Connecting in Berlin: iBRIDGES Conference Brings Together Social Visionaries, Entrepreneurs, Investors and Journalists
Humbly honored to be asked to speak at the iBRIDGES Berlin conference last week, sharing perspectives and examples of how a more digitally connected planet can accelerate a more peaceful and prosperous future for all. The event was previewed by the Financial Times last month as “The biggest gathering of Iranians outside of the Islamic Republic in more than 30 years.” Reporter Najmeh Bozorgmehr also wrote, “When members of the diaspora meet Tehran entrepreneurs and businesspeople, their focus will not be political reform in one of the world’s most repressive countries or the complexities of the nuclear negotiations with the world powers, but instead burgeoning opportunities in the Iran’s tech sector.
I was born in Iran, and today as a proud Iranian-American working in the technology and telecom industry, so for me the opportunity to be part of this historic event was a tremendous joy. There is so much opportunity in Iran and around the world, and the iBRIDGES organizers have done an outstanding job ensuring their initiative remains “an open, inclusive and collaborative community, free from any political or ideological affiliations, that works towards bringing to life a diversity of impactful initiatives, platforms and spaces that all tangibly serve to contribute to the development of the high-tech entrepreneurial sector in Iran.”
In my talk, available here on SlideShare, I spoke about the intersection of five related trends: the exponential growth of networks, the growth of mobile in particular, the incredible innovation in applications for mobile devices and for browsers which is literally changing the way we “touch to connect” in real-time, “embedded” or “in-app” communications, and finally why all this matters.
Connectivity made more intuitive, more contextual, more accessible – is changing and improving lives for billions of people, a topic I am passionate about and write frequently on.
The iBRIDGES website puts their mission this way:
“At the heart of iBRIDGES lies the commitment to actively contribute to developing and growing the high-tech entrepreneurial ecosystem in Iran. This objective is based on the notion that the promotion and development of entrepreneurial capacities for members of society is a key lever to elevate their social condition. Entrepreneurship opens minds and enables individuals to unleash their creative capacities. It enables them to shift their perspective from seeing themselves as mere consumers or passive members of society, to being active producers, contributors and creators of their social reality. In particular the high-tech entrepreneurial space brings with it game changing dynamics and new ways of engagement that promote diversity and equal opportunity, celebrates merit based achievement, advocates participative management as well as fosters shared ownership, all elements needed to establish a ‘Global Innovation Economy.’
This paradigm shift is the indispensable key to establishing a sustainable economy and is the engine of innovation which safeguards the continual advancement of civilization towards shared prosperity.”
I look forward to supporting the iBRIDGES organization. The event last week was beautifully produced, with over 1,000 attending, where I met so many thoughtful, creative and entrepreneurial individuals making a real difference in the world.
I’m grateful to my company for allowing me to spend time in a setting in which I could share our enthusiasm for the outcomes an exponentially connected – a “well connected” – world can experience as we continue to move into a whole new level of human contextual communications.