Matylda Czarnecka, director of content for Internet Week New York, knows that navigating the 200-plus events on the schedule can be daunting. The city will be teeming with tech events and talks with luminaries ranging from Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, to Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Chrissy Teigen, and will include both "Citywide" events, like the Webby Awards and Webutante Ball, and festival headquarter "HQ" events. Here are eight of her top picks for HQ events, plus more pro tips on getting around the festival.
Internet Week New York will open with Mayor Bill de Blasio's first major address to the tech community. "We're really excited to hear what his vision for the tech sector in New York is," said Czarnecka. "He's going to be addressing exactly that, so that's going to be a huge highlight."
Startup Aereo has made headlines recently because of its legal battles against television broadcasters, which have taken the company to the Supreme Court. Czarnecka said of Kanojia, "It's not every CEO who finds themselves in the Supreme Court in defense of their company. Aereo is a fascinating example of a nimble start-up disrupting a major industry."
Eric Hippeau, Managing Director of Lerer Ventures and a major tech investor, knows all about what it takes to gain startup success in New York City. Hippeau will be talking about the advantages of opening a startup in New York. "New York used to be compared with the West Coast, but it's matured into a tech hub with a unique character and distinct advantages," said Czarnecka. "Eric has seen this evolution and it'll be interesting to hear his perspective."
Limor "Ladyada" Fried, founder of Adafruit, will present on why even in this high-tech era, DIY is thriving more than ever. "The maker movement and technologies such as Arduino make it easier for anyone to be an inventor in the hardware space," Czarnecka told us. "AdaFruit is leading the charge in making these tools easily accessible."
You've seen the show; now meet the people who inspired the show. The real-life Piper Kerman and Larry Smith, portrayed in the hit Netflix series, “Orange is the New Black,” will talk about storytelling on an online stage and Smith will discuss his Six-Word Memoir project, which challenges participants to tell their story in just six words. "'Orange is the New Black' is a fantastic show, and it'll be exciting to hear directly from Piper, whose experience it was based on," explained Czarnecka. "Also, if [writing in] 140 characters wasn't limiting enough, Larry's Six-Word Memoir project challenges us to be all the more pithy."
Has the mouse become obsolete? Internet Week's Senior Editor of Live Content, Michael Buckwald, will talk about the future of gesture control technology and how it will change the experience of both PC and Mac users. "The computer mouse is more than 30 years old, and new ways of interacting with technology has the potential to change how we relate to it," said Czarenecka. "This session will provide a glimpse into that future."
Robin Chase, founder and CEO of Buzzcar and founder and former CEO of Zipcar, will enlighten attendees on the future of the driverless car and how it can turn cars into "on-demand public transit." Czarnecka said of Chase, "Robin Chase is one of the smartest people contemplating and disrupting how we get around."
Need a good laugh after loading up your brain with paradigm-shifting talks? Blogologues is a live sketch comedy show during which a talented ensemble will perform their live-action take on the Internet. "This ensemble is hilarious," raved Czarnecka. "The Internet can be a strange place, and Blogologues brilliantly personifies the oddest YouTube comments, anonymous rants and bizarre tweets."
Czarnecka's Internet Week Tips:
- For the first time, one-day HQ passes are available.
- Student HQ passes are available for only $45 (with valid student ID).
- Plan ahead and stay organized using the "My Schedule" feature on the Internet Week New York website.
- Be part of the conversation with hashtag #IWNY.
- Anyone can tune in to watch the Webby Awards on demand to hear the 5-word acceptance speeches the evening of the Awards (May 20) or after.
For more information on hundreds of events and ticketing, visit Internet Week New York's website.
Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark