An unusual Edinburgh Festival event
Last night the annual and rather wonderful Edinburgh Festival came to it's usual epic conclusion with Virgin Money's firework concert. I always feel a touch sad at this time of year - to see the festival go and the Summer draw to an end - especially given the fact that we have had a such a glorious and warm one. But as with anything in life, there's always an upside and navigating central Edinburgh between meetings is certainly going to be easier and quicker in September as we say good-bye to the crowds.
This year the festival was a little different for us as Sympatico held our first festival-time business event two weeks ago at the Glasshouse hotel, on the roof-terrace. It's such a great location for a business event, I can't recommend it highly enough, even for an unseasonably (by this Summer's standards anyway) cool Tuesday, it didn't disappoint.
Our topic of 'organisational resilience in a post-GDPR world' wasn't the typical festival fringe headline of course, but nonetheless it's incredibly relevant to the very diverse set of individuals and organisations we had in the room, who spanned the public and private sector, from AI businesses to Financial Services, from corporates to SMEs.
Sympatico's event co-hosts Ardoq, who had flown in to join us from Oslo, started things off and their engaging CMO Petteri Vainikka took the attendees through their approach for data driven compliance.
For Ardoq, new security architecture is data-driven, re-usable, easy to understand and crowd sourced. And for them, GDPR is a Trojan horse for driving digital transformation and change - a sentiment which Sympatico agree whole-heartedly with. Compliance is an opportunity, and to embed it you need to approach the problem with optimism seek out opportunities for innovation, growth and organisational and technical improvements. For full details of the presentation, please see the slides or catch up with their webinar on Security Architecture as a business driver.
After Petteri's brilliant talk and a short pause for drinks, we moved to our panel (eloquently facilitated by Ralph Natter Berg) where Colan Mehaffey, Nic Miller and I covered Resilience and what that really means for organisations technically, operationally and for their people. We also explored the impact of the regulatory changes on resilience planning and incident response, and how leaders and businesses can gear up and build technical, operational, communications and emotional capability in the face of change, digital risks (data breached, cyber incidents, social media storms) and brand crises.
Ralph then invited questions from our attendees which led to a lively debate on cyber security, the future of programmatic marketing under GDPR and an important discussion on language, semantics and jargon, and how we can make cyber, digital, data and compliance more accessible. This hit on a personal passion of mine - making complexity more engaging - we won't be able to tackle and embed digital risk into businesses, and open up to more diverse perspectives, if we fail to make the language around it more comprehensible and the subject domain less excluding. The threat environment is complex and fast-paced, we need to find a way to broaden the debate and drive greater collaboration to tackle the big issues which impact all sectors and the future of our data driven economy.
The discussions continued on the roof-terrace over networking drinks and canapés, and the evening finally drew to an end with a couple of more drinks with Nic and my affable Norwegian co-hosts around our fantastic city's old town. Edinburgh is always at it's best and most diverse and alive during August; I can't wait till next year already, but in the meantime I must admit after hearing more about Norway, a trip to Oslo definitely appeals.
To learn more about Ardoq, sign up to their blog or download their magazine below.
If you'd like to be kept updated on Sympatico's digital and data events please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.