May The Next Web conference be with you

Jedi Michan at TNW conference

Last updated on June 9th, 2018 at 12:43 pm

For an Epic Storytelling Jedi like me, the future’s nothing out of the ordinary. I live in it, you know. That’s why I feel right at home at The Next Web conference at the Westergasterrein, Amsterdam. I’m strolling around this optimistic, inspirational, future-and-technology festival for two days and honestly: the presentation and vibes I got could easily match any fair or congress I’ve ever been to. But, as a self-respecting Jedi, I’m not that easily impressed with glossy appearances. I came here for just one thing: Epic Stories That Stick.

Story #1 – Strategic storytelling to engage talent

Talk by: Susan Lindner | Founder, Emerging Media

This talk sounds promising, but so did Anakin Skywalker and we all know how that turned out. Luckily, storytelling guru Susan Lindner doesn’t seem affected by any dark side vibes at all. She explains how to recruit people that not only bring your company to the next level, but also add something on a personal level at the same time.

The key to success? Employee Generated Content. The people working for your company are the very best ambassadors for your brand. Try using them as such! Motivate your employees to talk about their work and share that content through channels where the potential new talents are.

About the speaker:

Susan tells a very good and attractive story. Combined with some clever staged jokes, she wins the audience over quite easily. Jedi-approved.

Quote of the talk:

‘Stories stick 22 times longer than straight facts.’Click To Tweet

Story #2 – Evolution of a new online economy

Talk by: John Collison | Founder Stripe

Stripe founder John Collison compares nature with the evolution of online economics. Sounds interesting. But even the most focused force-user loses him when he starts to ramble on phytoplankton, dinoflagellates and whatever.

Meanwhile, the lady next to me is hopelessly lost in her H&M app and as soon as our friend John makes clear he’ll use the rest of his talk to meticulously explain how awesome his company is, I warp myself right to the exit.

About the speaker:

John doesn’t really catch the audience’s attention. Actually: he really doesn’t. We were in a galaxy far, far away…

Quote of the talk:

‘Something with Dinoflaggelates.’Click To Tweet

Story #3 – Our transhumance future: tech, wonder & the singularity

Talk by: Jason Silva

Last but not least: Futurist Jason Silva. This living YouTube legend, known from the ‘Shots of Awe’ channel, gives us an insight in the future of mankind. He takes us on a journey to exponential thinking, biotechnology and nanotechnology.

Get used to the idea you can throw away your smartphone within the next 25 years. All those functionalities will be bundled in a device as big as a blood cell. It’ll be shot down your bloodstream and co-operate with your body and brain. It doesn’t get more epic than this.

About the speaker:

Jason is a legend. This charismatic American fills up the room with his enthusiasm and energy. A little too theatrical for some, but I simply believe him. This guy has more force than Yoda himself.

Quote of the talk:

'The new billionaire is not someone with a billion dollars on the bank, but someone who touched a billion lives.’Click To Tweet

The Next Web conference largely fulfils my expectations this year. Most talks were well designed and the event itself just overflowed with inspiration.

After I casually saved the world from hordes of stormtroopers with my new found storytelling skills, it was time for a well deserved, intergalactic beer.

See you next year!


Written by Michan Tolman

Michan is an epic storytelling Jedi at Saleskracht