Thinking Digital Conference

Thinking Digital, the UK's answer to American-based 'technology & ideas conferences' such as TED and Pop!Tech, has announced it will return on 14-15 May 2009 following a hugely successful inaugural event last May. Already a host of fascinating names have signed up to speak.

Among them will be Alex Hunter, the man in charge of online marketing for one of the world's biggest brands, Virgin, and Hans Rosling, the creator of Trendalyzer, which turns boring statistics into animations and interactive graphics (and which was acquired by Google in 2007).

Thinking Digital is an annual conference where 25 of the world's greatest thinkers and innovators gather to give inspiring, entertaining talks, and to discuss the latest ideas and technologies.

An audience of 400 people are expected to attend the event, which will take place at The Sage Gateshead a stunning 'sail-shaped' venue, designed by Foster and Partners, which sits on the banks of the River Tyne on 14-15 May.

Also speaking at the conference will be:

Matt Mason, expert on piracy and bestselling author of The Pirate's Dilemma, who was voted 'best pirate of 2008' by Business Week; Caleb Chung, the creator of the wildly successful Furby toy and now this year's must-have Xmas gift recently launched robotic dinosaur, the Pleo.

Darius Pocha, the founder and creative director of Enable Interactive, named the UK's top digital agency by Revolution; Paul Miller, co-founder of The School of Everything, which The Guardian described as an 'eBay for knowledge'; Dan Lyons, tech columnist at Newsweek and creator of hilarious satirical blog, The Secret Diary of Fake Steve Jobs. Dan returns as Thinking Digital's top rated speaker from 2008.

Johnny Chung Lee, a human-computer interaction researcher who shot to fame on YouTube by making a white board (and other amazing things) from a Wii remote control. Michael Shermer, the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine and columnist for Scientific American.

And Tara Hunt. Returning to Thinking Digital for a second year, this time around renowned online marketer Tara will talk about the secret of how to get it right when you're working with online communities.

Herb Kim, Thinking Digital Director, says: "We took a risk in attempting the first Thinking Digital back in May last year and the feedback has been incredibly positive and warm. The delegates, sponsors and speakers created a vital community of insight, inspiration and energy, and I'm still getting people today telling me Thinking Digital was the best conference they have ever attended. So, we've got a very high bar this year to reach but I can't wait to try and top what we did in 2008."

Highlights from the inaugural event in 2008 included A landmark UK debut for Microsoft's Live Mesh; A presentation via the groundbreaking 'Teleportec' hologram technology from Ray Kurzweil, one of the leading inventors of our time; Controversial biologist Aubrey de Grey talking about a cure for ageing; And Richard St John giving the secrets of success, which he learned having interviewed 500 of the world's most successful people.

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