Back to the future

Joe Lipscombe, Sub Editor, CNME

Boy, was I glad to reach the end of October. GITEX had engulfed CNME since September and we were still feeling the effects of it until the end of the month. It was like some kind of natural disaster had struck and we were left picking up the pieces. The office was a mess, our schedule was a mess and my hair was a mess… It was tough.

Following GITEX I thought it might be a good idea to make a speedy getaway and hideout for a few days. As a result, I headed to the French capital – beautiful Paris. In actual fact, I went there for a technology conference – there really is no rest for the wicked.

Paris is a funny place to host a conference which is based on innovation and future technologies. Stepping into Paris is like stepping back in time. There is no rush to be up-to-date and not much lust for gadgetry. No, Paris is all about the past. Historic art, culture, style and romance (you can cross one of those out if you’re by yourself, on a business trip).

I have spent a lot of time in France and I enjoy moseying around the local areas to try and gain a feel of the general atmosphere. My flight arrived with enough time left for me to take an evening stroll through the streets of Paris and I was eager to watch how people were.

It’s really everything you imagine it to be. The Parisians stroll down the long streets aimless and relaxed, peering into every boutique window as if they have a hunch that they’re on the verge of finding a true bargain, whilst a wide array of tiny dogs skip about their feet.

You cannot turn a corner in Paris without seeing something truly brilliant. Innovation of architecture and art is evident here, and a tasteful desire to learn more about it is all you need to get by (that, and knowledge of the phrase une jambon et sandwich au fromage, s’il vous plaît – one ham and cheese sandwich, please).

This isn’t a place that looks desperate for big data storage solutions, or a place with mobile security concerns. I did begin to wonder why I, a technology reporter, was here at all.

After the most charming evening, I awoke the next morning with an overwhelming affection for one of the culture capitals of the world, prepared for the conference ahead. My brief stop off in the careless and timeless past was over – it was back to the future.

When I arrived at the conference centre, it suddenly struck me; technology is mobile, it’s virtual, it’s the backbone to every society, it’s the platform which brings the world together. It really doesn’t matter what the surface appears to look like, beneath the charm and beauty was a bustling hub of innovation and excitement.

I shared interviews with technology journalists from Portugal, Italy, Czech Republic, England and more, to find out about the progression and success of a major IT company.

After all my curious concern, it turns out that in actual fact this was the perfect place to host an event like this.

Technology is brilliant, beautiful, slick, chic and classy these days, and that’s precisely what Paris is too.

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