The Fraud of Authenticity
The most significant and far-reaching change in the landscape of content creation on the Internet in the last few years is the slaughter of individual voices in favor of a mad dash toward celebrity. The audiences who used to consume diverse and wonderfully disordered narratives online are being conditioned to value an increasingly homogenized sea of “influencers” whose voices are indecipherable from one another. What forces are driving this change? And what does this mean for our children who will grow up in a world where the line between “individual” and “brand” has never been blurred?
Designing Interfaces for Astronaut Autonomy in Space
As we move towards human deep space missions, astronauts will no longer be able to say, “Houston, we have a problem.” The restricted contact with mission control because of the incredible distance from Earth will require astronauts to make autonomous decisions. How will astronauts take on the roles of mission control? This is an area of active research that has far reaching implications for the future of distant spaceflight.
Hear Steve Hillenius of NASA share their use of design and user research to come up with innovative solutions for astronauts to effectively explore the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
Screen time used to mean sitting in front of a TV. Today we move between screens of various sizes, proportions, and quality all day. The abundance and diversity of devices can overwhelm teams delivering software. We need practical ways to tackle the problems that come with this diversity of screens. Luke explores a deeper understanding of screen time today and ways to design effective cross-screen experiences for tomorrow.
The Map and The Territory
When we create for the web, we participate in a kind of public art. We code, we design, we build for an audience, making digital experiences that provide a service, that create joy, or that simply connect readers with words written half a world away. But in this session we’ll revisit what we’ve learned about responsive design, and ensure our content, not just our design, is readily accessible to them wherever they are. In doing so, we’ll look at some ways in which our audience reshapes the way we think about our medium, and see where they might be leading us—and the web—next.
For his Webstock presentation, dressed as a wizard, Harry will perform an interpretive mime cycle, translating the array of human emotions in architecting, writing and scaling CSS for large sites, apps, and products in large-team environments.
His silent exercises, which include such classic works as the cage, walking against the wind, the mask maker, and satires on everything from sculptors to matadors, have been described as works of genius.
Graffiti & The Internet
by Askew One
Askew’s talk centres around the relationship graffiti has had with the internet – both good & bad. Where graffiti was a very localised phenomena pre-internet, various online platforms have enabled it to thrive and evolve, and enabled people, like himself from an isolated country, to have an international career.
Rockets of India
by Anab Jain
Few months ago I roamed the streets of India with tiny Mars probes, speaking to strangers about space missions, aliens, climate change and nationalism. It was the start of a thrilling adventure exploring the history and future of India’s space program within the context of global geopolitics, militarization and cultural imperialism. From astronauts to afronauts, from cosmonauts to vyomanauts, how can deep space exploration inspire us to create more democratic future visions?
At Webstock I hope to share my journey from chaotic Indian streets to interstellar space.
“A Jewelled Net”: Music, Mindfulness, People and Planet!
by Leila Adu
Music, mindfulness and the inner space between online and stage presence enable intentionality to internet use, in its many shapes and forms. Music is one of the canaries in the coal mine of the information age and its creation, education and industry is in a constant state of flux. Music and mindfulness enable us to attain realistic, sustainable and empathetic short-term and long-term personal and community futures of interconnectedness, equality and wellbeing for people and the planet.
A long-time involvement in international music communities, composition performance, recording, and most recently Phd scholarship in the US, both teaching music at Princeton and prison, have given Leila insights into music’s wealth, outside of a financial growth model. Her academic research into music producers in Ghana, shows how the internet accelerates new ways of making music, as well as homogenization of rhythm and harmony, creating new collaborations alongs with musical neo-colonialisms.
Through tales from musicians around the word, Leila investigates ways that mindfulness in music in the information age can assist those who invest in the planet and its inhabitants, including ways to increase attention span, the joy of playing, human closeness and encourage interconnectedness in micro and macro communities.
Museums Are F***ing Awesome
by Nick Gray
On Rejection, or how the worst moments of your life can turn out to be the best
On Rejection is a funny and heartbreaking tale of making it (or not) in New York City. The presentation begins in early 2003 when a good friend sent Debbie Millman an email containing a link that took her to a “blog,” the first-ever online forum about graphic design and branding. Suddenly she found herself reading an article that disparaged her entire career to date. This experience—in tandem with a number of historical rejections and setbacks—sent Millman into deep despair, and she seriously considered leaving the design profession altogether. In a series of poignant, revealing and sometimes hysterical anecdotes, Debbie will share her journey out of the despair and offer insight on how the worst moments in your life can actually become the most profound and life affirming.
Adaptive Content, Context, and Controversy
In 2016, “adaptive content” has become a buzzword. To some, it’s a complex, long-term initiative to structure content for flexible reuse and dynamic targeting. To others, it’s a way to ensure that everyone, everywhere, sees exactly what they want—like magic! In this talk, Karen shares her perspective (and reservations) on how adaptive content is being used today. She’ll discuss how adaptive content supports targeting content to device type—and why that’s rarely necessary. She’ll also describe ways that adaptive content can support tailoring content according to context—and ways that can go wrong. You’ll walk away with a better understanding of when adaptive content is necessary and how to get the most value from it.
The End of Ignorance
We have lived comfortably knowing little about the impact we have on others or the environment. For the last 100 years we have kept consuming aggressively, pretending that self-fulfillment and self-actualisation could easily be derived from buying things and discarding them. Ignorance has been bliss but this is changing with the internet of things. What happens when we are reminded and encouraged to engage with the things we have pretended have been invisible to us or that we have decided wilfully ignored? Well it might well be our greatest societal challenge yet: the one that requires us to change.
Bug Fixes & Minor Improvements, Writ Large (aka Humorous Self-Flagellation and the Multiple Benefits of Being Old On The Internet)
by Anna Pickard
Somehow, improbably, the release note — that little space used by apps to describe their latest updates – has become a remarkable, human way for the creators of software to communicate with their users, and Slack (where Anna words*) has been at the forefront of the movement to turn that microcopical nugget of technical documentation very few people bother reading into (basically) a new literary genre. This little revolution didn’t happen by accident though: it’s the result of a fortunate series of events, a short list of values about how to behave as a company, and a long trail of people feeling out what it means to be oneself on the interweb.
The Panopticon: Resistance is Not Futile
by Annie Machon
Privacy was enshrined as a fundamental human right in the Universal Declaration in 1948. But since the evolution of the world wide web it has never been under greater threat, with panoptic spy surveillance and corporate vigilantes stalking the internet.
As a former MI5 intelligence officer-turned-whistleblower, Annie Machon has experienced every side of this issue. During her talk, she will explore the problems, effects and possible solutions to today’s Panopticon.
The Shape of Things
by Tom Coates
Seventy years ago people thought there might be four or five computers in the world. Ten years ago around two billion computers had ever been sold. Next year it’s predicted that we will be selling 1.5 billion smartphones alone. Computers are getting smaller, cheaper, spreading further and bringing their power and the power of the network into every space in our lives. But how will those developments change the things around us, how they communicate with us and how we interact with the world, and with information itself? Welcome to the Conversation!
How to mend a broken identity
by Keavy McMinn
There are times in our lives when things don’t go according to plan, when we want or need to re-identify ourselves. Perhaps because our identity has been taken away from us against our will, or because of an unfortunate event, or because it is time to rediscover our true selves. If your idea of your world, and your role within it, is challenged, how can you best respond?
Why The Next Big Thing In Tech Is Disrupting Sex
by Cindy Gallop
The tech world welcomes, supports and funds innovation and disruption in every area of our lives and work – except one. Join Cindy Gallop, founder & CEO of http://makelovenotporn.com/, for a provocative, insightful and revelatory examination of what constitutes sextech, how it can bring about world peace, the battles she and other sextech entrepreneurs fight every day to build their ventures, the huge amount of money there is to be made, and why New Zealand has a unique opportunity to become a global hub for sextech.
The Gospel of Doubt
by Casey Gerald
My journey through every facet of the American dream — from a harrowing childhood in Texas, to a decade at the heights of America’s elite institutions, to my travels through the cities and towns of the American heartland as CEO of MBAs Across America — has led me to believe that the task of my generation, and of anyone who truly wants to make the world a better place, is not to have more certainty, but to have more doubt.
Here’s what everyone will be speaking about: