The Emerging Communications Conference & Awards (eComm) 2014 'Call for Speakers' is now available (PDF format).

"When we change the way we communicate, we change our society" - Clay Shirky.

My interest has always been communications technology engineering and innovation.

However over the past two years my attention has been drawn to "meaningful innovation" (that is, innovation with purpose).

I began to question what the ultimate end-game of innovation is during the 2009 Emerging Communications Conference & Awards (eComm). I was left asking the fundamental question why innovate at all, if the ultimate end-game is not clear or could be less than admirable?

It was clear to me that the democratization of communications innovation was putting trillions of dollars in voice and messaging alone at stake, which is why the debut 2008 Emerging Communications Conference & Awards was tagged "The Trillion Dollar Industry ReThink".

However, it became apparent to me during the 2009 event that how we relate to the world around us and the connectedness of humankind are also at stake.

Since then I've came to the position that communications technology has an urgent role in better orchestrating humankind, improving our lives, and helping life on Earth to flourish. 

For this reason Emerging Communications Conference & Awards (eComm) 2014 will not only have the four standard talk categories:

1. Concept & Futurism.

2. Products & Services.

3. Technology & Engineering.

4. Digital Economics & Regulation.

But also the supplementary talk category:

5. Social Innovation & Culture.

The event will still be the planet's three-day communications technology innovation lovefest; where you can meet those creating the future of how humanity connects, communicates, coordinates and collaborates.

However for 2014, we wish to encourage innovation which benefits society, fully aware that humankind is facing unprecedented economic, environmental, social and cultural challenges. 

Electronic communication became the command-and-control mechanism for orchestrating the second industrial revolution during the 20th century.

Now I believe the communications revolution (primarily Internet combined with mobile) has begun a process to catapult a revolution of our entire social, political and economic systems; a new networked renaissance is underway.

For 2014 we wish to:

1. Promote and stimulate meaningful innovation.

2. Point to the emergent opportunity space for communications technology innovation as humankind undergoes a 'new networked renaissance'.

The size of the transformation - enabled by the communications industry - may not have been experienced for 400-500 years; it could be larger still.

I hope that you can join us at this unique time for both the communications industry and humankind. The event will be held June 9-11, 2014, downtown San Francisco. ('Friend' pricing still available).

"We are at that very point in time when a 400-year-old age is dying and another is struggling to be born -- a shifting of culture, science, society, and institutions enormously greater than the world has ever experienced." - Dee Hock (Former CEO and Founder of Visa)

eComm 2014 Date and Location Confirmed

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I'm very pleased to announce that the Emerging Communications Conference & Awards (eComm) 2014 is a go.

It will take place June 9-11, 2014, downtown San Francisco.

The debut 2008 event took place in Mountain View, at the Computer History Museum. Although the uniqueness of the venue was appreciated, quite a number of attendees asked if future events could be held at a venue with a hotel attached instead, sacrificing venue uniqueness for zero time shuttling.

As a result I switched all subsequent events to the San Francisco Airport Marriott. However there were growing requests for further venue refinement; to hold it downtown San Francisco.

Therefore for 2014, I've contracted with the InterContinental (888 Howard Street). I've managed to negotiate a $269.00/night group price for attendees who book early enough (at the time of writing this, I could not find a price cheaper than $333.00/night).

Please also strongly consider registering early to both save money and to support the event. As many will already know it has not been a for-profit event; in fact I've always poured my own time into it free of charge. It's also a fully independent event and does not sell sponsorship slots.

To keep an independent voice for innovation in the technologies which enable humankind to communicate across space and time, requires active support (unlike, say trade shows or other pay-to-play events). I believe only an independent event can truly best bring to stage "What's Next in Telecom, Mobile & Internet Communications" and associated innovation opportunities.

If you can support the event other than registering, please feel free to email me directly (lee.dryburgh AT eComm.ec).

Hypervoice Interview: The "Google Moment" For Voice

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As I start out once again on the Emerging Communications (eComm) path, this time looking towards building a 2013 event, I'm very pleased to start out with a superb interview about a new term and technology known as Hypervoice.

During this interview you will learn what Hypervoice is; the emergence of a Hypervoice consortium; a potentially vast field of opportunity if the consortium is a success; and our shared realization that Hypervoice is another "Google moment", but this time, for voice.

Most notably during the interview, Martin stated:

The highest aspiration any pre-existing voice service I've ever seen had was to be as good as being there in person and at no cost. What I think Hypervoice does is it takes it beyond that. It can actually be better than being there in person.

and:

So all the things that Hypertext has done for us in the last 20 years, that's what we'll experience with voice in the next 20. It's going to transform how we work.

This interview came about because in May 2011, I had the distinct pleasure of being introduced to Kelly Fitzsimmons.

She had ambled on somewhat casually about her companies forthcoming product, Symposia.

After sometime of questioning her about the technology and ideas behind the product, it struck me like a thunderbolt that the concept should be taken globally and that it was on par with hypertext; it was in many ways the voice equivalent of hypertext.

I was very excited and so I'd asked Kelly to provide one of the keynotes at Emerging Communications (eComm) 2011 (video). Her husband also launched the company's Symposia product at the event (video).

However, for whatever reason (I did not ask), Kelly did not cover exactly what had excited me, as I'd anticipated. I then introduced Kelly to good friend Martin Geddes as he was away to run a Future of Voice Workshop at the time.

Then earlier this year Martin told me that Kelly had asked him to write a whitepaper on the topic and that he'd coined the term Hypervoice to describe it.

A couple of weeks ago Martin asked if I could help to get people on a free virtual Hypervoice event due to take place on 12th Dec 2012 (registration). I agreed to help and suggested I interview both Kelly and Martin. This post is a result of that request.

Below is the interview transcript. I added a range of headings as well as bold/italic markup afterwards to make consumption easier because the interview extends to nearly 10,000 words.

You can download the audio of the interview (21meg MP3, run time is 01:06:36).