Editorial – Johanna Rolland – President of Nantes Métropole

Jobs, health, culture, education, togetherness, equality, heritage, community, the environment: the digital challenge affects them all. It’s one of the biggest issues of our time and is changing how we live as a society. France is fast catching up with this reality, with the Nantes area leading the way.

The efforts of our businesses, individuals, community organizations and researchers have been recognized with the awarding of the national French Tech mark. Now the second Nantes Digital Week from 17-27 September is providing yet another chance to showcase our flair for all things digital. This festival is open to all: businesses, labs, universities, schools, artists, community organizations, groups and individuals. It will foster interaction between specialists, promote the use of digital technology, encourage discovery and make knowledge more accessible.

This year we wanted to go further, extending the program in both Nantes and the surrounding area. Saint-Nazaire, Angers and, of course, the Nantes city districts have got involved so that their inhabitants can join in the festivities. Thanks to the efforts of more than sixty project organizers, the second Nantes Digital Week will offer nearly 100 events over 10 days (exhibitions, talks, debates, performances, concerts, workshops…) on different themes: video games, makers, education, design, art, science, data, tourism and heritage, health, jobs, equality, innovation and the economy. I am deeply impressed by this unique collaboration. My thanks go to all the project organizers who have taken part and helped to make Nantes a European digital center.

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Editorial – Franckie Trichet – Deputy Mayor of Nantes and Area Councilor (Digital)

The first Nantes Digital Week in 2014 was a major collaborative success (67,500 participants and 49 events), with the Nantes digital scene spontaneously working together like never before. We wanted the 2015 festival to reach out to the widest possible audience and engage with as many people as possible about our society’s ever-accelerating digital revolution. The second Nantes Digital Week will involve almost 100 events in over 30 locations across the whole region: the center of Nantes and the suburbs, and also Saint-Nazaire and Angers. These 10 days will show what a hive of digital activity Nantes is, with 10 days designed to stimulate creative interactions between entrepreneurs, start-ups, researchers, artists, students and community organizations – as well as people in general, whether they are fully immersed in the digital world or just dipping their toe in the water, enthusiasts or simply curious.

Please make the most of this digital festival. It’s here for everyone to learn, to wonder, to enjoy themselves, to widen their horizons and, most of all, to take part and to challenge themselves. It has 6 broad themes: art and heritage, the economy and jobs, education and youth, equality and accessibility, technical and scientific culture, and gamers and makers. Whether it’s fun programming workshops for kids, a digital magic show, a drone festival, exhibitions of astounding projects from DIY coders, talks on “SmartCity the Nantes way” or the sharing economy, dancing with a robot, or even an amazing artistic spectacle on the walls of the Château, there’s something for everyone.

My sincere thanks go to those organizing the events, who have all worked together with such enthusiasm to put on this second festival. We should all be proud of the richness and diversity of the program of events for 2015. I hope you have an amazing week full of interesting conversations, inspiration and creativity!