KIKK Festival 2021 - My experience

Loes Blankenstein - December 17, 2021
DIQQ staff walking towards camera in Amsterdam with a tram in the background.

At DIQQ, we believe it is crucial to keep up with the latest trends and developments in our field. The IT sector never stands still and develops at an incredible pace. This knowledge is essential during our interaction with both clients and candidates.

This is why I attended the KIKK-Festival on 4,5, and 6 November in Namur, Belgium. There were interesting lectures about creative coding, data visualisation, VR/AR, storytelling, machine learning, bio-art design, and more! I would like to take you to some of the lectures that have stayed with me the most.

Choose to evolve - Media.Monks

The topic of the lecture by Liva Grinberga, Design Director at Media.Monks, was the challenge of good leadership. This topic appealed to me personally, as this is an area in which I would like to grow myself.

"You need to understand people more than they understand themselves.

According to Liva, an environment of honesty and vulnerability, created by self-reflection, provides the ultimate climate for optimal cooperation. Her main aim was to show how important it is to talk about our mental health, no matter how uncomfortable it may feel. A good leader creates an environment for their team where employees feel comfortable enough to share. At DIQQ, we do our best every day to create as pleasant a working atmosphere as possible for our colleagues, and I will certainly take this into account in my role as Head of Resourcing.

"Success is better gained from a mindset of collaboration rather than competition."
Loes Blankenstein from DIQQ attending the KIKK festival 2021

Living in data - Jer Thorp

Jer Thorp's talk was about making data understandable by using various ways of visualising data. One of the examples he mentioned was that mountains of rice grains were used to make specific quantities visual for people. The use of numbers alone has less effect on people, as they are less able to imagine them.

Another example that Jer mentioned during his lecture was a sculpture that was exhibited around Valentine's Day in 2017 in Times Square, New York. The aim of this project was to highlight the role of immigrants in the foundation and development of New York and to show that immigrants built America. On each pole of the sculpture was a heart containing the number of immigrants coming from a particular country.  I found it very interesting to learn how important data can be when you want to make people aware of these kinds of (sometimes sensitive) subjects.

"Trying to get people to care about things they have no means to, by using data."

The world is your interface - Google

The last lecture was given by Ivan Poupyrev, the Director of Engineering at Google.

Our way of interacting with computers has actually remained unchanged in the last few decades, and it is mainly separating us from each other. The issue Ivan is concerned with is whether we can slowly make computers disappear and make the world our interface. Not by creating more gadgets but by blending digital and physical realities with existing everyday objects, devices, and the living environment.

One of the examples Ivan mentioned is the Jacquard, which Google designed for Levi's. This product combines a small chip from the Google Pixel 4 phone with an everyday denim jacket. The Jacquard is designed especially for cyclists and allows them to navigate, make phone calls, listen to music and send messages. It's really cool to see what they can create these days!

"Make existing things better by weaving technology into them"

All in all, it was a really enjoyable and very educational experience to attend the KIKK Festival. Are you curious what else DIQQ is doing to keep up with the trends and developments in our profession? Keep an eye on our website and socials!

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