Future Decoded - Recap
Future Decoded is Microsoft UK’s biggest event. It's a two-day conference in London, where 10,000 attendees from a technical or business background can hear speakers discuss the future of technology. The event was organised around the following structure; the Business Day on the 10th of November and the Technical Day on the 11th November 2015
Speakers of diverse background succeeded each other around the theme of ”Transformation though innovation”. While the opening day revealed what technology-driven business transformation will mean, the second day's keynote speakers took a deep dive into the real-world technologies that will make this revolution happen.
Who was there?
Day 1 was marked by the following intervention of Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO since 2014 highlighting the deep impact of digital tranformation on businesses, as well as number of other inspirational speakers:
- Clare Balding, former champion jockey and now an established name in television sport
- Martha Lane Fox Rt, co-founder of lastminute.com
- Craig Kreeger, Chief Executive of Vrigin Atlantic
- Mike Stone, Chief Digital and Information Officer for the UK Ministry of Defence
- Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent
- Hywel Sloman, IT Director at Arsenal Football Club
- Hon Lord Coe, former athlete and organiser of the 2012 Olympic games.
“Future decoded was a surreal experience! We got to see our CEO Satya Nadella present on stage and address everyone about the future of the company and how it is innovating, we then got to be on the stands where we spoke to attendees about our fantastic products” - Muhammad Ahsan Raza Khan
Day 2 was highlighted by the incredibly well-attended speech by Professor Brian Cox, one of UK’s best known physicists, peppered with some other amazing speakers, including:
- David Chappell, Principal of Chappell & Associates in San Francisco
- Kevin Ashton, pioneering worker on Radio Frequency Identification Networks, for which he invented the term “Internet of Things,” and co-founded the Auto-ID Center at MIT
- Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise group
- Graham Cluley, security analyst and award-winning security blogger, researcher and public speaker
- Chris Bishop, Distinguished Scientist and Lab Director at Microsoft Research Cambridge
- Krysta Svore, Senior researcher managing the Quantum Architectures and Computation Group at Microsoft Research in Redmond.
How do you get involved as an intern?
This year, apprentices, interns and graduates played a vital part as volunteers at this event. Participating all over the expo hall and common areas, there was plenty to discover and networking to be done.
One of the central stands at the event was the Makr Shakr, a cocktail making robot! The interns who worked at this station made sure attendees knew how to take orders on Microsoft tablets, which the robot then created. You could mix and match from plenty of spirits and juices.
Xander Barnes, Microsoft Intern, GTO
“In the center of the exhibition hall was the Makr Shakr, the ultimate bartender. It consists of 2 robotics arms, 6 conveyer belts, 30 different spirits and can create up to 120 drinks per hour. This was all controlled with one app which we were running on the Surface Pro 3.
I got the great job of working on it for the day. My role involved going around talking to people and taking their order. It was great fun listening to what everyone thought of the event and the Makr Shakr, with most people saying they would love to have one in their office. It was by far the busiest attraction in the exhibit, which isn’t surprising due to the free alcohol.”
Another stand was the Virtual Reality Hub, a busy spot at the event where interns and apprentices helped the attendees put on their Oculus Rift goggles to enter into space, where they had to complete a mission to win the game. Another mission was to find your way around a fridge!
Microsoft Education was the Headline sponsor for Future Decoded, and was actually owned and delivered by one of our interns!
Laura-Jane Ellard, Microsoft Intern in Education
"Future Decoded was a great opportunity to showcase the amazing things we do in Education. Our stand had 4 sections: Micro:bit and Minecraft, Office 365 (which is FREE in education) and 2 device bars - one of which was manned by some students from a local school, who were much more technologically minded than me, as they demonstrated the cool things that can be done with coding and the Micro:bit.
At the time of the event, there were only 2 Surface Books in the UK - and one was on our stand! This drew in the crowds and sparked great conversations about what can be done in Education… although the focus was more on who could get the best selfie with it...
Future Decoded acts as a great opportunity to showcase what interns can offer, as well as a chance for us to get involved in all areas of the business and network in ways they couldn't before. If you ever have the chance - get involved!"
Official Recap Video
We hope that next year a new group of volunteers will get to experience this business event. It's a great opportunity to learn about Microsoft and meet partners, tech lovers and industry professionals!