‘Hashtag inventor’ headlines Turing Fest in Edinburgh

Dr Emily Anhalt co-founder and Chief Clinical Officer of Beam, a ‘gym for the mind’

Turing Fest, Europe’s ‘best cross-functional’ tech conference, returned to Edinburgh this week, welcoming more than 3,000 delegates over three days.

More than 50 internationally-renowned tech speakers descended on the capital to take part in a packed programme featuring tech founders, designers, engineers, product managers, marketers, growth execs, and investors.

Chris Messina, the veteran Silicon Valley product designer who ‘invented the hashtag, was among the many guest speakers and whose keynote – ‘The Technology of Better Humans’ – was designed to provoke debate about the future of social media.

“We’re only starting to grasp the negative aspects of social media… What we need is technology that supports comfort and security,” he said.

The conference was split into three separate tracks; Build, Grow and Lead with presentations running concurrently on each, enabling attendees to choose which talks throughout the two day conference to attend for each session. Learning from visionary speakers such as Dr Emily Anhalt co-founder and Chief Clinical Officer of Beam, a gym for the mind that is ‘destigmatizing and demystifying’ quality emotional and mental fitness and renowned digital strategist Jono Alderson from Yoast. Turing Fest also featured Monzo’s Chief Technology Officer Meri Williams.

Tom Butterworth, Head of Early Stage, Europe at Silicon Valley Bank’s UK Branch, said: “Turing Fest brings together a diverseaudience focusing on starting and scaling great tech businesses, which is at the heart of what we do at Silicon Valley Bank. This is incredibly important to growing the innovation economy across all emerging tech hubs in the UK, including Edinburgh. Tech Nation and Dealroom reported earlier this year that three unicorns came out of the Scottish city in the last 12 months, so it is great to see Edinburgh increasingly becoming a technology powerhouse and one that we are committed to continuing to support going forward.”