We partner with Yasmo Live to offer a radically new networking experience

Yasmo Live announced today that it has entered a partnership with Living Labs Global, a pioneering initiative, led by European Cities, with the objective to promote innovation in services and mobility in cities. [youtube=]

Yasmo Live will be offering its on-site networking services to maximise the delegates’ networking opportunities before, during and after the ‘Summit on Service Innovation in Cities’, November 24-25 in Copenhagen, where Yasmo Live will be offering its on-site networking services to maximise the delegates’ networking opportunities before, during and after the event.

Yasmo Live will allow users to search through picture-based profiles of fellow attendees directly on their phones, to identify contacts of interest instantly and to arrange on-the-spot meetings.

Sascha Haselmayer, General Director at Living Labs Global commented: ‘Mobility is a paradigm shift in which the user, as a citizen, professional or visitor, is expecting public and private services to be tailored to his needs, delivered on demand, anywhere. Yasmo Live fits perfectly with our mission to materialise the shift that new technologies are bringing and we are proud to be the early adopters of such an innovative networking tool at our conferences.’

Areti Kampyli, CEO of Yasmo Live, said: ‘We are thrilled to be partnering with Living Labs Global, whose objective is to make service innovation happen, as together we can create a springboard for technologies like Yasmo Live to improve our day-to-day lives.’

About Yasmo Live

Yasmo Live,, is a real-time mobile conferencing tool that allows event attendees to see their fellow participants' profiles on their mobile’s screen at conferences supporting its service. Yasmo Live bridges delegates’ digital and real presence, using their mobile phones to enable them to search and display people's profiles that are physically nearby. It serves as the 'missing link' or 'mutual friend' event attendees wished they had, to help them meet the right people. The company is headquartered in London.

“It’s not rocket science, but…”

In his third law for predictions about the future, Arthur C. Clarke famously declared that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. This is truer today than ever before, and almost every day sees the introduction of some new mobile application that is widening the boundaries for what we traditionally perceive as possible. A fancy and free iPhone application like Shazam has produced astonished faces and disbelief all over the world and it’s impossible to imagine just how the next big thing will make your jaw drop. Development of applications and services is happening extremely quickly, and at the Living Labs Global Summit in Zurich on 15th May we wanted to further speed up this process by bringing together some of the prime movers within this field. The matchmaking meeting included people from private companies, the public sector, universities, and cluster organizations, and the panel sessions were divided into three major themes: ICT/media-enabled services in cities, Healthcare service innovation, and Service innovation and design in cities. The matchmaking summit took place at the Hyatt, and in-between the introductory speeches and the panel sessions there were rich possibilities for people to meet over coffee and lunch.

No matter how fascinating and high-profile a guest speaker might be, the heart of an event like this still lies in the unscheduled periods of time where participants can learn more about each other. This was also true in Zurich, where everyone were happy to engage in talks from the first minute. This success was partly due to the fact that most of the hundred participants had already met over drinks the night before; Living Labs Global and the innovation district 22@Barcelona had invited everyone to an informal cocktail party at the Hyatt, and for several hours people were enjoying the setup before going out to dinner in larger groups where they could continue their conversations.

It was already during this first stimulating evening that I heard three different people describe their own services with the almost derogatory statement: “It’s not rocket science.” This has become a catch phrase for people working with the new technology, and I’m hearing it all the time from Innovators, venture capitalists, and cluster organizations – everyone uses it. Most of the time it’s actually meant as a positive statement about the service or application, and a more correct transcription should read: “It’s not rocket science, but…” Of course, this can just be a way to talk down people’s expectations before presenting them with all the great features that the product does in fact possess. But it still poses the intriguing question: Do the people who work with service innovation believe that it normally has to be rocket science to be good?

If this is indeed the case, if the use of advanced technology in a service is seen as something inherently good, then we are just facing the old bête noir of technology push. At the Matchmaking Summit in Zürich, we had representatives from the huge market that the public sector covers, and they met with companies that are realistic and focused on the needs of the users. Many great applications and services were showcased at the event – and even though they may not be rocket science, some of them are actually indistinguishable from magic.

It's no place really, but it's real.

Hamburg - Mediterranean Matchmaking Summit, January 16. The prolific writer William Gibson has stated that we live in an age that is dominated by a post-geographical feeling. The development of the internet and the mobile generation has revolutionized the way that we view the world, and the newest incarnation of almost universal WI-FI in combination with the arrival of the 3G phone has made things move even faster. With this in mind, it was striking that Sascha Haselmayer opened the summit by stating that we haven't even seen the beginning of the new market, and he stressed that, even though the need for services is evident, we are not seeing all the mobile services that one would expect.

Why are we not seeing the new services yet? There are many reasons for this, but one important factor might be that the post-geographical feeling still has certain limitations when it comes to how we interact in the physical world. Even though a vast Gibsonesque prosthetic nervous system has spread around the globe over the last 25 years, we are still living in a physical reality defined by national borders, cultural differences, and spatial divides. There is no doubt that people all over the globe share some of the same needs and face some of the some of the same challenges, but when Europe, the smallest continent, is unable to develop common solutions and standards, how can we expect to see better results on a global scale?

Living Labs Global is aware of this divide, and in Hamburg the network and its members showed that they are ready and well equipped to tackle the work at hand. By focusing on the collaboration between companies, investors, and research centers in Barcelona and Hamburg, Living Labs Global showed how fruitful such a summit can be when the organizers are conscious of the real barriers that exist in the market. It was the first time that Living Labs Global tried to use this specific angle on matchmaking, and it proved to be something that people have needed for a very long time.

With nearly 100 participants at the Empire Riverside Hotel, the summit was fully booked. Many had asked themselves if a proper spirit of openness and readiness to speak up could be achieved in only one day, but these worries quickly turned out to be completely groundless. It has to be said that most of the participants took a head start the evening before the event by attending a very nice cocktail party arranged by the Cavas Codorniu from Barcelona and the City Council. They served drinks in the hotel lounge, and in no time the whole place was alive with large groups of people engaging in lively discussions. As the arranged get-together ended most of us found our way to restaurants and bars in the vicinity, and I myself went to a nice informal dinner with a fine dozen of people from Sweden, Spain, Germany, and Denmark. Many of the participants later met up in the magnificent sky-bar of the Empire Riverside Hotel and it was a great to end the night in good company and with the view of Hamburg below.

The summit itself began the day after with Sascha Haselmayer's welcome, and it set the tone of the event: A real value network has to be built around the mobility market and we have to make some kind of coherence in the sea of service and market islands. Introducing North and South, he rightly identified Hamburg as a gate for trade and handed the podium to Judit Romera from Barcelona City Council, and she described Barcelona as a dense and creative city - a place in which to be inspired. Barcelona is also a cultural capital and it has become the central reference in the creation of dialogue between the Northern and the Southern rim of the Mediterranean. With 3.000 companies that have a productive presence in the city, Barcelona is also the most consolidated base of foreign companies in Spain. Jordi Sacristan from 22@Barcelona confirmed that the city is able to attract talent, and the innovative new area specializing in media, ICT, energy, and biomedical research is ready to welcome even more foreign companies and students.

As is always the case at these events it was hard to choose which panel discussion not to attend. There were panels on Media & ICT - which was very fitting considering Hamburg's long tradition in this field - Concept & Design, and Healthcare Service Innovation. There were experts at all three sessions, and there were also presentations from some of the companies attending, and several of them had showcases as well. As proceedings drew to a close, people wished for more time and in the healthcare session discussions were just starting to take off after Lekshmy Parameswaran's enlightening virtual tour of the company Fuelfor's services. Luckily, the following lunch arrangements set the stage for a series of animated exchanges, and it quickly turned into one of the most valued points of the summit; people agreed that they had rarely experienced such a congenial spirit of matchmaking, and it was also agreed upon that it was partly due to the scarcity of time: Time might have been a bit scarce, but everyone were determined to make the time available of the highest quality.

The time was also well-spent on the part of Living Labs Global, and even though we had high expectations, we were surprised at how positive the outcome was. The participants all found something of value to take home with them, several of the newcomers decided to become members of Living Labs Global, and the association has found a footfall that will make the next year very exciting. William Gibson has also described the ongoing technological revolution as being just as important in human evolution as the original creation of cities. It has always been a part of Living Labs Global's ambition to spearhead this development, and in a way we feel that we are indeed creating new cities. To be able to do this in cooperation with two of the old worlds prime specimens is a pleasure and a privilege. Barcelona will continue to be in our sight, and there is no doubt that the city will be the ideal background when they host the 3GSM there in February. It will also be a good opportunity to get reacquainted with members of Living Labs Global before the next big event in Zurich. Until then we'll keep building cities.,en/