danish professional e-sport club North, among the presenters.  

eFootball: Two-time FIFA world champion August "Agge" Rosenmeier (North) and Anders Rasmussen (Brann) went head-to-head in an exhibition match in the atrium, with live commentary from Jonas Bariås.  (TV 2) 

This year, TV 2 has really lived up to its slogan: Always a kickoff. From August to June, the channel has shown over 700 live football matches on its platforms. In his talk, Eystein Thue (TV 2) explained why football is so important for the channel, how to manage rights in a very competitive media market and how the editorial staff works internally to further strengthen interest. 

TV 2's Øystein Bogen drew quite the crowd with his presentation on "Russia's Secret War against the West", a war including cyber attacks, data espionage, propaganda and fake news. A war that does not resemble other wars, and is done in ways we couldn't imagine a few years ago. Also against Norway. 

The University of Bergen had several sessions during Future Week, including a student demo where Media and Interaction Design students at UiB in MCB showcased five new prototypes for publishing and advertising. The students collaborated with BT, Vimond, TV2, M’Labs and Future Solutions. 

Cluster member Rainfall was among several companies that set up stands across MCB atrium to demo their latest concepts.

This year's mcb tech conference was completely sold out.