The Making-of Emtech Spain 2012
The Opinno Madrid office is abuzz with the sounds of Nacho talking himself through his to-do list, keyboards and mice clicking at a hundred miles an hour—so much so that Mila has already gone to the doctor twice for the sharp pain in her wrist—and phones ringing off the hook followed by “Opinno, buenos días”—which comes out more as one word at the speed we’re operating. Occasionally Ernesto’s headphones will come unplugged and everyone at our bustling table will pause, just for a second, to chuckle at his selection of work music: pump-up techno beats. It’s that time of year again, time to gear up for Emerging Technologies, more commonly known as Emtech Spain 2012. The conference is a joint effort along with MIT and its journal, MIT Technology Review, and will take place in Málaga for the second year in a row, this coming november 22nd and 23rd.
In six days, along with discussing the newest developments in technology today, the conference will celebrate the achievements of ten TR35 Spain winners, young innovators all 35 years or younger with the capacity to be the next generation of leaders. It’s a tall order to fill: Putting together nine interactive panels with dozens of experts, recognizing ten of Spain’s brightest entrepreneurs, and coordinating a guest list 600 people long, there to witness this one conference showcasing the ideas that will become our solutions for the future.
These last few days it has been all about the micro level, tackling unprofessionalism from suppliers or last-minute requests from the event’s guests—all of which Claudia and Mila both handle with grace, after briefly venting to each other. Just the other day, one speaker notified us that she would be unable to make it due to prior commitments, which threw our entire event planning team for a loop. The road to Emtech Spain 2012 has been bumpy at times, but despite the fatigue from months of email correspondences, unforeseen alterations, and an unceasingly meticulous attention to detail regarding the conference’s agenda, the website, travel plans, speaker bios, graphics and design, each task is attacked with the necessary resolve as the clock ticks down.
Making sure that all these small pieces are in place is crucial to the conference’s success, and behind everyone’s drive while stapling dossiers and stringing lanyards is a spirit of cooperation. There is a shared sense of accountability for Emtech’s success, where everyone understands that planning an event on this scale requires teamwork and strong leadership. We believe in something grander than just this conference and its immediate impacts. We believe in the power of innovation and we see hope and promise in the young TR35 winners, whose ideas will revolutionize the technological landscape in the near future. From all the work that has been put in thus far, there is no way the conference will fail to meet our high expectations. But the true measure of Emtech Spain 2012’s triumph cannot be seen on November 23rd after the closing ceremony, but rather, will be judged years down the line by how far this optimism in entrepreneurship, technology, and the future has spread beyond all of us here at Opinno.