Top Execs from eBay, The Lego Group, IBM Join Digital Future Council to Discuss Emerging Technologies

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A first-of-its-kind think tank is aiming to bridge the gap between creative and emerging technology industries such as the blockchain.

The Digital Future Council is where media, advertising, and technology meet to ‘ignite meaningful debates and conversations, formulate tangible advice, and promulgate best practices for the global marketing and advertising communities when integrating new technologies,’ according to an announcement.

Each quarter members of the organisation are invited to attend events around the world, with each event focused on the impact of an emerging technology. The official launch of the Digital Future Council is set to take place during the Cannes Lions Festival between the 18th-21st June.

Ahead of its launch, the council has announced some of its founding members across varying industries such as marketing, advertising, media, and the blockchain. These include Kate Ward, senior vice president and head of international at Refinery29; Jess Christie, chief brand officer at Matches Fashion; Stacey Tang, managing director of Columbia Records UK; Chad Andrews, global solutions leader for advertising at IBM; Jeff Brooks, chief marketing officer at Casper; Danielle Lauren, head of content strategy and innovation at CNN; Ray Soto, director of emerging technology at USA Today; Martin Adams, founder and CEO of Codec.ai; Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at CoinShares; Simon Fox, CEO of Reach Plc; Jonathan Hunt, senior vice president of digital strategy at the National Geographic; Gareth Jones, UK chief managing officer at eBay; Alice Lloyd George, principal at RRE Ventures; and Ivo Georgiev, co-founder of AdEx, among others.

“I’m looking forward to engaging with a disparate group of cross-category brands, all unified by a recognition of the strategic importance of digital,” said Gareth Jones, UK chief managing officer at eBay. “I hope to learn a lot from peers and help shape thinking and industry response to a number of digital hot topics and headwinds and challenges.”

The first series of events will be focused on blockchain technology, a topic chosen based on the strong demand from creative industries. Through a series of roundtables, dinners and town hall-style talks, the founding members will explore the blockchain and how it will impact distribution of content, monetisation, and audience interaction. Creative leaders will also be advised on the role that the technology plays in empowering consumers in understanding the true value of their data.

According to an initial programming schedule, some of the topics that will be discussed over the festival include ‘can you use blockchain for social good,’ ‘blockchain’s impact on the relationship between the creative and the consumer,’ ‘creatives, are you ready for blockchain?,’ ‘content ownership and licensing on the blockchain?,’ and ‘is blockchain a fad or is it here to stay? And if so, what will it actually change?’

Located in fun environments that provide something different from the usual overcrowded tech conferences, what better place for meaningful conversations on hotly debated topics to take place?