WMF – We Make Future: the curtain falls on the three-day event that made Italy the capital of innovation


The eleventh edition of WMF - We Make Future, the International Trade Fair and Festival of Tech and Digital Innovation, concluded on June 17th at the Rimini Expo Centre. The event attracted over 60.000 attendance from 85 countries, bringing together more than 1.000 international speakers and guests, over 2.000 startups and investors, and more than 670 exhibitors. Various topics were addressed during the three-day event, ranging from artificial intelligence to the fight against organized crime, as well as accessibility and sustainability, discussed through the contributions of distinguished guests, including the guest of honor of this edition, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web. Music also played a significant role in this edition, with talented artists such as Dardust, Samuel Romano, Dargen D'Amico, and Boomdabash bringing the WMF to life with concerts and live performances.

Bologna, June 23th 2023

The three-day event of WMF - We Make Future, the International Trade Fair and Festival, held from June 15th to 17th at the Rimini Expo Centre, has come to an end.Organized by Search On Media Group, it brought together the world of innovation in Italy, with over 60.000 attendancefrom 85 countries, more than 670 exhibitors, 2.000 startups and investors, over 1.000 speakers, and more than 130 institutional, national, and international guests. This solidifies and emphasizes the important role that WMF has always played as a platform for building the future and as an accelerator of education, culture, and innovation in service of global society.

"Once again, WMF has been a platform for meeting, sharing, and above all, building the future. The vision that we have always pursued with this event has been understood by the thousands of individuals and organizations who joined us in experiencing these three days, feeling part of a global community that can and must strive for a different future"explains Cosmano Lombardo, Founder and CEO of Search On Media Group and Creator of WMF. "Creators, professionals, and companies in the AI & Digital-Tech sector, as well as innovative startups, investors, and Italian and foreign institutions, have chosen to come together to design a future that is sustainable and inclusive, thanks to the tools of technological and digital innovation and AI."

The event had the Region of Emilia-Romagna as the Main Sponsor and enjoyed the patronage of the Region of Emilia-Romagna, as well as the support of the Municipality of Bologna, the Italian Space Agency, Sport e Salute Spa, Invitalia, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean, and the Conference of Regions and Autonomous Provinces.

There were 10 pavilions at the Rimini Expo Centre that, for this eleventh edition, hosted the educational, business and networking events, entertainment, and shows of WMF - We Make Future. These spaces were constantly animated by industry experts, institutional discussions, B2B meetings, competitions among innovative entities, concerts, prototypes, and technological performances that characterized each of the three days.

On the Mainstage, exceptional guests, artists, and institutional figures from around the world were featured

The Mainstage of WMF once again served as the focal point of the event, bringing together the global WMF community for a glimpse into the future through moments of discovery and cultural dissemination. This year, the stage welcomed a prestigious lineup of international guests, starting with the guest of honor, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and featuring sociologist Manuel Castells, tablet inventor and AI expert Jerry Kaplan, David Hanson and Robot Sophia, Albanian Minister Edona Bilali, and Ambassadors from Latvia, Algeria, and Sweden.

The Mainstage also hosted authoritative voices from the national scene, offering perspectives on various topics. Among them were Pierpaolo Bombardieri, the General Secretary of UIL; Guido Scorza, a member of the Privacy Guarantor; Anna Ascani, the Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies; Prosecutors Nicola Gratteri and Giuseppe Lombardo; Francesco Ubertini, the President of CINECA; and numerous representatives from companies and organizations such as Intel, IIT - Italian Institute of Technology, Microsoft, Monge, ESA - European Space Agency, Rai public utility, Pegasus Tech Ventures, WWF, Oxfam, Oracle, Stanford University, and many others.

The 11th edition of the international Startup Competition at WMF was also a great success, being one of the main events of the World Startup Fest. Co-hosted by Cosmano Lombardo and Diletta Leotta, the competition awarded prizes worth a total of 2 million euros to three startups selected from around the world. The jury awarded the first prize to the Egyptian startup Yalla, while Cyrkl and Wallife received the audience award and the special prize, respectively. Yalla, as the winner, earned the opportunity to compete in the Startup World Cup finals in San Francisco next fall, thanks to a prize provided by Pegasus Tech Ventures.

On the main stage, there was also space for concerts and live sets , thanks to the participation of renowned artists such asDardust, Dargen D'amico, Samuel Romano, N.A.I.P, and Lucariello, adding to the already impressive musical lineup of the Music Fest. The event featured performances by Boomdabash and Alessio Bertallot, as well as over 30 artists including emerging bands and DJs selected through contests organized by WMF in collaboration with RDS Next and Radio See You. Among them were also Super Cumbia y la Liga de la Alegría, winners of the Band Emergenti contest.

Education at the center of WMF: over 100 active stages during the three-day event

The educational program of WMF 2023 was incredibly rich.Over 100 educational stages were set up, where more than 1.000 speakers from around the world took turns sharing their knowledge with the thousands of professionals in the AI & digital tech industry, and beyond. On the Open stages in the Expo Area, exceptional guests were welcomed, and roundtable discussions and thematic panels were held, dedicated to the most relevant topics of the near future. These topics included Artificial Intelligence, with vertical stages addressing its applications in areas such as SMEs, Education, and Work, Innovation and Politics, through stages designed for discussions among institutions, citizens, and communities. There were also stages dedicated to the Creator Economy, Cinema, sustainability, inclusion, as well as specialized educational stages for in-depth exploration of vertical skills in all the major aspects of digital marketing.

WMF as a container of events: Creators, AI, Robotics, and Startups among the protagonists of vertical sessions

There was a great variety of vertical and thematic eventsduring the three-day event, reflecting the nature of the conference, which brings together different themes and actors to offer a forward-looking perspective and provide an overview of our society. The Creators Fest was a great success, being Italy's largest initiative dedicated to Creators and their Communities. It welcomed over 150 Italian and international creators. Notable web personalities such as Camihawke, Alice Mangione, Casa Surace, Favij, Power, Jakidale, Alice Venturi, Benedetta De Luca, Rick DuFer, Marcello Ascani, and Alessandro Masala, the founder of the Breaking Italy channel, participated in events from the Mainstage to the Creator Stage.

There were also events for enthusiasts, professionals, and companies active in the field of AI. The AI Global Summitbrought together industry experts, showcased prototypes, and featured experimental innovative technologies. The World Startup Fest made a return as an international reference event for startups, scale-ups, and investors who found new collaboration opportunities and global business prospects at WMF through B2B meetings, dedicated networking events, and competitions involving innovative startups from around the world. Additionally, there was the Future Show, featuring the Jet Suit by Gravity Industries, autonomous vehicles, and sustainable robotics; the Innovation Film Fest with contests for emerging artists and meetings with entertainment industry professionals; the Digital Job Fair with initiatives aimed at facilitating job matching, and many other events involving various sectors impacted by technological and digital innovation.

Once again, the three-day WMF succeeded in its mission to position Italy at the center of the innovative revolution of the future by creating and providing a platform for meeting, exchange, and sharing, open to the whole world and capable of fostering synergies that can only come to life in such a transversal event. Technology, digital innovation, values, and activism found a space for coexistence and cohesion at WMF, with the common goal of creating a better future. The 2024 edition is already scheduled to take place at the Rimini Expo Centre from June 13 to June 15.

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