Co-chairing – Oxford University – forum Oxford – future technologies conference

Now in it’s fifth year, I co-chair the Oxford University – forum Oxford – future technologies conference and this event continues to grow – and has a great following in academia and industry. Looking forward to meeting many old friends and new friends.

As usual, we will keep it fast, extremely informative, fun and with a sense of community. If you have never attended one of our events, I would highly recommend it .. see Oxford University – forum Oxford – future technologies conference and also below


This one-day conference will continue its annual exploration of mobile technologies with an emphasis this year on NFC payments, Mobile Commerce and the Mobile Web.

Unlike many large, impersonal conferences, ForumOxford is highly interactive, and promotes open communication between participants and speakers. The event is designed with ample Q&A time and opportunities for further discussions of the conference topics during breaks and over lunch.

No sales pitches – this is a conference for presentations, questions, answers and discussions

Speakers at each year’s event include global industry leaders, media specialists, strategists and journalists. Previous conference participants have come from Vodafone, Nokia, Samsung Electronics Research Institute, Qualcomm, Intel, RAC, Telefonica Europe, Qatar Telecom, Panasonic Mobile Communications, Consult Hyperion, EMAP, Symbian, GSMA, BBC, T-Mobile, Informa, SonyBMG Music Entertainment, MTV, Financial Times, Alcatel-Lucent, Three, NXP, Guardian News & Media, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and many more.



Twitter IconFollow @ForumOxford on Twitter Click here!

Not sure if you should attend? Watch this video (3 mins 47 secs):

The conference will be chaired by:

  • Ajit Jaokar, Author and Telecoms Specialist
  • Tomi Ahonen, Author, Consultant and Motivational Speaker
Programme details

2011 Conference Speakers – more to be announced in the coming days

  • Dave Birch, Director, Consult HyperionQR code
    Presentation: Identity is the new money
  • Prof William Webb, Chief Technology Officer, Neul
    Presentation: Whitespace spectrum: Not what we originally thought but the key ingredient for the Internet of Everything.
  • Tim Haysom, Head of Developer Marketing, Wholesale Applications Community (WAC)
    Presentation: Web technologies in mobile widgets and enabling long term service revenue through operator APIs
  • Jose Valles, Head of BlueVia (Telefonica)
    Presentation: To be confirmed
  • Dominic Keen, CEO, MoBank
    Presentation: To be confirmed
  • Andy Smith, Client Services Director, Eagle Eye Solutions
    Presentation: How mobile intelligence will change the face of retailing
  • Alistair Crane, Founder and CEO, Grapple Mobile
    Presentation: The Power of Everywhere: The importance of ubiquity across multiple mobile platforms
  • Rich Holdsworth, CEO, Wapple
    Presentation: HTML5 and its ramifications for mobile commerce
  • Peter Swain, CEO, AlwaysOnMessage
    Presentation: The opportunities / disruption Mobile will bring
  • Monty Munford, Content Strategist, Wapple
    Presentation: Pregnant African women want mobile health, but they also want entertainment (a travel fund for African mobile entrepreneurs)
  • Peter-Paul Koch (ppk), Mobile Platform Strategist, Consultant and Trainer (ppk)
    Presentation: Rethinking the Mobile Web
  • Ajit Jaokar, Founder, futuretext
    Presentation: Smart cities
  • Vic Keegan, author of iPhone apps City Poems and Geo Poems and former Tech Writer at The Guardian
    Presentation: Free apps – the end of an era?

09:00 – 17:00 finish followed by the drinks reception

Free WiFi, three-course lunch and refreshments included.

We have a number of meeting rooms which will be freely available to those attending if required.


This conference will be held at the Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, Oxford.

ForumOxford Online

ForumOxford, the web-discussion forum of the Technology Programme, was established to bring together the best thinkers in the telecoms industry to enable the sharing of ideas on all aspects of mobile applications with other like-minded members of the community. ForumOxford has been a huge success and now has over 2000 members with participants from 87 countries and from six continents. Figures correct as of 9 February 2011.

The lively online debate within ForumOxford’s online environment resulted in numerous approaches asking for a face-to-face event to capitalize on this success. ForumOxford: Future Technologies Conference is the answer to these requests. Furthermore, participation in the ForumOxford: Future Technologies Conference will provide access to the leading bloggers in the emerging web and mobile technology fields and as all those attending last year discovered, a great place to meet others who are leading the way in the world of mobile applications. In a poll by the leading New York publication Fierce Wireless, the top 20 mobile blogs worldwide included as many as six blogs belonging to ForumOxford members.

Ajit Jaokar, conference co-chairperson and moderator of ForumOxford, is an author and telecoms specialist and has recently taught the ‘Designing Multiplatform Apps: TV, Web, Mobile and Automotive Platforms’ CPD course at Oxford University. Ajit also founded Futuretext, which is an innovative publishing and consulting company focused on mobility and digital convergence – he is perfectly positioned to comment on the conference: ‘Creating ForumOxford along with Tomi Ahonen, and watching it grow so rapidly has been a fascinating experience. The high-level sponsorship of our event only goes to emphasise the quality of our membership and discussions. I am thankful for the foresight and support provided by the Oxford University in setting up ForumOxford’.

Tomi Ahonen, conference co-chairperson and independent 3G strategy consultant and author, who teaches the ‘Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media’ and other mobile-related Oxford University CPD courses, comments ‘I am very proud of the high level of professional discussion we maintain within ForumOxford. It makes me very proud to promote the Forum and to recruit new members. I personally keep on learning constantly from the various discussion topics.’

The University of Oxford’s Technology Programme has met the needs of the industry by doubling the number of courses offered in the past year, particularly in emerging fields in the industry such as Web 2.0 and mobile technologies.


Mr Tomi Ahonen

Role: Chair

Mr Tomi T Ahonen is the most published author in the mobile industry who released his twelfth book in 2011. Translated into several languages, he…more is the father of numerous industry tools, theories and concepts, and already referenced in over 100 books by other authors. Lecturing at Oxford University’s short courses on mobile, digital and media, Mr Ahonen has been quoted in over 300 press articles in major media like the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, the Economist and Financial Times, and is often seen on TV. He has presented papers at over 250 conferences in over 40 countries to a cumulative audience of over 100,000 on all six inhabited continents. Tomi’s Twitter feed is @tomiahonen

The Finnish born ex-Nokia executive is now based out of Hong Kong. Tomi Ahonen runs a boutique consulting company that provides strategic consulting services to clients needing support in the digital convergence space from small start-ups to Global 500 sized companies around the world including Axiata, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BBC, BT, China Mobile, CNN, Ericsson, HP, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, Motorola, MTV, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, BNP Paribas, RIM, SK Telecom, Telenor, TeliaSonera and Vodafone.

Before starting his own consulting company in 2001, Tomi Ahonen headed Nokia’s Global Consulting unit and oversaw Nokia’s 3G Reserach Centre. Before Nokia, he worked for two operators/carriers, Elisa/Radiolinja and Finnet Group in Finland, and started his technology career in New York City at one of the world’s first internet service providers, OCSNY. Mr Ahonen’s accomplishments include creating the world’s first fixed-mobile service bundle; setting the world record for taking market share from the incumbent; and creating the world’s largest multi-operator billing system. Tomi Ahonen holds an MBA from St John’s University New York City. His latest book is The Insider’s Guide to Mobile.


Mr Ajit Jaokar

Role: Chair

Author and Telecoms Specialist

Ajit Jaokar is the founder of the London based publishing and research company futuretext…more ( focussed on emerging Web and Mobile technologies -including Web 2.0 and Mobile Web 2.0.

IIn 2009-2010, Ajit was nominated as part of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of the Internet by the world economic forum. He hopes to use this opportunity to further extend the pragmatic viewpoint of the evolution of Telecoms networks in an open ecosystem.

Ajit is best known for his books Mobile Web 2.0, Social Media Marketing. Two new books (‘Open Mobile’ and ‘Implementing Mobile Web 2.0′) are being released in 2009.

His consulting activities include working with companies to define value propositions across the device, network, Web and Social networking stack spanning both technology and strategy. He has worked with a range of commercial and government organizations globally including The European Union, Telecoms Operators, Device manufacturers, social networking companies and security companies in various strategic and visionary roles.

His recent talks and forthcoming talks include: CEBIT 2009;MobileWorld Congress(2007, 2008, 2009); Keynote at O Reilly Web20 expo (April 2007);Keynote at Java One; European Parliament – Brussels – (Electronic Internet Foundation); Stanford University’s Digital visions program;MIT Sloan;Fraunhofer FOKUS ; University of St. Gallen (Switzerland); Mobile Web Strategies (partner event of CTIA in San Francisco).

Ajit lives in London, UK, but has three nationalities (British, Indian and New Zealander) and is proud of all three. He is currently doing a PhD on Privacy and Reputation systems at UCL in London. Ajit is a fan of animation especially Tom and Jerry, Tintin and Asterix and likes the music of ZZ Top and other rock bands.

His blog OpenGardens is one of the top 20 wireless blogs in the world. His latest book is OpenGardens.



Dave Birch

Role: Speaker

Director, Consult Hyperion

David G.W. Birch is a Director of Consult Hyperion, the IT management consultancy that specialises…more in electronic transactions. Here he provides specialist consultancy support to clients around the world, including all of the leading payment brands, major telecommunications providers, governments bodies and international organisations including the OECD. Before helping to found Consult Hyperion in 1986, he spent several years working as a consultant in Europe, the Far East and North America. He graduated from the University of Southampton with a B.Sc (Hons.) in Physics.

Described by The Telegraph as “one of the world’s leading experts on digital money”, by The Independent as a “grade-A geek”, by the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation as “one of the most user-friendly of the UK’s uber-techies” and by Financial World as “mad”, Dave is a member of the editorial board of the E-Finance & Payments Law and Policy Journal, a columnist for SPEED and well-known for his blogs on Digital Money and Digital Identity.

He has lectured to MBA level on the impact of new information and communications technologies, contributed to publications ranging from the Parliamentary IT Review to Prospect and wrote a Guardian column for many years. He is a media commentator on electronic business issues and has appeared on BBC television and radio, Sky and other channels around the world.


Alistair Crane

Role: Speaker

CEO, Grapple Mobile

Alistair Crane, a tenacious and charismatic entrepreneur, is the CEO and Founder of Grapple Mobile, the…more leading mobile and tablet app development agency in Europe and North America. Grapple work with the world’s largest brands and businesses, across all the major sectors, to create apps for multiple mobile devices including iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Nokia, Android and Windows Phone 7.

Alistair possesses rare foresight into the trends in the mobile industry and a deep understanding of how to leverage the mobile channel in order to achieve business objectives.

Before Grapple, Alistair was the Head of Media Solutions at NAVTEQ which was later acquired by Nokia for over £5bn, and prior to that, one of the first members of the launch team for Blyk, an advertiser funded mobile network, founded by the Ex-President of Nokia.

Alistair was recently named one of the “Top 30 Under 30” by leading trade publication Media Week and has been shortlisted for the Rising Star Award at the Media Week Awards later this year. He is regularly invited to speak at international events around the world including The Monaco Media Forum, Ad:Tech, iMedia and The Guardian Changing Media Summit.


Andrew Griffin

Role: Speaker

Head of European Technology Equity Research, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Tim Haysom

Role: Speaker

Head of developer marketing, Wholesale Applications Community (WAC)

Tim Haysom is head of developer marketing at WAC. He leads…more activities to assist new developers in getting their WAC applications to the worldwide market of WAC connected applications stores. He was previously the CMO of the OMTP industry consortium.

Tim has over 20 years of experience in the mobile telecoms industry, working with Operators, Vendors and many in the developer community. He was responsible within OMTP for the first industry activities to use web standards to enable a cross platform approach to application development, known as BONDI. In July 2010, the BONDI activity was transferred into the new WAC organisation and has formed a key component in the latest WAC specifications.

In his spare time, Tim plays the trombone and runs … And runs and runs. Tim holds a B.Eng. degree in Electronics from the University of Southampton.


Rich Holdsworth

Role: Speaker

A recognized name within the mobile industry for having true, proven, foresight into mobile internet Rich has been key in the creation of Wapple…more core technology. Rich has 8 years background in Web and Mobile Development and 8 years within Video Games Creation and Development as Lead Designer on ‘Number 1′ products. He was credited in the Sunday Times for creating the first ever WAP game.


Victor Keegan

Role: Speaker

Victor Keegan is a British journalist and author focusing on economics and technology issues. Born in London in 1940, he has spent most of his…more working life at The Guardian as reporter, financial correspondent, deputy financial editor, economics editor, business editor, duty editor, Chief Leader Writer, Assistant Editor and Online Editor. For 11 years he was a member of the Scott Trust, owner of the Guardian, the Observer and other media interests. He now writes a weekly column on the internet and personal technology and contributes to Guardian Unlimited’s web site and “Comment is Free” blog. He is also curator of the “SLart Gallery” in Second Life. With his colleague, Neil McIntosh, he introduced the Guardian’s first blogs (Technology and Games). In 2001 he started the first-ever text message poetry competition for the Guardian and in August 2003, kickAAS one of the first dedicated political blogs aimed at helping developing countries by abolishing agriculture subsidies. In 2008 he became chairman of a not-for-profit start up World Film Collective, WFC, that encourages youngsters in very poor countries to make and edit films with their mobiles. In 2010 he published two iPhone apps. City Poems links classic poems to the streets of London that inspired them using satellite links. Geo Poems contains all of the poems in his three books linked by geo-tagging to the people and places around the world that inspired them. He also writes poetry, paints, and takes photographs. close

Peter-Paul Koch

Role: Speaker

Peter-Paul Koch is a mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He specialises in HTML, CSS,…more JavaScript, and browser compatibility.

He has won international renown with his browser compatibility research; increasingly also on mobile browsers. He frequently speaks at conferences, has founded Fronteers, the Dutch association of front-end professionals, and advises mobile and desktop browser vendors on their implementation of Web standards.

On the Web he is universally known as ppk.

Currently he has about twenty mobile phones lying around on his desk. The one thing he never does with any of these phones is make a phone call.


Monty Munford

Role: Speaker

PR and Content Strategy, Wapple

Monty Munford is a Content Strategist with more than 15 years’ experience in mobile, digital…more media, web, social and journalism. He returned to the UK in September 2010 after living in India for two years, speaks regularly at industry events and writes on the mobile/social industry for publications such as TechCrunch and The Guardian. He also writes a weekly column on mobile/social media/technology for The Telegraph. He has also appeared with speaking parts in two big-budget Bollywood movies released in 2011.


Andy Smith

Role: Speaker

Peter Swain

Role: Speaker

CEO and Co- Founder, AlwaysOnMessage

As CEO of AlwaysOnMessage (AoM), Peter formed one of the first multi-platform mobile app…more agencies in Europe. Peter sets the tone for the company, with an overarching goal to provide AoM with drive, direction, and the ability to execute. His responsibilities range from creating a cohesive strategy amongst senior management, to ensuring there is a framework for processes and procedures that keeps AoM at the forefront of the mobile app industry, while allowing and encouraging evolution and progression. Peter works closely with the commercial, creative and tech areas of the business to ensure his vision, expertise and experience permeate all of AoM’s activities.

Prior to forming AoM, Peter was the Managing Director of Forward Slash Digital (FSD), one of the UK’s leading digital agencies offering web, intranet, SEO and online marketing. With a client list that included the MoD, Atlas Consortium and EDS, it was through his work at FSD that Peter recognized the significance of smartphone technology and the paradigm shift this had brought both to the market and the world. As a result, Peter shifted his focus and founded AoM.

His digital career has spanned the globe, having experienced great success in Dubai as the founder and MD of The Concept House, a specialist web and digital agency that helped facilitate the evolution of the digital industry in the UAE. As a result, he was appointed an advisor to the Royal Court of Dubai. Peter was also a key member of the prestigious First Tuesday Advisory Panel and was retained to speak regularly on a range of subjects for The British Council and the Institute of International Research.

Peter also works on the Board of Advisors for Media Sandbox, a tech incubator in the South West, and as a guest lecturer on mobile computing and HCI at Queen Mary University of London. He maintains good working relationships with development advocates across all platforms, including Google, Apple, BlackBerry and Microsoft. He is frequently quoted in Wired Magazine, speaks at a variety of conferences such as the global Apps World suite, and has been commissioned by Gartner Inc. to co-author a business report detailing the business steps for a company to utilize mobile successfully. close

Jose Valles

Role: Speaker

Jose has been working for over 10 years in different parts of Telefonica, developing a deep expertise in how to make things happen in a big…more corporation. He also keeps an eye on the entrepreneurial space through his current activity as Head of BlueVia, by starting his career in an SME division and even through running his own company. Positive, bold, enthusiastic and a challenger, Jose has always tried to improve the businesses he has been building and prides himself with the profile of a change agent. From 2009, Jose has been building a concept under the working name “Open Telefonica”, which ended up bringing BlueVia to life. BlueVia represents a great challenge: to position a major telco as relevant within the developer ecosystem. However, the market reaction has been very positive and he is totally focused on making BlueVia grow, gaining industry scale through the WAC initiative and working with developers around the globe to adopt BlueVia’s APIs. Father and husband, Jose is a people person, very talkative, loves travelling to other countries and has lived for long periods in the UK and Czech Republic. Now living in Madrid, he tries to escape as much as possible to the Pyrenees and snowboards as often as he can. close

Prof William Webb

Role: Speaker

Chief Technology Officer, Neul

Professor William Webb BEng, MBA, PhD, CEng, FREng FIET, FIEEE.

William is one of…more the founding directors of Neul, a company developing machine-to-machine technologies and networks, which was formed at the start of 2011.

Prior to this William was a Director at Ofcom where he managed a team providing technical advice and performing research across all areas of Ofcom’s regulatory remit. He also led some of the major reviews conducted by Ofcom including the Spectrum Framework Review, the development of Spectrum Usage Rights and most recently cognitive or white space policy. Previously, William worked for a range of communications consultancies in the UK in the fields of hardware design, computer simulation, propagation modelling, spectrum management and strategy development. William also spent three years providing strategic management across Motorola’s entire communications portfolio, based in Chicago.

William has published 11 books, 80 papers, and 18 patents. He is a Visiting Professor at Surrey University and DeMontfort University, a member of Ofcom’s Spectrum Advisory Board (OSAB) and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the IEEE and the IET where he is as a Vice President. His biography is included in multiple “Who’s Who” publications around the world. William has a first class honours degree in electronics, a PhD and an MBA.