Photo courtesy WeaveSphere
WeaveSphere is not your typical tech conference. Sure, it has amazing keynotes, collaborative breakouts, and unique activations — but that’s not what makes the je-ne-sais-quoi factor.
WeaveSphere is unique, as its name suggests, because it’s a multi-day event where ideas and actions are actually woven together.
Taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre between November 15 -17, 2022, the WeaveSphere technology conference advances the innovation experience by unsiloing disciplines.
How ‘Weavers’ make this event shine
Picture it: A researcher, investor, academic, and entrepreneur all walk into an event — yes, we know, this sounds like a joke set-up. But hear us out.
The people who attend all hail from a broad-yet-interconnected range of backgrounds who come to challenge the status quo, advance research, co-create technologies, plan new initiatives, and even start businesses.
At this event attendees are called “Weavers” because they don’t come to the event to passively sit back and watch, but instead actively make connections with other researchers, founders, investors, and innovators who collaborate on big ideas.
In a technology ecosystem where experienced and right-fit talent are scattered across the country, WeaveSphere presents a unique opportunity where the doers of innovation all meet in one place.
If you’re looking to up your innovation game, here’s how you can get the most out of the event this fall.
What to expect at WeaveSphere 2022
Part of what makes the magic at WeaveSphere is the team behind it — the conference is a collaboration between IBM’s academic and research technology conference (CASCON), and Evoke’s industry-focused developer conference. In 2019 the organizations merged to pursue the mission of connecting academia and research professionals with developers, tech leaders, founders, and investors.
This year’s event marks the 32nd year IBM’s Center for Advanced Studies has hosted an industry-leading conference, so lots has been learned over three decades in creating an event that is not to be missed.
This year 5,000 *really* smart people, 200 subject-matter-expert speakers, and 150 startups are expected to descend on the event in downtown Toronto, which means a whole lot of opportunities to weave these connections and ideas together.
The event still offers technical talks, engaging workshops, research presentations, and innovative exhibitors, but this year it also continues to expand to include more industry, investor, and startup programming.
The goal: Weave more people together to create innovation that matters.
WeaveSphere doesn’t just throw everyone into a room and say “go.” In addition to the everyday connections forged in and around the event, there’s a packed schedule of sessions, exhibits, pitches, learning, awards, and more.
Here are some of the activations you want to put on your calendar to get the most out of the event:
1. The DeepTech Zone
Here’s where things get, well, deep.
If technical talks, panels with subject experts, hands-on exercises, workshops, and research paper discussions are your jam, then here’s where you’ll want to pull up a chair.
Think topics like artificial intelligence, brain-computer interfaces, cloud computing, data, privacy and security, robotics, quantum computing, and so much more.
The first 50 speakers will be announced later this month at weavesphere.co. Stay tuned for a detailed event agenda soon after.
2. Innovation Valley
WeaveSphere’s exhibitor showcase is called Innovation Valley for a reason. In addition to unique swag, Innovation Valley is where you’ll find innovative startups as well as established market leaders. There will be more than 200 different exhibitors Weaving in this section of the event.
3. Disrupt Hackathon
Here’s your chance to code something that matters. After all, a hackathon at WeaveSphere will no doubt be far from traditional.
Take 1,000 brilliant minds from academia, research, and industry, and put ‘em all in one room for 24 hours where each team will ideate, create, and pitch a realistic and sustainable solution to a specific challenge presented by a WeaveSphere partner.
What happens? Breakthroughs, and some *really* cool stuff.
Disrupt Hackathon challenges will be divided into different topics in the areas of AI, blockchain, and data. They will be shared a few days prior to the event, giving each team of five equal time to choose one and come up with an innovative solution.
Hackathon finalists will be also invited to the WeaveSphere Conference Main Stage where they’ll have a chance to pitch their hackathon project and compete for a chance to win $10,000.
It’s probably obvious by now that supporting innovation and entrepreneurship is what WeaveSphere is all about. Now, how about giving it a competitive edge?
PitchStadium is a global start-up pitch competition, targeting startups focused on AI, enterprise software solutions, blockchain, crypto, and Web3.
The opportunity to pitch a startup at WeaveSphere’s competition means having a shot at global brand awareness, attention from both investors and media, top-tier networking opportunities, and foot-on-the-gas growth. Of course, the chance to pitch live and maybe win $50,000 isn’t all that bad either.
For investors, PitchStadium means accessing new deals and networking opportunities, as well as looking at trends and challenges alongside peers.
4. WeaveSphere Education Day
Many educational opportunities come with a tagline such as “learn from the best,” right?
What if it were actually true?
WeaveSphere Education Day invites more than 300 students to take part in a full-day session on Design Thinking with IBM. Here, thousands of young innovators will learn more about the theory of Enterprise Design Thinking from experts in the field.
Here’s where it gets really interesting.
Working in teams of 10, students will be presented with problem statements, tasked with finding solution ideas through their newfound designing thinking skills. Groups will then pitch their solutions for the chance to win a prize.
Students will learn how to apply design thinking in school, work, and everyday projects, receiving the IBM MyLearning micro-credential at the end of the day.
5. Developer 30 Under 30
To channel Oprah Winfrey: You get an award! You get an award! And YOU get an award!
Ok, not literally everyone will get an award, but how about if the top 30 developers in Canada under the age of 30 do?
Created in 2017, the Developer 30 Under 30 award shines a light on the coders, architects, and masterminds that are responsible for the industry’s technical revolutions. Nominees are evaluated based on technical skills and contributions, community involvement, and awards and scholarly contributions.
No awards were given during the COVID-19 pandemic, so the fourth annual award will be presented during this year’s WeaveSphere conference.
6. Tech Titans: Top 20 of 2022
While we’re on the awards train, this annual award honours Canada’s top 20 most prominent innovative technology leaders of 2022.
This prestigious award recognizes those who have either disrupted an industry through the use of technology, led a digital transformation, and/or used technology in innovative ways to deliver business value.
Nominees have created or enhanced a key competitive advantage, optimized internal or external business processes, enabled growth, or enhanced client relationships.
See you November in Toronto
Does all this sound interesting? Get your tickets at weavesphere.co.