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FT celebrates first festival of finance with Camp Alphaville

On Wednesday, FT Alphaville hosted ‘Camp Alphaville’, London’s first festival of finance, in the Artillery Gardens at the HAC.

Held in a marquee complete with inflatable igloos and robots, Camp Alphaville wasn’t your usual finance conference. The event opened with a discussion about the future of money – with the keynote speaker beaming in via robot from Australia – and included other panels discussing topics as diverse as the global arts market, central banking and disruptive technology.

Sessions ran simultaneously throughout the day, allowing attendees to dip in and out of conversations, and the festival also featured drone demonstrations, cabaret and comedy entertainment, and food stalls from Kerb. The igloos were home to intimate discussions between speakers and delegates moderated by Alphaville bloggers.

The festival attracted 500 human attendees who were joined by a number of robots roaming freely around the festival, controlled by participants abroad.

Speakers included Michael Pettis, professor of finance at the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University; Lucy Kellaway, associate editor and management columnist at the Financial Times; Andy Haldane, chief economist at the Bank of England; John Hempton, chief investment officer of Bronte Capital; and David Galbraith, architect, digital strategist and co-founder of Yelp.

Paul Murphy, editor of FT Alphaville, said: “Camp Alphaville is modelled on a British summer festival, but for finance rather than music. It is a gathering for the Alphaville community of world-class strategists, economists, corporate financiers and writers to discuss some serious ideas. This is the future of finance conferences – tents, igloos, robots and all.”

Rob Grimshaw, managing director for FT.com, said: “The festival offered lots of food for thought in casual, relaxed surroundings. It meets our aim of bringing more lifestyle events to readers who want their intellect piqued outside the office and to interact with FT speakers and journalists.”

Pictures of the event can be found here.

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