Events / Guest posts / Phorum

Why Phorum 2018 is better than ever

PACT's annual conference has some new features this year.

Rob Schilling, Geoffrey Moore, Suzanne Lentz and Paul Boris at Phorum 2017. (Courtesy photo)
This is a guest post by Dean Miller, the president and CEO of the Philadelphia Alliance for Capital & Technologies.
Full disclosure: is a media partner for this event.

Have you signed up for the Phorum conference yet?

I’m here to tell you about what’s new with Phorum 2018 and why you’ll want to attend. Phorum is a concentrated, full-day dose of integration and inspiration, at the boundary where “this will happen” becomes “this is who’s doing it now” — and “this is how and why you should not fall behind.”

We hope you join us Thursday, April 12 at SugarHouse Casino.

Designed specifically for business and technology executives, “Phorum 2018: Digitizing the Enterprise — Immersive, Cognitive, Trusted” will feature keynote speaker, Nick Carr, panel discussions by industry analysts, technology visionaries and business executives from organizations such as Forrester Research, Facebook, Salesforce, IBM and Comcast, to name a few.

Our 2018 event chairman, Scott Snyder, recommends that we focus on how enterprises should capitalize on the next wave of new entrants, armed with emerging technologies like AI, Blockchain, Low-Cost Sensors and AR/VR. Instead of playing defense against new upstarts in these spaces, enterprise must play offense by harnessing these powerful technologies to deliver new offerings, experiences and business models.

Snyder recently wrote a piece for Enterprise Security exploring how to futureproof what he calls the “New ICT” and how it affects the enterprise tech community. Read the full article here.

We built this year’s Phorum with the intention of helping executives fully understand the technology they should use and how that technology can be applied to achieve business goals.

The typical corporate “strategy” is a plan to solve yesterday’s problems with tomorrow’s versions of today’s technologies. It doesn’t consider disruptive attacks from below; it doesn’t anticipate flanking maneuvers from adjacent markets; it doesn’t have the courage to skate to where the puck is going.

When you get back to the office after Phorum 2018, you’ll be primed to lead in these specific domains:

  • Immersive Experiences: Merging AI into everyday life, rather than building new silos of specialization, will drive the adoption that creates positive-feedback loops of improvement through experience. Voice input and vision/gesture interaction will let AI tools be participants in learning instead of isolated observers.
  • Cognitive Systems: Breaking decisively from past decades’ cycles of hype and disappointment, a dramatic surge of machine learning and image/language processing capability will elevate expectations for responsive and predictive behavior in every device and process.
  • Distributed Trust: Shattering the walls that surround traditional databases, the distributed ledger model exemplified by “blockchain” data structures will create new communities of trusted interaction without dependence on central authority. Dramatic acceleration of many common transactions, and radical reshuffling of many long-standing beliefs about the nature of data ownership, will challenge some organizations — but will hugely benefit those that can see where this is going.

Need more convincing? Here are three reasons why you should not miss Phorum 2018:

1. NEW for 2018

Dive deeper into the “New ICT” with insights from key enterprise influencers including the following executives:

  • Julie Ask, Vice President, Principal Analyst, Forrester
  • Peter Coffee, VP for Strategic Research, Salesforce
  • Amod Dange, Product Design Manager, Business Applications, Facebook
  • Charlie Herrin, Executive Vice President, Chief Customer Experience Officer, Comcast Cable
  • Chris Huff, Executive Head of Engineering, Watson Marketing, IBM

2. Hear a highly anticipated keynote address by Nick Carr

The author of such celebrated books as The Shallows and The Glass Cage will offer a lively and provocative examination of how automation and artificial intelligence are shaping our jobs, lives and society. Carr will argue that prevailing software and systems design philosophies can end up eroding skills, diminishing contextual and critical thinking, and create a culture of distraction and dependency. He will make the case that only by shifting our assumptions about technology and its personal and professional consequences will we be able to forge a future fit for human beings rather than robots.

3. Discover the latest technologies inside the Phorum Demo Pit

Eleven startup companies from the Mid-Atlantic will demonstrate their cutting-edge technologies and compete for the Phorum “Best in Show.” Check out who will be featured this year and connect with them on April 12.


Phorum 2018 is one event you will not want to miss. Join us April 12 at SugarHouse.

Take a few minutes to learn more and reserve your Phorum 2018 ticket here.

See you soon!

Companies: PACT

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