HUNDREDS are attending Bournemouth’s seventh Silicon Beach festival, to hear talks on everything from the incredible possibilities of nanotechnology to the “power of getting things wrong”.
The two-day event began at Pavilion Dance South West yesterday, bringing together speakers with challenging and innovative ideas in the business, marketing, tech and creative sectors.
Among the ideas shared on day one was the possibility of a world where nanotechnology has changed all areas of life.
Dr Sophie Kain, a former contestant on The Apprentice who now works with Human System Integration Ltd, said: “Nanotechnology in 20 years’ time will be absolutely anywhere in every single thing you can think of.”
She spoke of “nanobots that run through your veins killing cancer cells, one at a time”.
Within five to 10 years, hospitals could use bandages which tell medical staff when a wound has healed or change colour when it has become infected, she said.
Further ahead, there could be a “nano-nirvana”, with nanobots able to find cancers and genetic disorders.
Body armour could be 100 times stronger but light as a feather, while clothes could change colour as you wear them, or monitor your health, and could be “as strong as leather but as soft as silk”.
She also spoke of the threats of “nano-nasties”, with nanobots carrying out highly intrusive surviellance, or even destroying each other and the environment around them. The industry needed better regulation, she said.
But she added: “I think the film-makers like to scare us, of course they do. I think we’re a long way off that. These things don’t have intelligence at the moment.”
She said nanotechnology would enable the collection of huge amounts of data.
“You will be able to get adbots that go directly to short, middle-aged, brown-haired physicists and advertise directly to them,” she added.
Author and former teacher Richard Gerver spoke of the need to unlock in adults the kind of creativity shown by young children.
“How many of us have had great ideas and then spent the next two to three hours talking ourselves out of it – or somebody we love talks us out of it for us?” he said.
“You learn something new by doing something wrong but as you get older, you become suffocated by the need to be right.”
He said organisations should “help people release the power of getting stuff wrong”.
Conference organiser Matt Desmier told the audience: “This is the seventh year that I’ve got away with holding this festival.
“This is the UK’s most selfish conference in as much as I’ve invited all the speakers along that I’d really like to hear from – and you lot have come along for the ride and made it all possible for me.”
Silicon Beach presents 22 speakers described as “strategic thinkers, creative doers and digital innovators”.
It was preceded by a day-long copywriting conference, Coby Cabana, also held at Pavilion Dance South West, with a line-up of 12 speakers.