Lift is a series of events designed to inspire and connect individuals exploring the social impact of new technologies. Each Lift conference is a three-day event consisting of talks, workshops, interactive art, and discussions on understanding and anticipating the most important social changes, as well as meeting the people behind them.
Lift has been called by BBC News "one of the highlights of the technophile calendar", "an opportunity to meet up with some of the most interesting people around and engage in debate about the future with those who are actually building it, instead of waiting for it to happen".
Lift was founded by Laurent Haug and three co-founders (Nicolas Nova, Steven Ritchey, John Staehli), and is organized by an international team, with the support of organizations, such as, the European Commission, International Electrotechnical Commission, Microsoft, and Mozilla.
Lift 06 was held on Feb 2–3, 2006 in Geneva, Switzerland, at the CICG. The conference welcomed 350 persons, among them speakers like Cory Doctorow, Robert Scoble, Bruce Sterling, Euan Semple or Hugh MacLeod.
Lift held two conferences in 2007.
Lift 07 was held on February 7–9, 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland, both at the University of Geneva and the International Conference Centre Geneva. LIFT 07 incorporated extra elements normally found in unconferences—peer-to-peer workshops and conference participant presentations. Lift07 Open Stage was a test to see how un-conference models can be incorporated into traditional conferences.
The event was attended by 550 persons, among them speakers like Florence Devouard, Brian Cox, Sugata Mitra, Jan Chipchase, Stowe Boyd, Paul Barnett, or Régine Debatty and featured more than 50 presentations and workshops.
Lift Asia 07 was held on September 12, 2007 at the Yurim Art Hall in Seoul, South Korea. The event was about spaces, how technological developments in both the physical worlds and virtual environments are reshaping buildings, games, and soon web browsers. Four speakers participated in the event, Adam Greenfield, Bruce Sterling, XL games CEO Jake Song and Korean architect Yoo Suk Yeon.
The event was attended by 180 persons.
Lift held two conferences in 2008.
Lift 08 was held on February 6–8, 2008 in Geneva, Switzerland. The topic of the conference was "Challenges and opportunities of technology in society". The conference was a sell out, hitting its target of attracting 700 participants. There were 45 speakers, including Kevin Warwick and Pierre Bellanger.
Lift Asia 08, Lift's second Asian event, was held on September 4–6, 2008 in Jeju Island, Korea. The program featured a mix of international and Asian speakers like Joonmo Kwon (CEO of 300-million-user game company Nexon), Takeshi Natsuno (inventor of the imode for NTT Docomo), Bruno Bonnel (Founder of Infogrames), Dan Dubno and Eric Rodenbeck (Stamen Design). This event was supported by Jaewoong Lee, a co-founder of Daum Communications and Channy Yun as an Asian editorial.
Lift held three conferences in 2009.
Lift 09 was held on February 25–27, 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland and looked back to look ahead, exploring topics like change, solidarity, love, or design, during three days of intense networking and inspiration themed around a simple question: "Where did the future go? We were told the future would be about mechanization, computerization, 1984-like nightmares or robots. What did and did not happen? What can we learn from the predictions that never materialized to better look at the future?" The conference was attended by 800 participants.
Speakers included: Vint Cerf, Roh Soh Yeong (Art Center Nabi, Korea), Ramesh Srinivasan (UCLA), Patrick J. Gyger (Maison d'Ailleurs), Oriol Pascual (ENVIU), Nicolas Nova (Lift), Melanie Rieback, Matt Webb, Juliana Rotich (GlobalVoices/Ushahidi, Kenya), Jörg Jelden (Trendbüro, Germany), Natalie Jeremijenko (UCSD, USA), James Gillies (CERN, Switzerland), James Auger (Auger-Loizeau/Royal College of Art, UK), Frank Beau, Fabio Sergio (frog design, Italy), David Rose (Vitality, USA), Clive Van Heerden (Philips Design, Netherlands), Dan Hill (Arup, Australia), Carlo Ratti (MIT, USA), Baba Wamé (Yaoundé 2 University, Cameroon), Florence Devouard (Wikimedia France and Wikimedia Foundation, France), Anne Galloway (Concordia University, Design & Computation Arts, Canada), Anab Jain (Nokia Design / Superflux, UK).
Lift France 09 was in Marseilles, June 18–19, 2009. The theme was "hands-on future", a future of do-it-yourself where citizens will be able to customize, hack and transform the objects around them.
Lift Asia 09 was held on September 1–3, 2009 in Jeju Korea. The event's theme was "Serious Fun".
"The Internet started as platform for academics, then it became a huge business platform. Now it is an entertainment playground for users. People spend time having fun on the Social Web, access virtual worlds on their cell phones or interact with robots and networked objects. But we believe these services and platforms go far beyond mere leisure: their usage may reveal new social practices that will spread in other contexts (business, education), and the services first targeted at entertainment can lead to original innovations. This year's Lift Asia will focus on the lessons we can draw for fields such as general innovation, sociology, management, business, design and education."[attribution needed]
Lift held two major conferences in 2010.
Lift 10 happened in Geneva on May 5–7, 2010. The theme was "Connected people", featuring an improved format, with focus on audience and speakers' interaction.
Lift10 will explore the most overlooked aspect of innovation: people. Known in techno-parlance as users, consumers, clients, participants, prosumers, citizens, or activists, people ultimately define the success of all technological and entrepreneurial projects. They adopt or refute, promote or demote, embrace, reject, or re-purpose. Their approaches are unique, influenced by cultural and generational diversity. A decade after the rebirth of user-centered design and innovation, it is time to explore the myths and uncover the reality behind the "connected people".[attribution needed]
The conference covered Generations and technologies, the Redefinition of Privacy, Online Communities, Politics, and Media. Speakers included Alice Taylor, Aubrey de Grey, Jamais Cascio, and Rahaf Harfoush.
Lift France 2010 happened in Marseille, July 5–7, 2010. The conference attracted 560 participants to explore the theme "dot-Real - Webify the real world!" : how the technologies and concepts of the web are changing the real world today and in the future.
For the last 20 years, networked technologies have redistributed the power of imagining, evaluating, and acting. With Asia’s shift from being the world’s factory to a major source of innovation and in a world where today’s consumers have also become producers, new boundaries arise and with them a new society. The Web changes the world – But to what extent? With what limitations? How can it reach its full potential?
Smaller events also happened all around the world. Part of the "Lift@home" program  these community organized gathering happened in places like Barcelona, London, Toronto or Brussels.
Two events have been announced in 2011.
Lift11, 2–4 February 2011, International Conference Center, Geneva, Switzerland.
The program will feature sessions on:
- Re-organization, the changing workplace, new forms of work, organizations, collaboration, etc.
- Engaging users with games
- Building and managing communities
- Community mining, new forms of business intelligence
- Trends and ideas from around the world
- New frontiers
Robolift11, 23–25 March 2011, Lyon, France.
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- "Lift07, Geneva, 7-8–9 February 2007". Lift Conference. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- "Lift07 Open Stage". Lift Conference. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- "Lift Asia 07". Lift Conference. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- "Lift08, 6-8 Feb. 2008, Geneva, Switzerland". Lift Conference. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- "Lift Asia 08, Jeju, Sept. 4-6, 2008". Lift Conference. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- "Lift09, Feb. 25-27, Geneva, Switzerland". Lift Conference. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- "Tech conference explores future innovations". SwissInfo. February 27, 2009. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- "Lift09 participants". Lift Conference. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- "Lift France 09 - Merci Marseille!". Lift Conference. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- "Lift France 09 speakers". Lift Conference. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- "Lift Asia 09, Jeju Korea, Sept 17-18 2009". Lift Conference. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- "Lift10, Geneva, 5–7 May 2010". Lift Conference. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- "Lift10 Program". Lift Conference. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- "Lift France 10, with Fing". Lift Conference. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- "Lift@home, events organized by the Lift community". Lift Conference. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
- "Lift11, Geneva, 2–4 February 2011". Lift Conference. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
- "Lift11 sessions". Lift Conference. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
- "Robolift conference (@inno-robo, 23-25 Mar. 2011, Lyon)". Lift Conference. Retrieved October 2, 2010.