The Next Generation Internet (NGI) Forum opened to a full room, packed agenda and a dynamic day with Martel working on-stage and back-stage on to bring research and innovation into the spotlight.

The uber-cool venue of Wanha Satama in Helsinki, Finland gave an historic backdrop to a line-up highlighting what a future Internet might look like and the steps to get there. This edition of the annual event of the EC-funded NGI initiative featured a line-up of movers and shakers dedicated to better trust and privacy around our lives on-line.

Dr Monique Calisti, our CEO, moderated the event and had the pleasure to introduce Martin Wezowski, Chief Designer & Futurist and Chief Innovation Office at SAP who gave a visually stunning and intellectually tantalizing speech. Brilliant innovators also took to the stage, such as Meeri Haataja, CEO of Saidot, working on ethics with Finland’s AI Program as well as IEEE’s Ethics Certification Program and Professors of the calibre of UN Digital Advisor Cathy Mulligan and, live from Brussels, Robert Viola Director General of DG CONNECT.

Martel leads the Next Generation Internet Outreach Office (NGI4ALL project), responsible for the NGI Forum and for designing and bringing to life the marketing and communication activities for the whole NGI community, in close cooperation with the European Commission.

It is an exciting journey organizing such an event, it’s also a long journey which kept us busy for the last six months, defining the location (every year we aim at engaging a different city, country and community), finding the right partner (and this year we were delighted to work with MyData) and create the anticipation to the event.

Most importantly, we made sure the right people were in the room – every year the NGI Forum gathers together innovators, researchers, corporations, start-ups, policy makers, media and SMEs to join the discussion, share their achievements, develop solutions and get access to EC funds.

Martel ran the communications campaign, the logistics, we helped set the agenda, identify the speakers, we designed promotional items using materials that are ecological and ensured the catering, which offered a taste of Finland, was sustainable too! Martel produced the multimedia presentations, and moderated an interactive platform for audience participation. We made video interviews with our great speakers and took the time to explain to new-comers the funding opportunities available, and to discover great talents among start-ups and SMEs in Finland, for future collaborations.

What sustained these endeavours? We’re driven by a quest for a better Internet and Martin Wezowski encapsulated our curiosity: “What is human? And what is working in a super human future? How can we have an empathic symbiosis between machine intelligence and human ingenuity?”

Together with the NGI community we are working hard to get answers to these questions, for a better internet for all.