2013 NYC “Cloud Gathering”

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Second Annual NYC “Cloud Gathering” Highlights Innovation, Disruption & Transformation

“Awesome” and “amazing” were the adjectives most commonly used to describe Digital Diversity Network’s (DDN) second annual New York City “Cloud Gathering” Conference on Thursday, October 3rd at The New York Times Conference Center in Manhattan. Themed, Innovation, Disruption & Transformation, the event featured a speaker line-up of nearly 40 diverse industry thought leaders from the realms of advertising, media, entertainment, education, healthcare, hospitality, mobile and private equity.

The venue was filled almost to capacity with approximately 130 digital “natives” and “immigrants” in attendance throughout the day and provided an intimate setting for interaction and networking with speakers and attendees, alike.

With a full-day agenda comprising panel discussions, one-on-one “Tech Talk” conversations and entrepreneurial Power Pitch sessions, the New York “Cloud Gathering” Conference provided insights into: (a) Cutting-edge technology; (b) identifying talent and managing teams in the Innovation Economy; (c) New rules of consumer engagement as technology disrupts the advertising industry; (d) Connecting with multicultural consumers, globally, across a broad spectrum of industries and platforms; and (e) Seizing opportunities in the emerging healthcare technology sector.

During a Tech Talk moderated by Janel Martinez, technology editor, Black Enterprise, Ntiedo Etuk, founder & executive chairman, DimensionU, introduced the term, digital immigrants, in reference to those who did not grow up with technology, and shared how he has utilized the capacity for technology to engage children as a vehicle for enhancing and democratizing education.

In a Tech Talk moderated by The New York Times senior editor, Dana Canedy, MacArthur “Genius Fellow” and Majora Carter Group Consulting CEO, Majora Carter, spoke passionately about her efforts to create sustainable communities with diverse economic role models and to ensure that underserved populations are creating technology enterprises. She especially emphasized the importance of learning how to code and her personal involvement in programs targeted to young girls.

Bonita Stewart, VP, Americas, Partner Business Solutions, Google talked about her extensive background in marketing; the importance of “sponsors” vs. “mentors”; and the importance of taking on new assignments and demonstrating excellence throughout her career ascent in a Tech Talk moderated by Suzanne Spector, technology editor, The New York Times. Stewart also emphasized the current industry needs for engineers and people who know how to code.

The “Cloud Gathering” Conference was capped off by a reception, hosted in partnership with Silicon Harlem and Urban Latino, on the rooftop lounge of The Copacabana and included an appearance by former New York Mets star, Dwight “Doc” Gooden.

Event sponsors included DDN’s founding partners: Time Warner, The New York Times, The Walt Disney Company; Warner Bros. Entertainment and 21st Century Fox; annual sponsors: Bloomberg, Comcast/NBC Universal and Viacom; and conference sponsors: HBO and Pitney Bowes. Strategic partners included: the 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies) and MMTC (Minority Media Telecommunications Council).