Text & Photos: Veronica Atkins
By the time July comes around, most people working in the secure ID business will have been through a marathon of events, conferences, unconferences and the like. In the usual exhibition centres or corporate set up, these gatherings are necessary fixtures in the calendar of most sales and marketing executives. So, the invitation to yet another event at the end of the show season initially had very little appeal. The location, Gelsenkirchen, is not really a hotspot either. Unless, of course, you are a supporter of Schalke 04, the local premier league football club. So why go?
The agenda of “Mindshare 2014” was extremely interesting. And it was by invitation only, being organized by the German security specialist cryptovision. Cryptovision also is part of the full ID network of German ID solutions house Bundesdruckerei, who recently acquired 33% of the company.
In front of a full house of ca. 120 attendees from over 15 countries, the keynotes of the first day included Kim Nguyen’s explanation of FIDO and it can help to bridge authentication and identification. Markus Hartmann of HJP Consulting presented an overview of ICAO, which was especially topical, as the he had just returned from the EC-initiated ICAO Interop test that had taken place in Madrid the week before.
The second day at Mindshare 2014 had two tracks – Enterprise IT and Government eID – and delivered some excellent insides, projects covered including Estonia, Austria, Ecuador, Nigeria and Ghana. Many Silicon Trust Partners were present, including Trueb, Giesecke, Identive and many more. Highlights were the presentations be the Ecuadorian on lessons learnt from past mismanage as well as the presentations by Merecedes Jativa and Xavier Pazmino of IGM. Extremely insightful were the talks by Barr. Chris ‘E Onyemenam, Director General of the Nigerian NIMC and of Moses Baiden and Sanjay Patel on the developments in Ghana.
So, the content was there, the right people, interesting topics – but it was the Sommerfest at the end of the first day that gave the Mindshare 2014 event its special flair. The weather turned out to be glorious and the mindshare delegates were joined by the friends and family of cryptovision on the vast company grounds which were transformed by the man in charge, Lutz Feldhege, to resemble a cryptovision summer festival, with bouncy castle, BBQ, live music and oversized lounge chairs. The atmosphere reminded the delegates that, after decades of working in the same area, on the same projects and often in and out of the same companies, they too are a kind of family, albeit a very dysfunctional one at times.
I was told that this event only takes place every two years. After this year’s success, I would say there is a fair chance I might find myself on a train to Gelsenkirchen again next year.
What the delegates said:
“An excellent mixture of international partners and clients. The Mindshare 2014 agenda did not only focus on the technical aspects, it went further to give insights on what happens when the technological concepts are actually applied.”
Dr. Kim Nguyen, Managing Director, D-Trust
“Mindshare 2014 presented weighty security topics in a very light wrapping. Its unique how all attendees, including the international VIPs, aren’t brought to a 5* hotel but at the end of the day join into a family and friends cryptovision summer festival.”
Markus Hartmann, CEO, hjp Consulting
“Mindshare 2014 brought key thought leaders from the crypto and security world to Gelsenkirchen. For me, the topics and speakers covered in the agenda were better than at some of the conferences out there. Well done.”
Michael Poitner, NXP, USA