This month, the third edition of Viva Tech was hosted in Paris, a CES inspired digital conference which brought together such high- profile speakers as the French president Emmanuel Macron, Mark Zuckerberg- Facebook CEO, Satya Nadella- Microsoft CEO and Dara Khosrowshahi- Uber CEO. The event gathered 100,000 attendees from 125 countries, 9,000 startups, 3,800 investors and journalists.
This year's main focus was on the diversity as the VivaTech's co-managing director Julie Ranty Déchelette stated in an interview: «In France, women lead only 10% of start-ups, and only make up 25% of the engineering and digital workforce, so one of our main targets is to promote [greater gender diversity] in technology and to create ambition and interest». On top of guaranteeing almost 40% of the speaking spots to women, Viva Tech also introduced an Equality Lounge- a forum dedicated to discussing gender, racial and social diversity and offered networking and training exercises.
According to the organizers in this year’s edition they aimed at closing the gap that appeared between the first two editions by concentrating on 3 main subjects: international reach, content and innovation, visitor’s experience. International reach was represented by the audience, the speakers and the participants of the event. The idea of innovation was set by the popular hackathon - 25 hours of tasks and competitive challenges sponsored by the giants: Mircrosoft, Renault and Leboncoin. They also installed a VR Park showcasing innovations in experimental lab, Tech Park- innovations in industrial, commercial and medical robotics, Mobility Park with 2 flying car prototypes.
Visitors’ experience was methodically considered by dividing the days: the first 2 were industry-oriented and in English but the third day was mostly in French as they opened the doors to a bigger audience. The third day was also more entertaining with coding lessons for kids and teens, e-Sports tournaments, general subjects conferences and a concert. Emmanuel Macron delivered a speech that explained his views on how to make technology a positive force for the economy and society. Mark Zuckerberg addressed the E.U.'s data privacy law and commented on the problems and issues that they had recently at Facebook.