DOKU:TECH 2015 Kicks Off with Yanki Margalit

It was difficult for the organizers to match the awesomeness of the inaugural DOKU:TECH 2014 which took place last summer in Andrra, Prizren.  The speakers were thought provoking and the venue was picturesque.  Somehow the team has managed to improve upon 2014 with DOKU:TECH 2015 kicking off at the historical Lidhja e Prizrenit – League of Prizren.

Vladan Joler from Share Foundation challenged the audience in the opening to question the format – why should these people be in front of us speaking?  Why are they important?  What have they done? He ordered the participants to hunt down the speakers – say hello, introduce yourself, share your story, ask questions. What is meant by bringing the future closer?  Pay close attention to what the speakers think about the future.  Are they positive?  Do they envision progress and development?  Are they negative?  Is access locked down and privacy an illusion?

With the theme of bringing the future closer the event kicked off with – Yanki Margalit.  Yanki is a dreamer, builder, entrepreneur and investor, best known for starting the security company Aladdin Knowledge Systems, which was sold in 2009. He is a partner in the investment fund Innodo Ventures and a chairman of several technology startup companies, including SpaceIL.

While his tech cred is firmly established Yanki is also an evangelist for the Makers Movement.

His talk at Tedx Jerusalem focused on his own DIY experiments – designing a solar tree to power his home which he has since donated to a homeless encampment in Tel Aviv, printing his own chess set and building a spacecraft – SpaceIL is a non-profit space technology organization that plans to land an unmanned spaceship on the moon by 2015 and is currently competing for the Google Lunar X Prize.

What does he have to say to Kosovo? For Yanki the future is a blank slate.  A place where you can create anything you want.  Through your own actions you can build your ideas and dreams.

He asked the audience – where do you think we are going?  Some theorists are saying that the digital the biological are becoming interchangeable. Homo sapiens 2.0.

Yanki shared with us the futures which are here now:

  •     Robots such as Curiosity on Mars, X47B, KAIST, Realdoll
  •     Artificial intelligence – Watson
  •     3-D printing
  •     Transportation innovation – drones, hyperloop, Google car, Terrafugia
  •     Batteries  – powerwall, bloombox
  •     Synthetic life, cyborg tissue, nano medicine bots, printed organs

Yanki predicts that in the future no one will have a job – we will be doing other more important things and all the work will be done by robots.  A challenging statement to make in a country such as Kosovo with the official unemployment rate hovering around 38%.

What are some of the elements of the future Yanki imagines – abundance, transformation of jobs, 80 as the new 20.  Challenges and risks we need to address – inequality, ensuring the greatest number will reach the future, abuse of our planet.

His closing remarks – make the cake bigger, slice the cake differently, eat less.