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iMinds - and why I was wrong about Inca

Last year I entered not less then 3 projects for the INCA awards.
This year I didn't participate, citing the usual wrong reasons: no time, no good ideas, no time ...

The main reason I didn't participate perhaps was i couldn't really place the main concept of "inclusive society".
After all, i like to do little creative webprojects just for fun, not for commercial reasons, not for strategic reasons and certainly not to help "save the world".
With all due respect to their creators, lots of "inclusive society" project seem to miss the mark completely, forgetting to ask the question whether an internet-centeric approach is the right one for a society related problem.

One example: "I could Use"
It's a social platform for neighbours, even if you don't now any of them. So if you need something, e.g. borrow a shovel or something, you can post a message on the platform and your neighbours can respond.

With all respect for Kai Aras, the creator, if you want to get to know your neighbours, or get them to borrow you something, maybe sitting behind your computer posting messages on the internet is not most effective, nor the most social approach.

Get out of your house! talk to people! there's a whole world out there where the web is completely irrelevant!
(Again, I have nothing but respect for Kai, Check out his website for some really cool projects)

Thinking about the "inclusive society" I got the feeling I had nothing to offer that would address some "real" problem.

I was wrong - i often am.

Last week on Tedx it was Rik Torfs that brillantly managed to capture all the presentations in one sentence:
"The ideas that will save the world are rooted in profound lightness, not in empty seriousness"

Exactly: maybe the best projects that will change the world and really help society don't aim to be too serious.
Maybe it's a good aim to "do a cool project" and the part about saving the world will be a nice side effect.

Like Sebastian Thrun, with his driverless cars.
What would have been the driving idea behind this?
"Let's solve the traffic problem, next question: how?" or "let's build a cool robotic car!
Probably the latter, no ?

That's why I was wrong about skipping Inca this year.

Still, the most interesting projects are the ones that form a bridge between the web and the physical world.
Yes, yes, The internet of things is still here.

The Inca awards will be presented on iMinds, a part of the Future Internet conference week and guess what the keynote speech of iMinds will be about? Indeed: the internet of things.

I'm totally going - hoping to talk to some Inca participants. I'm especially interested in the Immersive Experiences presentations like the "immersive walk through Brussels" from Philippe Bekaert (and others)

Another event from the Future internet week that I'm looking forward to is the übercool TRONcafé.
Free entrance! What more do you want?

Anyway, stuff like this and "innovative" (un)conferences in general are a great way for developers like me to get a boost.

Let me repeat myself, this time for all developers, no matter what your day job is:
Get out of the office sometimes, go talk to people, go visit and participate in conferences, barcamps, usergroups - it's brainporn and you'll love it.