Chris Messina, inventor of the hashtag, to speak at Turing Fest 2019 in Edinburgh

Chris Messina
Chris Messina

Chris Messina, the veteran Silicon Valley product designer who also holds the unusual distinction of having invented the hashtag, has today been announced as the latest addition to the lineup for Turing Fest 2019.

Chris has long been one of the most influential figures in social technology. He has designed products, platforms, and experiences for Google and Uber, founded startups, and changed the world by giving away many of his creations, including the hashtag.

Chris has created movements online and off, and acted as a catalyst for change in both large and small organizations. In 2004, he helped organize the grassroots movement that propelled Mozilla Firefox to its first 100 million downloads. Then in 2005, he co-organized the first BarCamp and popularized the unconference event model to over 350 cities around the world. In 2006, he opened the first coworking spaces in San Francisco, giving rise to a global movement.

Then in 2007, he brought the idea of the hashtag to the world, changing social media forever and galvanizing social revolutions across the globe.

A sought-after speaker,  Chris has previously spoken at world-renowned conferences like SXSW, TEDx and Google I/O.

Alongside Chris, a further three speakers have also been announced today:

  • Nandini Jammi, organiser of Sleeping Giants: Nandini is a product messaging strategist and one of the founding organisers of Sleeping Giants, the wildly successful social media campaign-turned-movement dedicated to making hate speech unprofitable.
  • Kevin Goldsmith, Chief Technology Officer at Onfido:  Kevin Goldsmith has been a senior technology executive for over 27 years, with experience spanning computer vision, product development, data and dev ops. He is the newly-appointed CTO of acclaimed identity verification startup Onfido, and was previously Vice President of Engineering at Spotify and Director of Engineering at Adobe.
  • Matt Schatz, SVP Global Sales at WP Engine: Matt Schatz is SVP of Global Sales at leading managed hosting platform WP Engine, responsible for defining and executing the company’s global sales strategy. Matt has nearly two decades of senior leadership experience in sales and customer growth for technology companies, including Bazaarvoice, CityVoice and Rackspace.

Turing Fest 2019 is a cross-functional tech conference, designed to bring together everyone involved in building and scaling high-growth, high-impact technology businesses — from engineers to executives.

The main conference takes place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre from 28-29 August 2019, and will host 65 speakers, an audience of more than 3,000 attendees and a packed programme of keynotes, panels, parties and fringe events, alongside a buzzing expo featuring some of Europe’s most exciting technology businesses.

2019 also sees the return of Turing Founders, an invitation-only founder/investor summit on Tuesday 27 August. This year’s Founders event will connect 250 ambitious startup founders and executives with 75 of Europe and North America’s most forward-thinking technology investors. Previous participants have raised more than £35m in new funding since 2017.

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