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ICT SPRING 2021: physical edition to reconnect to business

Press Release The international tech summit will take place next September 14-15, 2021 Next September 14th and 15th, more than 100 international experts will participate in a new edition of ICT Spring, the renowned tech summit. The event, organized since 2010, will take place at the European Convention Center Luxembourg, at the very heart of Europe: ICT Spring will therefore be the first largest in-person event of the year. Today, the organizers are announcing the various topics that will be discussed during the different summits, as well as the first experts who will share their knowledge and best practices, during what promises to be an exceptional edition. This year, ICT Spring will be organized in the frame of the “Digital ICT Week”, powered by the Chamber of Commerce Luxembourg, and is labelled as the main event of the week, as well as the first largest in-person event of the year to take place in Luxembourg. It will notably allow the audience to participate in matchmaking and targeted networking sessions, through the use of the Swapcard application. As usual, ICT Spring will consist in an exhibition area and startups’ village and insightful summits to tackle trendy topics. Conferences will be broadcasted live from Luxembourg, and will gather as many speakers as possible within the country, depending on health restrictions. Therefore, experts are welcomed to take part in ICT Spring both physically and digitally. Fintech Summit The combination of finance and technology has been discussed over the past decade, with Fintechs becoming key players and new trendsetters in the financial services industry. The first session, entitled “The Advent of a Cashless Society”, will focus on a myth that is about to become a reality: organizations are welcoming this new era and need to adapt their processes, by notably combining security, trust and transparency. Experts will then focus on “FundTech & Tokenization”: how will tokenization change the business and what are the latest technologies available for the funds industry to improve the customer experience? On the second day, they will explore the “Digital Banking over the World” topic. As banks struggle to improve customer experiences, the quest for personalized digital interactions continues. Finally, the summit will end with a session called “Fintech to favour Financial Inclusion”, as, nowadays, financial data-driven intelligence facilitates inclusive finance. Digital Summit More than ever, digital plays an important role in our daily lives, whether it is on the professional side with the use of innovative tools or on the personal one with new apps and services. The first session, focusing on how to “Reconcile Tech & Education”, will feature experts who will share their knowledge around the latest tech trends with a whiff of education and gender diversity. Then, experts will focus on “Digital Supply Chain”, in order to understand the biggest challenges of the supply chain and logistics sector. What are the impacts of digital and data management? How does it improve the value chain? How the e-commerce can enable a fast and easy access to goods? The day after, professionals will discuss “Digital Society” and how to shape the society of tomorrow through digital technology: building smarter cities, improving access to e-government, managing brands in a data-driven economy, etc. The session will end with a focus on “Digital Health”, with the use of new solutions to improve the healthcare industry and solutions linked to longevity. Space Forum Organized in parallel of ICT Spring since 2016, the Space Forum conference discusses the impact of space tech on Earth business such as mobility, IoT, connectivity, security, etc. The first morning session will be entitled “Powering Sustainable & Resilient Space Developments” and will focus on international cooperation and how science will contribute to build up a resilient ecosystem fueled with rapid technological developments. “Space Revival: Strengthening the Hi-Tech Ecosystem in Europe” will then be discussed: what are the new challenges that the space industry needs to take up? What is the position of Europe within the international framework: its assets and weaknesses? Can Europe be a key player? Finally, experts will share their “Views on the Most Promising Companies of the New Space” and will dive into the startups ecosystem of the Space industry while sharing the latest innovations of the market. European Security Forum A well-known side event of ICT Spring, European Security Forum will gather cybersecurity professionals to discuss the latest trends in a field that is evolving at a faster pace than ever, with the number of (sophisticated) cyberattacks constantly growing. The first session, “Data Security: everyone’s business” will focus on the crisis and how cybersecurity concerns have grown exponentially, with the creation of innovative tools. “AI threats and opportunities” will then be on the agenda as it has become essential to ensure the security of AI systems, and so will the “The era of Zero Trust”, with the recognition that “trust can be considered a vulnerability”. The topic "Post quantum cryptography" will end the European Security Forum. Mastermind Summit This new summit aims at giving participants a view on “Strategic Acceleration EU and International Programs”, as well as funding available for startups. The session will consist in speeches to provide assistance to startups and to help them develop their networks and businesses. Experts will relate success stories, define the art of pitching, etc. Moreover, panel discussions with VCs will be organized, with professionals presenting the biggest trends they are currently following in the fields of Fintech, Deeptech, New Space, and more. This second session will be entitled “Startups Verticals”. With theparticipation of Priscila Chaves (Tech Ethicist & Impact Entrepreneur) Sam Scimemi (Senior Assistant in the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, Former ISS Director, NASA), Jason Maude (Chief Technology Advocate, Starling Bank), Joakim Sjöblom (Co-founder and CEO, Minna Technologies), Tomas Martinkenas (Director of Privacy and Security, Vinted), Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck (Founding Director, Digital Leadership Institute), Morgan Wirtz (CEO & Co-founder, Upy) and Elia Montanari (Head of Management and Control, ESA). Local experts Marc Hansen (Luxembourg Minister Delegate for Digitalisation), Jean-Jacques Dordain (Advisor, spaceresources.lu), Avanti Sharma (Pre-Teen Technology Specialist, Workshop4Me) and Carl-Friedrich zu Knyphausen (Director Logistics Development, Zalando) have also confirmed their participation to this year’s edition of ICT Spring. About ICT Spring ICT Spring is a global tech conference hosting an array of international professionals. It offers the participants a unique opportunity to deepen their digital knowledge, capture the value of the fast-growing FinTech, drive innovation in the Supply Chain industry, pierce the secrets of IT Security and explore the impact of Space technologies on terrestrial businesses. All this through high-level conferences, exhibitions and demonstrations of the latest tech trends and Innovations. ICT Spring is hosted within the Digital ICT Week, organised by the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and Farvest in order to stimulate digital transformation, illustrate the latest tech trends and present growth opportunities for startups and SMEs. ICT Spring is also the perfect place to network with peers and future business partners. More information: ictspring.com About Farvest Farvest has become the one-stop-agency for companies and institutions aiming to promote Luxembourg as a gateway to Europe and a perfect place to establish a company. The Agency contributes to support these organizations thanks to its strong and wide network of experts, industry leaders, and proven skills to bring meaningful short and long-term projects into life. Farvest isrecognized as a B2B multi-specialist, enabling business and strategic partnerships. Farvest is composed of forward thinkers and passionate individuals who support the Agency’s clients in reaching their target whether it is for increasing their reach, reviewing their brand positioning, enhancing their communication strategy, designing outstanding communication supports, boosting a website performance, etc. Committing to highlighting Luxembourg as a creative nation, fostering innovation and awarding national best cross-sectors practices, are among Farvest top priorities. More information: www.farvest.com Contact Anne-Lorraine Reinbolt anne-lorraine.reinbolt@farvest.com +352 26 27 69-1

Life & Style

Will there be an alternative to the Facebook ecosystem?

Facebook - the social network that started in early 2000 is the only platform that's available for us if you want to be on a social network. Over the years, Facebook has added two more apps that dominates our lives; WhatsApp and Instagram. Now after 20 years, its a good time to look back and take stock of the situation on where I came from, where I am now, and what I want. Facebook was not the first social network, its Friendster. But Facebook clearly ate or defeated all other apps along the way and become the dominant and only player in this space. When I started being on Facebook, I was among those who accepted all friend requests whether I know the person, I might have seen the person, or its a friend's friend or what not. Fast forward today, I don't do that anymore. In fact, I was unfriending loads whom I have no clue about and was trimming down my friends list. As I do that, "privacy" and "close-knit" are on top of my mind. As those words dominate, Facebook is going in the opposite direction. They are closely integrating Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram messages. Eventually, you can start communicating in one app and finish the conversation in the other app. Post in Facebook, automatically display in Instagram, and chat about it in WhatsApp. This worries me, as three apps that I used with different set of people, and different set of information is going to be united into one. Facebook already knows a lot about me than I do. Now with all three apps rolled-into-one, I am going to be literally having a copy of my life in Facebook's servers that I have no control over the use. This worries me, and this should be worrying us all. I did not move out of Facebook by choice, because the strongest case I made to myself was that I would lose my friends list I had built over the years from all continents. Finding them again, and connecting with them, and reminding them of a memory I shared with them seemed to be an impossible task. But Facebook did me a favor. One fine day, they blocked me. I did not really know why, but they said they are not cool with me any more and they need my passport, driving license or any ID. Well, my Facebook name is not exactly what my passport displays. 95% of Facebook names will not match their passport names. But now Facebook wants my passport. In face, Facebook already knows a whole lot about me, and the last piece to map was my passport copy perhaps. Wasn't comfortable at all. But, I still wanted my friends list back, so I shared anyway. They did not budge, and there was no explanation or appeal. Boom, more than a decade of friends list and I am blocked out of Facebook now. Naturally, I was sad, angry and frustrated. After a number of sunsetting days, I am happier than ever. Don't get me wrong. I want to be on a social network. I want to have good friends I truly want to be posting on what's going on in their lives. But, I don't want my social network to track my every move and tell me what I will need now and in the future. I want to be at peace. Look at friends' travel, see their family being happy and not pressured by someone else or give someone the power to kick-me-out anytime at their will. But, I look around for such a social network, I don't see any other choice now. Hope is there though. WhatsApp alternatives such as Signal has come-up. There should be, and there will be, a Facebook alternative that I can have only my closest, good and trusted friends and acquaintances. I can chat, share, and care about my life and be updated on their lives. That one app that gives me "privacy" and keep it "close-knit. I am confident that days will come in the next years. Until then, hoping to write more. /// Written By Kevin This is a personal opinion by the author.

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