Frontiers Workshops: revealed

In the last 8 years I spent most of my spare time together with Leeander (and lately with Massimo, Marcello, Gian, Paola, Valentina, …) crafting the first of the two days that together are what we call the Frontiers Experience.

It’s a day packed with excitement (the final wrap up of the venue, the attendees registration, all the information we have to provide) and work: it’s the workshops day.

We introduced the workshops for the first time in 2010 in Rome: 4 workshops in parallel for the half a day day. Result: too noisy. We partially pivoted in 2011 in Florence with 3 parallel tracks. Our guests where confused and, at the end, we weren’t happy.

That’s why this year we decided to cut the tracks down to two (for a total of 4 workshops) and, oir the first time – thanks to Biccio – you can now have a glimpse of what it means being there.

Feel the energy. Feel the fun. Feel the passion. This is Frontiers.

Vote for me: Preparing for a World Without Mobile Devices

This year I decided, with the great support from frog, to propose an idea to the panel selection at SXSW digital. I’m pretty excited about the chance to go speaking at THE conference: even though – as Frontiers CEO – I’ve had in the past both Marcello and Gianfranco there to recruit speakers and get inspiration, I never had the chance to participate.

If you don’t want to read more: I need your vote, since SXSW organizer rely a lot on community feedback. The only thing you have to do is to vote for my proposal. I think it’s a pretty bold one.

What I’ll be talking about? The future!

The rise of the smartphones has completely changed the way we interact with technology, our friends, and our surroundings.

In many ways, they have shaped the very way we conduct our lives, day by day. As much as we love our little devices, their time is ticking. Who will actually need a smartphone anymore when computing becomes ubiquitous; every surface can convey information and sensor-based interaction has outlived touch interaction?

This talk will focus on how technologies and technological trends that are already in place today are shaping the future of computing, communication and whatever might still be needed as “mobile devices”.

  • What is going to be the market scenario when interaction surfaces become multi-dimensional and multi-sensual?
  • What will be the challenges for developers? How will developers and designers need to collaborate?
  • And what new possibilities, created by human body control over content, are we going to experience in the near future?

Here’s a sample deck I have used for this topic at WHYMCA this year.

Want to support me? The only thing you have to do is to vote for my proposal. Thanks.

My commencement speech for Frontiers of Interaction 2012

Matteo Penzo at Frontiers of Interaction 2012

I usually don’t prepare my Frontiers commencement speeches (note: I’m founder and CEO of the conference) but – this year – a lot of people invested a lot of time/effort to transform Leeander and myself into proficient hosts on the stage: I studied what Bruno Giussani – the best host around IMHO – does at TED Global and we attended a coaching session with a professional film actor (thanks fishbone creek!), Paola followed us for the whole day, and they deserved a proper performance.

I prepared the following speech during the night between June 7th (workshops day at Frontiers) and June 8th (main conference) at Frontiers (I usually am sleepless in those days).


The most frequent question I got about Frontiers is:

Why have you created Frontiers of Interaction?

And my usual (bold) answer always has been: “Because I want to change the world; and Culture is the best tool we have to do it, we just have to find the most powerful mean to deliver it to people: and an event which stands in the middle between a conference and a show is my nuclear weapon”.

This usually answers the question. But if I got another (deeper) one such as

Ok but WHY do you want to change the World?

I answer a variation between “Because I want” or “Because I think it’s the reason for me being on Planet Earth”

This was till the first day at Frontiers 2012, during Luke Williams workshop I finally understood the REAL reason I do Frontiers.

I organize it for those who have no fear to fail

I organize it for those who always have a plan, and execute it.

I organize it for those who are motivated to succeed.

They are our children.

I then invited both mine and Leeander’s daughters, 7 and 6 year old, (incredibly they share the same name: Francesca) on the stage.

To me it was the most heart touching moment of these two days. Thanks everybody for having shared it with me.

P.S. when I asked Francesca whether she enjoyed being on stage she answered: “Yes, but you kick me off to soon” :-)