Collision From Home, the online-only edition of Collision — the sister event of the Web Summit, which normally takes place in Canada — kicked off this Tuesday around 3 pm in Lisbon. Being online, and with the world still living this pandemic, there was no room for large opening ceremonies with buttons to be carried on a stage full of people. Simply put, the event kicked off with Paddy Cosgrave, executive chairman of Web Summit, interviewing John Tory, the mayor of Toronto, by video call. “We miss you here,” Tory assumes.
Paddy asked John Tory how the city has reacted to the pandemic, noting that even though it is far away, collision “remains a Toronto event.” Finally, he left the question of one million euros: “Do you think it is a possibility that collision will take place in 2021, as it is marked, in Toronto”?. Tory replied, “We have to see, but I’m optimistic.”
The conversation took place on the main stage, which is now called “channel 1” [channel 1, in Portuguese], and, as the name says, is one of several online video platforms on which participants will be able to attend the conferences.
“How is Toronto’s technology sector reacting to the pandemic?” also asked Paddy Cosgrave. According to Tory, what “surprises him is the level of confidence that remains in the city.” “People look at the 2008 crisis but they know the tremendous innovation that followed,” he said. “I think the technological ecosystem will fit with these current problems [to solve them],” he said.
In the 10-minute conversation, the also responsible for web summit did not mention once the main event of the organization that leads and that is still scheduled in Lisbon, for next November. In addition, Paddy showed no regrets and thanked “the support of the president and the team to change the format of the event”. The decision to turn Collision into an online event was made in March.
According to the organization, the numbers of participation in this event remain large. “More than 1,000 startups and 30,000 participants.” This year, the difference is that it’s all online. To do this, participants must install an app on their smartphone and can also follow the event on the desktop site.
Before the event began, the organization took over and asked users for “patience” due to problems with registration and entry to the Collision platform. According to Collision’s message, these problems occurred due to the high number of people who were trying to access it.
Collision From Home runs through Thursday and will receive on various online channels names such as: Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, vice president of Uber Eats; Brittany Kaiser, one of the whistleblowers who revealed the Cambridge Analytica scandal; the creators of the social network Tik Tok; or Gillian Tans, the chairman of booking’s board of directors, among other relevant names in the technology ecosystem that also usually make a presence on the Web Summit. This Tuesday, the main channel of the event will also host Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the World Health Organization.
Paddy Cosgrave: “The Web Summit will take place in Lisbon this year”
Among the presentations that have elapsed, Collision From Home has shown a promotional video to web summit, but not to mention dates. Last week, Paddy Cosgrave revealed via Twitter that “the Web Summit will take place in Lisbon” following the “strictest health protocols, as directed by the Government of Portugal. However, since June 16, the date of publication, neither the government nor the City Council of Lisbon, nor the organization of the Web Summit advanced more information.
At the end of May, a person in charge of organizing this event told the Observer that collision “will be a little bit a test” to understand how the online transmission takes place and how the event software works, and may eventually also be one of the “scenarios” for the Web Summit in Lisbon.