The Next Web online event, my 5 takeaways.

In short...

At the beginning of October I spent a full two days sitting in front of my screen.

Well… that’s not really new for me as a consultant but that was a totally new experiment for me anyway.


The Next Web, my favorite event in the digital industry was happening!

I love this event and I’ve been going for a few years now.

It’s in Amsterdam where I can spend two lovely days with friends, geeking around with the latest innovations and the future of the internet. I love it.

This event is the only one to date where you don’t feel like you’re stuck with endless commercial speeches.  

The Speakers are really interesting and bring value.

But this year…. It’s 2020 so… it was not the same.

They decided to run the event anyway and made it a virtual event!

I was not particularly enthusiastic about the idea, but it must have been a real challenge for them. This event is usually so cool… I was intrigued and curious.

So I booked my 2 days, sat comfortably and I started the online experience.

It was REALLY good.

Really nicely organized, the Hopin app is super intuitive and easy to browse.

I found the program without a problem and I could join all the talks I wanted. For me, it was a success!

I was also really pleased with the content. There were many more panel discussions than usual, but the live-streamed experience brought a nice interaction between the experts. So, although I usually prefer a single keynote speaker, here I enjoyed the follow-up discussions much more than in real life.

My takeouts are actually around 4 keywords.

  • Human-centricity is now key in all the methodologies from strategy to operation. It starts to be weird to develop anything without this mindset actually… While technologies continue to progress super fast, human beings really start to matter to companies – and that’s really good news.
    With the great example of NextDoor and their CEO Sarah Friar, their purpose as a company is to develop kindness.

  • Transparency is the new competitive advantage for Companies. Either within the company, to build trusting relationships with your co-workers and develop good communication habits, or with your customers. Transparency is actually the next logical step in the evolution of Authenticity. This is highly valued by people and creates strong relationships.

  • Resilience: We’re in the midst of a crisis that just started, so resilience was a hot topic. It’s a skill on which everybody has to work now. It requires time, headspace and community support. From mental health, which has become a real issue and serious concern for companies; to incredible businesses that turned the ship around; and to communities that raised their voices through social networks to gain justice and respect.

    We are witnessing these through technology’s incredible examples of resilience. It’s inspiring and clearly engaging.  I was happy, among other things, to discover that mental health is now a priority for an increasing amount of companies. According to Thrive, companies have metrics & action plans around burnout, breakdown, boredom, etc.  

    The wellbeing of employees is not simply a ‘nice thing to have’ anymore.

  • Education: This one, as human-centricity is a classic of this event as you can tell by the quality of the speakers that transmission is their core value.

    This one, as human-centricity is a mainstay of this event – as you can tell by the quality of the speakers, transmits their core value.

    Again, in the midst of the crisis and the confusion we live in, it was so powerful to discover the giant steps made thanks to technology when it comes to education. 

    The techniques, the tools, the approaches… There are incredible changemakers out there who are creating strong blueprints for institutional changes. Go check out: @digitalschoolsociety, @wonderschool just to name a few. 

    This is very promising for the culture and justice movements.
    Education is everything. 
    I consider it to be the element that connects all the dots.

  •  Experiments: You can’t do without experimenting any more… and you can’t pretend you didn’t know! Learning by doing, breaking down things to build faster and learn quicker… Agile has been hovering around all the companies that started their digital journey, for years now.

    Now it’s just a Business Best practice. This is how you run a business and this Covid-19 crisis is clearly the latest proof (if you still needed one). When everything is uncertain, this is the moment to explore and experiment with things to challenge the status quo. But… be ready to step out of your comfort zone and boost your collaboration as experimenting is not something you do just on your own. Well .. you can but you’ll miss a lot of fun and creativity! 

These 2 days filled me with inspiration & motivation, I have this feeling every year. It’s like I remember why I do what I do. I listen to like-minded people. Those who believe that we can build a better world and make things right. 

Since then I’ve felt crazy boosted and have been preparing my plan for 2021 – so stay tuned! These topics I’ve just summarized will come up again and again. We are only at the (very promising) beginning.

So, next year… do you want to come with me to The Next Web?

Let’s keep in touch on Linkedin, Instagram or just sign up to the Digital Letters and enter in the discussion with CX Minds!

Ps: I shared all my favorite talks and useful links on my instagram so if you want more… it’s in the highlights 😉



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Amélie Beerens


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