The final evening of Oslo Innovation Week this year had Tim Berners-Lee as the keynote speaker, and of course I found this a very good reason to attend.
Tim Berners-Lee started the keynote by talking about the start of www, from the early ideas of hypertext and what made www different from other hypertext-inspired services at that time (not running on any particular hardware, not imposing strict document formats, not imposing strict hierarchies). An amusing anedote was about the first memo regarding www, onto which Tim Berners-Lee’s boss had scribbled “vague but interesting” in the corner. Tim Berners-Lee then moved on to talking about the future of the web. His main point was that these first thirty years of www has seen a continous and explosive innovation, and that there’s no reason to believe that we’ll seen the end of this innovation yet – www keeps growing and changing all the time. One of the current trends he talked about, was how moving www to mobile will change how it is being used. Another trend being the “internet of things”. He then moved on to talk about what he sees as one of the most important challenges in the years to come, privacy, and the related issue of censorship (especially from governments). Being directly asked about this, he said that he’s much more concerned about privacy issues than about “walled gardens” (such as Facebook). Tim Berners-Lee also talked about the imporance and necessity of open data.
The M.C. for the event was Norwegian astrophysicist Eirik Newth, who did an excellent job. He introduced Tim Berners-Lee with talking about the first time he clicked a hyperlink – back in 1983 – and how important and exciting the experience felt even back then, already at that point it seemed that something big was coming.
The next speaker was Henrik Fisker, co-founder of Fisker Automotive, who talked about the history of the company, and presented the Fisker Karma.
The last speaker was Jim Butler, talking about Austin Texas and SXSW.
There was a panel debate with Tim Berners-Lee, Eirik Newth, Jon von Tetzchner and Kristin Skogen Lund.
The last item on the agenda was the innovation prizes. Congratulations to Epinova for winning Oslo kommunes Etablererpris.
Afterwards, there was food, wine and social mingling organized by First Tuesday.