hundo website data

careercon live videos

Hope Solutions: Composing a Sustainable Future with Luke Howell & Esther O'Callaghan OBE
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Climate
Join Luke Howell, founder of Hope Solutions and Esther O'Callaghan OBE, Founder of hundo, in a dynamic conversation about sustainability within the music, media, and entertainment sector. Luke, an industry veteran, sheds light on the journey of founding Hope Solutions, a pioneering sustainability consultancy. From working with industry giants like Coldplay to navigating the complex landscape of environmental responsibility, Luke shares insights from his unconventional background growing up in a circus family deeply committed to sustainability!
The following is the transcript for this video:

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: Absolutely delighted to welcome a longtime friend and colleague, Luke Howell, who's the founder of Hope Solutions. Thank you very much for joining, uh, the hundo crew for, um, CareerCon, all about climate, um, and sustainability. Um, wanted to kick off with, um, a brief introduction from you, um, obviously about Hope Solutions and what you do, um, and then also a little bit about, um, your background too.

Luke Howell: No worries. Yeah, nice to be here and thank you for the invitation. Um, uh, so, yeah, I am the founder and director of Hope Solutions. Uh, we are a sustainability consultancy, um, that works across the kind of music, media and entertainment sphere. Um, so we have clients that range from artists, um, through to, uh, record labels promoters, festivals, um, film and TV companies, uh, you name it, we're probably involved in it somewhere. Um, yeah, we've worked on some pretty exciting projects over the last few years. Um, so I, I set the company up, um, it was, uh, originally it was just, just me, um, working as a kind of freelancer, um, and then over the years moved into, uh, Bigger projects, which requires more people, more time, more resource, that kind of thing. Um, so yeah, now have a team, um, with five, five, six full time members of the team and, and, uh, one or two, um, casual freelancers who drop in who are subject matter experts on particular things, whether that's energy transport and that kind of stuff, and we'll parachute them in for certain projects. Um, Uh, and we've been working, uh, as you know, Esther on some projects with people like Coldplay, Glastonbury Festival, Warner Music Group, Live Nation, Netflix, um, and a whole kind of host of others.

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: Yeah, no, it's very cool. And I've been around witnessing it grow from the beginning. So, uh, so yeah, it's nice. I think that one of the things we were talking about, obviously, before we came on line, um, was the, um, actually quite surprising lack of diversity and inclusion, um, in the sustainability space. Um, I know that obviously, hopefully it was just.Got its B Corp status as well. Um, and that's kind of a key factor, um, for diversity in the, in the industry. But I think one of the things that, um, I wanted to really obviously for our audience, um, was to learn a little bit about, um, your background, um, and how My background? From a very non traditional, uh, very non traditional space.

Luke Howell: Yeah, yeah. Uh, so the, in order to, I guess, do it just, I'll have to go right Right back. Um, so I was born in, born into a circus. Um, so my parents, uh, owned and operated a traveling circus. So I, I was born, um, into that, uh, and lived on the road in a truck. I didn't have a house till I was 11 years old. Um, and with them, I toured all over the UK and Europe. Um, but, uh, They were really early adopters of sort of principles of sustainability, you know, so my, my dad, you know, who, who, um, you know, you know, well, um, he decided in like 1988 to get rid of the generators that are running the, the show, um, and invested in solar panels and batteries, which was pretty unique and pretty fringe at the time.

But never look back from there, you know, started running the show, uh, using alternative energy, um, and just was curious about that whole, um, development of those kind of things. So, started using biofuels where they were available and when he could get hold of them, uh, for the trucks, um, did like waste segregation long before it was kind of normal practice.Um, So I grew up around people who just did this stuff as normal and, you know, went around delivering, uh, you know, kind of high quality entertainment projects, um, in a sustainable way as if it was just common practice. So I didn't really know any different. And then, uh, went out into the wider world when I was in my kind of late teens to work on people's festivals and that kind of and was very surprised that, um, more wasn't being done. So I've kind of achieved my goal in a way. I set out to become an accountant. Um, To, to rebel against this kind of radical upbringing that I had, uh, and ended up becoming an accountant. 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: Is that the circular economy or is that? 

Luke Howell: Yeah. Yeah. It's the, it's the false, definitely circular something. 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: One of the, interesting things, um, obviously for me, when, when we first started working together was exactly what you said. You actually didn't know how to do it differently. Um, so that, and I, I've always found that really interesting that a large part of, I think the struggle. With things like sustainability is because we've forgotten things that actually generations before used to know, you know, certainly Grandparents, you know, great grandparents, they used to just recycle and save things and be energy efficient because it was necessary and it's just the way you did things. And I think over, you know, that kind of proliferation now of just, um, consumer, you know, waste, um, has just become like the, you know, the normal and, and obviously from, from a Gen Z perspective, which is, you know, Um, obviously our, the audience, you know, the, that we work with, obviously at hundo, as you know, um, for me, it was around going like the generation that is now left with the worst excesses of the previous, you know, couple of generations who have allowed plastic pollution, you know, everything to kind of really, um, become, you know, kind of extinction level threatening.

Um, it's sort of going like. They also have the least access to the skills based training, um, and learning that they need. Um, and I think a lot of it can be quite depressing if you want to sit with it for long enough. Um, certainly, you know, with, with the kind of the combination, I guess I wanted to talk a bit more about was around the intersection of music, media, and entertainment, you know, festivals and events, artists, musicians, um, to provide a bit more of a hopeful approach to it, um, you know, with some practical elements behind it. And I guess, um, just interested because you sit at quite an interesting intersection, um, on that, just wanted to kind of hear more from you, um, your thoughts on, on how, I guess, how artists how the music media entertainment industry can play such a pivotal role um, because of their ability to amplify the messaging so effectively.

Luke Howell: Yeah, for sure. It's, um, you know, one of the things I think that fascinates me most about the space that we kind of operate in is, you know, it's one thing to do the behind the scenes, nuts and bolts, you know, operational stuff, you know, like, let's get energy, you know, switch from, uh, you know, over to a green tariff, or let's get people to use alternative fuel. So that's kind of like nuts and bolts stuff, as I would call it. But the thing that's really exciting and interesting is when you get to work on projects where, um, you know, Household names, be they artists or festivals are willing to use their platform to talk about a topic, you know, whether that's climate, environment, social justice, you know, um, those kinds of things, because. That's where you start to get mass engagement and make it accessible to people. You know, a lot of the nuts and bolts things I was just talking about come, you know, you. They can be expensive. They can be inaccessible because you have to be a company of a certain size or you have to have certain qualifications, training, et cetera.

But, um, the sort of things that I think, um, you know, certainly going forward and we're seeing a little bit of this now with, you know, um, particularly with artists, you know, and to a degree, I guess, film and TV stars and some sports personalities as well. But really. Taking some ownership of trying to understand topics like climate change or understand topics like, um, you know, female reproductive rights, you know, that kind of stuff and and using their ability to communicate to mass audiences that these are things that every single person can engage with on some level, you know, you don't have to, um, as an individual, you know, might not be taking a flight regularly. So, It's not about so much about that, but it's about like, what are the sort of micro things that you can do at home or in your workplace, you know, decisions about, um, uh, you know, whether you get a, Uh, a takeaway coffee every day, or whether you buy a reasonable cup and, you know, get that refilled, you know, that kind of thing. Um, so there's, there's all kinds of different ways that when, whether it doesn't, it doesn't just have to be an artist, no festivals, any kind of public entity can use that platform to further the discussion. Um, but also use that discussion with the policy makers, you know, who are the ones that. Kind of need to do more to put a bit of, um, pressure, you know, back on where it needs to be. Cause I think big businesses and governments have made us all as individuals feel like we have this huge burden of responsibility and we all have a little bit of responsibility. Sure. But actually the burden of responsibility is on them and we need to, you know, turn that around a little bit and push it back on them and I think entertainment has a really powerful, um, uh, uh, kind of Say in, in, in, in that conversation. 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: Yeah. Well, it's a bit like, I think of it like live aid and, you know, that kind of like, it's always those moments. It's the exactly what you say. It's the regulatory frameworks that need to be changed very, very rapidly. Um, that, but it is, it's like having that kind of mass, um, mass audience, that mass appeal, you know, helps, helps get the message across. Yeah. And I wanted to, some of, some of what you said that was really interesting. And I guess I wanted to drill down. Um, what are, in your view, kind of like, what are some of the key Um, key skills, um, you know, and types of roles, um, that young people can be, um, starting to think about, um, working in the, not, not just in the sustainability space, but kind of, you know, across, I guess we're not asking the question very well, but it's more around like, for me, I, I see sustainability skills as just like a foundational skill for every person now.

Luke Howell: Yeah. 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: So, so it's kind of like, yeah, looking at, yeah, just a bit more, you know, from your experience, you know, with the, with the work you do, um, you know. How can young people start to think about careers right across the piece? 

Luke Howell: Yeah, I think, um, I mean, I think about some of the projects that I work on, and some of the sort of the, the job titles that I get given on those projects, you know, things like head of sustainability or strategic sustainability lead, and they're, they're totally made up titles, you know, as lots of job titles are, um, but Really interestingly, you know, uh, corporate level, um, we're starting to see C suites kind of create a CSO, uh, role, a chief sustainability officer role. So there are pathways now opening up to go into those kinds of C suite jobs that definitely weren't, weren't there historically, but in terms of, um, entry level stuff, you know, as you said, sustainability in a way shouldn't Really be a job and not of itself. You know, sustainability should be a consideration in every job description for every role, you know, whether that's in, um, HR, manufacturing in AI, whatever it is, you can look at all of the deliverables against those sorts of jobs through a sustainability lens.

And then I often think of sustainability as efficiency and resilience. And, um, so if you take the principles of efficiency and resilience into any Role, they become more sustainable by default. Um, you know, so if you're working as a developer in tech, or if you're working as a creative designer, you know, creating artwork or music or whatever it might be, you can still think about like. How much time, how much money, uh, what equipment am I using? What resources am I using? All that kind of sort of stuff. And I think, I do think we'll get to a point where those sustainability considerations are more commonplace in, in job descriptions. Um, but I also think if you're interested in sustainability, there's no reason why you, um, you can't go into a job role and it might be.

Chief engineer or, or even just, you know, like whatever the job title is, but deliver that job in a sustainable way. Um, and I think, uh, That, I think that's where things need to get to. I think they, they will get there, but, um, there's, you know, the reality I think is at the moment there, um, There's still relatively few out and out sustainability roles, um, in big organisations or even small ones, and probably less so in small organisations. Um, so a lot of people end up having it tacked on to the side of other jobs they're, they're doing. Um, and you know, and I think the, in terms of the, the skills and knowledge, uh, know that you would need, there's, there's a whole range of. Qualifications that you can get, um, around like greenhouse gas accounting and, um, you know, social value impact measurements and those kinds of things.

And some of them are really worth while looking at and doing, um, through organisations like ISO, IEMA and universities, colleges, etc. Um, uh, or hundo platform. Um, um, but, um, you know, there's also a whole load of, I guess, what I would almost call. Or what would have been described to me when I was at school is like, you know, life skills, you know, like, um, things that, uh, you know, critical thinking, um, knowing when to question looking at, uh, proposals or, or, um, suppliers and just asking questions around. Right. You've got this, you've got a certification that says you're carbon neutral or, or, or whatever it might be. Can you prove that? Can you give me some evidence, you know, to, towards that? So just kind of like, um, yeah, in a way it's, it's a, it's like a, I guess it's quite a critical role, you know, both critical for the planet, but in terms of the actual, you end up critiquing a lot of stuff. Um, and. Um, developing those kind of critical and analytical skills, um, I think will help in lots of different roles, but certainly in sustainability roles. 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: And it's quite, it is quite challenging because on the one hand, you know, it's also, I think it's an emerging, um, area of expertise and, and, and correct me if you think that's not the, you know, that's not a fair thing to say, but it's just like, there's a lot of bad practice that's been allowed to kind of, you know, go right. Huge amount of greenwashing and social washing we have now. So that's, another joy um, but it's, you know, I just kind of wondered like, you know, for young people kind of wading through this, um, you know, new emerging and quite complex space. Um, yeah. How do you start to tell the difference? 

Luke Howell: It's honestly, it is one of the biggest challenges and I think, you know, like you'll get this reference, you know, the, the, uh, People used to talk about how pop will eat itself. I think we're in a position now where sustainability is going to eat itself because the, um, the landscape is evolving and maturing and that's a great thing. But by virtue of doing so, uh, there's more and more entities and organisations now offering solutions, services, accreditation, certifications, pathways for it, and navigating that is difficult even for seasoned professionals like me.

And so, yeah, for people coming into the space, um, it can be a challenge. And I think that's where, um, Certainly I found, uh, you know, joining networks, you know, they don't even know, you know, whether they're professional or, or kind of more social. Um, that's just so you can talk to other people about, about this sort of stuff because it's. It can be, it can also sometimes be quite an isolating sort of job as well. You know, like, uh, some, some of the big, big organisations have sustainability teams and that instantly makes you think, Oh, there must be 10, 15 or more of them. And then maybe like one or two people, you know, running the kind of sustainability division for an entire multi billion pound corporation. Um, so it can be quite a, uh, sort of isolating space, you know, as well. Um, Which is why I would encourage people to join networks, you know, um, and, and just, yeah, participate in the conversation with as many people as you can, because that will help, um, sometimes may not help with clarity, but it will certainly help you feel less isolated in the space and it will certainly help, um, uh, help you understand like what others, others are up to. And staying 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: up to date with things because it's like, yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Luke Howell: Yeah. And, and, and go to reputable sources, you know, uh, you know, organisations who have, um, Uh, kind of reputation for quality information, you know, so, and that doesn't mean you have to become a guardian reader, you know, anything like that, you know, but definitely, um, there's, you know, there are a handful of websites, uh, that give good, good updates on, on sustainability news, um, uh, and that kind of stuff. But, uh, yeah, it's, oh, and again, going back to that being critical thing is always just ask yourself, like, you know, what is the intention behind this? Story or, you know, that kind of thing. 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: Which, like you said, is a general skill. You know, it is a general life skill. All of its own. I guess, for me, the sort of finally just, you know, touching on a lot of the work that, you know, um, Hope Solutions and, you know, and hundo are sort of starting to look at collaborating more on, uh, one of the sort of staggering, uh, couple of statistics for me, uh, which you'll have to, um, just make sure that I wrote them down correctly. Um, the sustainability, the sustainability industry is the second least diverse. Uh, how many did you say? Sorry. I didn't, 

Luke Howell: uh, so according to a recent study that was, uh, undertaken by NUS, um, uh, and IEMA, the Institute for Environment Management and Assessment, uh, second least diverse industry out of 202 professions that were surveyed. Um, yeah. Which is pretty damning. Yeah. Um, 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: and you, and you and you yourself are an outlier. Because of your background, you know, in terms of like that, that sort of like, so it's been, I think it's quite interesting the, um, you know, I think for me, that feels like a real focal point. 

Luke Howell: Yeah, massively. It's, um, you know, and I think, uh, the other statistic that goes alongside that is the, um, uh, Only, uh, 3.1 percent of environmental professionals, um, identify, uh, as coming from some kind of, um, some form of minority background. Um, so it's, you know, outwardly it's quite an inaccessible industry, even though we keep hearing statistics that it's the biggest growth industry, you know, in the universe. Yeah. Because of all the, the, the, the. The global challenges and all the different, you know, green tech and clean tech sort of, um, startups and solutions that are out there. So we're being told on the one hand that there's more jobs and more opportunities than ever and on the other hand It's going well, where are they going? Who's getting them? I 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: mean, it is the grand irony and it's also the hundo challenge, isn't it? You know, it's going like that the generation most exposed to the worst excesses of climate disruption Have the least access to the skills based learning that they need, you know, and I think that's it One of 

Luke Howell: my biggest frustrations, and I'm sure this comes up with hundo a lot, is the amount of job applications I've seen for what is effectively a relatively new Industry or new roles within companies asking for like minimum five years experience. It's like, nope, no one's got five years experience, you know? So how, how can you possibly have a role that's literally just been created in the last few weeks that asked you for five years experience in an equivalent role, because there hasn't been an equivalent role. I mean, it's 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: the age old. Yeah. It's a bit like web three, you know, everyone's an expert since yesterday. So it's, and I think it's, I think it's fair to say it's like with the exception of people like yourself and you are the absolute exception to the rule. Purely because, you know, your dad made that choice back in 1988, you know, and it's kind of like, and wasn't it, yeah, it was actually a massive early pioneer, so I do think it's, um, no, yeah, I think it's interesting, I think, for us, what I'm most excited about going forward is, obviously, thanks to the support from Coldplay, um, the ability for us, um, to now start to collaborate on, um, how do we start to create. Um, more opportunities for young people, um, not just in the sustainability space, but in the industries that they're actually interested in, you know, fashion, music, media, entertainment, film, TV, um, that's put much more kind of, um, you know, sort of bringing the creativity and the science part, uh, together.

Luke Howell: Yeah, definitely. Yeah. No, I think we've talked about this a lot, you know, throughout the years, you know, that intersection of art and science, you know, is, is critical to, to, to. Advancing things and changing things. I think one of the really interesting things to know as well, from my own experience of, um, you know, the kind of sustainability landscape and is, I can't remember if I said already, but, um, I, I didn't go, I dropped out of college. I didn't go to university, you know, like I'm, uh, and I have, The knowledge that I grew up with, you know, by virtue of this kind of amazing experience, you know, from my parents, but I, I'm self taught effectively. Um, and there's another, um, a woman I know who runs a sustainability consultancy who's, who's exactly the same. She's self taught. Um, and yet. The work that we do, the work that she does, you know, she's been working with, um, COP and, you know, these kinds of massive, um, um, kind of global projects. Uh, that to me signifies that, that, that if I can find a way into this world and, and, and she can find a way into this kind of world, uh, at the levels that we're working at, anyone can. Um, and I think because when it comes to, you know, There are certain things where having a technical qualification can be useful. 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: Of course. 

Luke Howell: Um, you know, as, as, as with lots of other industries, but actually this space, I think, you know, you having the desire, the drive, the passion to go, I know I do want to do something that's meaningful, make a change. Um, Is probably as as useful, um, and increasing, I think more starting to be more recognized, you know, than other types of roles in other places. And I think that, uh, the thing that I've said to other young people who are kind of coming into this space is that. It doesn't matter if you change course or drop out of college or decide it's not for you. You know, there's, there are resources out there and other stuff that's being developed with, um, you know, the, the project you just mentioned that is kind of, um, the hundo are leading in support, but it has support from the kind of, um, uh, you know, people like Coldplay and the music industry to give access skills learning. And you. You don't have to go to university to get that. Actually, some of the people I've met who've got PhDs are clueless on the topic, you know, very academically.

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: qualified, 

Luke Howell: but actually can't apply that to a real world scenario. 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: It's a completely different skill set than I think it is. Yeah, no. So, um, well, I have found this conversation, um, super useful. Um, thank you very much. Um, and, um, yeah, for anyone who wants to find out more, obviously they can find you. On linkedin and i'm around 

Luke Howell: yeah 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: On site at Glastonbury in june 

Luke Howell: so indeed. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, absolutely. Yeah. No, thank you for inviting me to chat Yeah, it's been really nice to talk forward 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: to uh, yeah looking forward to carrying on working. Thanks. Like 

Luke Howell: awesome. All right. Catch you later

Global Tech Advocates: Driving Net Zero Careers with Russ Shaw CBE & Esther O'Callaghan OBE
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Climate
Join Russ Shaw CBE, founder of Global Tech Advocates and Esther O'Callaghan OBE, Founder of hundo as they discuss the intersection of technology and sustainability. Explore the Tech for Net Zero campaign, backed by Coldplay, aimed at fostering sustainability within the tech industry. Discover how technology can combat climate change and the urgent need for workforce upskilling. Russ emphasizes the importance of diversity and collaboration across generations for meaningful change. Don't miss this insightful dialogue on leveraging tech for a sustainable future!
The following is the transcript for this video:

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: Delighted to welcome, uh, my friend and colleague, um, Russ Shaw to, um, CareerCon, not for the first time, actually. Uh, so, um, but for the benefit of, uh, of the audience, um, watching, um, would love. To, um, hear from you and a little introduction about you, um, and Global Tech Advocates, uh, the organisation that you set up Sure. Way to go now. 

Russ Shaw CBE: I know, I know it's, it's, it's been around for a while. Um, wonderful to see you, Esther. Great to be part of Career Con. Um, I'm the founder of Global Tech Advocates, which we set up. About 10 years ago, uh, to create, uh, communities of tech leaders, all coming together as volunteers to promote and support startups and scale ups wherever they are in the world. Um, we started with Tech London Advocates back in 2013. Um, we now have 35 groups spanning UK and Europe, Asia Pacific. India, Middle East and Africa and the Americas with a few more groups launching this year as well. So it's, it's a, it's a busy time for me, but I'm really pleased that Global Tech Advocates can embrace what's going on in the net zero space and sustainability. So delighted to be here to talk about that. 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: Great, um, which was a nice segue into, of course, um, one of the big things that, um, uh, Global Tech Advocates and hundo have been working on, um, is with the support from Coldplay, um, is the Tech for Net Zero, um, campaign, and obviously because this is Climate CareerCon, uh, this month, um, wanted to kind of focus in on that, um, so obviously if we can first of all talk a little bit about the campaign itself, some of the highlights, You know, purpose, um, and then we'll dive more into kind of skills and that side of it.

Russ Shaw CBE: Yeah, sure. So we, we launched our tech for net zero resource hub a few years ago, I believe it was after or in the run up to COP26, that's the right one, uh, which was held in, in, in Scotland. Um, and I felt, and we also did a big event around tech at that time. And I just felt it was really critical for us to get our whole community, which now we estimate numbers at least 30, 000 around the world to really better understand why this is so critical, What does the tech sector need to do to really up its game to drive net zero and sustainability strategies and also to put the spotlight on the emerging startups and scale ups that are doing phenomenal work in this space. So the hub has a series of. You know, explanations about what companies can do to embrace net zero. There's also a startup and investor showcase and we certainly welcome more to be featured in that where we can put the spotlight on so many great companies that are doing outstanding work in this space.

Obviously, we show the work that we're doing the and our associated organisation relationship with the band Coldplay, which has been fantastic. And, um, you know, we, we want to feature what they're doing with their Music of the Spheres World Tour. So it's a place where we can kind of pull together different strands of what's happening in net zero. But what we've also done is that we've each asked, we have asked each of our Global Tech Advocates groups To put their own space on their own website and link it back to our resource hub. So if you're in tech spain advocates or tech bay area advocates or tech india advocates You're linking through to our resource hub And that's something that we're really proud about 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: Awesome. So I wanted to talk a little bit, um, you've obviously been, um, in the tech industry, uh, for some time. Um, so been there, done it, seen it, um, and I guess , , um, I guess, um, from, um, from, from my side, you know, uh, I wanna look at. Um, you know, the second part of our chat around the kind of intersection of, um, you know, kind of net zero, you know, tech and just the skills, you know, kind of what you're seeing, you know, obviously as part of the community in terms of some of the challenges, opportunities, shortages, uh, gaps, etc.

Russ Shaw CBE: Yeah, I think, I think first and foremost, what is encouraging to see is I see many tech startups, scale ups and larger tech corporates all wanting to embrace net zero and sustainability. I think for some of them, the challenge is, okay, I want to do this. What do I need to do? And how do I hire the talent that's going to help me to do that? So I think Part of what we've tried to do through our tech for net zero resource hub is to give them some practical steps for how you can embrace this. What can you as a tech startup do? Um, I think more broadly, the issue then comes to the question around talent, which is why you and I are working so closely together.

There has been over the years a shortage of skill talent for the technology sector. We clearly need to do much more. To bring more diverse communities into the tech sector, which I think will solve part of that challenge. But even still, many, many tech startups and scale ups, even in the current climate, um, are struggling to, to recruit, uh, good skilled, diverse talent into their organisations. And. That's a broad theme, but I think also more specifically as we look at sustainability, net zero and green skills, it's even more pronounced there. So, um, I think the good news is there's a desire and there's a wanting of, we must do something. And then they kind of say, okay, we're ready to go. Who can help us? Who do we turn to? Who do we recruit to, to fill those gaps? And that's, that's an ongoing challenge that I see in many places around the world. 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: Yeah, no, it's interesting. And I think I was talking with, um, You know, another colleague, um, you know, on, on one of our previous, um, conversations and it actually one of the, the kind of more staggering statistics that came out of it was, um, the sustainability industry, um, is second from the bottom, uh, in terms of its diversity, which is, you know, so it's kind of like, and it's always that tension, isn't it? It's kind of going like, you can't have it. You can't talk about sustainability in the context of climate whilst, um, the people most affected by climate disruption, um, don't have access to the skills and the industry. Um, and I guess, I guess tech is a little bit like that as well. I 

Russ Shaw CBE: mean, let's, let's face it. It's, it's, it's, it's driven by white men. And we have worked so incredibly hard to try and move the needle through our women in tech, our black women in tech, our tech for disability. groups who do phenomenal work at a grassroots level. And that's kind of who we are as an organisation. We're a grassroots organisation, but the needle is moving ever so slowly. And so how do we look at really accelerating this, the desire to fill this need exponentially, which is why, you know, I look to you and organisations like hundo who are coming to the table. With really, um, interesting solutions, but this has been a problem in tech for a long time. It's now a problem, a significant problem in climate tech. And to your point, some of the people are going to be most dramatically impacted by climate change are the ones who are not represented in our industry.

If there's good signals coming out of this and the parallels I see to the broader tech sector, if you look at the investment levels into climate tech. At least from a UK perspective, it's now the number one tech vertical, so it's surpassed AI. It has surpassed FinTech in some of the most recent, um, evaluations of money coming into the sector. So that's a good sign. And what that means is that money, a lot of that money is going to be spent on talent recruitment. So how do we pump some of that money to programs like hundo and others to say, okay, You need the talent. You've got the money to grow and expand and scale your businesses. Here's where you need to spend it to make sure you're bringing in that diverse talent into your organisation. 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: No, it's, um, no, it's interesting. And thank you. I, um, I wanted to actually, um, go slightly off piste. Um, you are also a parent. And, um, and I think one of the, you know, in terms of our audience, we do have a lot of parents, you know, kind of who are entering this brave new world across both things, you know, across, you know, we're finding now, as you're probably aware, it's like, it's the generations. It's the younger generations who are actually making the change, um, because in many ways it's like it's our generations that cause the problems, you know, so it's sort of like, you know, so it's quite interesting. It's an interesting generational shift, um, you know, that I'm seeing, but I just wondered from your own personal perspective, um, you know, as a parent. Um, you know, what is it like sort of like in this brave new world? Yeah, I'm one as well. You know, and it's like, what, what, what do you tell you? I mean, appreciate our kids are a bit older now, but it's like, yeah, like what was some of the challenges in terms of like, yeah, what do you do with your future? Like, what does it look like? 

Russ Shaw CBE: Yeah, it's, I mean, let's face it. I mean, last year I just marveled, you know, it was like the hottest year on the planet. And you just think this. It's just going to have a massive impact on on my kids and maybe one day my grandkids and, you know, that is something that we, as the older generation need to really step up and say, look, we don't want to leave this legacy to our kids and our grandkids. I mean, I certainly don't. So it is. It is a significant problem. And that said, I think, um, You know, I look at my three sons and they all have a lot of ideas and ways in which they are trying to deal with these, you know, with these issues in terms of their behaviors and the skills that they're trying to, to adopt and build.

You know, I look at my youngest son who is just, you know, hooray, he's, he's completed a coding bootcamp and, you know, wants to get started as a junior full stack developer. But he's also very pessimistic about where the planet, planet is headed over the next 20 to 30 years. And, you know, you just look at that and it kind of breaks my heart because I, in general, I'm an, I'm an optimist and think, you know, and this is why I embrace the technology sector, because I think technology is, Is going to be an incredibly important part of how we address climate change, um, you know, whether it's around evolving towards hydrogen or, or carbon capture solutions, or just some of the basic software that we need to develop. Through AI to deal with these issues. So it is is such a balancing act where I think we have to listen more specifically to the younger folks, because this is what they're inheriting from us. And this is the world that they're going to have to live in and to maybe work with them in terms of. Whatever collective wisdom and experience we can bring to the table that says, you know, you're dealing with these issues and problems.

Here are some ideas where we can try and help you to move more quickly, because this is over to you now. Um, and for us, it's also speaking out and making our voices heard across all generations to say, we've got to fix the planet. You know, I'm thrilled that the U. S. has adopted, uh, and approved the most substantial climate change. Legislation that anybody has put through, but it's not enough. Um, you know, we're seeing other countries deploy really good things, but I'm also looking at the fossil fuel industry and saying that's not changing as much as we need to do. We're still pumping out record levels of oil and gas. And you look at that and say, well, that's just going to continue to heat up the planet. So young people, yeah. Whether it's your, you know, your son, my kids, whomever, I've got to play a critical role here and we have to help them with the right skill set. 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: Yeah. And I think the, so I think obviously, you know, that hundo's bit, you know, is the, how do we get, you know, a kind of a next gen upskilled workforce who are also informed accurately, correctly, and in a rapidly changing environment from the, from the global tech advocate side in terms of advocacy. Um, you know, appreciate, you know, kind of nonpartisan, you know, sort of, you know, like politically, you know, not affiliate, you know, not affiliated. It's kind of new, that new, it's like, how do you balance that? The, yeah. That kind of, yeah, it's a neutral voice, but one that can lobby and affect, um, change as we're, you know, we're kind of doing like the, how do we get young people ready and skilled? And then there's almost like downstream, you're kind of going like, how do we actually make this effective in practice? 

Russ Shaw CBE: Yes, well, it's, look, we, we are in a political organisation, so we will talk to all main political parties and here in the UK, obviously, I speak to the UK government a lot. And my message to them is around. The biggest priority has got to be around skills. I'm also speaking to the Labour Party. We're probably going to have a general election here later this year. And my message to them has been the same one, which is if there's one thing that you can do, whether you're government or party in opposition, it's to address the skills, gap how do we equip. Not only the British workforce, but to governments around the world, how do we equip our workforces with the skills that we so desperately need, digital skills, AI skills, green skills, all form part of that mix and my message to them. And I spoke to the, both the secretary of state for science, innovation, technology recently, and the minister for tech and innovation to say, look, The government doesn't have to go deep into its coffers to fund this stuff because I know the money's not there.

Um, many governments because of post COVID don't have deep financial resources. However, the private sector does. The governments can Play that convening role to bring organisations together to put pressure on the Microsoft's, the Google's, the BT's to say, you help fund this because you will benefit by upskilling and retraining your workforces and the workforces that you're going to recruit. And what I also say to them, Esther, is Don't recreate the wheel because that's time consuming and expensive work with organisations like hundo and others who know how to do this. There are so many great organisations that I meet who are doing this. And one of their biggest barriers is if they had more funding. From others to help them. We can roll this out more and touch many more people. So that has been my message to government is look, I always say to government, I don't expect you to write big checks or big payments, but convene, bring the right people in the room. That is your critical role to play and then help us to get on with it. Help us to encourage others to put the funding behind this. The money is there. It's matching the supply and the demand. To make this happen and speed is of the essence. The clock is ticking, the planet's burning. So we can't spend the next 10 years moving at just the slow incremental pace. We have to move exponentially to tackle this problem.

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: No, I think it's um, I think it's, I think it's, yeah, the point you make is like super serious, you know, and I think for me, it's, I, I like you, I'm optimistic, you know, relentlessly so, um, but it is, I think it's like, you can only be relentlessly optimistic if you are, if you can see that there is the speed and the exponential growth, like you said, in, in reskilling, upskilling, you know, I think for the first time in my career, certainly, you know, I've looked at youth and employment youth issues for, you know, a couple of decades and more now. Um, but I actually think it's an interesting, um, curve coming, which is because of the advent of things like AI, um, particularly, um, the threat to jobs right across the piece, you know, intergenerally, intergenerationally now is kind of like, I never thought I'd be sitting, you know, at hundo thinking that we're probably going to need to start to think about People, you know, like 40 plus, you know, as well as, you know, 14, you know, plus in terms of, and I think that's the, certainly for me in my, in my lifetime, I haven't seen this before.

Russ Shaw CBE: No, and it is happening at a very fast pace, and I think we're seeing, and as I travel around the world, I see two sides to this, and we were together in Davos for the World Economic Forum, which was great, and everybody was talking about AI as a productivity tool, and I continue to hear that, and so part of my message is, look, a lot of this, we need to upskill our workforces so that these new tools can make people more productive. And companies more productive. That's a really positive aspect of this, but the flip side is certain jobs are going to disappear, and we're going to see an exponential increase and probably in the area. What I would see where I see is more of the middle management area. So, you know, those top jobs, those C suites. You're not going to see that happen overnight. There's going to be a need for younger people in particular to come in with those new emerging skill sets. But I think it's going to be those middle management layers that are going to be really hit hard in a variety of professions, in accountancy, in the legal profession. And that's going to drive greater fear for people. And, you know, when we see people being fearful. we see strange things happen politically.

You just have to look at what's going on in the US at the moment to say, why is this happening? Well, a lot of it's driven by fear and uncertainty and people watching how this technology is changing things. Um, and they're nervous about it because their livelihoods could potentially change. If those same people see that the private sector and the public sector are working together to say, look, We know this change is happening. You can't put the genie back in the bottle. But here's what we can do to help you be skilled and equipped for how this emerging world is going to change. And in parallel, let's fix the planet. With the technology that's there. That, to me, is The upside to this but every day that we don't work on this It's it it's putting us in more and more danger. That's the this is the good news But this is the bad news equation that I see. 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: Yeah. No, I think yeah No, I think I think it's a balanced look. I think it's a balanced view We live in you know, we live in a we live in an extreme time So so it is interesting. Um, I think for me russ, um, what I did want to say, um in in wrapping up was um, Obviously You know, thank you for being such an advocate, um, of, um, young people and skills as well. Um, you know, with, with hundo and as part of Global Tech Advocates. Um, but also, you know, what, what, um, one of our other colleagues described, uh, Jeanette, which I thought was lovely, was an actual true advocate for diversity and inclusion. Um, you know, the, the, you know, it's like, I always laugh when you sit there going like, it's, you know, it's full of white men as a white man. But, you know, for me, it's like, we need everybody, uh, to, uh, to be working together to tackle this. So, um, thank you as always. And, uh, great to talk to you. 

Russ Shaw CBE: Likewise, Esther. And keep doing the great work that you're doing. We need hundo. We need people like you to drive this agenda. You're going to save all of us.

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: No pressure. 

Russ Shaw CBE: No pressure. Thank you.

Innovative Solutions for Ocean Conservation: Exploring Tech, Climate Impact, and Skills with Avril Greenaway & Peyton Pocock
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Climate
Join Avril Greenaway, co-founder and Impact Director of Cleaner Seas Group and Peyton Pocock, Technical Marketing Developer & Designer as they dive into innovative tech solutions for combating ocean pollution. Discover how Cleaner Seas Group utilises technology to tackle microfiber contamination and protect marine biodiversity. Avril shares insights into the impact of climate change on ocean ecosystems and discusses career pathways in environmental conservation. Learn about collaborative efforts with Coldplay and explore the future of ocean conservation tech!
The following is the transcript for this video:

Peyton Pocock: Hello, uh, welcome to our climate career con. Um, today, uh, with Avril Greenway. Um, Avril, would you like to sort of introduce yourself and just sort of explain a little bit about who you are and what you do? 

Avril Greenaway: Thanks, Peyton. It's really super to be here. Thank you for the invite. Um, I'm Avril and I am a co founder and Impact Director at Cleaner Seas Group.

Peyton Pocock: Brilliant. Uh, and we'll get straight into sort of a little bit about the Cleaner Seas Group and what they do. Um, in what ways does the Cleaner Seas Group use technology to do this? Combat ocean pollution, particularly things like microfiber contamination, and also sort of just protecting the biodiversity and oxygen levels in and around the sea. Could you just explain a little bit about how that all works? 

Avril Greenaway: Yeah, sure. Um, so, you know, microfiber pollution is a major pollutant. Um, approximately 13 million tonnes of synthetic waste is entering our ocean each year. Um, and that's the kind of, the, the backdrop to what we do at Cleaner Seas Group. So I think it's important if I just maybe run through that, the, the problem that we're addressing. Um, so when you wash your clothes, approximately 700, 000 microfibers are released into the water system. They're not meaningfully caught, and, They're a massive pollution issue in our ocean, in our rivers, in our soil, you know, they're in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Um, you know, they are the polluting ocean, and our ocean is vital to life on Earth. Um, we're seeing adverse effects on marine life, sea plankton, and phytoplankton, and You know, this can affect the health of the ocean. Ocean health equals human health. So, um, at Cleaner Seas Group, we've made it our mission to protect the ocean by developing innovative solutions to remove microplastics from the environment.

Specifically, we've developed tech to capture and remove microfiber pollution in a closed loop system. So we believe in sort of sitting in a circular economy. That's, that's our ethos. And we've developed tech across three pillars. Um, So we've got domestic, uh, we've got a retrofit filter, which you can see behind me here, um, which will fit onto any home washing machine. Uh, we have a commercial filter, uh, which is for all commercial settings, from commercial laundries to cruise ships, for example. Um, we also have an integrated solution, and we're working with white goods companies to develop, um, our integrated solution for new washing machines. We're also looking at developing our, sort of, scaling up our solution in textile factories as well. So they all use the same closed loop tech. Um, like I said, we support circular economy and it's such, really important for us to develop a solution that not only removes Microfibers, but also sees them removed and reused. We don't want them finding their way back into the environment again. So, we do this by having a returnable cartridge system. And, um, which is made from recycled plastic, by the way. And, um, those reposed after approximately six months. And we recycle those microfibers and refurbish the cartridges for reuse. So that's kind of a, that's a kind of snapshot into what we do.

Peyton Pocock: quite a diverse set of solutions. I think covering quite a few, very important, very relevant, um, and very hot sort of issues. I think at the moment, um, and then just sort of elaborating a little bit on how does climate change specifically affect the ocean ecosystems and sort of what long term consequences are there for the ocean, marine life, um, ecology communities. Um, how does that all work? 

Avril Greenaway: Uh, it's quite a complex issue, so, um, I think, you know, simply put, um, you know, the, the ocean is, or our ocean is, is facing acidification. Higher levels of CO2, lower oxygen levels, we're looking at sea level rise, loss of marine biodiversity, dead zones. You know, coral bleaching, um, all these things are, you know, increased by the warm temperatures that we've been, you know, that I've just mentioned. And um, once, you know, marine life are affected, you know, just those effects on one species can have a ripple effect across a whole ecosystem. And you know, looking at consequences which are like biodiversity loss, declines in, decline of fisheries, displacement of coastal communities. negative effect on indigenous communities who rely on the ocean. Um, but of course, you know, we, we all rely on the ocean. It's vital to life on earth. So, um, you know, it's, it's absolutely our mission to protect it.

Peyton Pocock: And something I think probably quite close to home for both of us, we're both in Cornwall, and it's almost sort of, it's amazing to live so close to the coast, an absolute privilege, but a little bit depressing to think that if for whatever reason, That went away or for other people around the world whose lives depend on that, that can become a really sort of quite pressing issue. Um, could you just sort of explain a little bit about your career journey, um, from the Clean The Seas group and then to founding, uh, the sort of company dedicated to cleaning up the oceans? Yeah, 

Avril Greenaway: I, I guess what might be quite interesting for your listeners is that I've had quite a interesting career path, I suppose, that I actually started off working as a secretary and then retrained. I did a degree in design, which led me to a career in marketing and design, uh, working in London and Bath with blue chip clients to SMEs. Um, I moved back to Cornwall, uh, when I had children and, um, I was beach cleaning and Thinking about my children, I suppose, became more important to me, maybe more on my radar, to look after the planet. And, um, I was then working freelance as a, in designer marketing, and I was commissioned to work with the newly formed Cleaner Seas Project. Um, and my role was to brand and engage local community on all the issues that surrounded water quality. So for the role, I needed to upskill quite a bit so that I could effectively communicate all those issues across our channels.

And that meant learning about the latest science, research, being up to date on all the latest environmental policies, as well as looking at imaginative and creative ways that we could campaign and communicate all those issues. Um, you know, connecting, connecting the problem to the source and also to the solutions. Dave, who is a co founder and our CEO here at Cleaner Seas Group, also worked, um, on Cleaner Seas project and his role in the Environment Agency. And, you know, like I say, we were talking and talking about the problem and it becomes so important to find a solution. And he challenged his friend, James, who's Also co founder and CTO, um, to invent a solution for capturing microfibers from laundry and James being James, who we call him a serial inventor, uh, he did that. And Clean and Seize Group was founded, um, bringing together the skill sets of our founder members. Uh, that was in 2018. And we've weathered COVID, we've gained investment, uh, partners and support, uh, to the point where last May we actually went into manufacture, It's incredibly exciting for us to get to that point.

Peyton Pocock: Nice. By the sounds of it, very mission focused, mission oriented, which is the 

Avril Greenaway: Absolutely. We're a purpose driven business. We've set the whole business up, um, with a triple bottom line ethos and mindset. Um, we are submitting our B Corps. Certification at the moment. Yeah, it really is exciting. And that's been an ambition since we found it. So actually to get to this point now is, is fantastic. 

Peyton Pocock: And obviously a part of your business would have been hiring people, hiring new skill. Um, what sort of essential skills would young people need, uh, to pursue careers in ocean conservation, climate related fields, what sort of valuable skills that you were looking for in other people?

Avril Greenaway: I think I'm quite a good example of, um, you know, a quite a diverse career path getting to the point I'm at, really. And I think there's such a wide range of careers in the environment, um, and the skills that are needed are very wide and varied, really. Um, the overarching skill that's absolutely essential is, uh, passion to protect our planet. Um, and I think about what we need here in terms of, um, roles at Cleaner Seas Group, you know, covers engineering and tech, finance, business, marketing and design, communications, impact, administration, operations, uh, so, you know, the skill sets that cover accounting and business, marketing and design, admin, organisation. operational, um, and, and so many more. Um, and also then, you know, the all important soft, soft skills as well. So being able to work well in a team, being organised, communication skills, um, and, you know, particularly with us, I think having a shared vision, you know, just a shared vision for a better world and the passion for the end. That end goal of protecting the planet is, is really important. 

Peyton Pocock: Again, really sort of becoming one puzzle piece in your overall mission and getting behind and yeah, really sort of motivating that onwards. Um, and then just sort of on that a little bit, what entry level positions or career pathways would you recommend for young professionals interested in these sort of fields? Um, are there any resources that you've found over the years to be particularly valuable to young people? 

Avril Greenaway: Um, I think again, there's like a huge range of ways to, you know, to get involved in a job in the environment. Um, from volunteering, uh, to apprenticeships, internships, and more formal educational routes, you know, such as an environmental science degree. Um, but I think whichever route you do take, you'll benefit from volunteering and getting involved in local organisations or groups. It's really important. It shows your interest, your passion, and it will help you learn really valuable skills along the way. Um, environmental jobs are, you know, that the sector is growing. They're expected to continue growing right through to 2030 as we collectively work to reach climate and environmental targets. And, um, you know, companies are also looking to support, navigate their own ESG goals, um, and it's environmental organisations. Um, you know, achieve more funding and we see more investment in innovative solutions, then, you know, I guess that's going to help that the sector just grow and grow. Um, yeah, I think that probably covers it all. 

Peyton Pocock: Yeah, and obviously, yeah, we touched on that a little bit. Um, getting stuck in with your local community is obviously, uh, at least for me in the past has been a really good, um, initial first step. Um, are there any other sort of recommendations or advice you could give to young individuals? passionate about making a positive impact more widely. Maybe it's not just their career, but maybe it's just in their local town community, things that young people can be doing to make a really positive impact on the green, uh, sort of ocean. Yeah, I think, you know, like, sorry. 

Avril Greenaway: Yeah, sorry, Kacen. Um, I think just circling back really, you know, just rolling your sleeves up, start local, get involved. Um, you know, saying. That sort of passion, dedication, a willingness to put some effort in and really demonstrating all of those things, it just reflects well, it's something great you can put on your CV. Um, you'll just learn so much from it. I think, you know, every day is a school day, isn't it? We're always learning, getting involved with, you know, with different groups and organisations. Um, it just, it. really supports that. And also it's a great social thing to do. You know, you make friends, have fun, get outside, all those really brilliant positive things as well. Connect with nature, it's so important. So I think on, you know, so many levels, it's absolutely brilliant. 

Peyton Pocock: Yeah, it's, it's, um, also quite fun. I think, um, I've got some friends that sort of Quite regularly do, um, this sort of trees planting, uh, locally. Um, and it's to help, I think it's to help water drainage management or something along those lines. And while I don't know, like the specifics of it, I do know that they really, really enjoy it. It sounds really fun just going and sort of having a chat, uh, in a group of. Um, sort of 10, 20 people and just in their community, cups of teas, uh, shovels. And it, yeah, it is a nice time to sort of be together. Um, definitely. Yeah, um, 

Avril Greenaway: meeting people, planting trees, cups of teas. What's not to like? Oh, absolutely. 

Peyton Pocock: Um, and are there any steps that are crucial to fostering a sort of greater gender diversity, inclusivity, Um, especially in that sort of hiring process in the tech sector, in climate solutions. Uh, are there any sort of pointers there that you would recommend? So, 

Avril Greenaway: I'm not an expert here, um, but I can talk about what we've, um, sort of implemented at Clean Seas Group and our ethos, um, and what we've learned. So, what we've sort of taken time to learn and understand, um, since we started. So, just sort of broadening that search for talent. Thanks. Implementing bias training is really important. So just that, you know, um, recognizing our own biases, so that we can make judgments about people, not, you know, not make judgments about people based on bias. on what they look like, we're making judgments about their qualifications, experience, behavior, um, so, uh, their skills and experience, and just really finding the right person for the job. Um, collaborating with diverse organisations wherever possible, and the really important thing is just fostering a inclusive culture. You know, I guess having that in your policies, having that written into your policies as a company it's one of the good things about being B Corp because that's very much part of the B Corp certification and also regularly reviewing those policies to make sure that we're getting it right and listening to feedback I suppose and I think also You know, employees and young people have a really important part to play in that as well, maybe listening to that feedback from them and they can actually drive that sort of positive, those positive policies as well. Absolutely, 

Peyton Pocock: yeah, yeah, I totally agree. Um, and you, you mentioned, uh, sort of working collaboratively, collaboratively, sorry, with other organisations. Um, I think similar to hundo, I believe you're also an associate organisation of Coldplay. Could you explain and elaborate a little bit on why it's so important to work together between different companies, different organisations to try and help solve these climate issues?

Avril Greenaway: Yeah, I'd love to. Um, it's a big belief of mine that, you know, collaboration is absolutely key. We won't do this. We won't tackle the problems that we need to tackle without working together, without engaging all the stakeholders, throwing up all the dots. It's just so, so important. Um, I have to mention Coldplay, you already have, and, um, that was an absolute game changer for us. Um, there's such an authentic band and team of people who really believe in what they're doing. And they have a goal to reduce their impact by 50 percent compared to the last World Tour. And, um, they've already hit 47%, I think, last summer, uh, verified by MIT, which is, is very, very cool. Um, and. For us, we, um, you know, sort of have some amplification of our key messages. If you go to a Coldplay concert, as you all know, um, at the beginning, just before the band come out on stage, they have a little, um, piece come up on their big screen, and, All the initiatives they support our logos come up and that's incredible and the really brilliant part about that is we have their fans tagging us on social media saying hey we saw your logo or they've they've videoed the little piece of our logo and then shared that on Instagram or wherever.

For us that's really brilliant because that's engaging with Audience or engaging people who have the same beliefs and ethos as us as well. So that's super cool. The other really brilliant thing is that last May when we went into manufacture, we were able to support Coldplay because they have four tour washing machines on the Music of the Sea as World Tour. And they have now got our commercial filters fitted to their commercial washing machines. Um. That's important for lots of reasons. Obviously they're lowering their emissions even more. We're able to measure that. So we can actually feed that back to their team and help support their ambition to reduce their impact. So for us, that's really meaningful. So it goes beyond, it sort of started as a support, becomes a bit more of a partnership, and it becomes a really, really meaningful, you know, collaboration. So, yeah, it's super important. 

Peyton Pocock: It's quite exciting and really making tangible change, I think, and you can really start to see those improvements made. I've got one last question for you. Uh, is there any sort of technology or innovation that you think is going to have a really big impact in the future and excites you the most going forward? Thank you. 

Avril Greenaway: Oh my gosh, that's a, that's a massive question. Um, I guess if there was something, I mean, you know, we're in the world of microplastics and microfibers. Um, there are trillions and trillions of microplastics in the ocean and being able to capture those effectively has got to be very top of my list. Um, we've actually got, we do actually have, um, a patented proof of concept to, Collect microplastics on beaches. Um, but I think actually achieving that in the ocean. That's yeah, that's that's right up there for me at the moment. 

Peyton Pocock: Yeah agreed Well, thank you very much. Uh overall, I've really enjoyed our conversation today and hopefully, um, sort of provide some Advice for some of our young people that are looking to get into some sort of climate, um oriented roles Um, where can people sort of connect with you and find out more about the cleaner seas group?

Avril Greenaway: Yeah, please do connect Um, so via our website, which is, uh, cleaner-seas.com, uh, you'll find links to all our social channels on our website. Um, you can connect with me on LinkedIn, and, um, yeah, please do, I think, if there's anything, if you've got any questions following this, this chat, then I'd be happy to try and answer them if I can, or point you in the direction of somebody else who can.

Peyton Pocock: Perfect, well, thank you, and thank you, everyone else, for watching. Um, have a lovely remainder of your, uh, climate oriented live stream today.

Career Paths in Climate Conservation: A Journey of Education and Impact with Mark Haviland & Scott Byrne-Fraser
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Climate
Join Mark Haviland, Founder of Conscious Careers and Vice chair of the Marine Conservation Society and Scott Byrne-Fraser, Tecnical Co-founder of hundo as they dive into the intersection of education and conservation. Discover how Mark's workshops empower young minds to embrace sustainability while building successful careers. Gain valuable insights on preparing for a rapidly changing world, fostering agility, and leveraging technology responsibly!
The following is the transcript for this video:

Scott Byrne-Fraser: Hello, and welcome to hundo.xyz I'm Scott Byrne-Fraser. I'm the technical co founder of hundo. And today I'm delighted to be joined by Mark. So Mark has worked in the corporate world at Disney, CNN, uh, and the Japanese company Rakuten. He's lived in London, Tokyo, and Paris, and has recently pivoted towards the intersection between education and conservation. He founded, uh, Conscious Careers and runs the workshops at schools and businesses to help the young understand how to build wealth while protecting the planet and its communities. This alongside his role as vice chair of the Marine Conservation Society, the charity dedicated to restoring the health of the UK seat. Most recently, he launched a series of expeditions on Africa's Great Lakes to highlight the need for investment in regenerative farming and agriculture in the region. Mark is passionate about the need to start climate education early on, making the idea regarding nature and environment an instinct, not a second thought Mark. Fantastic to have you with us today. Thank you very much. Great to be here. I'll dive straight into the first question. So what have you seen in the world of education and business that promoted you to want to dedicate your time to these areas? 

Mark Haviland: Thank you. So, uh, in a nutshell, the, the experience that I've had over the years in corporate life, uh, with my father being a teacher, uh, and the contact I've had with schools over those years has led me to see three real issues that need to be addressed. Firstly, is that kids are being separated from nature. They are not learning how important the interaction between humans and nature are, that we are among nature, not above nature. And this is creating a distance, a, a, a concern, a worry, a fear of nature that is very damaging. Secondly, uh, there's a, such an incredible rapidity of change at the moment.

We're going through the age of acceleration. Uh, and again, this is not recognized in school, that the changes that we're going through are over a five year period. might be similar or comparable to a change 30 years ago over a 30 year period. So that change is happening, and it's not just environmental, it's social and economic, uh, as well. And lastly, it's the disparity of experiences in education. Um, sadly, I think the rich are getting richer, they're getting better, Uh, the education that they get, and too many people are suffering and, uh, uh, uh, and losing out. So those three things, the distance from nature, that your understanding of the rapidity of change we're going through, and then the disparity of experiences are three sort of driving factors behind me getting involved in this area.

Scott Byrne-Fraser: Yeah, I think you're absolutely right, that, that disconnection with nature is becoming more and more apparent the more and more we spend time pushed away from it with technology. So what is it that you're doing about it to help solve this situation? 

Mark Haviland: So, uh, about three years ago. I set up this thing called Conscious Careers Workshops. And essentially it is to help the people who work in education, added business. Uh, cause I aim for both the school room and the boardroom to help those, both those environments understand our role. In nature, uh, a role in society and how the economic world about us is, is changing. There are so many people who work in education who have the right ethos, the right plan. They just need a system to help them. And this workshop just helps. So in a nutshell, um, I take it into business and schools. Uh, and it's designed to give people the confidence and optimism to not only design their career around something that they can dream of and hope for, but also to build their business around something that not only drives value for the stakeholders of the business, but also contributes to society.

Uh, so the workshops are very simple. They, they look at what's going on in the world and what's exciting about it. It doesn't ignore the chain, the, the challenges, the problems, the real threats and risks and worries that we have. But it addresses them in a certain way to help people understand a role that they can play in solving or addressing those issues. Not running away and hiding and sheltering from them. So that's where the sort of, the optimism comes in. I see that challenge, I'm interested in it, I want to be part of its solution. Secondly, it looks at the individual and says, what, what are you, what are you great at? Not at history, at science, at math, biology, but what are your innate skills, talents? Um, that can be brought to bear. And then that gives the children and also gives, uh, young employees the confidence they need to address these issues. And lastly, the most fun bit of the workshop is a hackathon. How do you build a business idea? Yet make money that makes money, add and solves a social and environmental problem. Um, it's, it's, it's not about business on one side and climate on the other. These two are not opposing forces. We need the youth to come up today into business and see how business and the climate can work together. So the careers can be open. Um optimistic and wonderful and powerful and feed your family yet the businesses provide the jobs and the innovative growth that we all need. So that's the idea behind the workshops. 

Scott Byrne-Fraser: The workshops sound absolutely fantastic. I'd love to hear more about the types of outputs that the participants come up with and the types of feedback that you're getting afterwards about these sessions. 

Mark Haviland: Yeah, well it's um, as you can imagine, a diverse set of kids experience this and so I run it with. Um, uh, special needs kids as, uh, and age groups at mainstream, but also 11 to 18 roughly, and I'm going lower down to 7 as well. Um, and kids are so inventive. If you provide them with a hint of optimism, or give them room to find their own optimism, more importantly, and then give them room to find their own confidence, you can see the visuals change from the 9am start to the 3pm finish of this workshop. Their, their energy grows, their involvement, their curiosity grows, and so the kids are really throwing themselves into it. They're, they're seeing opportunity, they're realizing confidence, and then they're applying that to a specific idea, um, and then presenting it in Dragon's Den style, and that's kind of like exciting.

And those would be votes, and criticizers, and questions, and the rest of it. Very interactive experience. But it's not just the kids. The parents and the teachers love it too. The teachers often need a break, particularly at the end of term when everybody's knackered Um, to have a day when they can see these kids being, um, uh, you know, inspired by different ideas outside of the school. Um, but they can then bleed that into the classroom process, into the homework, into the curricula. So I think You know, the kids, the teachers, and the parents, all have had feedback. It's been great so far. 

Scott Byrne-Fraser: I can imagine it's absolutely fantastic for them. I mean, I've got a young son, and I can imagine him really enjoying being part of a session like that, you know. He's only in the seven or eight band, um, but the fact that you're even going that young, I think, is fantastic, because that's where you really get kids energized. You get their imagination working, and then, then they've got a lifelong passion. So, to be able to get him that young, I think, it's really, really important, you know, and considering you're, you are working with children that are so young and considering that the work in landscape, the pace of change is accelerating so quickly, you know, what should kids expect to see in the coming years? 

Mark Haviland: So that thing I mentioned earlier is really important about change happening really fast. Um, You know, that people are expecting or businesses are expecting an understanding of, uh, the world around us. Uh, it's not just your lived experience. It's not just your immediate community. It's not just the industry that you want to go into. All of these things are extraordinarily interconnected these days. And so when you're, when you live in a certain town, you've got a certain lived experience, and your parents have got a certain sort of career profile, you, you understand to be influenced by that, but step out, have different perspectives, they're, they're, they're expecting and, and in certain cases demanding of you multiple perspectives. And so your own perception is important, but to, to build perspectives around that, that aren't your own perceptions, but maybe there's perspectives of others. That's a really key area for people to understand that agility of mind to say, well, I think it's this, but hold on, maybe this experience over here is just as true.

So how can I understand that objectivity? of debate and conversation that I think is really crucial in quite a sort of a post factual world. We've got to be very agile in how we address these things. So real knowledge about what's going on in the world and an ability to understand the art of conversation, the art of debate, to disagree agreeably. These, these things I think are really important, um, traits these days. And I think the, um, the agility You've got a long career these days. Doesn't matter what you start off, what your first job will be, your first work experience will be, you've got decades and decades more than ever before. Uh, so you need to be agile, take those transferable skills from one experience to another. And I think with that, that objective understanding, that broad world view, try not to be myopic, as broad as you can, read different things, experience different perspectives. And then have that agility of mind, I think will set you up well. 

Scott Byrne-Fraser: Yeah, I agree. I think that that constant ability to challenge yourself is incredibly important. And for that to be a normal way of working and to, to understand when you're at school that that is the normal way of being, it's not just about learning facts. Incredibly important. So when you're working with these kids, you know, how are you teaching them to prepare for this? Teaching them about this agility of mind?

Mark Haviland: So most of the schools I go into are, are, are state run schools. They're not fee pay schools. And the, the diversity of experience, I mean, it might be a, you know, a rural or an urban, uh, an urban setting. So there's a lot of different experiences in, in, in there. But the, the main technique for getting them to not just know about it, because you can tell a child to be agile, but that doesn't cut through the interactivity. Of a classroom experience or the interactivity of a workshop experience in a business is critical. It's not me speaking. It's, it's not the teacher speaking. It is the teacher or the facilitator enabling something to be drawn out of the individual so that they can try, try out, out ideas, test out ideas on themselves, on the group and smaller groups. And when they, when they start to try it out themselves, start to realise, uh, what it is to be agile of mind, to come up with an idea, reject it, come up with another idea, all of these things really matter and they really help embed that practical experience that, that, that we want people, uh, that we want the kids to have.

Scott Byrne-Fraser: Yeah, that makes total sense. You know, so that they're living and breathing it during the day and then it instills into them. And then from You know, from your own experience, what worked for you for helping you make that pivot into the role that you're currently doing now? 

Mark Haviland: Uh, yeah, well, so I grew up in the 80s and 90s and the world was very different back then. Only seven percent of, uh, A level students went to, uh, university. Only seven, it's about 35, 40, 45 percent now. So it's a really different world. And clearly none of these environmental and social issues, um, uh, were of concern to everybody. So, you know, these things are, are, are very different these days. But I, I said yes I, and there were lots of experiences I had, which I, you know, didn't get much out of. But it didn't matter. I just said yes. And the, the more you say yes to opportunities, to serendipity, to opportunities that come out of the blue, unplanned by you, that's, that's the key. Saying yes to opportunities. And, and, and maybe the other thing is to, to take the path less trodden.

You know, don't follow your friends. Follow, you know, yourself. your own route. Try to understand how rare you can become, how unique your experience can become, because it's not your academic life that will define your future. Yes, grades matter, and work, and school, and working hard, and working hard matters, but the most important thing is this extracurricular dimension that you bring to your Your, your, your early years experience, what you've done out of school, what sports you've played, what places you've been to, what people you've met, the work experience you've had, the internships you've had, the, the crazy things that you've done, which have been not unexpected, that three dimensionality is a really important part of, of, um, of, of what will be needed these days. And I was lucky. I had some really great experiences. I sailed across the Atlantic when I was 18. There's unique opportunity to sail on a tall ship. Life changing experience. Um, uh, pure happenstance. And look, the other thing I managed to do was I was invited to go and um, work in a factory in Argentina.

And I learned Spanish. And I got to hitchhike around. It was just these things that, you see, wow, my god, Argentina's miles away. Across the Atlantic, that's nuts. Say yes. Say yes to these things. You'll have an extraordinary experience. I think there's one other thing that I would say, just in terms of what, you know, Is really true now that I would suggest to anybody is this idea that has really come out of the workshops that I've been running, which is about trade first and trade first is an idea that simply says, whatever you do when you leave school at whatever level trade first, and there are two versions of that you either trade first. As in trade, uh, learn to trade, as in working with people, experiencing the dynamics of a customer service environment, learning to work with people, relationships, relationships are key to our careers. The other, that's trade, that's learning to trade, the other is to learn a trade. And that might be anything practical from coding to carpentry to metal work to construction.

To anything where you're learning a trade and it doesn't matter you do these for six months for two years And they are not going to define your life You're not going to stay in those careers for the rest of your life But you will use the transferable skills from learning to trade and learning a trade for the rest of your life Whatever the world throws at us Learning to trade or learning a trade will stay with you.And that's that's one of the key things that I say to kids in any of these workshops. 

Scott Byrne-Fraser: Yeah, I always think that's incredibly powerful is those first roles that you get when you finish school Which may not be what you want to do for the rest of your life But they can be incredibly important understanding the skills that you get in those roles Are applicable to other areas. You know, I remember my first role after school was face to face with customers. You know, I was selling ice creams. It's not exactly what I wanted to do for my long term role, but ultimately it taught me so much about interacting with people, about sales, about dealing with customer complaints. It was, it was everything to do with business. Really. Did I know that when I was 16? Not a clue. Did I realise that that'd be useful? I didn't. I just thought, well, this is what I'm doing for money when I'm not at college. But actually it's been. Lifelong skills that college has never taught me but have been incredibly useful. 

Mark Haviland: And you're still talking about it. And it's probably a job you had for three years that taught you less than that particular job you had.That's a great example. 

Scott Byrne-Fraser: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And you know, when I'm speaking to young people, I say the same, look at what you're doing. You might not think it's important now, but it absolutely will be. Um, and our final question was actually, you've covered it a little bit, which was, you know, what, what skills should you focus on for the coming years? And I think, you know, reading between the lines, the answer is, you know, whatever skills come up to you, say yes and learn them and think about how they can be applied to other places. 

Mark Haviland: Yeah. Just one, one thing that is worth mentioning in this time of technological advance, and we all believe the machines going to take over. And I think it's worth reflecting on that. I think. At understanding technology, whether you are into STEM subjects, whether you are a technologist at heart, it doesn't matter. But the key is to understand the power of technology. So AI, to use the common day example, you don't have to need to code. You don't need to understand necessarily the details of how AI works. But you need to understand how to use AI, how it can be used, and how it, most importantly, can use you. It's just like driving a car. You don't need to know how it works, but you need to know how to drive it. And AI is almost exactly the same. The only difference being that you need to know how to use AI, but in reverse, you need to understand how it can manipulate you and your thoughts. So be really careful of it. The more we know about these artificial machine oriented technologies, the better, and the more that we can apply them in our careers, whatever career they might be. 

Scott Byrne-Fraser: Yeah, totally agree. Totally agree. I love the analogy about learning to drive. You don't have to know how an engine works to drive, but it's incredibly important to do it. Same with any technology, learn how to drive it, learn how to get yourself from A to B and it opens up so many more opportunities to you. What did you say? Also be aware of what it can potentially do. The dangers on the road, what other cars can do, same with AI, same with other technologies, be wary of what they can do. It can be a very good force, but it can also be used with negative consequences, negative consequences, which people don't necessarily intend for, but they can be there. And to be aware of that and be skeptical of that. And again, going back to your previous points about questioning things, about always being critical, always having conversations, it's going to be incredibly important in the next few years as AI starts to get tested in very many different environments. Again, just to pick one technology out of many. 

Mark Haviland: Absolutely. If I may just add one last point about the environment, because I think, I think this is really critical. I read a book recently about the, the, the invention of nature. And in not in a nutshell, this guy, Alexander von Humboldt. Basically first discovered this idea that everything is connected. And the more we work off this idea that business stands to, to one side, and then the planet and even society stands to the other, the more problems that we will have. We need our future leaders, the people coming into careers now, to build business, not just humanity and society, but to build business within its natural environment, respecting all aspects of it.

You can make lots of money, you can become incredibly rich. like coming up with great environmentally and socially friendly ideas, not ones that necessarily designed to serve, but that do intrinsically serve society and the environment. And if everybody does that, if everybody goes into their, their working lives, realizing that I'm going to earn money, but I'm going to do something valuable at the same time. Then the world is looking pretty rosy at that ahead of us. 

Scott Byrne-Fraser: Absolutely. Fantastic. Thank you very much. Absolutely great conversation I feel like we could talk about this for many hours, but thank you very much for joining us today. 

Mark Haviland: It's an absolute pleasure. Thank you

Future Leaders, Green Careers & Sustainability: IEMA Future Leading the Way with Martin Baxter & Luke Judge
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Climate
Discover the world of sustainability careers with Martin Baxter, Deputy Chief Executive of IEMA and Luke Judge, CEO of hundo. Learn about IEMA's global impact and the diverse career opportunities available. Martin emphasizes the crucial role of young people in driving sustainability initiatives and highlights essential skills for success in this dynamic field. Gain practical advice and insights on pursuing a rewarding career in sustainability!
The following is the transcript for this video:

Luke Judge: Hello and welcome to the first talk in today's CareerCon Monthly Climate Series. We're delighted to welcome our first speaker of the day, and that's Martin Baxter, who's the Deputy Chief Executive of IEMA. Um, and who could do any better job than Martin to explain to us what All about IEMA and his role there. So without further ado, Martin, thank you for joining us today. We're really pleased to have you with us and thank you for your time. Um, please tell us about yourself. And, and how you came to be with IEMA and who IEMA is as an organisation. 

Martin Baxter: Great. Well, thank you, Luke, and really for looking forward to our conversations. So yeah, my role as deputy chief exec, um, is a strange one in some ways because it's externally facing, I'm talking about environment and sustainability, either with governments or with boards of companies really getting them motivated to drive. action first on a bigger scale and secondly faster. Um, I also chair a group in the International Standards Organisation. I have a hundred countries in my committee and we are developing global standards to help organizations to drive, um, action on sustainability. And strangely, I also have the finance role as well. So I look after the money. So, um, and kind of one top tip for people on sustainability, follow the money and you can certainly start to see where you can make improvements.

As an organisation. Yeah, as an organization, IEMA is a professional body. So we're a membership association of sustainability professionals of about 22, 000 individuals in over 100 countries around the world. And we support them with knowledge, insight, understanding, um, we recognize them through formal qualifications. And we also harness their experience and expertise to what I call is help to change the rules of the game. So. Who better to inform governments around what needs to change in terms of sustainability than people actually kind of doing the job and can see what the blockers are. And then once those laws do change, and we've had some successes in that, then it's around then, okay, well, how do we help those people to make the best of those opportunities to be change agents in the world of work? And I think that's going to be the topic of our conversation, isn't it? 

Luke Judge: Yeah, what? And that's a perfect phrase. Change agents in the world of work and with a particular lens on sustainability and climate action. The first thing I've heard from from you there that's really stood out there, Martin, is the global nature of IEMA and therefore the global nature of future career opportunities in this really important area. I think you mentioned 100 countries. Um, globally. So maybe let's start start with that and kind of talk about the global expansive nature for for those who potentially are in a in a country wanting to look further afield or didn't know that they're in a country that may have some career opportunities in this space.

Martin Baxter: Yeah, I mean, I think what's really interesting is that the transition to a net zero future and also becoming more resilient to climate change, you know, the two go hand in hand, um, actually creates job opportunities and employment. We have to reconfigure nationally economies around the world. Part of the Paris climate change agreement is, is to do that.And that comes with some real opportunities for employment. Um, you know, we need to. Reconfigure the way in which we use power. Um, so big investments are going into renewable energy. Um, and that, you know, creates job opportunities and the transition to a cleaner, greener future, um, looks on the face of it to be net positive for jobs.

So green jobs are on the up and the many countries around the world. Young people are sometimes struggling for employment. So there's a real opportunity for politicians to connect both their commitments to a net zero future that they have to kind of give as part of the Paris Agreement, but also to translate that into jobs and action that really helps to motivate people to be part of the solution. And I think that's, that's one of the things that we've really been pushing. Um, I was lucky enough to be at the last few COPs, um, most recently in Dubai at COP 28. And that was a big agenda item for us was to get the recognition about capacity building and skills into the conclusions of that COP. And now we need to push forward and get governments to support that with tangible policies and investment and action.

Luke Judge: Yeah, really interesting. So there's an opportunity to not only do good coming into this sector, but also do well as it's an area of new opportunities for young people. Martin, what's, what's, how do you perceive the role of young people of youth in the environmental sustainability efforts that you're, that you're speaking about and that you see? And, and why is that crucial to have young people coming into this space to help address, um, environmental challenges going forward? Yeah, 

Martin Baxter: so it's a great question. It's really important. I mean, the challenges that we face, whether it's on climate change, poor air quality. a biodiversity crisis, plastic pollution. I mean everywhere we look we see some challenges but also we see opportunities and we know that there are solutions to these. And I think, you know, engaging young people is really important. Firstly, they're, they're impacted just like everybody else is with the, the kind of the environmental degradation. So kind of being part of the solution becomes important there. But also crucially, they're, you know, they're, they are our future leaders, and they are the people who are going to have to come forward with ideas to help to solve this. And it's going to be a multi generational transition. It's not going to be a very, very quick fix. And so I think there's a motivating young people to see themselves as part of the solution and developing careers in this whole area. I think he's good for the planet. It's good for people and it's good for their own personal prosperity too. 

Luke Judge: Yeah. Yeah. So win, win, win by the sounds of it. So it's the young people who want to, who are interested in this space. And of course, there's many of them who want to do good and do well. They might be thinking, well, what are my opportunities? What are the different types of career paths I could forge in this space? And, and they may incorrectly think about some stereotypical type roles. Um, but actually there's a vast range of different roles. In fact, you touched upon just three or four of them in your prior, uh, mention of plastics in the sea and biodiversity. So just speaking there, what are the types of opportunities, career pathways that young people can see ahead of them and how do they prepare for those? 

Martin Baxter: Yeah. Um, I think, you know, there are, I mean the good news is that there are lots of routes into, um, taking a career that's going to help in the sustainability transition. That's the first thing to recognize. Secondly, um, you can, you know, if you want to go into a full time sustainability, well, the, you know, that I've done and many others have, you know, some people will study at university and there are lots of programs at undergraduate and postgraduate level in sustainability and environmental management, environmental conservation. Um, and so that, that's kind of a fairly traditional one. Um, what we're, Encouragingly, we're seeing now is the growth of what we call degree apprentices, apprenticeships. So here in the UK, for example, where you can earn while you learn. That's a nice phrase, isn't it? So you can be on a degree program and in employment at the same time.

And you have no student that so that's an interesting way of developing some of your practical skills into this. Um, but the, the, the other thing to recognize is that, um, I mean, we use this phrase all jobs greener. So all jobs need to be done in a greener way in this business. in, in the future economy that we're trying to create. And what that does is it opens up opportunities for people in, you know, kind of technical roles and in some traditional trades as well. So as we move to a transport system, which is, uh, based on electrification, and we want that electric power to be distributed. Generated through renewable energy that we need lots and lots of people who are going into electro technical jobs and roles as part of this transition on. Therefore, you might want to train as an electrician and electrical installer. They're going to be massively in in demand everywhere around the world. The way in which we deal with our heating is going to change because lots is going to be changing. Thank you. Heat pumps and various other new technologies.

So, and then we've got, you know, other things which industry is going to be crying out for in terms of hydrogen, maybe some aspects of carbon capture and storage. So suddenly we are seeing this, um, massive expansion of, um, different jobs and roles, which are already out there to a certain extent, not hydrogen and CCS ones, but, you know, electricians and people dealing with heating and all of those actually kind of now starting to come into. Um, being part of this sustainable transition and therefore, depending on your background, your interest, there is going to be a role to play. The final one I'll say is as well is that, um, because there is in some, in quite a lot of the roles, there is kind of quite an emphasis on, um, technical education and maybe some kind of maths and science and that, and we do need a lot of those people, but equally we need people who can support with behaviour change, people who are wonderful communicators who can really get these messages across and help to support campaigns around people doing things differently. Um, and so, you know, I think wherever you look, there are routes that you can start to forge a career that is going to be absolutely critical to this, this transition.

Luke Judge: Yeah, really interesting. So, so actually what I hear there is that, you know, These aren't new, entirely new roles that exist only for climate change and sustainability, but could be a plumber, a mechanic, a marketer, but with green skills embedded within them or green priorities embedded. 

Martin Baxter: Yeah, definitely. You know, if you think about engineering design, you know, so designing new products. Yes, you might be developing the next form of renewable energy kind of generation or clean technology, but to be honest, you know, all the technology that we're using on this particular, um, conference needs to be designed with environment and sustainability in mind. So every engineering designer. Needs to have an understanding about how they can build sustainability, climate change, resilience into their designs, whether it's around sourcing materials, the way in which they manufacture, the way in which their products and services are used. It's really exciting, actually, because if we can do this, then it just becomes the way in which every company in the world in the future will do business.

Luke Judge: Yeah. Very interesting indeed. And so for, for the parents listening, for the careers advisors listening, and for young people listening as well, how do they go about equipping themselves, preparing themselves for this, for this great opportunity that's ahead of them that we're talking about? What skills do they need and where do they, where do they find those skills, develop those skills and learn about the opportunities?

Martin Baxter: Yeah, I mean, I think certainly we've been doing some work with careers advisors to give them an insight into the types of jobs that are coming down the track and how to start to give an understanding of, um, the fact that these jobs are durable, they are durable. Uh, well recognized, um, they should be paid well, um, you know, all the things that as a parent you want for your, your, your children, but also you kind of will probably desire, desire yourself. We developed something called the Green Careers Hub, which gives an insight into different roles and job specifications and. The sorts of entry requirements that you might have, um, both in getting into that particular kind of occupation, but then the progression that can be made within that occupation and the sorts of salaries that you can, you can gain.

So really giving that insight into the practical work, um, that's needed. Of course, when we're talking about teachers and tutors and, um, you know, colleges, schools, universities, we also have to give them insights into these new technologies. And I think, um, that's one of the things that we're having to kind of work quite hard about. How do we make sure that the latest technologies and insights are Available for teachers to be able to teach people about and inspire people about as well. So there's a little bit more work to do on that. Um, it's fair to say, but, you know, there is, there are programs that are in action now to be able to do that. So building up that, that, that sense that. You know, you can solving these problems is going to take a long time. The skills that you develop, um, are going to be needed now and they'll be needed in the future. And also the skills that you need are likely to be portable as well. So as you move through your career, um, it might, it might be that this isn't everything that you want to do in your life. And, but being able to communicate, being able to collaborate, being good at managing projects, good at leadership. Um, having some technical knowledge and insight, you know, that makes you a kind of a well rounded employee for any type of organization. 

Luke Judge: Yeah, so there's transferable, very much transferable, essential skills, communication, collaboration, problem solving. Critical thinking, you know, those can very much help you in this space. 

Martin Baxter: Yeah, and one of the things that we've done in IEMA is we've developed something called the Sustainability Skills Map, um, because I mentioned right at the start about driving change and Therefore, we need people to, um, understand how to get things done and do things differently. And so, and what we do find is when young people get into employment, they can be really enthusiastic, um, but they don't know how businesses operate and therefore they don't know how to get things done and get things changed. So one of the things that we do in IEMA for, uh, younger student members in particular is we have something around what we call soft skills, but. That that probably kind of underplays their importance. These are all the things that are really important in being able to drive change in an organisation. And interestingly, we have, um, coming into the profession because it's relatively new. Um, we have what we call change, change makers, also career changes as well.

So people who are swapping careers, who might have been working in all sorts of different roles in the past in business, and then suddenly they are inspired to. do something on sustainability because they've seen the importance of it. And actually they bring a lot of business skills, which they can then translate once they got the knowledge and understanding into being kind of fantastic change agents as well. So something for everybody. 

Luke Judge: Yeah. And something for everybody. And touching on that, when there's A lot of interest in young people in entrepreneurship in various different forms, whether that's as a creator or setting up an e commerce site, but being entrepreneurial. And the other area of great interest in young people is travel, being able to work and travel. At the same time, is this, do you see opportunities and how can young people take advantage of those opportunities to be entrepreneurial, to set up their own business and separately to travel and work at the same time? Is this a, is this a good pathway for them? 

Martin Baxter: Yeah, I think it is. I mean, interestingly, I've been speaking to some further education colleges around how do we get more people into heating and plumbing and thinking about the new technologies. And for some people, the motivation might be the fact that they can set up their own company and be their own boss and actually do something good for the planet at the same time. Um, but the motivation becomes the entrepreneurial ship. Um, and therefore, depending on the type of person that we're speaking to and the audience and their. And their personal lives for their careers. Actually, I think you can shape this around, you know, that, that, that business development, the opportunity to be your own boss, to develop something which you can, uh, which, you know, you're going to kind of your solutions are going to be in demand. I think that's really exhilarating for young people, um, and gives them a sense of their own destiny.

Um, so definitely, I think that, and then secondly, you know, the skills that you learn here, there is no part of the world that That isn't going to be in demand for the skills for a cleaner, greener future. That is, you know, the effects of being seen everywhere and the pace of change is growing. And so I think the skills that you, um, learn around, um, sustainability and climate change and driving action to solve some of these problems. Um, you know, you're definitely going to have a future where you can travel and move around and, and engage with people in, in, in different contexts, 

Luke Judge: travel sustainably, of course. 

Martin Baxter: Um, because we try to travel everywhere by train. So, um, so, yeah, so, um, the other year I went to the G7 in Berlin by train, it took me a lot longer. Um, it was a lot more expensive. And it was 80 percent less carbon intensive. So an 80 percent reduction in climate change emissions, but, um, a lot more money. So trying to redress that balance is really important. 

Luke Judge: Yeah. Fantastic and a great example and actually ending on a high Martin, um, and I'm related to careers But I'd love to hear from you which project or success story Um, are you really inspired by I won't say most inspired but really inspired by that's making a big positive impact Um, on on sustainability, you know, to help inspire those to look and research more into this kind of space.

Martin Baxter: I think, um, can I can I give 2 examples? So, um, and so 1 is that I'm really inspired by seeing the changes in the financial services sector, um, where climate risk is being integrated into the way in which, um, Those who are kind of investing in companies, they're lending money, um, they're providing insurance, um, have a huge demand for people in sustainability because they know that the financial consequences to their organization of getting it wrong on sustainability are really significant. And when the finance system says that this is important, then that drives action in business. So having been able to be kind of a supporter of that type of action, then that can catalyze change at scale. Um, the other one is kind of, Very, very different. When I was a COP 28, um, we were engaged with, um, youth leaders from a variety of countries who were, um, entrepreneurial and part of a kind of world climate youth movement and to speak to them around green jobs and skills, whether they were from Eritrea, Mozambique. By every coast, um, and in the U. K. So lots of people from different backgrounds, but they were all motivated by the opportunity to have a great green career. And I think seeing those people, um, articulate their desires and connecting into this agenda gives me great hope for the future. So I think those are. That, that bringing those people together to be able to speak to sustainability leaders and those people able to support them in driving action in different parts of the world is also, um, a key ingredient to the future we're trying to create. 

Luke Judge: Fantastic. Thank you, Martin. And I really, I really like both of those examples, especially how one one is transforming itself as a large industry for the future. And that's, you know, more attractive place for people to work in as they think about their careers as well. Um, Martin, that brings us to a, to a conclusion. This has been a fantastic conversation. Um, and hopefully just a starter. For all of those people who are listening today and are inspired to go on and do more research about careers in the climate sustainability arena. Thank you very much for joining us. Thank you for sharing your experience and your wisdom, your knowledge of everything you've learned at IEMA. Um, and, and, and, uh, we look forward to learning more about IEMA in the future. Where does anybody who's listening to this, who wants to learn more, where do they find you and where do they find more information about IEMA?

Martin Baxter: So you can easily find me on LinkedIn, so that's a good place to start. Um, you can also find me on X at @ m bax.IEMA, and you can also find us at www.iema.net. Fantastic. 

Luke Judge: And also on the hundo website, we have an IEMA profile as well there, which will have all of those details. Martin, thank you very much Deputy Chief Executive of IEMA. It's been an absolute pleasure having you with us today, and I hope to welcome you to future CareerCon Monthly in the future.

Sustainable Futures: Youth-Led Climate Solutions in Nigeria and Beyond with Abdulbasit S. Mika'il & Nadiyah Rajabally
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Climate
Dive into the world of climate tech with Abdulbasit S. Mika'il, Youth Advisory Councilor at Comic Relief US and Nadiyah Rajabally, Head of Marketing at hundo. Discover how youth-led initiatives are shaping sustainable futures in Nigeria and beyond. From empowering rural communities with climate-smart skills to innovative solutions in waste management and renewable energy, this conversation is packed with insights and inspiration. Join the movement for a greener, more equitable future and learn how you can make a difference too!
The following is the transcript for this video:

Nadiyah Rajabally: Hi, everyone. And welcome to another CareerCon Monthly with hundo. Today, we'll be diving into climate tech and I'm Nadiyah, Head of Marketing at hundo. And I have the wonderful Abdulbasit with us. Would you like to introduce yourself? 

Abdulbasit S. Mika'il: Hi, everyone. My name is Abdulbasit Salahudeen Mikail. I am from Nigeria, West Africa. And I basically work on the intersection of climate change and education. And how it affects young people and women in grassroot community. I'm so happy to be here with you all. Thank you for having me. 

Nadiyah Rajabally: Thank you so much for taking the time today and talking to us. So, we're going to dive into sustainable futures, um, youth led climate solutions in Nigeria and beyond. So, how can we ensure that young people in rural communities have access to opportunities in climate careers? 

Abdulbasit S. Mika'il: Basically, all we are going to do is we are actually transitioning in all aspects and in grassroot communities, what they mostly rely on is agriculture. And even in agriculture, we are also transitioning. Mostly you would see young people, mostly the laborers working in farms in grassroot communities. But nowadays there are some machineries who have taken their position. which have left the young people jobless to some extent. So I believe, uh, teaching young people how to kind of use these tools would go a long way in, uh, empowering them to be relevant and contribute more in ensuring high production of agricultural produce in their communities.

Nadiyah Rajabally: Wow, that's really interesting. And what challenges do young people face when they have to leave the communities for employment opportunities? And how can we address these issues? 

Abdulbasit S. Mika'il: Yeah, as I have mentioned earlier, we are actually transiting. Young people have the skills, they've learned the skills for over a decade, and that is what they know how to do in their communities. But when they go out, because they are from grassroots, when they go out, they find out that everything has changed, what they normally see is not the same. Emerging technologies has arrived, so. They really find it hard to kind of, uh, meet up the expectation and do what is needed because most of the skills they have is outdated.

So I believe going down to those kind of communities, mobilizing those young people, equipping them with those trainings that would enable them to have climate smart agricultural skills will go a long way. Because that is what they basically focus on. And also we have, uh, we are trying to transition into, uh, renewable energy. So I believe training them on how to use solar system because most of the grassroots communities here, we don't have access to electricity. So this is a major challenge for energy poverty for grassroots communities here. So I believe having access to training. On how to use solar system would go a long way for them to have access to electric electricity and also other tools to be relevant in their communities.

Nadiyah Rajabally: That's really interesting. So how do you go to these communities and train them? Do you go in a group and like train them? Is there like a course or how do you do it? 

Abdulbasit S. Mika'il: Uh, basically what we do is. We develop a tool because we understand that this communities already have existing knowledge on what we are going to do. More of what we are going to be training them is a bit advanced. So we can deny the fact that they already have their skills. So when we go there, we try to understand their skills and understand how the skills, the emerging skills can be incorporated into the one they have. So when we go there, uh, we do some engagement to understand that. Then we train them on how to utilize their own skill to adapt to the new trending, uh, skills that is ongoing. By so doing, they get to do more productive things in their community, contribute to agricultural aspects and other waste management, uh, aspects. Because we are striving to, uh, ensure that, uh, always, uh, recycle and manage waste.

Nadiyah Rajabally: Yeah, that's really interesting. And what type of skills have you seen that are very important for this? What have you noticed that young people need for these? 

Abdulbasit S. Mika'il: Beyond grassroots communities, I believe both in rural and urban areas, there is actually a wide skill gap because we are trying to transition into free From anything that would cause emission to the atmosphere. So already many young people rely on the jobs that actually emit carbon dioxide. So telling them that they need to leave this old practice and come back to renewable practice would be a little bit hard. So the way we can do this is by equipping them with tools. emerging skills, as I have mentioned, not only technical skill, but the knowledge as well. They actually don't have the knowledge and the market is very small here. We have many young people who have innovative ideas here, and they've been able to come up with some great, uh, product, which they were able to come up with through. Reusable, uh, electronics through waste management, but the fact is the, it is very limited and not affordable because they don't have access to finance to have a mass production that everyone would have access to it because, you know, mass production could cause of course. So having access to those kind of resources would go a long way in ensuring that whenever they have this innovative idea, they know they have the resources they will have access to to scale up their ideas. And also they will have access to capacity building trainings on renewable energy, on how to harness solar system in agriculture and other industries.

Nadiyah Rajabally: Yeah, and that's really important, having that and teaching young people the skills that they need, which they might not get from anything else, and things that they could then use those skills and knowledge for their benefit and for their families and help improve their situation. So yeah, that's really interesting and important. Um, can you discuss the potential opportunities for young people in Nigeria's economy, especially in cleaner energy transitions like starting new businesses and rural development? I know that you touched upon it with like talking about the solar system and everything, but is there anything else? Yes. 

Abdulbasit S. Mika'il: Yes, of course. Here in Nigeria, I have a couple of, uh, young people I know that are into waste management. Basically, what they use, what they do is they, uh, gather waste materials, uh, nylon, uh, polythene. And kind of, uh, use it to make, uh, bricks to build toilets in their communities and other things. I also happen to know a very vibrant woman who used this, uh, waste material to produce bags with it. Because we are trying, here in, uh, Nigeria particularly, we have so many unused waste that is causing a lot of pollution in communities. Do you understand? So having those kind of initiatives to kind of recycle those waste into something productive is something encouraging. And I believe having more people into this kind of aspect should go along with reducing pollution. And improving waste management in Nigeria.

And also I happen to know, as I mentioned earlier, I happen to know is even a friend, what he basically do is he use electronic waste and recycle them and construct batteries, renewable batteries that can power house that can power. Like for instance, if I'm using system and I don't have access to light, so I can use the reusable.He used to control those battery to charge my system and other, uh, things I have electronics. I mean, I have, so that these are wonderful ideas, but the basic problem is, is very costly. What they need is The resources, the finance, you understand, and the incubation hoop that will advance this idea they have so that they can have mass production and, uh, distribute it across the country and the continent, hopefully.

Nadiyah Rajabally: Yeah, that's really interesting, like, thinking about, like, I'm sure, like, our viewers are thinking, things that we use every day, we don't realize how, important they are and how other people need them around the, around the world. How not everyone has the same access to these simple things like batteries and having you then use homemade materials and create them. So that's really interesting. And like you said, money is, is an issue. Um, cause I know that you obviously work with Comic Relief USA, your youth advisor council. Um, can you share insights of how you're helping, helping young people around the world, not just Nigeria, but in India and other places? in the world, how you're funding them for specific projects like this?

Abdulbasit S. Mika'il: Um, basically what we do at Comic Relief is we are a team of uh, eight young people which we serve as the Youth Advisory Council of the Comic Relief. We basically provide insights on how to demystify funding processes for youth led organization in grassroot communities. So basically every year we have 50, 000 US dollars we are going to distribute to up to uh, six Youth led, uh, initiative across, uh, Africa and Latin America, basically. So we understand that these young people have the ideas, but they lack the skills to kind of position themselves to have access to this funding. They, they're limit up with the eligibility criteria. So we come up with the fellowship, Youth Changemaker Fellowship, where we basically are training them on how to position themselves. You understand on how to access those funding. So we are basically training them on leadership, fundraising, and grant making, and communication. Uh, how to leverage social media and all the technological tools to promote their social activism. So that is basically what we do. By so doing, we believe when we launch the Utanza Fund, they will be eligible to apply not only at Comic Relief US, but to other funding opportunities across the world.

Nadiyah Rajabally: And that's, yeah, that's really interesting how much work you guys are doing to help all these young people around the world. And for our viewers, what advice would you give to people watching? How can we help bridge this gap for young people? Not just in Nigeria, but globally as well, in places like you mentioned, like India, Africa, just to help with climate and helping them get funding and everything.

Abdulbasit S. Mika'il: I would say, uh, these issues are interconnected when we talk about climate change, how it's impacting grassroot community, and how one of the basic solution is renewable energy. So we need to break out of working in silos, you understand, and form a synergy where we constantly build young people capacity, especially in grassroot communities. This renewable energy is very important, not only in Nigeria, but in other African countries in grassroot communities where they don't have access to power. When you go to grassroot community in Nigeria, before you would be able to come across any, uh, grid, uh, power, It would definitely come across solar because it's easy to get it to that place than the energy grid. So I believe promoting the aspect would go a long way as well as in agriculture. We have solar power irrigation that is currently trending, even though it is quite expensive for smallholder farmers to use. I believe by scaling up. The idea and training more young people on how to use these tools we are bringing in will make them adapt to the current transition we are going to ensure we reduce our emission of carbon dioxide atmosphere and build climate resilient communities and energy resilient communities as well.

Nadiyah Rajabally: Yeah, and that's so important. I mean, like, it's interesting to hear that, um, especially from, obviously we're based in the UK, so hearing from you on the other side of the world, hearing what you guys are doing in the project out there, and how we can help young people is really important. And. We could carry on this conversation. We have one last question. How can young people be empowered inspired to create a sustainable future filled with hope? So what advice would you give our young viewers watching now? That want to get into climate tech. That want to help, um, make change the climate. What advice would you give them? 

Abdulbasit S. Mika'il: Basically, what I always say is look around you. You have a lot of challenge. You're not noticing every day in your community, like here in my community. What I do is I understand that a lot of women in grassroot communities are facing challenges when it comes to cooking with firewood, which is posing a big threat to their health. In fact, some people, they are, they are struggling with, uh, respiratory diseases and also babies. So when I come across such thing, I kind of do some deep research to kind of come up with the solution where I come up with how to use a biomass, uh, waste to produce briquette for them to use. So basically it's to promote clean cooking energy in grassroots communities. So I believe there are wonderful initiatives out there that you can just look up to and kind of, uh, pilot it in your communities. Through doing that, you can be able to access communities that can help you scale it up to make more bigger, meaningful impact. You can start great things from a small place, believe me.

Nadiyah Rajabally: And that's really good advice, everyone that's listening. If we all work together, we can help bridge this gap, skills to act, not just in the UK, but globally as well, and help all these communities get these skills, and help push the poverty away, so that we can then have a more even outlook. Abdulbasit, it's been lovely speaking to you. Can you please share how people can connect to you on LinkedIn or website? 

Abdulbasit S. Mika'il: Yeah, I am very active on LinkedIn. When you search me up on LinkedIn, Abdul Basit S. Mikhail, I'm there. You can just reach out to me. I'm happy to work with wherever I'll come up with wonderful ideas. I like discussing wonderful ideas, especially when it would have a very great impact on grassroot communities. I'm happy to collaborate and I'm happy to answer any answer, any question you have. Thank you so much. 

Nadiyah Rajabally: One last thing I wanted to know, what is one thing that you're looking most forward to, to do with climate? What is one goal that you want to achieve? 

Abdulbasit S. Mika'il: One goal I want to achieve, I know climate change is inevitable. As much as we are trying to mitigate the impact, we know, in the next 50 years. There are communities that are still going to be experiencing it. So, knowing that, uh, the best thing I want to do is to ensure that I prepare every community, uh, enabled to enable them to kind of get ready when such things happen. They have access to knowledge and resources they can use to mitigate the impact, you understand. Basically, building a climate resilient community, that is what I hope to do. And seeing that young people are living this, uh, groundbreaking, uh, change.

Nadiyah Rajabally: Yeah, and I want that too and I hope that we can work together with you and help make those changes and make that happen. Thank you so much for today and taking the time to talk to us today. Everyone that's watching, please follow us at hundo.xyz and learn more and I hope you enjoy the rest of the day. Thank you. Bye. 

Abdulbasit S. Mika'il: Thank you so much for having me. Bye 

Environmental Advocacy & Climate Careers with Align Social Impact with Sarah Acer & Amelia Loveday
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Climate
Join Sarah Acer, CEO of Align Social Impact and Amelia Loveday, Head of Programmes at hundo discuss climate and sustainability careers. Discover the exciting work behind the Face of Change campaign, tackling the climate-driven health crisis. Get insights on successful campaign strategies and hear tips for young professionals and anyone interested in social impact!
The following is the transcript for this video:

Amelia Loveday: Hello, welcome everyone. It's great to be with you today for another CareerCon monthly. And this month we're talking about careers related to climate. and sustainability. My name's Amelia and I'm head of programs at hundo and I have the privilege today to be joined by Sarah Acer, who's going to be talking to us about her role as a social impact leader, the different types of careers in the climate justice space and what it takes to lead a successful social campaign. Uh, there really is no one more qualified for this discussion Sarah is the ceo of Align Social Impact where she works with some of the world's most influential individuals Causes campaigns and companies to develop innovative programs and initiatives that drive impact in ways that can be felt and measured Um, so welcome Sarah Great to have you with us. Um, that was a super brief introduction. Uh, so I'd love it if you could start by telling us a little bit more about Align Social Impact, uh, its mission and your work with the agency. 

Sarah Acer: Yeah, absolutely. And thanks Amelia and hundo for having me. It's great to be here with the hundo community. As you mentioned, Align Social Impact is a global impact agency, and we really exist at this nexus of culture, storytelling, research, and systems change. And our, our mission is really to build a more just, inclusive, and vibrant world. Where we see business, people and the planet thrive. We are 100 percent women owned, women led. We are 60 percent BIPOC and we have offices and teams in New York City and Amsterdam. And as you mentioned, we're incredibly fortunate to get to work with some of the world's most inspiring and influential organisations that span sort of the sectors of business, entertainment, philanthropy and government. And our work really focuses on four core verticals. We do a lot of work in transformational partnerships and philanthropy. We also work in brand storytelling, thought leadership, and communications. We do a lot of work with organisations building out internal infrastructure, so organisational development, strategic planning, program design. And finally, we do a lot of work with clients around movement building, policy, advocacy, and campaign.

Amelia Loveday: Amazing. So a pretty broad spectrum of work there. Um, you're the CEO and we can all aspire. Um, but what other types of roles exist in your agency and in the wider industry? Um, and if you can, what sort of skills, behaviors, knowledge are particularly in demand for anyone wanting to work in this space?

Sarah Acer: Yeah, great question. I would say sort of the social impact industry writ large is, is that a nascent stage? Yeah, I've been working in this sector for over two decades. And I remember even 10 years ago telling people I was a social impact practitioner. That didn't even resonate. That wasn't even a phrase people used. Yeah, so exciting times for individuals interested in the social impact sector writ large, I would say, in terms of, you know, what roles we're always looking for in the types of knowledge, skills, behaviors we're looking for in inside the organisation. And for candidates, I would say, sort of beyond individuals who are committed to building a more just and equitable world. I would say we look for candidates who are really four things, they are curious, they're creative.

Uh, they are collaborative and they're proactive. Yeah, so these are individuals who are constantly questioning, uh, the status quo, really looking to sort of break boundaries, identify ways, uh, to improve, uh, improve the status quo and in some cases break the status quo to achieve a more equitable and just outcome. Of course, we're, we're looking for individuals, um, who are at varying stages of their career, right? We all start, um, we all start somewhere. I started my career in the social impact sector when I was 14, and I started in public health as an organizer. Yeah, at the very local level, working with a campaign that, um, any individuals in the U.S. might know, although I'm dating myself, it's about 25 years ago, um, the, the truth campaign, which really was, um, a campaign designed to activate. Youth and young people, um, and an increase sort of their education and awareness on the dangers of tobacco use.

Um, I started as, uh, as an intern, then became an employee, um, of the, of the county government, and then worked all the way up to the national level. So, I'd say, in terms of roles, we're looking for, we actually have several open fellowships. These are for students. We're really looking to learn. We have two open positions. Now we hire fellows every spring, summer and fall, and we hire, you know, individuals that varying sort of levels of their journey in the social impact sector. So account coordinators, account directors, um, account VPs, these are all individuals who are leading specific social impact client accounts. I mean, you know, be it for big brands or major nonprofits or cause organisations or even, um, some of our talent clients. So lots of different opportunities at at varying stages of of one sort of career trajectory.

Amelia Loveday: It's great to hear that it's, it's never too early to start, um, and we'll make sure to sign posts towards that fellowship, um, so people know where to find you. Um, I'd like to talk through one of your more high profile campaigns, that's the Face of Change campaign. Um, some viewers might be familiar, I think it was featured in Time just earlier this year. Um, what inspired the creation of the Face of Change campaign, and can you talk us through its objectives? 

Sarah Acer: Yeah, absolutely. So the Face Of Change campaign is really a global multi year campaign designed to tackle what we call the climate driven health crisis. Now, as, everyone I think here knows, climate change is the greatest threat of our lifetime. And we know that for decades, frontline voices from the most affected communities have really been sounding the alarm arguably for far longer But what we also know is that for too long, we've really ignored the fact that the climate crisis is a health crisis. And as a direct result of Earth's rising temperature, extreme weather events are becoming increasingly frequent, and they're always followed by extreme weather events. And what we see as a result are millions and millions of people suffering the consequences right from climate sensitive disease to extreme heat and beyond. And as with most crises, we see that those who have contributed the least in this case to climate change are experiencing its worst impacts the most. And I think, um, to just sort of touch a little bit on, you know, how climate change is, is impacting our health. I think we often. You know, narrow the aperture, and we're really trying to widen it through through this campaign. So it isn't just, you know, air pollution and heat stress, but we see climate change affecting everything from, you know, housing insecurity to mental health, to hunger and nutrition to foodborne illness and beyond. So the list is is really quite overwhelming. But while this challenge of climate change is getting better, importantly, solutions are getting better and just as we have sort of the knowledge, the know how and the and the tools to limit greenhouse gas emissions to, you know, protect the planet and ensure a livable future for us all. We actually have the tools and the know how now to save millions of lives today, and that's really because solutions exist at this nexus of climate and health.

So you mentioned sort of the, uh, you mentioned our partnership with time. This campaign, the face of change was actually co created by an organisation named forecasting healthy future futures and time, and we've been fortunate enough to be able to sort of be the team behind the team, really helping to bring this campaign to life and it really sort of centers on on a singular theory of change and that is that health is the human face of climate change. Health is actually how we all experience climate change and it's also a way for us all to connect. To to climate change. So the theory of change here for this campaign was really, in essence, if we can translate problem to solution, if we can storytell and humanise this problem and mobilise individuals to sort of get involved, then we can drive breakthrough impact and results at scale. And so the goals of this campaign are really again in short order. To sort of cement this idea that climate and health are inextricably interlinked. Yeah, and we need to sort of first cement the narrative and then grow the movement. So our first goal is to build a movement of 50 million engaged citizens, along with 500 of the most influential voices on climate and health from across the global North and global South. Second, once we build that movement. We need to mobilize unprecedented resources and investment. We see a very small, fractional percentage of funding going to climate and health. And we need to see far more. So, the resource mobilization goals here are significant. Some might argue not significant enough. Uh, at 25 billion by COP30 in Brazil. And then, and then last, and arguably most importantly, as a result of that movement building effort and the, the real resource mobilisation efforts, We really, um, are looking to show that all these resources can be directed to frontline communities who are really working to develop breakthrough solutions at scale. And the objective here is to save 10 million lives and to protect the health of 100 million others who are really on the front lines of the worst impacts of climate change.

So, together again with partners like. Time magazine and again, co led by forecasting healthy futures. We've been able to develop a campaign that story led that solutions driven and that really, we believe has the power and potential to change the narrative on climate and health and hopefully to build a global movement that brings together, um, all organisations and individuals working on this campaign. And we just maybe mentioned one more thing that we're most excited about this campaign. And I would say, um, this campaign is completely grassroots led and it is fully open sourced. So any organisation or individual anywhere in the world can access the creative assets, can use them to elevate their own work on climate and health or an organisation's mission. The assets are already translated in 10 languages. There's many more coming. And we're really working with. individuals and organisations to develop sort of the second iteration. What additional stories need to be told? What are we not yet capturing? And how can we use this campaign again to elevate? Stories and solutions, because this is a stark move away from what we've seen in the climate movement for so long, which is really a doom and gloom, a sort of, you know, fact based Armageddon narrative, and we've seen the impacts of campaigns like that, right? At best, people are terrified. At worst, they're apathetic. And what we really want to see is we want to move people to action because there are solutions and there are actions we can take today to actually help improve, um, improve our world and also save lives today. 

Amelia Loveday: And in, in meeting those objectives, in engaging that, that huge and really powerful audience, um, could you take us behind the scenes just a little bit? Um, what, what sort of strategies are most effective in, in driving a successful campaign? Uh, and again, bringing it back to the sort of careers, what, what roles are involved in the, in the success of a campaign? 

Sarah Acer: Yeah, great question. I would say, you know, campaigns are a great way for any young person to gain sort of breadth and depth in terms of experience, right It's also a great way to be able to meet and connect with different individuals to sort of build, build your network and also to sort of job tests because you can have the opportunity to shadow folks who are leading the team. Communications to partnerships to fundraising to policy and the light, right? So all campaigns, though, I think at their core, they must be if they're going to be successful. They have to be ambitious and judicious. They have to have a big, bold vision, something that people can really get behind. And it does have to be incredibly ambitious.

It also needs to be tempered, um, in a, in a manner wherein it's judicious, it needs to be evidence informed, it needs to be well researched, and there needs to be a plausible pathway for what we're asking the world to help us achieve for us to achieve it, yeah? So it doesn't have to have been done before, but we have to paint the picture and there has to be evidence to suggest that if we do these things, back to when I was mentioning sort of our theory of change, That these outcomes will transpire. I would say other things that we really focus in on on campaigns, and I have been doing campaigns. I think I mentioned for many, many years in the nonprofit sector in the global developments up here in the political sector, and I think all campaigns are, um, at their core, their story led and their solutions driven, and I think really being able to, you know, Tell compelling stories that allow us to meet audiences and people where they are, allow us to connect.

Both on our own shared values, but also on our own shared interest and using that as an unlock for us to connect to sort of a wider movement, right? So climate change is a really great example, and the health impacts of climate changes are a great example. What we're really trying to do there is connect, so to someone in New York, to someone in Nairobi. So we're really trying to bring You know, the health impacts of climate change from sort of the front porch all the way to the front line. Right? And we can do that through story. Right? Great story. Well, told is still, I believe, you know, the single most powerful vehicle to change the world. Right? And I think if we can harness that, Yeah. In any kind of campaign, but particularly in the climate movement, we have a huge opportunity to drive increased action, you know, stronger policy and and really ultimately better, better outcomes. And in this case, with the face of change, better health health outcomes. For those who are experiencing, you know, the worst impacts now because this isn't a far away problem. It's a now problem, right? It's a today problem. 

Amelia Loveday: Yeah. So we're talking really about, you know, global messaging, bringing people together from all over the place, uh, with that shared interest. Um, and you've worked in plenty of large global organisations. Um, I know you used to work for Global Citizen as well. Um, can you share a few insights about what it's like to work for a global organisation? 

Sarah Acer: Yeah, absolutely. Um, I spent many years at Global Citizen. And for those who aren't aware, Global Citizen is the world's largest advocacy organisation dedicated to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. So the 17 goals that the world set for itself in order to really achieve, um, achieve these development ambitions. Yeah, I would say my, my, it's hard to, to couch my experience at Global Citizen in a in a couple sentences. But I would say working for organisations like Global Citizen or any campaign or advocacy organisation again is an amazing space and place to learn.

It's also an opportunity to test every skill you have those that you are You know, strong in, but also those you may not may not be strong in that may be sort of under or less developed. I think these kinds of environments that really take all of your skills and all the skills of those around you are really a great space and place, um, to assess and to learn more about yourself and your own interests. But things that I've learned about working inside large organisations like Global Citizen, um, I would say a couple things maybe come to mind. One, I would say always, always ask questions, right? Everyone in these environments are really at their, at their core. They're here to help, you know, help support one another, right?

They're here to help you on your climate justice journey, on your food insecurity journey, on whatever issue area you're most passionate about that you're looking to. you know, you're looking to expand your knowledge and your expertise. And so ask questions people for virtual coffees, in person coffees, get time with these individuals don't be afraid to actually reach out to them Um, we always offered it as as leaders inside global citizen and and very few people took us up on these opportunities to have these coffee chats. So take people up on those offers, um, and use it as a space to learn, but also as a space to grow your network. Um, and to build your network, I would also say, you know, speak up when you are interested in something, um, and you're in these fast paced environments. And you want to be a part of something.

These are fast moving organisations, um, where lots of things are coming together quickly, but if you have an idea, you have a connection, if you have, you know, um, an interest in being a part of a team, speak up, tell your line manager, um, write an email to the CEO, let, let it be known that you're interested because these kinds of organisations, they are running on. Passion and commitment of individuals just like you. So it's really, I think, important for them and also an opportunity for, for young people to really, um, really engage. And I would just say, make the most of it. These opportunities are usually yours for the taking because they are, you know, they're movement building organisations and they are powered by.

Youth and young people. And this is not about sort of youth are the leaders of the future. Youth are the leaders of today and operating from that mindset that youth are centered in decision making. In all decision making processes, young people and youth are empowered to help guide, lead and inform decision making, I think is also important. So joining and being a part of organisations that are Similar in that respect, like Global Citizen, like the One Campaign, there's a number of others I've had the pleasure of working very closely with, I would say is a great opportunity for any young person. 

Amelia Loveday: Amazing advice, Sarah. Thank you. So we've covered, you know, in terms of tips for young people who want to get involved in the climate or social impact related space, networking, campaigning and speak up. Um, we're running out of time here, but Sarah, thank you so much for all that invaluable advice. Um, please, will you tell our audience where they can find out more about the Face of Change campaign and any other campaigns you're working on at the moment? 

Sarah Acer: Yeah, absolutely. Um, you can find out more about the face of change campaign, um, powered by forecasting healthy futures and time at faceofchange.org. Uh, and you can learn more about our firm and our work at Align at our website, alignsocialimpact. com or on socials at Align Impact. 

Amelia Loveday: Amazing. Well, Sarah, honestly, huge thanks for joining us today and also to everyone watching. Remember to subscribe to hear about next month's CareerCon Monthly at hundo.xyz and you can find us on socials by searching for the same. Thank you very much everyone and goodbye.

How hundo’s Career CoPilot helps small businesses and their future talent with Liz Barclay and Esther O'Callaghan OBE
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Career Copilot
Liz Barclay, UK Small Business Commissioner and Esther O'Callaghan OBE explain how tech, like hundo's Career CoPilot can transform the landscape for small businesses and help young people with their career path.
The following is the transcript for this video:

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: So, delighted to be joined by a great friend and colleague, Liz Barclay, UK Small Business Commissioner and also Fair by Design campaign. Obviously, today at hundo, we're launching the AI Career CoPilot, the purpose of which is to help young people, parents, educators and employers start to have better real time access to the types of roles, skills, companies, um, that are available, um, to young people as they're starting to transition, um, from education into work. Um, for, for me and Liz, I think we come from a generation where we didn't have access to an AI Career CoPilot, and I think therefore have had, uh, what's known as squiggly careers, uh, and I, uh, thought it'd be, uh, That'd be quite nice, uh, to hear from you, Liz, on a little bit about your career journey, uh, first.

Liz Barclay: I haven't thought about it as squiggly. That's actually quite a good word. I have to say there was no access to AI. Definitely not. That's absolutely true. But there was very little access to any kind of career coaching of any sort. My career coach was the maths mistress. And what she knew about careers wasn't.
Anything like what you knew about maths. So, uh, as a result, we kind of had no idea what was out there. And I think that's part of the problem, isn't it? You tend to, you go for what you know, uh, and if nobody else tells you there's lots of other options, then it just doesn't occur to you. And of course, uh, I am of that generation where we were doing RSA computing and learning about how to write code and so on and so forth and thinking, what on earth are we doing this for? Because we're never going to have to use this. I'm actually looking at it now. It would have been exactly the right thing to do. Because of all those wonderful careers. And career opportunities that there are right there and I, but I mean, I was much more likely to end up as a loo cleaner than I was as a coder.

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: I think I did do that as a job for a while. I know. Yeah, it's, I mean, it's quite incredible because I was thinking back, um, you know, obviously the, you know, everything that we build into hundo is about trying to address the critical pain points. You know, the young people experience, um, and increasingly we're seeing it on the employer side as well, because obviously there's a critical skill shortage and a deficit for businesses, which, which kind of, you know, feeds into what you were just saying about, um, you can have, you know, bad careers advice, uh, and that as a young person can set you off on a completely incorrect trajectory if you get on a trajectory at all.
Um, but equally. On the other side, the pain point is with employers going, there's these young people leaving education and they, they don't know what they want to do. You know, they don't know what the jobs are. They get into a company and they don't have the skills. And so I think, you know, even, even just like beyond coding, like you were saying that we see teamwork collaboration, you know, critical thinking, and you know, these are consistently things employers.
So they can't find obviously in your role as um, small business commissioner, you obviously interact a lot with small businesses across the UK and appreciate not on the skills agenda, but, but clearly, you know, do you have a, you know, from your sort of, you know, informal viewpoint when you're, when you're working with companies, what are you seeing?

Liz Barclay: Um, If I just take a step back, I came from a small business background. You know, I grew up in a small business family. I had a grandfather who was a builder and an uncle who had a house building company and a great aunt who had a corner shop. My parents were farmers, you know, for me actually thinking about being.
Uh, running my own business was a real opportunity. Uh, and what I think is, uh, when I talk to small businesses, a lot of them have come to small businesses themselves, uh, as a career option, but out of employment, perhaps that they found hugely unsatisfactory and really restrictive and restricting. But I'm also finding a lot of small business owners that are saying, nobody ever thinks about coming to work for small businesses. They all want to work for a big business. They're all being channeled to go and work for these big household names and big brands. And one of the problems that small businesses have is that they can't afford to compete in the way uh, that they might do with salaries that school leavers and so on might expect.
Um, but they offer really different, they're a different feel. You know, they're small, they're caring, they're family. They're, uh, most often purpose led. And I think a lot of young people would really like to work for those kind of ethical, purpose led small businesses. But how do you get that, how do you bridge that gap?
And also, one of the things you may know, I mean, you know, but I've been a broadcaster for years and years and years, and when I first started, In broadcasting, which was never something that was on the agenda as far as career thinking at school was concerned. But when I first started, one of the first people that I interviewed was this amazing Australian guy who was running one of the careers and skills organizations for the UK. And he said to me then, and this is about 25 years ago, um, there is the problem is there is no interaction between the education system and industry. So. Education doesn't know what to be teaching people to do, so that when the employers pick them up, they're not, you know, they don't have the right skills, but that's even more of a problem for the small businesses.
The big businesses can afford to upskill them, retraining, etc. The small businesses quite often can't do that. And so there's a real, there's a real bridge that we need to build there, and hopefully, I'm hoping your tool's going to be able to do that, and your platform is going to be able to do that. 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: Yeah, I mean, it was designed for that purpose, you know, certainly from, you know, from when we started hundo, you know It's kind of where we are now. It's always been the SME sector that kind of and in many ways almost get it a lot more because exactly for the reasons that you say they are feeling those pain points and they need and you know greater visibility to young people, you know, and that's kind of so that you know I think that is interesting and I think you're spot on. It's I certainly, you know, with young people that I know that I work with, they are looking outside of that more sort of corporate landscape and more into, and also a lot of small businesses, like you said, they are local, aren't they? So you don't have to, 

Liz Barclay: that was exactly what I wanted to add there because I think they know what's going on in their local communities, etc.
Yeah. And when I've been running small business and looking to take people on and give them opportunities and maybe internships and paid, I always paid the interns. Um, I've always been fascinated to see who is out there who wouldn't normally be able to get into broadcast production or whatever it might be and, and go out and look for people for whom that there was no career path into it and be able to say, you know, come and join us, see what you think. Spend 10 weeks with us and see if that, if it works for you and it works for some and it doesn't work for others and that's great because you've got a, you've got much more experience as well. It's harder to do that now, I think. I honestly think it's harder to, you know, big companies have all sorts of processes you've got to go through. You can't do work experience. But the other thing for me is sometimes work experience that's not paid is only available to people whose parents can pay. I can pay the travel expenses and can feed them while they're on a work experience and that is difficult 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: for me. Yeah, and again, it's kind of, it's one of the reasons, you know, why the sort of virtual work experiences which are, you know, product based learning employer validated have become so important because for a small business, even if they want to support young people in work, they only have maybe, what, one to five jobs or, you know, there isn't an exponential number. But the value of being able to work on those programs, um, you know, online, uh, you know, is incredibly valuable, even if you don't end up working for that employer to be able to get into an industry, especially when even like broadcasting, like you said, because it's not the most straightforward route. Um,

Liz Barclay: no, it's not, but actually it's not the kind of thing you're going to know. You're not going to know who all the job opportunities are because not everybody's going to end up in front of a microphone or a camera, but so many opportunities behind the scenes, lots and lots of different roles. Uh, but you don't know about them unless you're in there finding out what is available.

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: I think for us as well it's, you know, what my, what my hope is. With the Career CoPilot is the ability, you know, the more, um, that we, the more that we interact with young people while they're still in education. Um, it's not just about helping them make career choices. It's about helping them make, um, better educational choices based on the skills and the types of industries that are going to be available to them.
Um, I was talking to, um, Uh, one of the professors at University of Strathclyde and they were saying like in the UK Um, there's something like 24, 000, you know law students or you know, something like that But there's only like 5, 000 jobs So, you know, even even students with degrees, you know They need to understand that there are multiple industries that they can go and work in it's not binary You know just because they've done law they then have to go and work in law And and I think that's some of the you know, certainly from you know From my perspective what i've seen is like that's some of the richness of having, like, real time, um, access to job data, you know, that we're starting to see now.

So, following the post from Laura Jane Rawlings today, who heads up Youth Employment UK, talking about the fact that there are now, uh, it's Joseph Rowntree, uh, stats, actually, that there are now 14.4 million families in the UK living, uh, below the poverty line. Um, as chair of the Fair By Design campaign. Um, can you talk a little bit about the need to upscale, um, and, and reskill, uh, to tackle the poverty premium, um, through the development of career readiness for young people? 

Liz Barclay: Just to give you a bit of background, the Fair By Design campaign is aiming to get rid of the extra costs of being poor. Now, uh, the extra costs are things like having to use a prepayment meter, having to pay your insurance in a monthly on a monthly basis because you can't afford to pay the whole thing at once and so you end up paying more So for something like transport for instance if you want to get to work chances are you're going to not be able to afford a season ticket And you're gonna have to pay by the day and that's going to work out more expensive and we really need to get to the bottom of that and understand why people on the lower income are actually paying more for the services that are essential and that people on higher incomes can, you know, afford to pay through direct debits and get discounts.
So we've got to tackle that. And I think that, um, we have to tackle that in order to help people to take up some of the job opportunities in the first place. But we also have to tackle low paid jobs. Um, there's no point in creating jobs in this country, if they're poor quality jobs. and really low paid jobs.
Uh, we've got to be able to put we've got to enable the small firms to put more investment into upscaling people too, so that they can earn better wages, etc. So, it's, it's about, I think having a, a, an employment and industrial strategy. Uh, an enterprise strategy across the UK that will make it a really, really good place.
And this is what the government wants to do, to make it a really good place to start up and run a business, to create those jobs. Because the small businesses, let's face it, are the most creative and innovative in the world, probably, in the UK. And we want them to be able to offer the most brilliant jobs to young people coming out of schools.
Further education, colleges, universities, uh, to be able to compete on the world stage to export, to trade, uh, but we really need good quality jobs that are reasonably paid so that people can, you know, pay their bills and aren't struggling to make ends meet because their income is too low to be able to take advantage of that way to pay less for essential services.

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: Yeah, I think that's, that's certainly, you know, chimes with, with my view. I see a lot, um, about young people talking about side hustles and, you know, and, and kind of gig economy. And I think it hides a very inconvenient truth, which is that young people are actually forced to have multiple jobs just to make ends meet. Um, and I think hopefully. With the Career CoPilot, we can help young people navigate past some of that low pay, um, and into jobs that actually, um, can give them a living, yeah, a living wage. So, um, great. Well, Liz, thank you so much, uh, for being with us today. I know you're incredibly busy, so I really appreciate it. And, uh, I look forward to catching up with you soon.

Global Empowerment: Breaking Barriers with Esther O'Callaghan OBE and Dr. Tahirih Danesh
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Career Copilot
Dr. Tahirih Danesh, PhD Law, CEO of Africa College Foundation (MII U.K.) and Esther O'Callaghan OBE, Founder of hundo addresses global youth unemployment challenges and offers solutions on how we can support young people.
The following is the transcript for this video:

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: Hi, I'm Esther O'Callaghan, the founder of hundo.xyz I'm delighted to be joined by a colleague and friend, Dr. Tahirih Danesh, and we're going to be talking all about mentoring. Uh, skills, uh, the widening gap between education and employability skills and learning, um, and how, um, how we're working together to tackle that.
Um, so I'm going to hand it over to you to do a quick intro, um, about who you are and what you 

Dr. Tahirih Danesh: do. Thanks, Esther. Um, my name is Tahirih as you mentioned I am the CEO of Africa College Foundation here in the United Kingdom. Um, I'm also an associate economic rights advocate, so I'm super excited about anything that. Uses any means to promote education, entrepreneurship, and employment, particularly for the youth of Africa, who are the largest population of youth on earth. 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: Thank you. So we're going to jump right in, um, with some questions. I actually wanted to, um, pick up on exactly what you just said. In areas like South Africa, um, how has technology changed the narrative, um, about geographic barriers? Um, access to career opportunities for students, um, and how is that challenging some of the stereotypes and, and the career limitations?  Well, 

Dr. Tahirih Danesh: um, placing myself back, as you know, since the end of Apartheid, access to education has been a huge, huge barrier to creating socio economic inequality, uh, or rather equality getting rid of socio economic inequality.
And so, um, the infrastructure in the country is a lot of ideas. So things like transportation, communication, you know, having data is like adding gold. It's very difficult. So, um, technological advance and technological increase are enabling the younger generation to actually be able to access these very basic rights without which you can't really live.
I mean, if you don't have education, how can you, you know, access your Um, uh, income, how can you, you know, advance in society, how can you contribute to your welfare, the welfare of your family and the community? So, so technology is really playing a huge role in, uh, changing those means dynamics. It's, you know, 30 years ago, we couldn't even dream of, are becoming possible. We need to do a lot more. It's not ideal. But, um, what we see in, in South Africa in particular is, is really important. And my hope is that we'll be able to, um, you know, have greater impact with things like UNRWA. I think it's an incredible platform through which, you know, meaningful change would happen but in underdeveloped countries.

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: Thank you. And I think the important thing from our side is, is the ability to work in partnership. with education providers and I think recognising that it's impossible in many ways for educators to also be careers advisors and you know and all of those things It's like we need to kind of work and as part of an ecosystem and together I think that's one of the reasons why we're so happy to be and partnering up and with you over the course of the next year and touching on that then in terms of from your perspective, and obviously with the students that you serve, how does access to things like information, not just education, but you know, inspiration, and independent mentors, and how do you see, do you perceive that as important?
How do you think about that? Particularly looking at an increasingly globalised workforce. Um, and, and how, yeah, and how everybody's kind of starting to interoperate together. Be really useful to hear your perspective on that. Well, 

Dr. Tahirih Danesh: two points on what you said about mentoring and inspiration are incredibly important in our ecosystem. Um, because our education system is, you know, something unique, you know, consciousness based education takes a technical education that any other university offers to train the younger generation, but then adds to it an element of regeneration from within the individual. So, we're not really interested in the traditional approach to education, which is to bring someone and just, you know, fill them up with information and say, now go on nurturing that.
When we actually do consciousness based education, which relies on meditation, relies on the inner workings of an individual as their greatest capital. We are very much focused on how do we create that inspiration, how do we bring about that unity and diversity of talents that an economy needs, a sustainable economy needs. And so for us, it's very important to, to, to look at that and see how do we connect that to the demands that are in the market. And we seem to have cracked that, that, that bold glass ceiling on, on employment because South Africa, as you know, is one of the countries with highest rates of youth unemployment in the world.
But, um, consistently our organisation, the Maharishi Invincibility Institute, which is a very unique, um, secondary, uh, education institution, um, and for secondary, um, consistently we have maintained an above average of at least 94%. This last December we were actually at 98%. Once our, our, our, um, students graduate, we're warrantied almost employment.
And so creating, um, that relationship through mentors is very important. In fact, our organisation is in many ways, although it's a massive organisation and you have more than 200 people working there, you know, faculty, you know, deans, everything, we're still being mentored by a key figure, our founder, Dr.
Taddy Bletcher, who is one of the 21 icons to watch in Ethic World. He's an incredible person in terms of his approach to education and that relationship that all of us have with Ted is actually creating that context within which mentorship works and of course, as we know here in the United Kingdom, you know, years ago, we had a wonderful, uh, experiment done by one of our, um, top, um, education professors here.
Um, the entire thing is called a hole in the wall. The hole in the wall theory, of course, showed that yes, you need technology, but do you need that element of encouragement. You need that figure who comes and empowers you to dig deeper within you, to, to find solutions to the problems that you're facing.
And in contexts like South Africa, where we are really rebuilding the world in a whole new way, um, it's very important to have that element of encouragement because you face so many I would never say problems, but new paths to solutions that sometimes it could become ourselves. You need that energy to keep going.
And so I love the fact that, you know, your ecosystem, you know, doesn't only bring technology, but brings that element of mentoring and courage to the students and the younger population. 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: It was actually really important for us because we never saw tech as a replacement. Um, to human interaction. Um, and I think that's one of the, um, one of the reasons that we looked at developing the career co pilot. It was not just, um, for students, it was also to give teachers, parents, um, and, and career coaches and advisors, um, the ability to stay out in front of what is, what is just a rapidly changing, um, workforce, you know, the skills that you need, um, the jobs that are available. Um, you know, in my lifetime, you know, so far it's probably the same for you.
I haven't seen this level of disruption, um, and asking educators to keep pace with that is, I think, I think, asking too much. And so I guess for me, that's why, um, that's why the career co pilot for us became so important. Um, and to be able to empower, um, not just students, um, but teachers as well. Um, can you share, um, some of the stories, um, of individuals from, um, places, yeah, obviously predominantly working in South Africa, um, and how you, um, yeah, some of the case studies would be great to hear, and then also how you see, um, leveraging, um, what hundo provides in terms of being able to, um, yeah, being able to boost that experience for, for, yeah, hopefully as many young people as we possibly can together. Well, 

Dr. Tahirih Danesh: um You know, our entire system is based on making education accessible and enjoyable for the most marginalised youths. And Al Shabaab has a central role to play in socio economic welfare of the entire globe because it is in your list. Currency Mutual Independence Day by 2014. We're expecting This number to increase by even 40 percent more so, you know, the median age is 19 years of age, which means for the foreseeable future, 60 percent or so, um, the workforce that definitely changed to join the global economy on the massive, and South Africa, particularly Johannesburg, where our headquarters are, has always played a very important role.
You know, Johannesburg is a New York in terms of economic impact of Africa. And so what we see happen in this particular space is phenomenal. We have more than 24,000 graduates there who, each one of them, if you look at their story, spaces like that, they, they shouldn't, maybe some of them didn't even be alive because of the circumstances that they faced.
The way we have set up, uh, the, the system is that they come in, we're F3, but fully almost funded. We're 80 percent sustainable. We're trying to become 100 percent sustainable perpetually. But if we offer free education to students, and, and as I mentioned earlier, of course we work with, with their whole well being.
So through meditation, through yoga, through a new diet, through a whole Ratham program that you have counseling, anything. Each of them coming to the system, and within three years on average, they go from extreme poverty to middle class. And with the rate of employment that of course we have, you are now seeing our graduates in some of the most important institutions. around the world that have a presence in South Africa. So our hope is that this incredible recourse we have, that everyone is after because of the quality of graduate study. That then, soon enough, the entire globe would have access that we are training and empowering. to more fully real in, in their own selves and the community around them.
Um, so we're, we're very hopeful and I could go on and get into 24,000 is, is a quite a, quite a, you know, case study, but we have, you know, graduate after graduate, story after story of, of lives that have changed forever. And of course, with then generations are now enjoying a different life. Because of access to education and because of access to entrepreneurship and meaning for employment, so I think you're going to need, um, a seismic shift in the way not only how our students access employment and entrepreneurship, but in the way businesses around the world are able to access the resource that we're creating.
And along with that, of course, the quality of education, as you mentioned, we're part of the Marshall Hobbs Educators. And that's a huge deal in a country that is, that is experiencing brain drain. If we're able to maintain our students, if they are able to study and work, um, in South Africa and, and, you know, empower the world, that's going to make a huge difference globally, you know, because these numbers make all sorts of impacts on GDP in some countries and then GDP plays a huge role in having.
You know, uh, obtain our, um, Sustainable Development Goals. So I think, I think what you're doing really in, in, in probably five, six years time will be shocked pleasantly with the impact that, that you're imparting and, and what you're pioneering today. 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: Uh, thank you. I think it's, I think what you touched on there, um, you know, this is a sort of a final thought for me is around exactly that. Um, it's no use in, my view, um, having all these, you know, bright minds, um, who then have to leave their homes. Um, you know, in, some cases leave their countries, um, simply because of a lack of access, um, to jobs that are, that are actually available. You know, I've, I've seen that over and over again, um, where there can be an equivalent number of jobs in a region, um, as there are young people seeking work, but there's a complete mismatch in terms of the skills and the access and the basic, the visibility, um, to employers.
So, um, so yeah, no, it's been, um. Really, really exciting to get to, um, to learn more, um, about the institute that we're going to be working with together. And, um, thank you so much for, uh, being with us today.  Thank you very 

Dr. Tahirih Danesh: much. We, everyone at Maharishi Invincibility Institute and our new, um, campus on the continents, and very first education capital, education talent that we are starting in Johannesburg Central Business District, um, which is going to be the mecca of education, I think, for the entire globe. Everyone's excited working with you guys that are looking forward to having these incredible opportunities and we can't wait to welcome everybody there. 

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: So very excited to be having hundo's Career CoPilot going live in South Africa in partnership with you. So thanks ever so much for your time.

Dr. Tahirih Danesh: See you in South Africa.

Esther O'Callaghan OBE: Very soon.

Shaping Futures: Local Authority, Digital Transformation, and Future-Ready Skills with Louise Wood and Piers Collins
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Career Copilot
Louise Wood, MBA, Employment & Skills Senior Manager at Leeds City Council talks to hundo's Co-founder, Piers Collins as they explore how local authorities prepare youth for work and share insights from Leeds.
The following is the transcript for this video:

Piers: Hi, everyone. My name is Piers, and I am one of the founders of Hundo, and I am delighted to welcome Louise, uh, who works on the employment and skills team at Leeds City Council, um, and wanted to ask her a few questions about things that she's seeing, uh, in the city of Leeds itself. Because I know they have great ambitions as a city for their future skills and future workforce.

Piers: So, Louise, thank you so much for joining us today. First question I think is, you know, what is Leeds City Council's role in ensuring young people are ready for the world of work? 

Louise: Hi, everyone. Um, yes, so I think for us as Leeds City Council, we kind of play a really kind of pivotal role in Understanding employer's needs.

Louise: So thinking about what the sectors are in Leeds that are really key and are going to be key for us in the future and then trying to translate that into [00:01:00] schools and into careers information for young people as well. So it's really about connecting that information. So. Being that kind of connector between the employers, understanding what they want and working there with our schools and colleges across the region to really connect with the young people, inform and inspire them about future job opportunities, skills that might be needed as well.

Louise: So we've kind of got this. Big kind of connection, this big loop of things that are going around and everything's connected, and there's a place for everyone in terms of what their skills and interests are that will fit into what our employer needs are in the city as well. So, it's really about understanding all of that and making sure we've got things in place to really.

Louise: Connect those two dots, um, and have things aligned for the future. So thinking about future skills needs, um, future employment needs as well. 

Piers: Amazing. And absolutely. I mean, when you go to Leeds itself, you can see the growth that's happening in the city just by the amount of building that you can see going on.

Piers: Um, I know there is a already large and growing tech community in the city, and I'm sure you've been impacted by the, you know, huge digital transformation we've seen. Um, over the last five or 10 years, what are the things that you've noticed in terms of the impact of digital transformation in Leeds? 

Louise: So, yeah, just saying, I mean, there's been loads of change happening in Leeds.

Louise: There's loads of growth going on, um, in the digital sector and others as well. So, Leeds really is a place where things are happening, um, and it's really exciting to be part of that and see what's growing in the city. And digital transformation has been one of the key things, a key growth areas. So, in the digital sector itself, especially during things like COVID, People change the ways they work, the ways they shop, the way they lived, um, and businesses had to adapt to that.

Louise: So that kind of sparked this really sort of growth area, um, and as well for, you know, after that, people's habits have changed and people are stuck with that. So there is still ongoing growth for that. So what's that, what that's meant is that Leeds is kind of becoming known as a real digital powerhouse.

Louise: So. Outside of London, Leeds is kind of a city to be in terms of digital organizations. So businesses that are going to expand from other locations and move into Leeds are people that want to start up a business as well. Leeds is really known for somewhere that's key for that. And it's a really collaborative ecosystem as well.

Louise: So there's lots of organizations already in the space in different areas of tech and digital. And it's a really supportive environment to be in Leeds. And what's that also has meant is that there's a really big increase in employment and skills needs as well. So as. Companies take on digital transformation.

Louise: They need employees to be able to, um, work on those digital transformation. They need new people in the business to help, uh, with that growth as well. So it's all kind of sparked a big kind of cycle of unemployment and skills needs and businesses keeping up with trends and things that will really support that digital transformation.

Louise: So it's also about still looking in the future about what digital transformation will look like in 12, 5 years time, you know, whatever that might be. What the skills that will be needed and what the jobs that will be created as part of that as well. 

Piers: Absolutely. And I think, you know, that's one of the big things that at Hundo we've been wrestling with for many years is the pace of change that we see in the workplace, you know, exemplified in leads, not just what jobs are and what jobs look like, but actually how you do jobs.

Piers: Um, I think that, you know, especially post COVID and especially in tech industries, you can. you know, a lot of people can work from home, um, at least for a certain number of days of the week. And I think that that then allows a bit more flexibility in terms of your lifestyle. So where do you actually choose to live?

Piers: You don't have to live 15 minutes or 20 minutes from the office if you're not going in five, five days a week. So it'd be interesting to see how that's impacted, um, you know, how people work, especially in Leeds itself. To that point, obviously the skills required have changed and the skills. Um, you know, you want to have in the city to attract those businesses are obviously very important.

Piers: We know you have fantastic education, uh, partners across the city and universities, schools, colleges, um, things like that. What's been the council's role in terms of operating with those groups and working with those education 

Louise: partners? Um, so I think a little bit sort of what I alluded to earlier, it's a bit about being that connector.

Louise: So we're a kind of a trusted partner for our, our local schools, colleges, our education providers as well in terms of being a point of contact. So when, um, those colleges, those schools, those education providers want to know what skills employers are looking for, what skills will be needed in the future.

Louise: Where that point of contact for them to either connect them into employers. And again, likewise, employers to come to us to say, we want to really tap into future talent. We want to let young people know about who we are, what we do, what jobs they'll have with us in the future, because they've got a big growth plan.

Louise: And they want young people to really get excited about opportunities with that company. So where that central point of contact in connecting those two as well. And I think what we also do really well is look at. different options for young people. So we're looking at apprenticeships. You know, apprenticeships have been on the agenda for quite a number of years, but it's not something that all young people are aware of.

Louise: So, it's about making sure young people have got informed choices about what happens when they leave school or education. Have they got different routes into it? So, an apprenticeship is a really good example of anyone being able to access that qualification and that employment opportunity, potentially getting up to a degree or a master's qualification without having the university debt to go alongside that.

Louise: So, it makes Education and qualifications and employment much more accessible for a whole range of people and it's our role in that as well to make sure young people are aware of that. So, going in ourselves to schools and colleges talking about apprenticeships, getting employers to go in to talk about apprenticeships, running large recruitment affairs like we've got the Leeds Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair.

Louise: So a whole host of employers coming along to offer apprenticeship opportunities and really just showcasing the whole range of sectors that offer apprenticeships and the employers as well and offering that different career pathway for people that maybe wouldn't have thought about university or a degree being an option for them.

Louise: So really making sure that everyone has. As that whole information, they can make that informed choice about their future as well. And really kind of showcasing what opportunities they have, but also what's available here in the city locally for them as well. 

Piers: Yeah, I love that. And I think, you know, that's fantastic to hear that.

Piers: I think there's more routes now than ever before to getting into that industry. You want to break into, you know, it's not so much of the state, you know, school, university, then graduate scheme route, which seemed to be the. The single conveyor belt for everybody for a period of time. Um, final question. We haven't got too much time, I guess.

Piers: You know what? We get the benefit of having so many different roles and so many different routes in means there's a lot of information. What has been the appetite you've seen in terms of having more innovation around the way that we actually approach the traditional methodologies, I guess, of getting a young person from education into the right job for them.

Louise: Um, so I think, you know, as we said, times are changing, technology's out there, there's lots of new advancements, lots of new things available. And it makes sense to put that into an education kind of aspect for young people as well. And having platforms and information that's accessible to more young people is only going to be something that's beneficial.

Louise: It means those people that aren't kind of comfortable with going to a large recruitment event, um, or that can't attend for whatever reason, they've got access to information. As of when it's comfortable and accessible and easy for them as well, and it's something that is probably a lot more engaging use of things like AI and tools like that.

Louise: It really makes actually the information that is given to your people is up to date. It's current. It's based on employee needs and trends, and it provides a lot more. depth of information that your general probably, you know, careers advisor can keep up with as well. People are limited by how much information they can attain.

Louise: Whereas something like new technologies, use of that is only going to be beneficial. And there's been a lot of, a lot of interest from schools and colleges that we've worked with to use tools like that because they're much more motivational and engaging for young people to access things like that. And it also gives them use of technology as well.

Louise: So they get hands on with the tech. Rather than just, you know, building additional skills in that technology way as well. 

Piers: Fantastic. Well, I think the, you know, the amazing thing about the sort of answer there is that I guess we've identified that as well at Hundo and as we work with more employers, and obviously we've worked with you guys up in Leeds as well, we were, I guess, you know, blown away by the amount of information that was available for young people.

Piers: And I think trying to navigate that is particularly difficult. So we have built Copilot with a view that it. Can we use AI to actually create a personalized experience that allows a young person to navigate that landscape, but in a way that's tailored for them, um, because every student is different. Um, what do you think in terms of the employer appetite?

Piers: Do you think employers are open to taking more risks? I know we've got more routes, but do you think employers are so wedded to the,  um, sort of classic degree route, or do you think there's some, some more risk takers out there? 

Louise: I think definitely there is more risk takers now, and I think specifically the digital sector, employers know that there's a bit of a talent shortage, and they have to recruit differently.

Louise: So they have to think about different routes of talent coming into their business, and that traditional degree route isn't necessarily good and give them the talent they provide. And also, you know, people have different backgrounds and different skills routes now, and they can bring so much more diversity to that business and that organization, from their education routes, from their lived experiences, from who they are.

Louise: And businesses are much more aware of the benefits that a diverse workforce can bring in terms of them, different backgrounds as well. So I think businesses are much more open to different routes and willing to take risks. And I've seen the benefits of doing that as well. And it's sometimes it's necessity in terms of attracting a bigger talent pool, but also it means employers are more, much more modern and up to date with who they're bringing on.

Louise: And rather than just thinking of traditional kind of candidate models, actually. They can bring so much more to their business by thinking wider than that and attracting a much more diverse talent pool. 

Piers: Brilliant. Well, look, that's all we have time for today. Louise, thank you so much for giving us this time.

Piers: Um, and so much insight what you guys are up to, um, in Leeds. And, um, yeah, we hope to continue working in, in the city and, um, assisting in making sure we're plugging the best talent into those fantastic new businesses that I know are coming every month. So thanks for the time. Definitely. 

Louise: So thanks for yours.

Empowering Futures: Career Insights with Mark Haviland and Nadiyah Rajabally
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Career Copilot
Mark Haviland is the Founder and CEO of Conscious Careers and will dive into the importance of young people picking the right career, how educators and parents can help and more with Nadiyah Rajabally, Head of Marketing at hundo.
The following is the transcript for this video:

Nadiyah: Hi, everyone. Welcome to our first career conversation with myself, Nadia, head of market at hundo and with my wonderful Mark. So hundo is an edtech platform and we help upskill young people through our virtual work experience. And we have our career commentary series, which you can watch on demand on hundo.xyz. And on our platform, where you can learn about all the different industries and what skills, knowledge and behaviors you need. So Mark, welcome and thank you for joining us. Can you please introduce yourselves? 

Mark: Sure. So, uh, my name is Mark Haviland. I, uh, have three jobs at the moment. Uh, the first is the founder of Conscious Careers, which we'll talk about.

Mark: More today, but essentially it's a, it's a careers advisory concept that allows people to start their career planning with a world in mind, very different to the traditional form of career planning. So I work with schools across the [00:01:00] UK with that, but secondly, and I think just as importantly, um, I'm the vice chair of the marine conservation society here in the UK.

Mark: I have a passion for marine life. And the habitats that we all depend on, uh, and I help the organization as vice chair and trustee to focus on business, uh, government and citizen behavioral change to ensure that our oceans are as protected and as rich, uh, as they need to be. Um, but lastly, I'm the founder or co founder of an organization in Kenya.

Mark: Uh, Kenya has a small portion of Lake Victoria assigned to it. And on that. Uh, on that lake is an island called Mofangano, and we run a community based organization that helps the local community with health care, education, and environmental restoration. So those are the three things that I do, having spent many years in corporate life prior to that.

Mark: Uh, two years ago, I finished my corporate life, and I had spent many very happy years with, with Disney, uh, working in the UK. Tokyo and Paris. Uh, I then moved to CNN, the news organization where I worked on their international platforms and marketing and communications and commerce. And then more recently, uh, 10 years with Rakuten, uh, a large Japanese technology company, um, that again was a real insight into global business.

Mark: Finished those three and then started off. My independent career with career, conscious careers, marine world and Kenya. 

Nadiyah: Wow. Sounds amazing. So what started conscious careers and where do you see the future for it? Why is it so important to have this? 

Mark: So when I left Rakuten, I, as many people do. Um, when they essentially go on a sabbatical or want to career change themselves, I went into schools and it didn't surprise me that lots hadn't changed.

Mark: It did surprise me how much hadn't changed. And it was particularly striking how. Immovable career guidance has become how unchanged, how ultimately irrelevant much of the career guidance our kids are getting today, how irrelevant it is compared to the environment that we're living in the environment, the economy, society, the business has changed unrecognizably in the last few years, and it's changing at a faster pace than we've Yeah, the career guidance, let alone the education system, which itself hasn't changed, but career guidance isn't relevant anymore.

Mark: And for many people, university isn't necessarily relevant anymore. And so what I wanted to do was help the careers. guidance counselors, the careers teams in schools and college give kids a little bit more of a relevant insight, not only relevant to what's going on in the world, but optimistic. There are too many negative tones about what the world is experiencing at the moment.

Mark: And let's not pretend it a lot, a lot of good things are going on. There are a lot of challenges that people face and that we will face. The young will face. And there are some really serious issues that we need to address, but that's no reason to guide our children to become pessimists and, uh, and to have a negative view of the future.

Mark: We need them to be optimistic. So Conscious Careers is about creating optimism and confidence in our youth so that they can, they can be curious enough to design. careers that not only work for them, but work for their community and the world as well. I 

Nadiyah: know. Definitely. And that's so important. So what feedback have you had 

Mark: so far?

Mark: So one of the reasons that I do this is because I love spending time in schools. I've realized it's an untapped in passion that I have. So I love spending time with, with kids of any age groups from six to 660 from, um, from 13 years old to 22 years old, talking about what's going on in the world. And seeing the change from the beginning of the conversation to the end of the conversation, no matter how long that is, a whole day or just an hour, to see the eyes light up, to see there is something to look forward to, to see there are more ideas than they thought of what they could be doing with their careers, the problems that they'd like to be, um, be part of solving, the solutions that they would like to create, the wonderful ideas that they'd like to be a part of, uh, the feedback on the, on the looks of their faces.

Mark: It is an inspiring conversation. And the great thing is, it's not me talking. It's me drawing out of them the ideas that they have. Giving them some insights, of course, but the, but the bottom line, the feedback is great from the kids and the teachers are starting to ask how they can incorporate this in their lessons.

Mark: These, these real world, real life ideas that need to be associated with maths and history and geography and the sciences and the arts. How can they turn those subjects into applicable subjects that the kids can then go and use in positive ways? in their careers. So the feedback so far has been really positive.

Nadiyah: Well, that's great. So what challenges do you see in the education system right 

Mark: now? So several challenges. Firstly, that the system hasn't changed in well over 100 years, if not longer, certainly in the UK around the world, there are different challenges. Accessibility to education is probably one of the biggest global problems with when it with regards education.

Mark: Teachers around the world generally are very respected, but that level of respect diminishes in certain countries, and it certainly seems to be the case in the UK. So I think there's a problem of accessibility, there's a problem of culture of acceptance and respectability and credibility amongst the profession.

Mark: This isn't any old job. This is the most important job in the world. And we need to give teachers who are Have so many systematic things they have to do, so much admin, so much routine, uh, too much to be the inspirational advisors and guides and career guides that they want to be. We, I think we'd all, we, we all have certain teachers that we remember in our lives that really sparked an idea of optimism and, and set us off on a path.

Mark: We need more of those. We need teachers to become those. And I think the last couple of things that I'd point out about the current system, firstly, is it, it is, it is dictated by a short-term political. It's become a political football and there's no way that we can have long term sustainable change if it becomes a political conversation and it becomes a reason to elect a certain party.

Mark: We need to remove it from the political discussion. It needs a long term, 30 50 year plan. And lastly, we should move away from the subject based learning, to interdisciplinary learning. Instead of learning just about geography and maths and sciences, all, in their own right, useful. But never do we experience those in isolation.

Mark: We experience them in an interdisciplinary approach. So we want kids to be able to use maths and history of science and understanding of geography in order to solve everyday problems in order in order to live an everyday life that is both supportive of them, but also supportive of their community. So the interdisciplinary approach, I think, is I think it's something really achievable.

Mark: And there are some organizations like the London Interdisciplinary School. It's already well into trialing this and proving its value. So those are a few things that I would change. 

Nadiyah: Cool. So what advice would you give students watching this today? 

Mark: So, uh, keep working. Work hard, don't give up. But I think there are a couple of things that really stand out for me.

Mark: Firstly is this idea that we are taught to believe that if you have the answers, you'll go far. Whereas in fact, I think if you ask the right questions that you'll go far. I think we all know people who, who think they have all the answers. That are always the best people to spend time with. Um, but actually we love spending time with people who have great questions and the more questions that you ask, the more inclusive you are of those around you.

Mark: Cause none of us succeed alone. We all succeed because of a community that we build around us. And if you're inquisitive about the people, the places, the ideas around you, not only do you draw them in and make them part of your lives and actually create a support network through that. through those questions, but you also, of course, learn and the people who ask questions, learn the people who ask questions become adaptable.

Mark: The people who ask questions end up being the real success stories, be it on a community level, on a personal mental health level, on a corporate level, great questions lead to great careers. I guess the other piece of advice I'd give is, you know, be careful who you hang out with. You hang out with great communicators.

Mark: You'll become a great communicator. You hang out with somebody who's kind, or people who are kind, then you'll become kind. If you hang out with people with great traits, you yourself will have great traits. So whatever you learn, whatever school you go to, whether you go to university or not, you hang out with people with the kind of traits that you respect and you know the world needs, you'll become somebody the world needs.

Mark: Yeah, 

Nadiyah: I definitely agree. Your community, people you hang around with, is very important. So what advice would you give teachers watching 

Mark: this? So my dad was a teacher, uh, so that's close to my heart. And having spent more time in class now, I understand his life even more. I've always respected him as somebody who really drew ideas and capabilities out of children.

Mark: And I think maybe that's something that we've forgotten in, in, in teaching. It's not about promoting or broadcasting. It's about drawing out brilliance. Um, and I think, you know, given the opportunity, teachers and parents. Can be those optimistic guardians of the mental health and the, and the careers of, uh, of individuals.

Mark: It's not just about the grade. Um, I've got two sons and I've, you know, being a parent is hard. It really is. I'm being a teacher of a whole bunch of kids is hard. Um, so I would just, I would advise them that that the parents and the system, you know, should support them. ever more than they do today and to keep going because there is nothing more important in life than a teacher.

Mark: And that's in their heart what teachers should know. And if they know that there is nothing more in life than a teacher and they know that doing a really valuable job, no matter how hard it is, they'll be brilliant teachers. Definitely. 

Nadiyah: No, definitely. Like teachers and parents, I think it's a hard job being them and just making sure you get the right advice for the right people.

Nadiyah: And like you said, for students, making sure they surround themselves with good people. What is one key advice that you would give our viewers 

Mark: today? So my last piece of advice that I'd give, I've got so many, but I've learned this from schools. Uh, it's this idea of trade first. A trade first is an idea I developed essentially.

Mark: For that first step you take after school or university, we all hear about kids saying, Oh, what am I going to do? And my first job is going to dictate my career. And I'm like, God, this is stressy. Should it be about career or should I just go and get money? Here's, here's a guiding idea that might help. And it's this idea of trade first.

Mark: Now you either learn a trade first, a trade, whether it's coding, whether it's building tables, whether it's painting, whether it's decorating, whether it's plumbing, construction, just learn a trade. Six months, a year, three years, whatever it is, learn a trade. That trade will inform you for the rest of your life.

Mark: You don't have to stay with it, but you've learned something. A trade. The other option is to learn to trade. And this is the idea of learning to deal with people. So whatever the job is, and it might be catering, it might be working in a shop. It might be whatever helps you trade with people and it might be sales.

Mark: It might be customer service, but understand that the relationship you have with people and how you develop relationship is. Fundamental to how you succeed, however you define success in your life. And if you learn a trade. Or learn to trade in your first job, six months, a year, two years, you've given yourself a really solid foundation for a very healthy career.

Nadiyah: Well, thank you, Mark, for joining us. Where can our viewers contact you? Where's the best place? 

Mark: So www. consciouscareers. co. uk Uh, is, uh, the website, all the information is there. Um, but also there is information about Kenya and about the Marine Conservation Society there. Mark Haviland on LinkedIn. Find me anywhere.

Mark: Happy to talk. Cool. 

Nadiyah: Thank you so much, Mark. It's been lovely talking to you and having you as our first career conversation guest. So everyone, follow us at hundo. xyz and watch more on hundo. Obviously, follow us on our socials and our newsletter. And we hope to see you guys soon. Thank you.

Navigating the Future: A Deep Dive into Career CoPilot with hundo's team
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Career Copilot
hundo's team does a deep dive into what hundo's new Career CoPilot tool is and how it's a game changer for educators, teachers and young people. Hear from Scott Byrne-Fraser, hundo's Technical Co-founder, Jennifer Barnett, Head of People and Culture and Nadiyah Rajabally, Head of Marketing!
The following is the transcript for this video:

Nadiyah Rajabally: Thanks, Luke. Hello, everyone. And welcome to hundo's Career CoPilot launch. I'm Nadiyah, Head of Marketing at hundo, and I'm here with the wonderful Technical Co-Founder, Scott and Head of People Culture, Jen. So I know that everyone's wondering what is Career CoPilot? Now we have all the questions as we go in the deep dive into what it is. So welcome guys. Thank you for joining us today in the studio. So let's dive straight into the questions. Scott, what are you most, most excited about with career CoPilot? 

Scott Byrne-Fraser: It's a really good question. We work with such a diverse range of students from so many different backgrounds with so many different interests and so many different potential career paths.
What I'm really excited about CareerCoPilot is because we've trained this model on over 10,000 organisations. We've got about 200 different industries in there and potentially up to 200,000 different roles. The diversity and the different types of routes that students can go down and different career paths students can explore is really exciting to think about the different options that are available to them.

Nadiyah Rajabally: Yeah, definitely. So Jen, how does Career CoPilot help students in remote areas, especially in distant areas where there's not much companies and organisational opportunities, to discover new industries and careers that they may have never heard of such as space industry and cyber security? 

Jennifer Barnett: Yeah, so, I mean, as Scott said, Career CoPilot is trained with, you know, 10,000 companies, so whether you're on the, you know, remote highlands or The Southwest coast of England, um, you will be able to find and discover industries that you've never heard of.
Um, you can get insights and knowledge on what those companies are, what they do, and what sort of roles there are. And there's no barriers. There's no geographical barriers. It doesn't matter if you've never seen that company before, you've never heard of it, you've never seen their building or their office, it's irrelevant, you know, Career CoPilot has no geographical barriers and, um, yeah, it's open for everyone, no matter where you are.

Nadiyah Rajabally: And that's, yeah, that's really good. And obviously I know that hundo wants to tap into the global space with some of the partnerships that we have, which I know you're going to dive into later. So, Jen, in what ways can Career CoPilot benefit career advisors, teachers and educators? 

Jennifer Barnett: Good question and it can benefit all those people. Career CoPilot isn't here to replace teachers or educators or career guidance counsellors or people working in career guidance. It's really a support tool to enhance everybody's great work that they're already doing. And Career CoPilot is 24/7, you know, it's available 24/7. So, as much as, you know, teachers and everyone else does a fantastic job, they can't be there all the time and Career CoPilot can.

And it can be there from the start of someone's career journey through to, you know, getting a job. You might discover a role you're interested in Career CoPilot, um, have multiple conversations that will lead to an actual role that you want to apply for. And it can support you from the start of that journey right to the end of that journey.

Um, and it takes the pressure and the stress off, off teachers and off career guidance, um, counsellors because they know they can't be available all the time. But they want the best for their students and they want the best for, um, everyone to do the very best in their careers that they're interested in.

So, it's really here to support everybody. not just the students, but educators, teachers, you know, people in career guidance positions. 

[00:03:32] Nadiyah Rajabally: So Scott, following on what Jen has said, how does the admin section benefit schools and the career counsellors? 

[00:03:39] Scott Byrne-Fraser: I think one of the key things about what we've built is full control for colleges, uh, educators, career advisors to be able to guide their students.

So within hundo, you can select the students that get access to the platform. You can get insight into how they're using the platform with their confidential confidentiality in mind. Of course, protecting children and protecting the students is ultimately what we're trying to do with the platform as well.

So that full control that. Full privacy is incredibly useful. And that insight really helps guide career guidance counsellors in terms of what they're trying to do. 

Nadiyah Rajabally: Yeah, definitely. I'm sure a lot of our viewers want to know, how do you handle user's data to ensure data privacy and protection and it's user data is used to train the AI model?

Scott Byrne-Fraser: Privacy is really important to us. It's really critical, particularly the audience that we're working with. When you sign up to hundo, all your information is encrypted. It's stored on encrypted databases here in the UK. You have total control over the additional information that you put in. So when you sign up, you add your name and email address, date of birth, and that's it. Everything else is voluntary, and you as a student on the platform can choose what additional information you put in there. Everything within the AI CoPilot is again, voluntary. So you can choose what information goes in there. You can remove any information from your profile whenever you want to. None of that information is then used to actually train our model. further. We're very selective about the information that we use to train that model. So we put safeguards in place to ensure that your privacy is protected. And then the other key thing is that we ensure that when you're using the platform, there are safeguards in place so that it keeps you on track with a career conversation.
And if you do have conversations with it that take it off piste, it brings you back into the career conversation. 

Nadiyah Rajabally: Sounds so exciting. Jen, could you share any success stories? Or positive feedback from users that have benefited from hundo's Career CoPilot. 

Jennifer Barnett: Yeah, we've had some really good user testing, um, we've had students in a college, uh, in a big city in the North of England. Um, we've had students from a school, really, really remote school on the southwest coast of England down in Cornwall. Um, and we've even had a college in, in South Africa testing, uh, and trying out Career CoPilot. And the feedback's been really good, really positive. Um, students have found it really useful, really insightful.
Um, they've really just loved discovering all the different roles out there. And I think importantly, everyone's enjoyed it, you know, they're not bored, they're engaged, they're learning all the time. Um, so yeah, we're really buoyed up by the, by the positive feedback so far and look forward to receiving more.

Nadiyah Rajabally: That's great, and obviously hundo is global, even though we're our main target audience in the UK, we are looking at global with our South Africa audience. So Scott, considering the platform's engagement with a younger audience, what safety measures have you taken to ensure online safety for all our users?

Scott Byrne-Fraser: First off, it starts with privacy and control of your information. As I mentioned before, you have total control over the information of which you put on the platform. Secondly, we've been robustly testing it to ensure that the conversation that take place on it, guide you in the right direction. So. When you're speaking about careers, it keeps you on track with your careers.
When you're asking for additional information, how to, for instance, structure your CV, it guides you through that. You can ask it anything and it will always direct you to the right help or the right type of material to support you. So it shouldn't make up information. It shouldn't ever guide you in a way that will not be beneficial to you as an individual. So that's incredibly important, and we're constantly adapting it and changing it. So we're constantly looking at feedback we get from users. We're constantly stress testing it ourselves to ensure that it is a robust place and safe place for people to be able to properly explore their careers.

Nadiyah Rajabally: Yeah, and that's really important, making sure it's a safe place, especially online. Diving more into the tool, Scott, what makes it so unique? 

Scott Byrne-Fraser: Really good question. What makes us particularly unique is the way that we're approaching AI. We're using contextual AI which understands where you are on the platform. It understands what you're currently looking at. It understands whether you're looking at an employer, whether you're interested in working for that employer, or just exploring an industry, and it tailors the conversation based on that. It also remembers your chat history, so it understands the conversations it had with you in the past. So combined, this creates quite a unique and wealthy conversation that you can have with the AI to help guide you. Combined with the content that We've trained it on gives you a really fulfilling experience, and it's something that most a idols don't currently do. 

Nadiyah Rajabally: Interesting. Now, Jen, looking at mental health, obviously, such an important topic when it comes to young people. So how can career copilot be trained to help with mental health, especially when looking for jobs and opportunities? Because it will cause a lot of anxiety, stress. So how can hundo help with that? 

Jennifer Barnett: Yeah, that's another good question. Um, obviously, if you're a young person and you're thinking about what to study at A level or you've done your A levels and now you're thinking, you know, what can I study at university or you're just still at school and you're like, you know, what's my next move?
Um, it is stressful. Um, I completely understand that, you know, it's been stressful when I was at school and that, that hasn't disappeared. Um, I think the beauty of Career CoPilot is it, it's there to support and complement the career guidance that students will already get at their school or at their college. Um, and it, it enhances it essentially.
Um, so, and then. By default, because of that, it takes away some of the stress. So, students are making decisions based on discovering more about their skill set and what their skills are suited for and what possible roles and opportunities there are out there. Instead of just guessing, or instead of just thinking, Okay, well I, I know I'm quite good at maths, or I know I'm quite good at English.
It's, it gives a broader scope of, of where you can go and what skills and what roles you might. Want to further develop and what career that might point you towards And it's there 24/7 as well, you know career guidance counsellors are great and you know career CoPilots never going to replace them, but they're not there all the time you might watch something on TV and feel really inspired and be like wow I want to really work in space tech. You can go on career CoPilot, any time, day or night and find out more and then you can go to school or college the next day and have a conversation with your career guidance counsellor and say, look, I've watched a TV show about this. I've asked career CoPilots some questions. Let's explore this together further. And it's just a really nice complementary system that definitely definitely will alleviate stress in those sort of key sort of decision making times of student lives. So yeah, it's gonna be really helpful.

Nadiyah Rajabally: Yeah, and that's super important I know that Scott that we have trained the AI to help with mental health and that it does give pointers and direction. Could you dive a little bit more about how it helps? 

Scott Byrne-Fraser: Yeah, it's a really good question We obviously have built Career CoPilot to help and guide people with career decisions and to help people take their first steps into a career. We also appreciate that that's quite a stressful time for people as well.
There's a lot going on in people's lives, particularly when you're at college or when you're at university. We train the model with advice to help students with whatever they come and ask it about. Now, Career CoPilot for students is not for mental health. But, if you do ask a mental health question to it, it will guide you in the right direction to get the support that you need. It will push you to the right contacts to be able to get the correct support. 

Nadiyah Rajabally: And that's really important. And yeah, career copilot, the main aim is obviously career guidance, but also if we need support and help, young people can get that support and help. Now, we're sadly running out of time. And I know that we could sit here for ages talking about Career CoPilot and dive even more into it.
I hope that our viewers have had now a glimpse of what it is and what to expect. And that's a wrap guys. I'm super excited for everyone to dive into Career CoPilot and I hope you enjoy the rest of the day. Make sure to sign up for a demo and our waitlist at hundo.xyz and follow us on all our socials. I hope you enjoy the rest of our event and thank you for joining us today and I hope you have a lovely rest of the day.

Intro into hundo's Esports CareerCon with James Fraser-Murison
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Esports
A brief introduction to Esports and our agenda is given by James Fraser-Murison. Discover how esports is changing, unique business models are emerging, and engaging fan strategies are evolving in hundo's CareerCon event. Get ready for an epic esports career by levelling up your skills and uncovering industry challenges and growth opportunities!
The following is the transcript for this video:

James: Hello and welcome to hundo's latest monthly career con. This month we'll be discussing esports and the megabucks industry and careers that come with it. My name is James Fraser Murrison. I'm the head of education here at hundo and an esports specialist, no less. So let's find out. Do you know your LAN event from your scrim? 


Have you joined the Fortnite OG again for the first time or have you launched back in? Are you Team Twitch or even Kik? All of these things that we'll be able to discuss and look at as we get into this month's CareerCon. It's also worth noting that this is an opportunity to talk about esports careers. 


Um, it's worth noting that the industry is worth 1. 3, 1. 4 million dollars, and that the likes of the World Economic Forum are going to say that essential skills, not soft skills, essential skills needed for the workplace include things like team play, communication, logistics, and problem solving. Well, during the talks today, we'll be able to demonstrate and give evidence as to why things like eSports in gaming can help young people of today use that for their future careers in the workplace. 


It's opportunities to be able to showcase what skills that they've got and how that they can help future careers and employees identify what's needed for 2025, 2030, and of course, beyond. eSports also offers potential safe space for the LGBTQAI+ community, um, where anyone and everyone has the potential to kind of drop into virtual worlds with friends and effectively be who they want to be without fear or judgment. 


And of course, in this modern day workplace, this is absolutely something we want to be able to proactively shout about. Esports and gaming is a great place for diversity. It's if of course it's done in the right way. And also it's a really good opportunity to again, showcase the potential and opportunities that esports has to offer. 


So without further ado, let me introduce some of the guests that you'll be able to listen to today in this month's career con. We'll have a mastering skills, knowledge, and behavior talk with our wonderful Nadiyah from hundo and Elliot Mack. We have esports education, which myself and Scott from hundo will be able to talk about in more detail. 


The ones I've already hinted at here. Um, we have eSports from a female perspective and those challenges and kind of career highlights and insights with Toshina, Lea and Nadiyah. We've got the path from playing to professional, um, with a colleague of ours called Nick Turner at Queen Mary's College. And Amelia will also from hundo be able to discuss all the opportunities that come within that. 


And then also, right at the end, there's going to be a live Q& A with myself and Peyton from hundo, where we can take all of the various questions that hopefully will kind of come through the discussions and the talks that you're about to see today. So let's get going. And again, thank you all for your time.

Esports Live Q&A with James Fraser-Murison and Peyton Pocock
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Esports
Join James Fraser-Murison and Peyton Pocock as they answer all your live questions from our Esports CareerCon live online event!
The following is the transcript for this video:

Peyton: Hey everyone, thank you for watching our CareerCon monthly event all about esports so far. Um, I hope you've enjoyed our roundup of insight from all of our speakers so far today. Uh, we're glad to have a little bit of a live Q& A section, uh, with some questions from the audience now. Um, so I'm here with James from hundo. Um, James. 

James: How we doing? 

Peyton: Very well, thank you. 

James: Good. It's going rather well today, isn't it? 

Peyton: Yeah! A little look, uh, at some questions and hopefully answering some, uh, more final insights, uh, from today. It is indeed. Uh, let's have a little look.

Um, so we've got a question here. What is the best place to keep updated on esports and gaming news, trends, and any upcoming events, entertainment, etc? 

James: Hmm. Okay. Um, well, some really obvious places I think would be to maybe follow the, the pro players and the teams themselves of those that you have an interest in as if you were, You know, using social media to follow your, your favorite footballer or what have you.

Um, particularly in eSports, um, and the gaming community. They're actually, um, they have a really kind of healthy competition with one another, some of the orgs and the teams. Where during games and competitions, they, they kind of are quite active. They try to out meme each other. It's quite funny. Um, and the players themselves are quite active on social media, which has a, as a professional, sporting person, if you will. That's quite a rare thing. Um, if you compare it to Premier League footballers, they might, yeah, I don't know, show you their latest Rolls Royce or something or walking into training or be really sad when they've suffered a heavy loss and that's it. Whereas within the kind of esports community, as I say, they're quite active.

They're quite I'm keen to kind of promote and give a bit more of an affinity and a story to them as well. So that's quite cool. I'll definitely follow them. If it's more kind of news and business side of things or even grassroots, then there's some really good publications out there such as, um, Esports Insider, um, Esports News, um, the British Esports Federation, as well as other kind of national teams out there. Esports Wales particularly are really good at keeping everyone up to date, sharing their journeys, what they're up to. Um, particularly from an educational side of things. Um, there's rightly a big push for, uh, supporting women in games. Um, The LGBTQAI plus community, um, within kind of eSports is very active, quite rightly so with all of the events that are going on.

And again, you kind of look at those people and you, you're able to follow them and kind of have a more of a kind of human feel to what they're up to. I would say that any one of the, you know, the Kardashians or anything horrific like that, um, events wise, there's always stuff going on. It's again, fantastic.

If you've got an interest in it. Then follow the teams, follow the orgs, um, see what's happening with, um, eSports in the Olympics, and say no more about that. Go and have a look. Um, there's also opportunities for you to be able to, particularly on things like LinkedIn, and this is what I'll say to my students is if you're looking to see what David Beckham and Guild are up to, or g2, 100 Thieves, or I don't know, Fanatic, then actually using LinkedIn as a kind of almost like a professional tool, you can see the people who work for them as opposed to the company itself. And therefore you, you get a flavor of what they're up to and therefore what the community and the industry is up to.

And of course, you're more likely to get a response from an individual than a, you know, a mega organization worth hundreds of millions of pounds or whatever. Um, there's a website called Hitmarker, which is really cool for esports jobs as well. So again, depending on your approach, there's lots out there that you can look at.

Peyton: And I suppose just sort of really engaging with, um, those folks online. Really, uh, networking, I would imagine is a very important aspect of... finding out about those events, getting invited to those events. I know personally, I've got some friends that, um, find out through, uh, about lots of things just through friends of friends. Um, so really just trying to keep in touch. 

James: Absolutely, yeah and, you know, we've touched upon it in some of the talks we, you know, we've seen this afternoon and, the kind of previous Career Cons as well is, um, networking is, I don't know, it's wrongly, sometimes wrongly looked at as almost being dismissive or whatever, but actually.

You know, being out there and grafting and following fellow people that you've got an interest in or you want to have an interest in that is the best way to get noticed. Um, having a, an online portfolio, particularly what hundo are offering is the best way to do that in terms of showcasing your talent to future employers and e sports and the e sports community is a really good place to do that because you can showcase your video editing skills, video production, much like you've been able to demonstrate using these career cons yourself Peyton.

Um, music, soundtrack, um, script writing, um, casting, coaching, pro play, all of these things are kind of nice little assets that you can go on to digitally showcase and add to your portfolio. So yeah. 

Peyton: Totally. And from what I've seen, it seems to be a really supportive community around that. So I think you shouldn't have too much issue hopefully keeping up with, um, everything that's going on.

Yeah. Now we've got another little question in here. Uh. Yep. All right. Is there an age restriction or any barriers to entry to joining the eSports industry or any eSports and gaming tournaments? 

James: Um, kind of similar to... I guess kind of going to watch a particular classification of a film at the cinema, I don't think that's the cinema anymore, uh, or watching something, you know, that maybe they shouldn't, or there's PEGI ratings of particular games, um, which is again equivalent to the film classification board.

Um, there are, there's games such as CSGO, CS2, um, which are, Warzone, which the games themselves are a particular restriction. And you have to be a certain age below that to be able to, to kind of view those things. So when, when we teach and discuss esports here in education at college, we don't allow the students to play PEGI rated 18 games, um, particularly, um, in year one or of six form for obvious reasons.

Majority will be 16, 17 year olds. We know lots and lots of people, uh, will be watching things online or in person that they shouldn't necessarily be doing. So that's a judgment call on yourself, I guess. Um, but things like Rocket League are really accessible and sort of, dare I say, family friendly. Um, the, the professional casters, the professional players that you see, they shouldn't be, for obvious reasons, any kind of bad language or toxicity, if you will.

Because they're pro players, so it depends where you get your content from, of course. Um, and any parents listening to this always make sure where you can, you know, what your young people are watching. Um, but for the most part, it's, you know, I think it's, it's like, you know, 12 certification to go and watch live events or I get, it depends which and where you're going to go.

Um, and if in doubt, look the game up yourself, but if you've got an opportunity to go to a live e sports event. Absolutely go and do it. It is phenomenal. Um, many people don't even know they exist. I wouldn't have thought, um, hundreds and thousands and millions of people will watch live, um, during the actual event or will watch it after the event on the likes of Twitch and YouTube and what have you.

So the appetite is there for it. Absolutely. So if you've got an opportunity to see it and it's appropriate, definitely do that. 

Peyton: Awesome. Thanks for that. It's good to hear that, um, those events are sort of becoming increasingly more and more accessible, um, to sort of as wide an audience as possible. Um, and talking of a digital audience, um, how do you think, uh, esports engages fans differently, someone asks.

Um, and they ask in comparison to, uh, traditional sports, such as football, rugby, etc. 

James: Um, I mean, there are professional players and organizations that have millions of followers and, you know, similar to Premier League footballers, but the vast majority will not. Um, and those that are growing up in the eSports world or the eSports kind of particular tournament or they're heavily involved in Worlds or anything like that.

Um, they, they kind of grow organically. They grow from an early age. And people follow them because of the content that they put out from an early age and do so regularly before they're signed up or snapped up again, you know, showcase their talent to a wider audience because they've been picked up, Circular Life, if you will, um, and because of all the technology that's out there and you think of what Twitch can give you or, um, you know, OB broadcasting staff or using El Gato or stream decks or whatever.

It means that you don't have to be a genius in the nicest possible term to be able to look incredibly slick and fast and entertaining. And the way that you get noticed is grinding, grinding, grinding and grafting consistently and making sure that the output you put out there is either consistent, so you have a theme, you have a kind of motif, you are a particular individual who is known for doing the same thing.

Or... You know, you can go the other path of which you become almost an streamer outright where you're, you'll be famous for this one thing, but you might do a night of. A cooking element to your, to your community and then you'll scrim one night and then next night you're in Apex Legends and then you're on Fortnite and then you're doing Fall Guys or whatever.

It's keeping the variety going, but having the regular kind of streaming opportunities to do so. And because of that, I think people will flock to you and they can identify you readily. Um, and kind of go, you're very good at what you do, but you're also quite human. And that's quite a nice feel. You know, you take, again, you know, not wishing to constantly kind of, this is a pun, I'm telling you now, there's a pun coming, um, where you don't have to deliberately stick the boot in to Premier League footballers, tick, um, but they either don't have the time or they're not allowed or realistically don't even run their own accounts, where you're not going to see Jude Bellingham or, um.

Let's think Roderick from Man City. They're not going to go and have a really intense 90 minutes and then two days later or six hours later they're doing their own YouTube cooking channel. Alright? They just don't. Um, they're in their own little bubble where the majority of gamers and eSports players and the eSports community folk put themselves out there knowing that 99 percent of people really enjoy what they do and follow them for a reason and it's just the silly 1 percent minority who are like, well this is rubbish.

You go, right, well don't follow them then, you know, ignore you, whatever. Uh, and so all of that kind of builds itself and because it's, because it's gaming and esports and because it's so engaging and it's almost short form media as well that it kind of brings all these people in and whatever. And it's, it's exciting like that.

And. As I say, the technology, the stuff you can do on your phone now, you don't need a massive kind of PC to do it now. You can look pretty damn professional with having not much capability other than what's beyond your phone now. And that's a cool thing. It's good for accessibility. 

Peyton: That's good. And I think the sort of real key takeaway for me at least there was, um, that the, a lot of the esports entertainment is quite, um, quite narrowed in on individual personalities and individual players and really sort of having a follow around, although you do play quite often as part of a broader team, and there's a huge amount of team sportsmanship involved.

Um, really sort of, uh, having a, almost like a cult like following to an individual player sometimes, um, is, I think, quite a valuable thing to have there. Um, let's have a little look through. 

James: Yeah, let's have another question there. 

Peyton: Starting to get a lot of questions. Um, What strategies prove most effective in building and retaining a dedicated fanbase?

Uh, and I think we sort of just covered a little bit of that in our last question. 

James: Yeah, um, I think being authentic. Yeah, I think being authentic, genuine, consistent. People want to follow people they can sometimes relate to. I mean, it's exciting to watch the escapism of, you know, you're a 12 year old watching, you know, a woman or a man smash it around in a Ferrari somewhere.

That's exciting for a point, but equally if they're arguably more relatable because of the trials and tribulations that you know, you both went through or whatever. And they started here and now they're here. That's playable. That's, that's good stuff. And again, it comes back to just being consistent and short form media, you know, obviously dear old Tiktok's good for things like that.

Bite sized stuff before you move on to something else. It's, good. 

Peyton: And I suppose those individual personalities we were just mentioning then become a lot more relatable and then you can really build that dedicated fan base on a more personal level with your audience. 

Um, we have another viewer that asks, can you explain the concept of esports streaming and content creation and how it has influenced the industry?

James: Um. So, so streaming is, um, several ways, I guess, um, of being able to describe it, explain it. It's, this is in essence streaming. I guess what you and I are doing, isn't it? Um, in terms of, of eSports and, and gaming. It is. You put your game play live out, out there, um, into the world for people, viewers, fans, to basically watch, ideally enjoy, more often than not, critique and criticise negatively. Uh, that's the world, sadly. Um, and then that's, comes back to the previous question, that's how you gain followers and have a bit of a, a kind of shtick and a theme to yourself and personality. Um, but you can stream your own gameplay, you can stream yourself watching other people, people's gameplay and, and talking about that and kind of commentating on, on previous things.

Um, you know that kind of, being an influencer and a content creator means that, in essence, you can stream and make passing and sweeping judgment on anything. If the output's already there, then you can easily put yourself in the bottom corner of a screen, showcase someone else's work, and critique. Um, and content creation is all of that plus being a, you know, a vlogger or a blogger.

Anything that you contribute or you edit or you amend or you create originally. You are creating content. What you do with that is up to you. Ideally, safely and sensibly and of course legally. Um, you chuck it out there and you chuck it out there for judgement and then you're away on this rollercoaster where you want to put more stuff out there because you want to be loved and you want to be liked.

Um, and you've then got to keep grafting to be consistent. Um, but it then makes a really interesting industry and field because you'll have... particular influences and casters or commentators, I guess. Streamers of a particular game. So if you're a streamer for, if you're an esports streamer, it absolutely doesn't mean that you are qualified enough or experienced enough to go, well there's Counter Strike, there's Apex, there's Fortnite, there's Warzone, there's Rocket League, there's League of Legends, there's whatever, whatever, whatever.

It doesn't mean that because I'm a commentator I can talk about all of them nonchalantly in the same way, a football commentator probably won't be able to discuss rugby or hockey or basketball or tennis. You've got to be very good in your field. Now, starting as an amateur or as a semi pro, semi pro caster, influencer, great, do what you like you're starting your journey, but you will, you will become very famous for being, you know, very knowledgeable on a certain thing. That's the same in any industry. But again, we come back to the consistent message is, A, do what you enjoy, and two, A and two, A, do what you enjoy, B, um, go and um, go and do, do the things that you've then got that passion for, but is also quite unique maybe to go, go stand out and do something and all the technology's there to be able to do that quite readily now.

Peyton: Totally agree, and I suppose quite specifically there's some really good platforms, at least I'm aware of now, that allow for, I mean, pretty much streaming of anything. I know Twitch, YouTube, you can stream literally anything. I watch some live streams of different games and things on there sometimes. 

And correct me if I'm wrong, uh, is Kick... kick.com, another website as well, specifically for... 

James: Yes.

Peyton: I'm sure there's many others. 

James: There are many, yeah, yeah, everyone, you know, So, YouTube's the OG, right? To use this particular vernacular. Um, and Twitch is doing a, you know, Twitch rightly has its, um, criticisms. Um, I think it was this year, tried different kind of methods and, um, sort of financial outgoings, particularly, like they said, they got into a bit of hot water, as I'm sure everyone does, where the more famous you are, the more that you should be rewarded for that, because you're pulling eyes on the content of the platform without getting too deep into this rabbit hole.

Um, and it's often the case sometimes there's different business models which could, let's say, be seen as nothing more than a marketing material promotion or a way of just becoming richer. Not saying any platforms have done that, of course, right? . Yeah. . I can't afford a lawyer. Um, so let's, let's assume that, uh, Kick right, which is, which is an alternative, um, as is Facebook, um, Amazon gaming at the moment it's in a bit of, bit of trouble, but, um, the better you are, the more competitors will eventually try and topple you. Of course. I think if you look at this in a constructive way, in a positive way. Actually, you've just got different methods and different ways of being able to get your voice across. Twitch may not be for you, try Kick. Kick might not be for you... whatever, whatever, whatever. Just see what's out there. See what works best. As and when you become sort of mega rich because of your viewing figures are going through the roof, then find a business model that works for you. And there's, you know, that again, similar approach to any industry, really.

But, you know, you take bog standard Facebook or Instagram, whatever. You can stream and do short form however you wish, um, as a influencer, content creator, and gamer. Um, but absolutely the OG in this conversation is dear old Twitch for Gaming. 

Peyton: And I suppose, um, almost sounds like there's an opportunity there for some new players to, um, come in with some eSports, uh, content and really have a look at what is out there. I'm not super, super familiar with other than, uh, my little bubble, my little world of YouTube. So, yeah 

James: But there's nothing wrong with your little world. That's why, you know, we, we, this exciting, you know, era we live in, um, where it went. When I was your age, or much, much younger, I didn't have the opportunities of other worlds.

I had what was available in them, there and then, and that was it. And if I didn't like them, I didn't, I didn't have a choice to go elsewhere. What I have now are various opportunities to go on something, a multi million pound conversation, uh, sorry, multi million pound, um, conglomerate, corporate machine like YouTube or Twitch. And in that, find something incredibly diverse and niche to me. And that's fantastic. The irony being that there is very rarely anything that is niche these days. Niche might now mean a hundred thousand people. As opposed to a million people, whereas actually they should be near a ten. But again, because of the fact that there's this, all these global products now allow you to pretty much see whatever you want, whenever you want.

You've just got, if anything, better individuality and sort of stakeholderness of your own little content and piece. And that's actually a really cool thing. 

Peyton: Hmm. Yeah, it's fantastic. Um, cool. Let's have a little whizz through some more questions. Um, What are the major challenges facing the eSports industry and what opportunities exist for further expansion?

James: Um, hmm, well, depending on whom you follow or read or watch at the moment, we are either in or heading into, or neither of those things, um, in an eSports winter. There are lots of organizations. Sort of some mega ones, uh, which I won't name and some sort of below mid tier where people are running out of money There is an eSports bubble that has alleged to have burst if again depending on your views on this There never was in the first place or it's a bit Wild West whatever whatever, where people are struggling to Invest or find investment or find sponsorship. And although e sports companies and organizations and teams are quick to say, Hey, look, we've partnered with Gucci and BMW and Prada and Porsche. And they have, and they will continue to do so. The more that is kind of taken by existing orgs, the less there is for other people.

And the reliance on having to use big brands means you've got to do more. regularly, then you've got to come up with more unique selling points and you've got to do something niche again and you've got to do something that's get their content eyes on because it means if you're watching their content and platform, you're not watching anyone else's.

So there are kind of things falling apart and there are people falling by the wayside that is the, you know, that is the business world. Um, I think there's also a lot of people out there going, well, it's eSports, it's never going to work. Um, and they are quick to, to kind of put the boot in, but actually those are business models that fail for anyone and everyone, wherever you go and you can't rely, um, well, you couldn't predict, I should say that there was a worldwide pandemic.

You couldn't predict, you know, there are various issues in the UK at the moment with funding and money and revenue, um, but to kind of answer the other element of your, of your question is, well, then. If things are removed, then there should be an opportunity for things to be replaced. And that could be you, that could be your team, that could be your organization.

Well structured, well thought out, good personality, great business model. Get in there, swoop, do these things. Um, and you know, for every kind of downturn and negative, which there is in everything, then there's always an incline coming as well. So you, if you're lucky and it, you know, and you work hard, then when the incline kind of starts to rise again, you're at the top. You're good to go. So there's always opportunities. There's always cyclical stuff in any business. 

Peyton: So it almost sounds like there's a little bit of overlap between the challenges and the expansion might, that might be some of where the tension lies. 

James: Um, yeah, absolutely.

I think there's lots of, yeah, but there's loads of people out there who see esports as a cash cow and because depending on. Again, who you are, how old you are, people will say, well, esports has only been there for five years or 10 years or 20 years or 40 years or whatever, depending on you could argue any of those answers.

Um, but as businesses are seeing that there's loads of essential skills that come from understanding the esports industry and business, more and more people are saying, well, hang on, let's, let's use young people's talent to make our business better. Great. Nothing wrong with that. But also there's lots of people going.

Let's make some quick money and those are the ones that tend to fail first 

Peyton: So really be diligent I suppose if you're getting into the industry and double trip triple check everything um especially if you start looking into things like contracts and stuff 

James: Always comes down to contracts

Peyton: Yeah I can imagine, um, and I think we've got a another question here, um We might make this one of our final questions. Uh, how do you anticipate future trends and technologies shaping the eSports industry and what impact might these changes have on the landscape things like game development and viewer experience future trends 

James: Future trends.

Okay. Well, I mean It's an interesting question. I mean particularly when I think there's always, there's always things out there. There's always things that are going to replace existing things or new things come out. So I'm going to leave sort of VR, AR within the eSports world to one. Sorry, I'll try not to talk about that.

Um, although it is relevant. Uh, this week, I think, um, for a mere 200 pounds, you can buy the PlayStation Portal. Um, and then, which is a handheld, it's a funny looking thing. Uh, it's kind of got the PlayStation 5 controllers, but a flat screen in the middle. So it's like a weird. Um, it might be cool if anyone wants to give me one, no problem.

Um, so that will have due to those technologies and capabilities that will have an influence on, um, e sports because of the games that you can play on it whilst being mobile, you won't get the same experience obviously, but it's another avenue, it's another way to kind of help with differentiation and accessibility, no bad thing.

Um, mobile gaming, which separate to e sports, but that's consistently on the rise and you could argue. That I'm not a mobile gamer, and then I say, have you ever played Candy Crush, and you go, yes, I have, and I go, right, okay. Uh, not in esports, but again, within the gaming, online, uh, mobile gaming community.

Um, I think one of the big things that's going to change it, which is exciting, is, um, Unreal Engine, who are basically wedded to Fortnite. Along with Epic and this thing. So, um, it means that you can create and that you can, for a while, you can come, become your own content creator, which kind of goes back to the, to the questions we had at the start. Where you can, you can have this market where you can create Fortnite levels, put them into the Fortnite world to get people that you're never going to meet to bounce around your levels and have wonderful kind of opportunities and fun. And what an exciting future of game design that is. Whenever. Epic and Fortnite and Unreal are going to want to pay you to create levels for them.

I mean, what an exciting world um It's interesting that also a couple of weeks ago. Um, the original Fortnite map is back now Is that because they're running out of ideas? Is that way of kind of refreshing the market? Is that, I mean, it's interesting that it's been selling some layoffs over there with dear old fortnight themselves.

So is this a way of kind of bringing people back in, bringing new people back in, are they running out of ideas? I doubt that. Um, it's just a way to kind of sort of start again, away we go. And. Any one of those things I can't answer properly, so I'll never know, but keep an eye on it, I think, and as I say, with, with, with more studios, organizations, and businesses looking at using customers to create their own levels is a genius, and let's face it, cheap marketing tactic, um, they're making the product for you, brilliant, um, but also gives complete ownership to the, to the players and the, the people who buy the product themselves, so that's quite cool, and um, I think we, we're probably going to see AI have more and more, obviously going to have more and more input and control over script writing, game design, character design, advertising, in game live content creation. Um, GTA six, I think. Um, we're probably still 30 years away from that. Um, it's a trailer allegedly dropping next month.

Um, who knows even then, that will be able to give you based on the advancements of, of, you know, software and particularly AI at the moment. 

Peyton: Even, um, even, uh, this morning I was reading a quick sort of insert from, The CEO at Take Two, um, uh, one of the sort of developers of GTA and he's giving a real sort of excitement from him about the future of AI.

He didn't let on that, you know, suspiciously didn't let on about GTA specifically, but, um, said that, you know, they were working on some internal, um, AI character NPC development stuff. Um, and I'm not sure I've really seen anything lean too heavily into that in any other game. Um, so far, so that might be a, a sort of big grand first.

And that's something that, um, I know at least really excites me. 

James: It might, it really might. And I doubt, I don't know, it may not be almost 10 years on or it's 10 years on since GTA 5. Um, that they planned it to coincide with this big AI vanguard approach, right? I doubt they would have said 10 years ago, let's just sit tight for a decade.

Right, it's called AI and it's going to make our life easy, watch this. Um, but they might just coincide it beautifully. Um, but also it's, it's never been easier to be a game designer or software developer or script writer. And I don't mean that disre I'm nowhere near talented to do any of those things. I don't understand Python, Unreal, Unity. I need to sit down and learn it clearly. Um, but actually, it's never been easier for an average person to have zero knowledge on a product, go to, you know, ChatGPT, other AI platforms that are available, you know, whack in a prompt, read the answer, take the output, and then go, look, I'm going to change my LinkedIn or X profile, I'm now a game designer, I'm now a script writer.

You might be , yeah maybe. Now, that's not wishing to offend the hundreds of thousands of people in the industry who have been there, done that and do brilliant jobs, that's not what I meant, but hopefully you get a flavour of that anyway. And I think probably a really good place to leave the live questions now anyway, before I do actually get myself in trouble.

Peyton: No worries. And I've got one final, very quick question from me. Um, any games you've been enjoying recently? Uh, I know I've, uh, I've been... into Fortnite for the first time. I've never never ever played it. Um, before last week. I got roped into it with some of my friends uh, and It pains me to admit but it's actually really quite fun.

So are there any other games you've been enjoying recently? 

James: Yeah, I mean well, I have I have a whatsapp group of three or four um three or four of my of my male friends who we've known each other since early teens called Warzone. All right, we are professional grown ups who do relatively important jobs, allegedly, and we play Warzone, right, and we get really annoyed when we lose, and we get absolutely elated when we win, and that's the buzz.

And That's the joys of gaming. It's got actually got nothing to do with age at all or experience You can play pretty much any game of any experience age age rating permission and just have some fun I get far too stressed playing warzone. I do play fortnight with my with my son. He is now 10 We have the best times with that Because actually fortnight's a lot of fun fortnight is a beautiful game It is a genius game and it is beautiful and it's far cleverer than most people probably give it credit for But I love it. I love Fall Guys. Um, I'm not very good at what was FIFA. Um, I can do alright at League of Legends. I would do, I really like, it's not an esports, but I really like things like The Last of Us and God of War. I like role playing games. Games with narrative, rich narrative, that's my escapism, that's, that's what I like, so yeah.

But I'll, I'll, I'll jump in with you mate, I'll see you in Fortnite. 

Peyton: Yep, let's give it a go, um, we, we might end up in quite an easy lobby, uh, if you join me. 

James: Even better, I can look even better. 

Peyton: We'll be catching easy wins and I won't be getting many kills. I don't imagine, well. 

James: Lovely. 

Peyton: Lovely time to round up.

Thank you, um, James for, um, joining us for a few questions, uh, from our audience today, James is our resident eSports, um, expert at hundo. Um, and where can we catch more about you, uh, James, and where can we catch more about hundo? 

James: Um, well, uh, thank you very much for having me. Thank you for the questions. Uh, good questions.

Thanks everyone. Um, so, um, Head of Education for hundo, please reach out because, uh, more than happy to talk about how eSports and gaming can help with future careers and also be brought into curriculum whether that's SEND schools, level 2, level 3, what have you. Please reach out You can find me on LinkedIn with the name you'll see on the screen.

It's a ridiculous name. There's any one of me You can find me on X, the artist formerly known as Twitter, and Instagram as The Esports Teacher. Um, I'm more than happy to, to kind of have similar chats like this as well. And just before we go, um, many, many congratulations to everyone behind the team at hundo to get this, um, up and running again. This has been one of many Career Cons that we've done now. This is our, unfortunately, um, our last one of the year. Probably a good thing. Everyone needs a rest now and recoup for what's coming in January. We've done Career Cons in Digital Fashion. Uh, we've done Work Tech, we've done e sports, we've done an Artificial Intelligence, uh, Career Con.

Please go and check those previous ones out. And with regards to the AI one, um, please go and check out our socials as well on hundo because we have a Kickstarter campaign. which was launched last week. We've already smashed that target audience and money. So thank you very much. Feel free to continue to support us because these, um, AI Kickstarter campaigns are for actually helping students, but actually in particular parents who will hear AI and AI in school and why it's good, why it's bad and ChatGPT and Dante and Bard, but they won't know what it is.

So this is an opportunity for you to kind of work with us, join us. Have some fantastic sessions on what it is and how you can use it to support your, your young people, maybe even yourselves as well. So please go and look at that. And also final thing for me, other than a huge thank you and have a great seasonal break.

Join us in January for the next Career Con, where we will be launching, uh, Climate Tech. Uh, with some very, very special news with some ridiculously special guests of a huge global name, which I'm not going to mention right now. 

Peyton: Uh, yeah, look out for more information, uh, come the new year. Um, from hundo there.

Well, thank you very much James for joining us today and thank you for, um, everyone else for watching. Uh, we'll see you in the new year for Climate Tech. Take care.

From Play to Profession: The Esports Journey with Nik Turner and Amelia Loveday
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Esports
Nik Turner talks with Amelia Loveday about the educational benefits of esports and highlights its unique and exciting nature as a subject. BTEC esports courses focus on skills students develop through competitive gaming such as communication, teamwork, and quick thinking, as well as industry-specific knowledge and skills. Additionally, he mentions the positive impact of dedicated esports arenas on student engagement and community involvement!
The following is the transcript for this video:

Amelia: Hello and welcome back to CareerCon and to this conversation from play to professional, the esports journey. My name is Amelia Loveday and I'm head of partnerships at Hundo and I'm delighted to be joined today by Nick Turner. By way of a very quick introduction, Nick is a consultant and lecturer in esports, specialising in the development of esports and education for a sustainable future.

Amelia: for the next generations. He is Managing Director of NT Esports, working with Guild Esports and the Esports Trade Association, among others. Nick is also Chief Education Advisor for Esports Scotland and lectures at Queen Mary's College, Basingstoke. So, welcome Nick, um, and I'm hoping you will start by telling us a little more about yourself and in particular your journey into the Esports industry.

Nik: Okay. Thanks, Amelia. Um, it's quite an introduction. Um, so my career started out as a broadcast journalist. Uh, I worked in radio, had my first business when I was 24, uh, where we broadcast news and sports stations around the UK. Um, that led me into kind of creating training programs for my journalists, which led me into education.

Nik: Um, I. Was head of department at a, uh, an offset outstanding college for 10 years. And in that time, I started out as head of media. I then took on music, performing arts, um, and I saw the opportunity. to take on the IT department as well. And by taking on IT, what that meant was having media and IT meant that I could introduce games into the curriculum, games development.

Nik: So I introduced, um, probably about 13, 13 years ago, maybe, introduced games into the curriculum, which was really popular. And we kind of developed, um, you know, a whole new, it was almost like a mini department. We had about 200 students within sort of, like, three years. That was my first kind of real introduction into, into the gaming world, if you like.

Nik: And then during my time as, as head of department, we had a local esports organization came into the college to talk to us, and we had, um, some really interesting conversations about what was happening, and they had a high profile streamer working for them. Um, and we were discussing education. Um, and at that point, I was invited on to the advisory board, um, to develop education and, and we talked about things and develop things and came up with ideas for a few years before I stepped out of education and then went Um, and, and worked at the organ at the e sports company.

Nik: Um, and then my role there was basically to set up their education, uh, center, which is what I did. And, and, you know, that, that proved really successful. And we, we, I wrote lots of different courses and got them accredited. Um, and then, uh, I was then visited by, um, James at Queen Mary's college, who was building an e sports arena.

Nik: And we were talking and he was kind of asking me about. About the build and some of the other bits and bobs. And then he found out that I was forming in education as, as, as a head of department. Um, and at that point we kind of clicked and I said, if you get that arena built, then I need to come and work there.

Nik: Um, and then the arena was built, so I went to Queen Mary's College. Um, and then since that time I've been a course leader, lead iv, uh, and lecturer. Um, for the last few years now, um, and, you know, it's been a real kind of whirlwind, um, in that when the BTEC was released, or when the BTEC was launched, I was fortunate in that I was in a position that I'd been working in eSports for, or involved in eSports for about four or five years, um, plus I was a qualified teacher with kind of, you know, experience in education, um, and at that point, that was where My consultancy and my company really started mainly because, um, people were launching the BTEC and looking for advice and, you know, and it got quite hectic.

Nik: Um, so, so that was the, that was the formation of the company. And then since then, I've been working with lots of different organizations, uh, just to really help them kind of. understand eSports, um, and how that equates to education and, you know, good practice for teaching. Um, you know, I've also got, um, a large shop on my website, which has got teaching resources, you know, which has proved popular because, you know, a lot of teachers are new to eSports and they're learning from that as well.

Nik: Um, you know, and it's been, I would say over the last eight years that I've been in eSports, it's been a real kind of progression. A real journey. Um, but the most important thing is watching the journey of the students and seeing how they have responded and reacted. Um, and it's. It's, it's unique, you know, eSports is a unique educational subject, um, and it's, it's really exciting to be part of it and, um, you know, it's something that I'm really passionate about.

Amelia: And so, for those of us who might be new to the idea of gaming and eSports in education, um, going back to the basics, uh, what, what are the transferable skills? that students would pick up through their involvement in esports and, and how do those translate into, into other professions? 

Nik: Yeah, so that's a good question, Amelia.

Nik: And, um, there's kind of two pillars, if you like, that you can look at. The first one is the competitive side of esports, which is, is, sits really nicely alongside the educational side. So when the students are, um, at college, they get to compete in the, uh, British esports student championships. And what that does is it...

Nik: It's really inclusive, and it puts everybody on the same level. So you might have students who are more academic than others, but ultimately, when they're trying out to get into the teams to compete, it's about how good they are at the game. Um, so we have students who might be a level two student, um, or an SEN student who are really good at the games, and they are competing, uh, at the highest.

Nik: Uh, student level within those teams and what that brings is things like, you know, communication skills they have to when they're playing and if they're in a team of five, um, you know, they have to work out a comms strategy, so they all understand each other, but the nature of competitive gaming and the speed and the reaction times and all those things means that that comms strategy has to be really effective, you know, if you want to want to be successful, um, so, Thank you.

Nik: A lot of students who may struggle at times with social interaction and social communication. It's an opportunity for them to communicate on a different level and one that they're really engaged in. So communication is one teamwork is another one. Um, you know, if you're in a team of five, you can't just go and do your own thing.

Nik: Your teammates will not appreciate it and you won't be successful. So you have, um, you know, that element of. Your communication is both talking and listening and then working within that team to for the best outcome and because it's so fast paced, you have to be really quick, you know, make those decisions and listen to the listen to your team.

Nik: So, you know, quick thinking is another. You've also got strategy, you know, the same as any other sport, traditional sport. Um, there are ways to play games and games have different maps and, uh, you play those maps differently. Each player plays an individual role within the team. Um, so in order for that to be successful.

Nik: You know, that has to come together. So kind of like appreciating the teamwork side of it, um, is, is, is really important and, and again, a great skill. And one of the other ones that I think is probably most notable, noticeable, and one that I've really enjoyed seeing at QMC is I've had two years ago, we won our Overwatch team, one of the.

Nik: the first division, which is kind of like the pinnacle student champs esports, which we were obviously delighted with. Um, and within that we had two, in the team of six, we had two girls, um, and we had two players who were really quiet. So I taught them for a year, you know, and didn't really, Offer stuff in class discussions and, you know, kinda sat there really quietly.

Nik: Um, and they went to the land finals in, uh, in Nottingham. And I think that the, the first bit that was really interesting was when they walked out on stage, there was a whole lot, they've got two girls in their team. And which was like, yep, we have, and you wait until you see them play. Because they were like two of our best players.

Nik: One of those girls got, um, MVP for the final most valuable player. Um, and then we won the tournament. And then when, when the students returned, when they came back in September, because it was kind of right at the end of term, they walked into college like heroes. Everybody was like, you know, clapping them and cheering them.

Nik: Um, and the confidence that that gave them to suddenly realize that they had value, that they were valued by their peers. They were appreciated by their peers. Um, it was just, you know, almost quite emotional to see because it was like they were changed people. Um, you know, from that, one of them Um, went on and spoke at the keynote on the keynote stage at the bet global in March, which is something that was just unimaginable the year before, but it had given us that much confidence.

Nik: Um, you know, and that was amazing to sit in the crowd and watch and watch her do that. Um, so, so that's kind of like just the playing side of it. And then within the education side, the way that the B tech is designed, um, you know, it's been really cleverly designed by Pearson and. British eSports in that, yes, it's an eSports course.

Nik: Yes, it's focused on the eSports industry, but very few of the units are solely related to eSports. Most of them are transferable skills to be learned and taken into other industries. So, for example, the first unit is introduction to eSports, which is kind of. You know, the industry, the teams, the leagues, the tournaments, the organizations, et cetera.

Nik: The second unit is one that is quite specific, um, which is about skill strategies and analysis. Um, but that's very closely linked to performance coaching and performance analysis like you would have in traditional sports. The third mandatory unit is enterprise and entrepreneurship, which is a really good business.

Nik: It's tricky, but it's a really good business, uh, unit, whereby the learners have to, they look at different sorts of enterprises, they look at legal formats, um, you know, they understand about limited companies and PLCs and different types of enterprises within eSports, but then they have to come up with their own idea, um, for an eSports enterprise.

Nik: They will then undertake market research for it and then they will, uh, produce a business plan. So, you know, a proper business plan, you know, executive summary and everything that you would expect to see in a business plan. They then have to pitch that and then they evaluate it. Um, the fourth mandatory unit is, uh, health, well being and fitness, which is very closely linked to sports.

Nik: Um, and then you've got other units like Social media as a, as a business, which you can apply anywhere. You've got, there's a branding module, you know, branding is branding. It's just done within the context of e sports live events. So, you know, which is very much an event management, uh, module. And then you've got other things kind of like, like streaming and shoutcasting, um, and other things that are quite bespoke to e sports immersive content, some colleges will run the.

Nik: Computer networking. So there's a whole range within that qualification that will give you the skills to qualify within the context of eSports, but you can just take those skills into so many other industries, you know, which makes it a very valuable, a very valuable course. 

Amelia: Yeah, that's amazing. I mean, it really, it's not all just gaming.

Amelia: I think sometimes people think, oh, it's just sitting at computers and gaming, but as you've outlined, it's found so many skills, so many specialisms that can go into so many industries. I actually, I, 

Nik: yeah, go on. I was going to say, just to pick up on that point about it's not a gaming industry, that's obviously, it's not a gaming course.

Nik: We don't teach them to be pro players, that's all enrichment, that's all extracurricular. And when parents come in on open evenings, they're like, Oh, you know, do I really want my son or daughter to be sat there gaming all day? And the example that I use is, firstly, this is definitely not a gaming course.

Nik: You will not be gaming all the time. You will not be taught how to be better at those sports. And I always use the example in the first six weeks of the half term, the first half term from September. It's very rare that the students will even go into the gaming arena. You know, they might do, it can be a good carrot stick, uh, for assignments.

Nik: Um, you know, or you might have a lesson within there, but, but they don't just go in and start gaming. But we do run enrichment during lunchtime so that the students can, can go in game, but they do that in their own time, you know, as an enrichment. So yeah, a hundred percent, it's definitely not a gaming course.

Nik: It's, it's about esports and all of the career pathways that the skills that you need to. To get into those jobs. Of course. 

Amelia: Um, I saw your student actually speak at the back conference this year. Um, and it would, she, her confidence was astounding. Like I was sat with my colleague and we were both going, oh my God, I wish I could speak like that to of this 

Nik: many I did.

Nik: I I did a tear, I did have a tear in, in my eye at that point. I have to, I'm not gonna lie. It was, it was a very proud moment. 

Amelia: Yeah, she was incredible. Um, so you use words like arena, um, and I'm sort of just trying to picture that. Um, and can you, can you talk to us about the, you know, the setup of gaming environments, esports arenas, and the potential there to actually attract students back into education or encourage them to come out of their shell in the way that you've 

Nik: described?

Nik: Yeah, that's, that's, that's another really good point. You know, we are very fortunate at QMC in that we, um, we receive funding to build the first eSports facility, bespoke eSports facility for, for FE College in the country. So we have, uh, within that building, we have two gaming arenas. And when we talk about an arena, um, if you can imagine just rows of gaming...

Nik: PCs, um, you know, all kind of like with little partition bits, um, neon lights, uh, lovely looking yo yo tech computers, you know, that are all jazzy and lit up. Um, and then if you imagine rows of kind of like 10 students all sat playing, talking through the mics, but four rows of that, um, that's what we mean by the arena.

Nik: And the arena is... The most impressive building at college, probably slightly biased, um, we have two of those and when we have open evenings and we have visitors and guests, um, they're blown away with that and the parents will say, Oh, I wish I was had this when I went to college. And, and that's great for the students for so many different reasons.

Nik: So let's, if we talk firstly about engagement. So students are just engaged in what they're doing all of the time with eSports because it's a passion of theirs, you know, nowadays, as we already know, so many people game across the world, you know, one of the biggest industries in the world, um, and all of a sudden they can be at college in that environment with peers.

Nik: So the engagement is really high, which then equates to high attendance. Um, you know, we've had students who have traveled, like, we do have students that travel over an hour and a half. to specifically come to our college to do the course and, you know, they get dropped off at the train station at six o'clock by parents and then they get a train and then they get a bus and then they walk and then they're in college by, uh, you know, 8 30 ready to start lessons at nine. 

Nik: Um, we've also seen quite a number of students who, uh, uh, or youngsters who were previously neat, you know, not in education or disengaged from education and, you know, not attending school and, um, or people that have always been homeschooled that suddenly find that the passion for education is reignited by the prospect of studying esports in that environment.

Nik: Um, you know, which is great to see those come back out and then, and they, they're often really successful because. It's almost like they've been waiting for that and school didn't necessarily work for them because they for whatever reasons, you know, we could sit here for hours, but they suddenly feel that passion again and they get engaged.

Nik: So that's really good. And it's also an amazing marketing tool. So if you've got your arenas. When people come in and because they're so impressed you student numbers are, um, you know, very positive. It's probably the most oversubscribed course at the college. We have waiting lists. Um, people sign up early.

Nik: And we went from year 1 when it was very first launched. Before the arena had been finished, I think we had 23 students. Um, you know, now we've got over 150 students. So, just in terms of funding for those students, you know, it's been a really good revenue stream for the school. Um, It enables you to get into the community.

Nik: So we offer community events, you know, we have a special educational needs school that come in and use that facility for, you know, we don't charge them for that, obviously. So, so it enables you to engage with the community. We also use it for. Um, kind of like mini conferences and talks and, you know, we'll have a talk educating parents into the values of the value of eSports.

Nik: Um, it's, we also have it as a revenue stream, uh, an additional revenue stream. So at the weekends, we will rent the arena out for birthday parties. And we have specific software that enables us to do that in a controlled manner. So for example, if you've, if it's a 10 year olds party, you can't have them paying, playing call of duty, but it's fine because we can just program and you've got access to these games.

Nik: So you can play those games, but the games that you're not allowed to play because their age, uh, rated, you know, they can't have access to, and then in the, um, holidays. We rent it out quite regularly for boot camps for esports organizations who will generally coach online, play online, don't very often get the chance to be together.

Nik: So they'll book both of the arenas for two weeks and all of their rosters, all of their players, their teams will come in for that week so that they can work together, you know, and meet each other formally. And so there's lots of different benefits to it. And we've learned, we learned at QMC. Many lessons along the way, some funny, some not so funny, um, like bringing the whole college down, uh, all the systems down on the first day of tournaments was, was an interesting one.

Nik: Um, but again, so through learning through those things, we now use software, which enables us to. as teachers manage the environment. So, IT are very rarely in the arenas because we can do it all through the software that we use, um, which obviously saves money for IT. Um, so, you know, this, there's so many different reasons as to why you should, if you can, um, have an arena and, and, and lots of local organizations, local tech companies will want to get involved and want to be sponsored, uh, or will want to be part of it.

Nik: So. You know, it's quite likely quite viable that you can approach these tech companies and get some free kit, cheap kit, um, you know, because they want to be part of e sports and it's a, it's an entry route into them as opposed to the thousands and thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of pounds, if you want it to get in at a professional level.

Nik: So, you know, yeah, the, the, the, the arenas are, um, kind of look after themselves. 

Amelia: Yeah, and I suppose those, those connections with, with industry, with tech companies or whoever it is, are so important for schools, um, who sort of often struggle to build that connection between, between education and employment.

Amelia: Um, so you've talked to us a bit about the BTEC, uh, what that entails, um, and I'm wondering if you can, um, give some examples of, uh, mentorship. programs or perhaps sponsorship opportunities that exist alongside that or perhaps beyond that, that really support young people into a career 

Nik: in eSports. Yeah, and again, I think the nature of eSports and the nature of the students studying eSports enables that to happen in almost an, um, an organic way.

Nik: So, as a college, we, we, we, we strike up lots of different partnerships with different people for different reasons. So, um, you know, Fanatic, who are essentially the Barcelona of eSports, um, a team based headquarter in, uh, headquarters in London, you know, we were part of setting up the, uh, college partner program with those guys, which involved about five or six colleges.

Nik: And we could then take Our students up to their headquarters that they could see what it what it what it's like, you know, it's the same as going to all taking football students to Old Trafford, you know, or the Etihad, you know, and seeing it in real life. And then they would offer webinars and you would hear.

Nik: People that the students have watched on stream, pro players, coaches, et cetera. And they will be talking to the students as this is the reality. This is how it works. Um, you know, lots of industry visits. Um, and again, with sponsorships, we've got, you know, there's, we're working currently with Lions Creed.

Nik: Um, and they're, they offer coaching, uh, as part of that program and they get to come in and talk to the students. So there's lots of opportunities there. And. I think from, from teacher's perspective, so the people that most of the people that teaching eSports have a passion for it, um, and in terms of kind of like sponsorship and mentorship, those students who show the, um, that passion and that commitment, you know, there are.

Nik: Lots of opportunities for them to develop their skill sets, develop, uh, their networking through, um, looking ahead to employment. For example, for the student championships, there's opportunities for students who aren't in the teams to shout cast and commentate on the games to live stream. Um, you know, through the networks of the teachers on LinkedIn, the students are communicating with.

Nik: industry experts and organizations and getting work experience. You know, we've got had students who have worked at, um, you know, all sorts of organizations. Um, you know, some of them, the group of four that we're working at Guild Esports, for example, um, as consultants and kind of giving that viewpoint from a 16, 17 year old, which, you know, for, for a lot of the professionals working in Esports, like myself, you know, we are.

Nik: the age that we are, um, you know, in the way that the youngsters use social media, um, is almost a foreign language to a lot of us. We can try, but it's not quite the same. Um, you know, I've had WhatsApp conversations with former students and I just don't know what they're actually talking about because it's just letters put together.

Nik: But from it, from an organization's point of view, those insights and how to deliver. That social media to reach that target audience is, is, is really useful. So they're getting great experience. Um, We have, for example, the enterprise and education, uh, enterprise and entrepreneurship unit where they pitch their own idea.

Nik: We had four students who had set up their own e sports organization, and you can see on the shirt behind me, uh, just this one here, um, they pitched their idea or they, we were already aware that they were doing it, you know, but when they pitched it, I was so impressed with. That level of understanding of the business that they had set up.

Nik: Um, they were assessed for the presentation, but then I called them back to speak to them about sponsorship. Um, you know, you can see on the, on the, on the sleeve on the shirt in the background is my, uh, my company and eSports and I sponsor controlled eSports, you know, and have done for over a year now. Um, I also sponsor a team in Chicago.

Nik: Um, who, which is. led by a 15 year old lad, um, he approached me on LinkedIn because he'd been to the trade association, uh, eSports trade associations conference in, in, in Chicago and spoke to one of my colleagues there and they said, Oh, you should speak to Nick, you know, and sort of like. Six months later, um, you know, I've, I've agreed a sponsorship deal with them because, you know, for me, grassroots eSports is really important.

Nik: Um, you know, the opportunities are limited because of finances and eSports as an industry is still working out how to be the sustainable industry that it should be and will be because it's grown so quickly. Um, you know, at times things are a little bit messy. So while the. Big organizations, the professional organizations are all battling it out for, for sponsorship and finance, you know, makes it slightly harder for the, for the, for grassroots.

Nik: Um, you know, I also sponsor the college, uh, QMC college teams. So, you know, just put some money into, into buying the jerseys for them to, to reduce the amount that they have to buy to spend their jerseys. And, you know, and I think that's just, that's really important. It's something that, um, you know, it's a philanthropic.

Nik: Elements to my business, I suppose, you know, and I'm quite keen to keep that going and brand it, but instead of just bankrolling them and saying, right, here's 10, 000 because I haven't got 10, 000 instead of saying here's 10, 000 and then they get an unrealistic viewpoint of business and the industry and they just think money is going to fall in their hands and they're gonna, um, not necessarily the motivation drops, um, because they know that they've got that massive pot of money that they can just spend and wither away.

Nik: That's really important not to do that. So, you know, the sponsorship that I do is based on them showing me what, um, their finances look like. Um, you know, and, and again, I remember, uh, one of the pitches involved the fact that like running costs and it was like eight pounds every month for the verified Twitter.

Nik: Tick, you know, and it's a business person. You're like, Oh, I say pounds, you know, it's like it's nothing, but it's an important part for them because they're putting their own money in. So, you know, that's where you look at it and say, Okay, I'm prepared to sponsor you with this amount of money, which will help you for the next year.

Nik: But you've got to go and make it work. You know, I can cover you for a bit, but I'm not going to bankroll it so that you don't do anything, you know, you don't have to worry about that. So progress your business, make it work. And then I act as a mentor to them, um, you know, in terms of ideas and how they might generate people or approach other sponsors, et cetera, et cetera.

Amelia: Um, yeah, we're sort of running out of time here, Nick, but I, I want to sort of hone in on the industry a little bit more before we finish. Um, and I'm hoping you can tell us very briefly, under a minute, um, something you're really excited about in the esports industry in the near future that we should look out 

Nik: for.

Nik: Amelia, that's a throw, throw in trick question at the last minute. Um, okay, so. One of my kind of one of my one of my things about eSports is the ecosystem that it operates within whereby you have got, um, organizations like the teams. So you've got all of these competitive teams. Then you have all of these.

Nik: national bodies, governing bodies, you know, like, um, British Esports Federation, the Global Esports Federation, etc. Um, and they're almost battling against each other because the, the Esports titles themselves are the big games like League of Legends and, um, Overwatch. They are run by the games publishers.

Nik: So the games publishers are making lots of money through selling the, or through the games, but also through eSports. Um, so the structure isn't quite right. Because why would they listen to a governing body? Because they're already making their money. But in terms of the sustainability of the industry, we need to create a structure that is fair, sustainable.

Nik: Um, you know, it doesn't just rely on, on profit from, from games publishers. Um, and things like watching, uh, watching, paying to watch e sports, you know, subscriptions to e sports. If you look at the premier league, you know, that generates 9 billion pounds a year. Most of that comes from broadcast rights, whereas eSports, you watch free, it's nearly all available, not all, but most of it is available free.

Nik: So, those sorts of revenue streams, I think, need to come in to help to generate more money and to improve the sustainability. And I know these awarding bodies are talking to the publishers, so... You know, that's something that I'm keeping an eye out for, and I'm hoping that we'll see some movement on that in the next few years.

Amelia: Yeah, I was, I was hoping to talk a bit more about, um, broadcasting, streaming, the impact on the industry. So that will have to wait for next time. Um, thanks for highlighting it. We'll look out for exciting developments there. Um, Nick, thank you very much for sharing your time and your wisdom with us. It's been a pleasure.

Amelia: Pleasure is all ours. Um, I'm sure the CareerCon audience will be keen to connect with you and follow your work. So if you would point out where we can find you on your socials, that would be 

Nik: amazing. Yep, sure. Um, so LinkedIn, you'll find me, um, just as Nick Turner, which is N I K. Um, you should find me okay on that.

Nik: For Twitter and Instagram. Um, I'm es sporty shorty. Now you can't see 'cause I'm sat down, but I'm very small. Um, my website is www.ntesports.uk. Um, and you'll find all my handles on there plus the resources, um, and, and what we do as a company. Um, and my email address will be on there as well. So please do get in touch.

Nik: Uh, I'm always happy to help and share ideas and, and how people develop stuff. So, um, yeah, don't, don't be. Hesitant, just, just drop me a message and I'll get back to 

Amelia: you. Esporty shorty. I love it. That's amazing. Um, all those links, uh, can be found on the Hundo website. Uh, don't forget to follow Hundo on socials and sign up for our newsletter at hundo.

Amelia: xyz to hear what's coming up next in our monthly career con series. Uh, so Nick, thank you so much. And also of course, to our audience, thank you so much for listening, uh, and goodbye.

Esports: A Female Perspective - Careers, Challenges, and Insights with Tonisha Govender, Lea Thumbiran and Nadiyah Rajabally
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Esports
Tonisha Govender, Lea Thumbiran and Nadiyah Rajabally explore what it's like being female game players, insights into esports tournaments and starting in the esports industry. They discuss the impact of IT-related degrees like software engineering on esports careers, emphasising the importance of skills in game development, design, animation, and graphic design. Explore the ever-evolving world of esports!
The following is the transcript for this video:

Nadiyah: Welcome to hundo's esports CareerCon Monthly, and today I will be interviewing the wonderful Tonisha and Lea, and we're going to be talking about esports, a female perspective, careers, challenges, and insights. Girls, do you want to introduce yourselves? 

Tonisha: Yes, uh, hi everyone, I am Tonisha . I am a final year software engineering student currently studying at Eduvos in Bedfordview, and I am also an intern at eBlocks.

Lea: Hi, I'm Leah Thambrin. I'm studying at Eduvos in my final year, and I'm an intern at eBlocks Software, and I'm passionate about video games. 

Nadiyah: I'm so glad to have you guys on board. Um, so let's dive into the questions. As engineering students, how can degrees in fields like IT, software engineering, and related areas contribute to starting a successful career in the eSports industry?

Tonisha: So that actually is a really good question. So I'm a software engineering student and I just recently got into esports and gaming, which is actually really cool, but because I feel my degree and my background and understanding computers and the components and how to utilize them, I actually caught on.

To gaming very fast in terms of understanding controls. So in terms of that, there is also other fields you can go into, not just software engineering. There's also game development, game design, animation, and graphic design that all contribute to game development if you're looking at that perspective.

Lea: Maybe to add on to this, you can also go into creating game consoles and maybe virtual reality headsets with an IT background. 

Nadiyah: Oh, cool. Yeah, I didn't think about that. That's actually quite cool. Some of the job positions you were talking about. So that's super interesting. And it's cool, like, as engineering students, you said that you kind of really quickly got hold onto, like, gaming and esports and doing that, and it actually helped you.

So, Lea, how can you share your perspective on being a female in the esports industry, and what specifically interests you about esports as a female gamer? 

Lea: So I started playing video games in 2013, and back then it was very uncommon for a girl to be playing video games. But looking at it now, things are more inclusive and welcoming, especially in eSports.

Now we have workshops and webinars for women to learn about games, to get into playing games, and also to develop their own games. So that is also what maybe pulled me into the industry. It was very inspiring. 

Nadiyah: Yeah, definitely, because this is also why I wanted you two. So I found, um, Lea and Tonisha on LinkedIn.

And I saw that they play, they were part of an esports tournament in South Africa. And I think it was one of the first tournaments, right, that your uni did. Um, and I found them, and I was like, I had to get you two on, because I feel like it's so important to have female representations in esports.

Especially, like you said, not many girls were playing before. And now it's just like... Boomed and there's so much out there where young people, young girls can get involved. And I feel like a lot of young, a lot of young female viewers are watching this, um, can then start feeling like they can be included into it.

So what are your thoughts on the future of esports players development and potential career paths for players beyond the competitive years? 

Tonisha: Um, so also in terms of that. The gaming industry is constantly evolving from where we started off with arcade games and now you look at it like we had our ps2 like those old consoles and now you have vr headsets so possibilities for gaming are completely endless in terms of technology.

As you know, technology is constantly advancing. You will learn a hundred new things a day about it. Even as a software engineer, I'm constantly learning like there's no ending point to it. 

Nadiyah: Um, so now briefly back to the female, being a female player. Can you briefly describe how esports tournaments work and how they make you feel and what you find most exciting about participating as a female player?

Because I feel like a lot of, um, girls that play, they might not know what to expect, especially like new players. So just to get more females into games and understand it more, or even young boys that are watching. What, what does it entail? How does it work? 

Lea: So the way that eSports tournaments work is usually you have two teams going against each other.

And depending on how well they did, so maybe the first team won, they would move up in a bracket. This will continue until there's about two teams left, and this is called the semi finals. So now depending on what the teams do and how they perform, that will determine the winner. So it's also very stressful, but it's very fun.

Tonisha: Um, then also going back to what you said earlier, Nadia, in terms of us. participating in the Comic Con event this year. That was actually a very crazy story, like we did not expect to go into it. Um, so how it started off was our campus was actually hosting trials and we got involved as more of the hosts of it.

So we were actually running the esports events and the trial. So how this worked was there's about 10 Eduvos campuses across South Africa, and we were all participating against each other and best teams actually got to go forth through to Comic Con. So that's how we ended up there in the competition.

It was an amazing experience. It was like so fast paced. I think Lea and myself were the only females participating in the tournament that day. So as far as the industry goes, there's still room for more female in there. 

Nadiyah: Yeah, definitely. Well, that's a massive achievement. Round of applause. Well done girls. Um, so how does it work?

So how many people in the group?

Lea: So, for our teams that we played at, at Comic-Con, we had about five members per group. Okay. And we went against other students, other Eduvos students. 

Nadiyah: Oh, within the university? 

Lea: Yes. 

Nadiyah: Ah, cool. So what's the prize? 

Tonisha: Um, I think in terms of prizes, so for that one we actually got, um, winners. Sadly, we didn't win that tournament.

Um, but the winners got add ons for their systems. So I think they got headsets, mouse, mousepads. So, there's always cool stuff that they give away. A lot of the bigger, more professional competitions, they'll actually give you a whole PC, they'll give you keyboards, they'll give you like the latest products that they can find in terms of endorsement as well.

Nadiyah: Oh wow, that's really cool. So, from your point of view, what are the key factors that determine success in eSports tournaments, and the key skills that you need to develop?

Tonisha: I think one of the biggest ones is, like, good... You have to stay calm, you have to have good sportsmanship, because it's also such a competitive industry, you're also not going to win every match, but you know you're going to do your best, so, you have to be able to... Be happy that the other team won and also be grateful that you've participated in something to that extent.

Lea: I also think to add on, you have to have good communication skills, because most times in esports you're playing with a team. So being able to communicate your needs to them and also hearing what they have to say during a tournament is very important. Also, since it's a fast paced environment and If need be, like, let's say, for example, your team is falling behind during the tournament, you would need to have adaptability.

You need to be able to think on your feet and think very fast. 

Nadiyah: Yeah, definitely. And just to like, go more into that point you said, um, obviously teamwork is very important. Um, so can you go into more how like team, how the team works and the communication skills that you need and how that helps develop a successful chances of you getting high in the eSports tournament.

Lea: So, um, you would need to think about what you say to your team. So, for example, the way you say things is very important. So you don't want to offend your team members. And also you don't want to drag on your words too much during a game because you have to be very quick. So you need to say a very short phrase, stay very polite, and also think about your team during the time.

Nadiyah: Yeah, definitely. So what are like three tips that you give any, maybe someone else watching that's going to be part of a tournament or something, what are three top tips you would give them?

Tonisha: I think one of the biggest ones that I would give someone coming into esports is just remember that you're there to have fun. It's about enjoying your experience and living in that moment because it's... It's honestly extremely exhilarating, and before you know it, your first match is over and you're already ready to go into your second match.

So I think that's one of the biggest things in terms of advice I'd give somebody else. 

Nadiyah: Lea, do you have anything to add? No, just have fun, guys. That's the most important thing. Um, in your opinion, what makes eSports an exciting and evolving industry? And what opportunities does it offer for young individuals interested in pursuing a career in eSports?

Tonisha: So, for that one, um, there is what we mentioned earlier in terms of the evolution of, uh, gaming. It is constantly evolving. Like... Think about it, maybe 20 years ago you were playing on arcade games or maybe 30 years ago you were playing on arcade games. Now you can get any game you want on your phone whenever you want.

It's so easy, convenient, and I'm actually a bit more of a, well, I started off as a mobile gamer first. So I play COD and PUBG. So it's so convenient and in terms of how the technology is evolving and developing, the, computers that are coming out, the games that are coming out, like, there is no limit to it.

Lea: And also since games are now more mainstream in the media, they also can be played online. So what I think is very interesting is you can compete in eSports tournaments without physically going to the event. You can do it online in the comfort of your own home. 

Nadiyah: And how do people like enter, um, online tournaments?

I didn't realize that you could do that. I always thought you have to go physically to arena and do it. So how does the online aspect work? 

Lea: So it depends on the game. Either the game will have a ranking system for each country. So if you were placed in the top 100, they would be a competition that opens up and you would enter and show proof that you're of that rank, or it may be more free in terms of, they will have a form and anyone can sign up and they'll do trials and whoever succeeds in the trials will be in the tournament.

Nadiyah: Cool. And you said, I know that you said, um. Obviously you're on teams. So let's say someone hasn't got a team, can they join a team? Or do you have to already have like a team ready? 

Lea: So, um, it depends on the company, but you can either join a team that they've already formed, or you can come to the esports tournament with your own team.

Nadiyah: Okay, cool. That's good, no one misses out. So if you don't have a team, guys, you can just enter and join a team, or if you already have a team, get together and apply together. Cool. So next question, what advice would you offer to young girls and women who aspire to enter the world of esports considering the unique challenges and opportunities they might encounter?

Tonisha: One of them would be to understand that the world is constantly changing. It's not the same as it used to be. Where it would be difficult for women or girls to go into certain degrees or career fields. Like, I know for us, in terms of our software engineering degree and the classes that we have, we actually have more females in our degree than males, which is honestly amazing.

Um, so don't ever feel that you have to limit yourself because you are capable of achieving anything you want to and nobody can tell you otherwise. 

Lea: And also, if you ever doubt yourself or feel that you don't belong, just remember you have the right to be there just as much as everyone else does. 

Nadiyah: Yeah, definitely.

That's really good advice. And I'm glad that's like, normally when we've done other career cons, I've tried to have other students, um, join us. Um, especially female students because, um, to build up like more females in the tech industry. And this is the first time I've had females say to me that they've had more females in a class than males.

That's amazing. So there must be a massive difference obviously in South Africa, because obviously you guys are located at South Africa University. So that's amazing. So you've got more females than males in your engineering. That's really cool. So how does that make you guys feel? Because obviously, like I said, when I was in school, guys are always pushed to do more like tech roles, maths roles, and then girls are like more English and art stuff.

So how do you feel knowing that you're in a class full of more females around you in such a dominated male industry? 

Tonisha: So, uh, in terms of that, it's actually ironic that you're bringing that up. So when I was in high school, which was about three, four years ago, I did study IT, uh, information technology. And I think our school was a private school, so there was about seven IT students, but I was the only female in that classroom.

And I noticed just like the teachers and stuff would push more of the guys into studying it. And it was kind of uh, disappointing to see. 'cause you wanted like to feel inclusive, you didn't wanna feel divided, but in terms of how it worked out, which was quite perfect because it was very competitive having an all guys classroom.

So you tended to push to be the best and you had that competition going, but it's amazing to see so many more women passionate about it because growing up, I never really saw that and coming to university now and being in a class where there are more girls than guys. It was honestly amazing. 

Nadiyah: Lea do you wanna add anything?

No. Well, I'm glad that's actually really good. It's nice to see like now how much is changing and how more females are getting involved in tech and hopefully we'll get to a place where. I'll be equal. Maybe we'll have more girls over guys in the tech industry. Fingers crossed. But yeah, it's amazing that you've seen that.

And like you said, from school to college and now you're in university and you've just seen a massive change. That's really cool. I hope that happens across the world and in all industries as well. So how do players and teams stay mentally and emotionally healthy in the highly competitive esports environment?

What tips would you give? 

Lea: So I think it's important for a team to take breaks during their esports tournaments. So maybe they would go on holiday or they'll go for a small outing together. And also it's important for them to sit down and talk to their team members and see how everyone's doing. And also what I've noticed is we usually, if we're playing, for example, League of Legends, and it's a day before the tournament and we're stressed out, we will play another game to take our mind off of the stress.

Tonisha: I think from an experience point of view of playing in a tournament, Um, I was actually in Lea's team, And we were extremely stressed out before the game, Sitting there talking strategies, who's taking which role, And it was very stressful. So we decided like, okay guys, you know what, we're just gonna go walk around, enjoy Comic Con for a bit, our match starts in maybe like half an hour or so.

We all put timers on our phones, we went for a walk, we just like cleared our minds, got to like a calm place. We like, okay, we're going back into the game to have a good time, to have fun. So that really helped us calm down from, uh, like a mental point of view. 

Nadiyah: That's really good. And for anyone that doesn't know what Comic Con is, can you just briefly explain what it is and what's like part of it?

Tonisha: So, uh, Comic Con is a big type of festival that occurs, and there is a lot of, I'm gonna say it blankly, there's a lot of nerdy and geeky stuff going on there. There's a lot of anime, uh, like anime stuff, anybody that's an anime enthusiast, you'll find them there, superheroes, comic books, um, all of that. Like, it's one of the biggest festivals ever, you walk around, you look for merchandise, you also see a lot of guest speakers there, and a lot of gaming tournaments for eSports take place there.

Like, I know this year there was actually a whole section dedicated to eSports and they only had three sections there, so that was extremely impressive, but if you guys would like to know more about it... Google, um, like Google about it. It happens in almost every country, if I'm not mistaken. Uh, I think this is maybe the second or third year that they're doing it in South Africa.

Nadiyah: Cool. So I'm guessing, um, it's kind of like the Marvel one where everyone dresses up. Did you guys dress up? 

Lea: I did last year. 

Nadiyah: What did you dress up as? 

Lea: I dressed up as this fairy. It's from an old comic series called Witch. 

Nadiyah: Oh! Tonisha? 

Tonisha: Well, I wish I dressed up, but they actually gave us, um, shirts to where we, because we were part of the e sports team, but the entire time we were walking around, um, Comic Con, we were looking at people's outfits and be like, okay, next year I'm dressing up as this.

I think we discussed maybe 50, 60 characters that we wanted to dress up as next year. So next year is going to be a very fun experience at Comic Con. I can't wait for it. 

Nadiyah: Cool. That's amazing. That sounds really cool. Um, so what skills do you believe are most critical for success in the e sports industries and how can aspiring e sports professionals develop them?

Tonisha: Um, so one of them is definitely practice. There is a lot of practice that goes into gaming just to understand your skills, your tactics, understanding which role you're better suited to. So one advice I would definitely give to people starting off in esports, pick a game and master it to the best of your capabilities because that also makes the game more fun.

Lea: I think also to enhance your skills, practicing is quite good, but also I find that when you start an online community, maybe you start recording yourself playing a game and you share it with friends and family. Doing that you can hear feedback and also ways to improve and I think it's also important to be receptive to that feedback.

Nadiyah: Oh, that's really good advice. Yeah. Yeah. Cause I was speaking to our head of education who actually helped build the first BTEC esports, um, with, um, in the UK. And he was telling me, um, how we were having a conversation about esports and he was telling me, yeah, like some people, they're playing esports, they're playing gaming.

In their room, but they don't know how good they are until they go to a tournament and they don't realize that they have all these skills and they just never knew and they're competing with people. And then they realize, Oh, my God, I'm actually really good at this. And I can pursue as a, as a professional career.

So yeah, that's a really good advice. Um, so now looking at obviously technology and how fast tech is always moving. Are there any emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, AI, virtual reality, blockchain, maybe virtual, um, art, That you believe that will have a big impact on the future of esports.

Tonisha: I think VR is one of the biggest ones because it is completely changing the gaming industry. Um, like you will see a lot of, like when we went to Comic Con, we saw a lot of VR stations set up and it makes the game a lot more immersive, I think. Um. Yeah, but I think that's all I have to add, Lea? 

Lea: I found with Artificial Intelligence, it's in one of the newest games.

I don't have the name right on the top of my head, but I do remember seeing a clip. So you could talk to characters in the game and they would answer almost any question that you had. And also they would know if you deleted your game, you closed it. I think it was quite cool, so it's bridging the gap between video games and reality.

Nadiyah: It's kind of like having a bot, like a chat bot within the game that tells you stuff and tracks you. That's super cool. Yeah, in the UK we have a lot of, um, VR places that you can virtual reality experience. You can go to and put your headset and you'll be inside the game. And we did that as a team activity, which is really cool.

I feel like within the e sports, it'll probably happen more and have people. And do you think, have you guys played any? Gaming with the VR headset as part of eSports tournaments when you think or 

Tonisha: Um, so I, I actually haven't, I do have a VR headset, but it's a very simple one. It came standard with one of my old phones or something like that.

Um, but I know one of my friends, uh, and myself wanted to build a VR game. We're still trying to find the right VR set and how to integrate the technology, but we are actually very keen on achieving something like that. 

Lea: So I played a game using a VR headset and these controllers that you hold in your hand.

It's a music game called Beat Saber. It was quite cool because you had to move your arms and also you had to move to the side and duck. It was very fun. 

Nadiyah: That's really cool. Yeah, but I think we've played one of the music ones where you have to hit it on the beat or something, and that was really cool. So yeah, there's a lot of things emerging, there's so much, I feel like everyday tech is changing, there's like a new game, there's a new app, there's a new thing, there's like, all is changing.

Um, so what excites you the most about the future of esports and the industry?

Tonisha: I think there's a lot to look forward to in terms of also having more female engagement. Um, but on top of that, the fast rate that the technology is growing in, you can never tell. There'll probably be like two million games out in the next two years or something. And there'll be probably like, we'll be sitting on the PS10 or 20 by then.

But also, at the rate that hardware is evolving. I wouldn't say evolving as such, but we're causing it to evolve from like old standard laptops. Now you have full gaming systems, uh, and also the gaming laptops that you do get that is just going to skyrocket probably in the next two to three years. 

Nadiyah: Lea, do you have anything to add?

Yeah, cool. I think we're almost running out of time. It's such a cool conversation. I don't want to end it. But one last question. Are there any key soft skills you think are particularly important in esports like communication, teamwork, that ability or any that you think that stand out that young people should prepare for when entering esports?

Tonisha: I think definitely communication is a big one in terms of what Leah mentioned earlier when working with a team. And also those are skills you can take into your everyday life or practice them in your everyday life in terms of how you communicate with others and working with a team. As you've said, it does come into play in almost every industry that is out there, not just eSports, so you can learn from other industries and incorporate it into eSports and gaming.

Lea: I think also another soft skill that is very important is resilience. So you may not win every e sports tournament, but it shouldn't discourage you and take you out of the industry. Instead, you should try again.

Nadiyah: Um, and what about when it comes to working in e sports, like some of the jobs that you mentioned, um, at the start of our conversation. So about them, what key skills do you think young people need for them? Would you say the same, or is it some that they should have?

Tonisha: Um, so there's also other skills that you can go into in esports, but touching on the more IT and the development side. Uh, in terms of graphic design and animation, um, that would be more your, well, we call it front end. Uh, that would be more of your front end side, uh, in terms of character design. And I think Lea has the correct word for it. I forgot the word. 

Lea: I think "concept art". 

Tonisha: Concept art. There we go. So, um, in terms of that, that would be more the front inside. You don't really need any Skills to it. Just have a passion for it and try your best because there's no wrong or right answer for that in terms of The back end, that would be more of your map creations and developing the game from the ground up.

Um, so that's more of your IT side. And in terms of skills, this is actually more of Lea's department. Uh, she is studying a language called C#, which is more often used for game development. And, yeah, there's also, I think, a few other careers that you can pursue that don't necessarily just have to be in IT.

You can also go into becoming a spokesperson for eSports, like promoting games and I think, yeah, I think that's it on my side. 

Lea: There's one more career that you can go into so you can become an eSports manager. You don't necessarily have to play the games, but you can have a deep knowledge of the games and you have to be able to explain it in a non technical way to your team and assist them when needed.

Nadiyah: Cool. That sounds so interesting. I think a lot of people forget that when you talk about esports, you're not just talking about players doing tournaments, there's also people behind the scenes, like you said, building the games, um, coaches, um, professionals, and then, like, teammates. There's, like, so much behind the health management, like, there's so much behind it, to build it all and put it all together.

So, yeah. So this has been a lovely conversation with you two. I'm so happy I managed to interview you guys. So I've been Nadia, Head of Marketing at hundo, and we've had Tonisha and Lea, and I wanted to wish you guys all the best. And I hope one day I'll see a game or you guys winning an eSports tournament, and I'll be cheering you guys on.

Um, but yeah, I want to wish you guys all the best. Um, where's the best way to connect with you guys? Do you want to share your socials? 

Tonisha: Um, so the best way to connect with me would be on Instagram. My name is Tonisha Govonder, so you guys can reach out, ask some questions if you have any questions about esports, or you can also contact me on Instagram at Tonisha Govonder.

Lea: I think the best way to contact me would be on LinkedIn at Lea , just my name. Can always send me a message through there. 

Nadiyah: Cool, definitely send them a message if you guys have any questions, especially any girls out there that want some advice on esports and how to enter, or even the tech industry, these are the two girls to go to, and they will definitely reply because that's how I got in touch with them.

I look so, I look forward to having, seeing you guys progress in your careers and see all the amazing things you do in the esports industry, especially in South Africa. I have to come visit you guys one day in South Africa, and if you guys come to London, obviously, feel free, we can meet up. If you guys carry on watching the esports event today, I hope you learned a lot.

Also connect with hundo, you can learn more at hundo.xyz, all these videos will be available on demand and you can follow us on our socials at hundo.xyz. Hope you have a lovely day and enjoy the rest of the day. Bye!

Esports: Mastering Skills, Knowledge, and Behaviours with Elliot Mack and Nadiyah Rajabally
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Esports
Elliot Mack and Nadiyah Rajabally explore the world of esports and its impact on education and future careers. Elliot, the CEO of Diagon Esports, shares his entrepreneurial journey and the need for structured esports education. Their discussion focuses on the essential skills, knowledge, and behaviours needed to succeed in esports, as well as how technology is shaping gaming's future!
The following is the transcript for this video:

Nadiyah: Welcome back to another esports interview. I'm Nadiyah, head of marketing at hundo, and we're going to be diving into esports, mastering skills, knowledge, and behaviours. And I've got the wonderful Elliot. Elliot, do you want to introduce 

Elliot: yourself? Yeah, for sure. Um, thank you so much for, for having me. So I'm Elliot.

Elliot: I'm, um, one of the co-founders and CEO of Diagon esports, um, where we help mostly, but not exclusively, national schools, uh, and their students to, uh, you know, Become empowered and find, uh, pathways to success through e sports. Cool. 

Nadiyah: So Elliot, how did you enter the e-sports industry and what was your career journey?

Elliot: Yeah. So actually it's really, um, closely tied to just my personal story as well as entrepreneurship. So I think it's kind of unique in that way because. Um, basically, so as I mentioned, I'm one of the co-founders, but another one of my, uh, original co-founders, um, called Eunice, we actually go way back. So we used to, we met through a mutual, um, we met through a mutual international school friend.

Elliot: So we both, uh, attended, uh, high school, uh, abroad. So I was, I was in, I was in Turkey and he was in, um. In Denmark and Copenhagen, and we met through a mutual friend that, um, because for those of you not really familiar with the international school space, people move around a lot. Um, you know, usually, uh, throughout their education.

Elliot: Um, and so it creates kind of this network of, of. People who have overlapped in different places and, uh, and we met through this mutual friend during kind of like a senior trip and, uh, and then we started playing video games together. Um, we started getting together and we developed a real friendship, um, through, you know.

Elliot: like through the weeks and hours and sessions of us gaming together. And eventually during COVID, um, you know, after a few years, we were gaming together a lot more than, than we had for, for the past few years. Because, you know, that's what everyone was doing. Um, there wasn't much else to be doing anyways.

Elliot: And, uh, and we were kind of just talking about. Esports and how big it had become at the pro level and all the opportunities that we're developing at the pro level, and we noticed really a gap between, you know, how much how structured it was for professional esports and how little opportunities there were for for amateur players, especially international schools.

Elliot: And we just talked about how much fun it would have been when we were in school if. You know, my group of friends in Istanbul was able to compete against his group of friends in Copenhagen. And, uh, and just really from there, well, we decided, well, why not, you know, try to build that. And, uh, and so we, you know, we applied for kind of like an entrepreneurship program through university and we, um, that helped, you know, support the start of it, and then we kind of went through the whole journey.

Elliot: Uh, the whole entrepreneurial journey of, of creating that, um, that we kind of wish we had and, uh, for the people that we, I guess, once were, um, so yeah, I'd say it's not definitely not like a traditional entry into the e sports industry for sure, but, um, and I hope to talk more about, you know, uh, the entrepreneurial pathway into the e sports industry as well, because it is such a growing and the video game industry at large, there's such growing industries that.

Elliot: Yeah. There, you know, there's a lot of potential for, for creativity and for creation. So, yeah. 

Nadiyah: Oh, that's a lovely, uh, founder story, having two friends and coming together. That's really nice the way, especially the way you guys, like, became friends and then your journey together from two different countries and combining, so that's really cool.

Nadiyah: So in the context of eSports education, what do you see as the primary skills, knowledge, and behaviours that students can develop and benefit from, especially enhancing their abilities in areas like teamwork, problem solving, and adaptability? 

Elliot: Yes, I think I mean, you know, I probably won't be the 1st person to say this from from the career con or or.

Elliot: In general, but I think that it's really those like core durable skills, right? Um, sometimes called durable skills, smart skills, soft skills, 21st century skills, whatever you want to call them. Right. But, um, effectively what we see in our programs is, you know, teamwork, critical, like complex problem solving, systems analysis, analytical thinking, communication, creative thinking.

Elliot: I'd say those six skills, especially. Um, really being, uh, you know, students really being able to progress and develop those skills. And what's really great about working on those skills through eSports is that these skills are, um, you know, becoming more and more important, but they're also hard to measure and hard to develop, right?

Elliot: There's no like, it's hard to practice these skills, right? They're, they're, the, the current curriculum structure isn't great at, at fostering these in a lot of ways. You know, in different contexts and, you know, there's been a lot of work done and there is still some work being done to, to improve that. But I think e sports is really a great area for that.

Elliot: And the thing I will say though, is like, you need to be engaging in these skills purposefully, right? Like if you're just playing, and this is why it's so important to bring e sports into, into schools, into structured environments, into education, because if you're just playing, you lose all the reflective learning.

Elliot: You know, and the purposeful play, um, and, and that's really where you get the benefits. So it's not just about playing, it's also about reflecting. On what you've been doing on doing so in a educational and structured environment, or you're pushed to think about, um, these different skills, you're pushed to think about, you know, how you're, you're engaging other others, how you're structuring your team.

Elliot: Right, so I think it's, it's very different from. There are like scientific cognitive benefits, for example, or motivational benefits from playing at home alone. Right. But I think that when we're talking about these important skills right and developing them, I think that bringing it into like a purposeful, purposeful learning environment and a structured environment where you're able to, like, actually, um, reflect in a more meaningful way and engage in a more meaningful way.

Elliot: These skills that the benefits are just, uh, much more profound, I guess. Thank you. 

Nadiyah: Yeah, no, definitely. I definitely agree, especially like with the education system now, where like these skills aren't being pushed enough. And then when people, when young people get into work, they're going to have to like start from scratch and be like, Oh no, what do I do?

Nadiyah: And they have to learn these skills. Um, so like how you said, These skills are super important, especially when it comes to amateur e sports and gaming, like you can build on these skills. How do you see these skills fitting into future job opportunities? Could you give like some examples of how they can use it in the workplace?

Elliot: Yeah. I mean, I think they can already be used today. Um, we, there's a great report from, I think it's called the Society of Human Resources Management. Um, and it studies, um, like the. People who come out of four year university degrees, um, and they actually see that three and four employers say that they have a hard time finding graduates with the durable skills they need, right?

Elliot: The durable skills we've been just talking about, right? So things like critical thinking, leadership, collaboration, communication and. Despite the fact that these skills are actually a growing demand, right? So not only was it already a growing demand with just, you know, the, uh, acceleration of tech, but now if you look at reports coming out on the impact of AI and how that's going to impact, you know, millions of jobs globally, um, in addition to kind of automation, right?

Elliot: Which will automate a lot of the tasks we actually see. Machines is being able to perform, um, you know, computation, data analysis, logic, like those can all be really. Um, well performed by machines, but the functions requiring emotional intelligence, you know, empathy, compassion, creative judgment, discernment, um, all those more nuanced skills, even things like teamwork, those will expand effectively and, um, you know, become increasingly valued in, in our culture and work.

Elliot: And so I think that it's just realizing that, like, being able to meaningfully showcase how you are good at these skills is a valued thing. Um, for employers, um, when you're in interviews, having concrete cases where you can show here's how I was involved in this and here's how it helped me build a, b, c, d skills is just really, really valuable.

Elliot: And I think eSports and video games in general provide a great avenue for that. If it's done in a purposeful way. So if you look at, Hey, I was captain of my e sports team, but I also produced this really amazing, unique program at my school showing this kind of like leadership, um, and teamwork opportunities.

Elliot: And in addition to that, um, you know, we worked on this game development assignment where. Uh, we came up with this really creative new game that everyone started playing at our school, right? If you're, if you're showcasing that in an, in an, in an interview, even if it's for something that's totally unrelated to e sports, right, you're showcasing these key abilities, leadership, teamwork, creativity, that are going to be valued and more and more valued, um, you know, as, as AI keeps expanding, so I think really thinking about it in kind of like, how am I proving these skills, right?

Elliot: Because as I said, in the beginning, they're really hard to measure. Right there, there, it's, we're not great at standardized testing teamwork. We're standardized testing leadership, right? That's you can't really standardize test that. So thinking about how you're using, you know, e sports in school, how you're using e sports or gaming in general, outside of school as a, you know, as a lever, especially if it's one of your passions for, um, For just showcasing those skills, right?

Elliot: Um, whether or not you intend to join, uh, the esports industry or the gaming industry at large. 

Nadiyah: Yeah, no, definitely. Like you said, obviously technology. We've got like AI and there's a lot happening within the tech, like every day there's something new happening. So what role does technology play in the esports industry?

Nadiyah: And how is it shaping the future of esports? And how do you see that helping push? young people to learn more at a faster pace, especially because we're like a tech driven 

Elliot: generation. Yeah. So I really see, and I mean, there's, there's the, the, the real answer is there's hundreds of ways in which it's going to, it's going to shape, you know, the future of, of video games, of e sports, of society, realistically, I see really three key areas that are interesting right now, uh, and from my perspective, again, um, The first is, um, in like how AI is enhancing, like the game itself, like game creation and, um, the, the types of games and the ways we're going to play games.

Elliot: So what I mean by that is if you look at game design tools, so unity right now has a bunch of beta programs, um, for AI tools, um, Roblox, um, studio has also is also working on some AI tool, um, AI tool, like. Software, um, and you know, same for, for unreal, like I know they're thinking about how do we bring AI into this, but basically think about the power and how much more content will be able to generate if you can create a game using a combination of text based prompts.

Elliot: And then some design and some limited coding, right? Like we're going to get into an era where user generated games. And it's, we're already getting there, right? You look at Roblox, you look at Fortnite, um, and, and what they did with the, the, their whole catalog of games,  user generated games are just going to become so prevalent, it's going to be close to what we see with, with, with social media, Tik TOK, right?

Elliot: Like if you think about Tik TOK, for example. We are at the first time in, you know, it's the first time in, in the history of the world that there's so much user generated video content, right? Um, there was a similar, there was a similar revelation or revolution. Sorry with blogging, right? When there was the internet like people started blogging and you never had so much user generated written form text that was produced and I think that With AI, I think like the next version of that, in the case of video games, is you're going to see just, again, an exponential amount of user generated games created because it's going to become so much more accessible through AI.

Elliot: The second is in the premium games that we actually play, you'll, the use of AI is going to allow everyone to have a singular experience in the game. This is especially true for things like, um, Uh, personal like story mode games, you know, where there's like not online games, obviously where you're playing all together, but like where there's a separate story because every single interaction will be able to trigger, uh, you know, X variety of potential other interactions that are completely independent from one another.

Elliot: And anyone playing the game just by doing X, Y, and Z things differently, we'll have a. You know, paths that are going to open up to them all dynamically through AI. So that's really on the, kind of like this game specific. I think this, the, on the, the broader question of how technology plays a role in the esports industry, I think the second point is VR, right?

Elliot: So, um, we saw, uh, Apple just released their own, you know, Headset, which is way too expensive, uh, the quest, you know, the meta quest is getting is getting much better. Um, As that keeps expanding again, we'll start engaging in games in augmented reality virtual reality in in Improved ways and I think people can start to see that I don't think there's mass adoption yet there and as mass adoption gets there You'll just see crazier investments and crazier things happening.

Elliot: And then the final one is brain controlled gaming. So this is something that I've seen come up a lot recently. You have people who are starting to play it, right? You have the Elon Musk Neuralink. You have, um, a few other, uh, similar projects, but people are starting to be able to play the video game. Or any game or even online and whatever by hooking up effectively their, you know, brain circuitry and neurons to the game.

Elliot: And I think that the evolution of that, even from a skills perspective, like how well you can control your thoughts and how well you can control your brain in split decisions, it's already being showcased right with. Controllers, right? You're able to do that really quickly, but there's the hand eye coordination aspect here.

Elliot: I think we're even gonna cut that and then it'll just be like, how efficient and quick can your brain react? And again, back to the cognitive skill development and all that. I think that'll be an interesting area to follow. So I'd say, yeah, those three really like A. I. V. R. And, you know, whatever brain controlled gaming, however you want to put that are really three ways that I see technology.

Elliot: Shaping the future of eSports and gaming more generally. 

Nadiyah: Yeah, definitely. I feel like those are the main ones, especially with like VR. Like we've um, we went as a team event, we went out to a virtual reality space and we had all our like VR headsets and we were playing games and stuff and it was really fun and I feel like that's like the future of gaming now.

Nadiyah: And especially that you can Buy a metal quest and be in your home and like talk to someone across the world and still play a game still have that communication interaction. I feel like that's really cool. And like you said, obviously, a lot of these equipment is very expensive. So what advice would you give young people that maybe might not be able to afford these?

Nadiyah: Is there any like places they could go to? Any charities or any stuff that you know that they could try these things out even online? 

Elliot: I think, um, I mean gaming cafes are great. Um, you know, I think there's like VR type of gaming cafes that are starting to open again. I think adoption just isn't really there yet.

Elliot: Um, I mean, in terms of like augmented reality stuff, there's already like a fair amount you can do like with your phone, for example. Um, but then, yeah, I think, I mean, again, like. It's just a matter of time, like internet, the internet used to be just so much more, you know, costly to access and these technologies as they get adopted and expand will become cheaper to use.

Elliot: Um, I mean, concerning like the AI tools, like a lot of it is all free. Like, you know, you can start coding on unity for free. You can start coding on Roblox studio for free. You can start using, you know, signing up for the betas. So, um, I'd say that, that, that one is great for the brain controlled gaming. I don't even know how I would get my hands on it.

Elliot: So I think we'll have to wait a few more years before, before that even becomes, you know, generally, generally accessible, um, or maybe not that long. I don't know. But, uh, but yeah, 

Nadiyah: yeah. What are the key steps for someone looking to start creating e sports and what entry level positions might be available, which you might not know about?

Elliot: Yes. I think this is an interesting one. I,  I like to take kind of two steps, I guess, if you really want to work in e sports, right? Like if you really want to work in competitive professional video games and the jobs around that, then obviously you're going to fall into a category of you're either kind of, you know.

Elliot: On the media side, you're in the kind of like events organization side at large, whether that's like business development, sponsorships, all that, just like the whole like events and, and find it like merchandising and all that, or you're kind of on the player side, whether that's nutritionist, whether that's, um, you know, coaching, whether that's, um, whatever it might be really like on, on that end, um, the coach or whatever it might be.

Elliot: So I think like those jobs, I feel like are pretty. I mean, yes, I can go through them right now and I could go through them and explain to you which jobs, you know, are available, which aren't, but I think what's actually more interesting is thinking about it in the wider lens of the whole video game industry, because it is much bigger, right?

Elliot: So if you look at e sports versus the video game industry, it's like this small versus like this, right? Like it's, it's considerably larger. It's a 300. Close to 350 billion industry. That's bigger than Hollywood, the video ads industry and the, and like the music industry combined. Right. So we're talking something really, really massive.

Elliot: Um, and if you take it from that angle, the tip I have is to really find what you're good at, right? Hone a specific skill that you're good at and start applying it to e sports, right? So whether that's. You know, whether that's, um, you're really good at data science or you're really good at software development, or you're really good at marketing, or you're really good at business development, whatever it might be.

Elliot: Right. Like, um, I, I know, I know companies that are out there that specialize in like marketing and roadblocks or marketing and, you know, creating marketing experiences in Minecraft. Like if you find the specific skill that you're good at. I think that's the most important thing. And I think the mistake that a lot of people make because the eSports industry is quite crowded and is, you know, going through a bit of a rough patch is focusing too much on the, Oh, but I have to be the best at streaming or the best at being a journalist for eSports or the best at hosting an eSports event.

Elliot: Actually, you know, I, we, I know, for example, and used to. Work with, um, someone who worked at, um, like who worked on apex legend. Um, and he was a data scientist and he worked on the meta of apex legends. Right? So what he was really good at is gathering a ton of data and analyzing it and finding insights to make the game better.

Elliot: Like, Oh, well, this and that, the meta would be more balanced if we did this in the game or that in the game, or if we boosted this or boosted that. So they were really passionate about. Uh, you know, gaming, they were really passionate about e sports, but they honed in on their skill of, you know, big data and data science.

Elliot: And they just, when came time to apply for internships, when came time to apply for apprenticeships, all they did is focus on the roles, those roles within the video game industry at large, right? So finding all the data, and there are a ton of these data scientists roles within all the big game publishers, right?

Elliot: Because you have to collect a ton of data as you know, if you play any of like You know, league of like League of Legends, for example, you know that there's a ton of data that that's outputted from a single game and you collect that data across millions of games and then your role is to analyze it and figure out what tweaks you want to make to make it better.

Elliot: Right? So that's just like one specific example. But I would say, find what you're good at and. And, um, and really like try to see how you can apply that skill within the video game industry or e sports, um, kind of at large, um, 

Nadiyah: cool. Yeah. Like you said, people don't realize like you still need all the basic roles within each of the industries, even though it might be specific e sports or gaming, you still need like a finance team, you need marketing team, you need all these others to put it together and work together.

Nadiyah: So. Obviously, you are an eSports entrepreneur, and it'll be good if you talk more about that, eSports or is thinking about getting into the event space and all of that, and like what tips and advice, and how this space is actually emerging for entrepreneurs like you. 

Elliot: Yeah, so I really wanted to highlight, um, how big, like, the...

Elliot: Entrepreneurial space in the video game industry at large is so, um, and just to showcase that, so a 16 Z, which is Anderson and Horitz, they're one of the largest, um, venture capital firms in the world. I think they're the second largest, biggest venture capital firm in the world based out of San Francisco.

Elliot: They, uh, released, I think it was last year. Yeah. Um, a 600 million. Fund called the games fund one to invest in gaming at large. So they're investing in game studios to produce some of the best games and like, you know, have games as a, as a, as a service, they're investing in companies looking at the games X consumer space.

Elliot: So anything that can be done to support. Uh, gamers and build around player communities. So, you know, think Discord, think Twitch, um, right, just a few examples. And then they're, they're investing in infrastructure, right? So things like the metaverse, um, things like, uh, content creation, um, and like marketing integrations into game, live operations, like anything that's related to like the infrastructure around virtual worlds, online services, and gaming.

Elliot: So. That right there, it's 600 million of potentially untapped money, right? Um, that's just waiting for people to apply for and, you know, waiting for projects to finance. And if they're putting in 600 million, it's because they believe that there's a ton of opportunity. Right. Um, and so beyond just like this sheer fact of applying or getting into something specific like that, there is huge opportunity in these three areas.

Elliot: And so just thinking about like, what do you see in the video games industry? Where there's potential, right? I talked about marketing and Roblox. I know marketing and in Minecraft, I know agencies that are developing Minecraft experiences for companies only. Um, you know, like Fortnite, for example, like, is there, is there, is there any.

Elliot: Like integration there with anything, just starting to think about what it is, um, where you might be able to contribute. And again, not everyone needs to follow that path. And that's why, if I wanted, if you wanted to follow as well, kind of like a broader. of the games in the, sorry, of the jobs in the video game industry.

Elliot: I recommend following Hitmaker. Um, they're a good example. Um, I think it's hitmaker. com. They post regularly on LinkedIn. Um, and I'm sure they have a newsletter where they post all the entry level positions in gaming. Um, everything that's going on in terms of jobs in the video game industry. Um, and so that's, that's a really good resource, but yeah, I would just have you think like where.

Elliot: You know, there are opportunities. What's the right path for you? What's the right angle for you, whether that be entrepreneurship or any other skill, and then how can you find your in? Uh, into the, the e sports world. 

Nadiyah: Is there any young entrepreneurs listening? Some great advice from Elliot. You can see that you can dive into the e sports and there's so much funding that you can, if you've got an idea or anything, you can go in and like research and hopefully you can find something and hopefully become successful.

Nadiyah: Um. So what are the most critical skills for success in eSports careers, and how can students start developing these skills early on? Obviously you've spoken more about gaming, and how educators can help, and employers, and what young people can do. Are there any like specific things that you think that they can early on, even like parents that are listening, how they can help their young people start adapting 

Elliot: those skills?

Elliot: Yeah, I mean, I think honestly, so there's all the skills that we talked about, right? Like all the skills that are needed in the workplace. Generally, I think that in any industry, and I think in e sports, especially, I think a critical skill is networking and being able to understand the landscape. Right. Um, it's a pretty young industry, so there aren't that many actors.

Elliot: So just like get connected. Right. And I can't tell you, we used to do like, we used to record for, for some of our students, like masterclasses of different careers and how they, how people got there in the sports industry. And it always started with someone going out of their way to volunteer, to run an event, to write for free for that event, like reports about what was going on to, uh, You know, support a small community effort conference or tournament and getting to know people there and from getting to know people there, you know, little by little, just like getting a job as first, like a content creator for an e sports org and then doing this and then doing that.

Elliot: Um, so, so I really say just like, um, get out there and. Get connected, attend events, uh, follow people in the industry, try to see where, you know, who, if, if you're really interested in graphic design and gaming, like who are the best graphic designers, um, for e sports, right in the UK, for example, like, are there any.

Elliot: Associations, or are there any discord servers or, you know, for the, for what's some of the best graphic designs that's being produced out there and how can you connect with those people? Um, and yeah, I'd say that. And then if you're, if you have the opportunity or you're interested, like create content, uh, or volunteer and actually like start doing what you want to be doing, right?

Elliot: So if you want to be doing events. In the future, start organizing or trying to volunteer to for events. If, if you want to become someone from a media perspective and start producing media around a specific game, a specific community, um, and if you're able to, I'd say in turn, right, try to find an internship as soon as possible.

Elliot: Um, Or even like a placement once you're, you're, you're in uni, um, and find again, your unique advantage, right? Your unique skill, what you're interested in and, uh, and try to see if there's an in, and again, I would broaden the search, you know, to not just eSports specifically, but the video game industry at large, and one can really help with the other, right?

Elliot: So, um, if you end up. You can end up switching around. So I would say, yeah, um, just to kind of recap, I really say, just start, you know, get out there, start connecting with people. And it's not that big of a scene, uh, yet really in a lot of places. So. Um, if you make your way in and you, you know, really want to learn and are eager to learn and help, then at some point it'll come back around.

Nadiyah: Yeah, that's really, some really good advice. And especially we've got a wonderful Elia and all our speakers today who you can also like, I'm sure you can just message on LinkedIn and reach out and they'll definitely give you some advice and love to help you out. So Elia, in your opinion, what exciting trends and innovations can you expect and most excited about for the future of esports?

Elliot: I think, well, eSports right now is in kind of a tough time. Um, for those of you who don't know, like the eSports funding and revenue is, you know, they're struggling a bit at the moment, given like just. The current economic situation and kind of how much, um, you know, money has a bit dried up and become more expensive.

Elliot: Um, but what I'm really excited for thinking longer term, and it's kind of along those lines is for esports, um, orgs and, um, and, uh, franchises to become, to like, Emerge as like the sustainable ones, right? We're kind of, there's always for every innovation, there's like a hype and then there's kind of a little slump and people get, you know, kind of like weeded out during that period and then it starts going back up and you have really the, the, the real scene that emerges.

Elliot: And I think we're kind of in that slump moment a little bit. Um, you know, nothing to be too worried about, but just like slightly. Um, and I'm really excited to see like, you know. Esports being even more structured at every level, right. All the way from amateur to pros and seeing that really like, I think we're kind of like five years from there where it's like fully established amongst, you know, at every level, um, you know, like Saudi Arabia just bought the rice to the world cup, um, like the esports world cup, um, Like IP, I guess, um, and trademark.

Elliot: And so they're just going to start there. I think they're replacing the gamers eight with that and going to have like national teams compete potentially in eSports. Like there's so much still to be done, right? Like that for that to be really structured and recognized. Like I think once the whole echelon of competitions and Levels of e sports have been really cemented.

Elliot: Like that's what I'm really excited for is basically for it to be, you know, get to that phase where it's fully structured and finalized and where, you know, you're then at kind of a more mature level as a, as a, as a, you know, market effectively, um, And, uh, and seeing that kind of mainstream this, I guess, even beyond what, uh, what it is today, right?

Elliot: It's, it's getting much more mainstream and it is much more mainstream than even five years ago. But I think getting to that level of like, everybody knows what we're talking about. Um, everybody wants, you know, their son or daughter or whatever, when, if they're good and interested in that to be like pursuing that fully and just get to that level of recognition from a wider audience, I guess.

Elliot: Um, of the industry at large. 

Nadiyah: Yeah, I know. Definitely. Especially. Yeah. Like you mentioned eSports, how big it's become. I feel like the last few months, so even like this year, it's just growing. Like I didn't really know much about eSports last year. And then this year, everyone's just talking about it. And it's really nice to see how, um, people can now use their gaming skills.

Nadiyah: Within an industry and you can make it into a profession, which is really cool. I feel like this is such an interesting conversation. I don't want it to end. So i'm gonna have one last question What is your favorite top three favorite games and what games should young people be playing right now? 

Elliot: Oh, so I guess those might be two different answers.

Elliot: Um I don't know if my favorite games would be the best ones for people to be playing right now Um, so I think my favorite game to watch Even though I'm, I don't play it that much funny enough is, is Rocket League. And I think what's going on right now on the, on the Rocket League eSports scene is really fascinating.

Elliot: Um, for those of who are familiar, like what's happened with Zen, um, and, and, you know, like basically this like genius kid who, you know, is like 16 and it's completely shaken, you know, the whole world of Rocket League professionally, um, upside down and at a score, I really love stories like that. Um, so I'd say that one to watch, I think to play, um, I'm really big on FIFA.

Elliot: Um, I mean, I always have been, and I think right now what I've been playing the most recently is Fortnite with the, the reboot, um, and the new map, it was, you know, talking about COVID and talking about, you know, uh, kind of. Uh, nostalgia of that, that period, um, that has been quite fun these days. Um, so yeah, I don't know if those are the games that anyone should be playing, but those are the games that I definitely like.

Elliot: In terms of the ones that they should be playing, I'd say Minecraft is really amazing, and I, I definitely played it a lot growing up, and I, I wish that Minecraft... Was more like now it's so much more developed and evolved than when I started playing and there's so much so many more opportunities and maps and bigger community.

Elliot: But I'd say, like, yeah, Minecraft, like all around, whether it's creating maps, developing maps, playing them. Um, like there's so much opportunity there. And I think like really, really, really diving into Minecraft is so beneficial, um, for, for, for just like a whole host of reasons. Um, I'd say Roblox, like probably not for playing, but I, I just, I think it's such an interesting platform.

Elliot: Um, you know, it's definitely not like tailored to older audiences per se, but I think like understanding Roblox fundamentally and starting to test out, like, Publishing your own little mini games on Roblox is a really, really great avenue. Um, and then, yeah, I'd say really those, those two in terms of like raw kind of like learning, um, and then like independent games.

Elliot: Um, so there's not like one in particular that I would push, but one thing I do like to do is just like browse, you know, Steam or just like online forums of independent games and test them out. Um, and sometimes they're really short games, right? Like 30 minutes and you're done, but I think it's a really good way as well to like, start understanding the process of game making and how a big title becomes to be a big title.

Elliot: Um, so yeah, I'd say those three things, if I'm thinking very like. Um, and then obviously the games I play because they're fun and you know, you still get, you still get a lot of benefits from them. Yeah, 

Nadiyah: definitely. Cool. So anyone that's listening, definitely check out those games and start building your skills and prepare for the future work.

Nadiyah: So Elliot, where's the best way for people to connect to you if they want to ask any questions, any advice? 

Elliot: Yeah, so I'd say, um, you know, LinkedIn, uh, make sure to, uh, Follow, you know, Diagon Esports on LinkedIn, uh, and feel free to reach out, um, as well. Um, that's probably, probably the easiest. 

Nadiyah: It's definitely easier.

Nadiyah: That's how I reached out to Elliot to get him to do an interview today. Elliot, it's been wonderful speaking to you. I wish we could carry on this conversation. We definitely need to meet up and talk more about eSports. Um, thank you everyone for watching this interview. It will be live on demand if you can't watch the whole interview.

Nadiyah: So you can watch at hundo. socials and I hope you have a good rest of the day and enjoy the event. Thank you. Bye.

Esports Education: Navigating the Career Path with James Fraser-Murison and Scott Byrne-Fraser
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Esports
Join James Fraser-Murison and Scott Byrne-Fraser as they explore the dynamic intersection between esports and education. They discuss the skills necessary to succeed in esports, the BTEC program's diverse modules, and the importance of working. More than just games, it's an exploration of an innovative world where education meets opportunity!
The following is the transcript for this video:

Scott: Hello and welcome to another fantastic conversation in our esports special this month. I'm Scott Van Fraser and I'm the technical co founder of Ondo. And today I am delighted to be joined by James Fraser Murrison, who is our one head of education, but also has a wealth of knowledge. Our background and experience in the e sports sector and education.

Scott: So hi, James. Welcome. 

James: Hi, Scott. Um, nice to see you again, my friend. Um, and, uh, thank you for this great opportunity to talk about all the kind of wonderful things that's happening with specifically Hundo and education and this career comp, an opportunity to talk about e sports. Um, so I've been teaching or within education for about 22 years now.

James: I think that's why I look so old. And, um, I've been in sort of senior leadership and middle management roles and for the last few years, specifically, um, been working with e sports and an education kind of filter on, uh, I was very fortunate enough to have been asked by Pearson and the British e sports federation to write some units for the first ever e sports BTEC, uh, which was launched in 2020, I believe.

James: And. That's opened up lots of different avenues and opportunities for me. I'm a national award winner now for innovation off the back of that and have lots of fun running around the country and beyond. Um, convincing senior stakeholders and senior leaders that esports and education is definitely a thing.

James: Uh, and it's, um, a really good opportunity to include young people into all the different opportunities with esports and the industry. Fantastic. 

Scott: So going way back, can you talk about your journey? Into esports, you know, when you first came, became aware of it, how you took those first steps into one esports industry as a whole, but then the education side of it.

James: Yeah, sure. So, um, I think it was, it was around 2019 where I was in a classroom. And I let my students go for a break, uh, apparently I have to do that from time to time. Uh, so, um, instead of, instead of them all rushing off to, um, a vending machine or what have you, they, an awful lot of them just jumped on Twitch, which is, in essence, a platform for kind of watching pre recorded or live gameplay from other people.

James: And unsurprisingly, it's a very popular, um, program. And I was got these, these conversations going with students and going, well, you know, I'm, I'm 41. I count myself as a gamer and I have been gaming for a long time. I had an Amiga and these students are also gamers and they've also got this huge interest in the e sports industry.

James: Some of them just generally like to watch gameplay. They're not, they don't game themselves. They just like it. And I thought, okay, well, there's some obvious synergy here. There's some obvious links. Right, exactly. 500 plus, that was, that's how we got it all started. Um. And so all I said to these students as well, look, we've got some really good PCs here at college, here at QMC where I'm at for a couple of days a week.

James: So why don't we put a club on, a gaming club on and see who wants to turn up. And funnily enough, um, it proved to be the most popular enrichment. Opportunity that we had. So, um, started off with one session a week. And by the end of the month, we had to put on several sessions a week. And some students wanted to stay after college to just game with them, with their mates, and that brought the attention of, of Pearson, as I said, um, and the British Esports Federation.

James: And I was very lucky to be invited at the end of 2019. To effectively with a few others in the country be put into an incredibly posh hotel locked in there for a few days and told that I can't leave until we've written a course, uh, which we did that was launched, um, in the early 2020, which is when COVID hit.

James: Um, and I think that kind of says an awful lot about the fact that we were able to launch a national. During a pandemic where there was really good sign up. And I think what, um, if there's, you know, anything positive from, from the pandemic is that it showed how gaming and a community can come from that as a positive and have an educational.

James: Framework around that. And then it's just gone from strength to strength. 

Scott: It's almost like the perfect storm, isn't it? With COVID everybody being locked down already engaged into its loads and then realizing they can actually make a career out of that, which I guess many students hadn't realized at that point that that even was an option.

Scott: You know, so in, in the context of. the education side of it, you know, what skills and knowledge are crucial for students to be building or to prepare themselves for a career in esports? 

James: Um, well, I, I have, you know, as I said, I've been very fortunate enough to give a lot of talks to educational and industry folk who don't necessarily see the obvious.

James: link between e sports and education. So I always start off by saying, well, you know, don't focus too much on the e sports bit at this stage. Focus on the fact that you've clearly got a student body that I've got an interest and a passion in something. It's always a good place to start, right? In this case, it's e sports and gaming.

James: You then look at the kind of. The money, uh, around this industry, sports and gaming. And it's depending on what you read, you can say anything for 1. 5 billion dollars, right? So now you've got something that is exciting for students. There's clearly a huge industry around it and therefore to bring in an educational framework around that makes sense.

James: Because I'll always say that as a teacher, our job is to. Teach and train students for something that that's big in an industry where they will clearly be job opportunities, which is of course what this is. So all of those things kind of help with, with the message to senior leaders, stakeholders, and, and what have you.

James: And because it's such an exciting industry, because all of these students will game at home anyway, to be able to put kind of enrichment clubs and societies around that and bring in a course, it was a lot easier to sell, I think, than a lot of us necessarily anticipated. Um, mainly because an awful lot of principals and headteachers will probably have their own sons or daughters or grandchildren, regardless of their age, probably game on top of that as well, so they can see the kind of synergy there and the direction of travel.

Scott: Yeah, makes sense. It makes sense. So they will instantaneously see the value of it. When their children will say, actually, yes, I would do that. That does make an, an, an absolutely huge, huge difference. And then, so you mentioned how the BTEC got involved in this or that, that frame you started work on the BTEC.

Scott: Um, you know, can you explain the role of that qualification and how it helps support students into a career in esports or the broader, the broader industry? 

James: Yeah, absolutely. So, um. What we say, um, or certainly what I say to those that are interested, whether that's student or parent or other is that the, the e sports of BTEC, which is a two year course that we run at level three, uh, has no exams.

James: But it is a continually assessed kind of rolling program every four, five, six weeks works handed in it's assessed to come back. The idea was that we kind of focused on a traditional sports background, a traditional creative media background, a traditional business background, um, and then also e sports specific units as well.

James: So that when they left us at the end of two years. Students now would have an online portfolio in a variety of skills and interests, as opposed to one specific kind of area of that industry. And so that makes it a little bit more exciting to have constantly different themes and topics, but also it's a little bit more appealing for employers because they can see, well, you did a bit of this, you did a bit of this, did a bit of this, and then.

James: There's a rise of e sports degrees and hybrid programs. So then again, it's an opportunity for students to leave beyond the BTEC to go and do something a little bit more narrow or specific really. And yeah. And you know, the world economic forum, uh, predicts that for 2025, 2030 skills, such as communication, problem solving, team building, and logistics are four of the top 10 sought after skills.

James: And if students were to engage in e sports and gaming. They will naturally improve those skills by the very nature of the subject and the industry. So I'm not saying that every student who does an esports BTEC is going to go and work for a Google or an Amazon or a FTSE 100. But they will improve some skills that are necessary for a modern day workplace.

James: And that's great. That's what it's all about. 

Scott: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I was actually going to lead on to my next question, you know, so over the course of those two years. And all of the different modules, you know, what type of skills are they learning throughout that? You mentioned communication, you mentioned team building, you mentioned logistics, obviously, because, you know, it's event based, so you're, you're bringing people into a space.

Scott: You know, what else are they covering in those two years? 

James: So, um, if they were to do the full level three program over two years, there's 20 units to, to kind of potentially be, be taught. And some of them will be computer networking, some of them will be elements of game design. Uh, there'll be creating your own LAN event, which is huge business in the esports land.

James: Uh, there's legal and ethical issues. There's mandatory units on. Mental and physical wellbeing, because we take that very seriously. If we're, if we're saying you want to get into an e sports industry and be, you know, the best of the best, then an awful lot, not everyone, but an awful lot of the best of the best, um, they're effectively athletes, they deal with marginal gains, so that means they eat properly and they sleep and they sleep properly and they get up at sensible times and they have a nice routine and, you know, and they practice and the difference between.

James: Gold or silver or first and second is those, are those marginal gains, those split seconds, those reaction times. And that's the kind of the, the elements of the industry that we, that we're able to talk about and showcase. And there's units, specific units, such as shoutcasting, which is, uh, it's effectively commentary, uh, you get to review people's gameplay and stuff.

James: So it's a really unique course that covers an awful lot. Uh, and as I said, the idea is that they, they then go and narrow that focus. Um, when they leave us at maybe degree or apprenticeship or employment. Yeah, I think the diversity 

Scott: of different, different subjects it does cover is, you know, fantastic for preparing somebody for any potential career.

Scott: I think, I know when I've had conversations with people before about eSports, they think about the game, you know, but in some respects, it's like talking about football in terms of just the football player. When actually, there's an entire stadium, there's film cameras, there's events, there's logistics, there's catering, there's legal, there's...

Scott: Sales, commercial marketing, there's a machine around that, which the actual player is a small percentage of actually the overall workforce that is on those projects. Um, so the, the, the breadth of different areas you could then potentially go into is, is huge after, after understanding that space. 

James: Yeah, and, and that, you know, that, that's one of the reasons we, we kind of, you know, in some people's eyes might say it's a bit broad and not specific enough, but that's because it's such a huge issue.

James: You just kind of mentioned, dare I say, traditional film. Making and media and sort of OB techniques and what have you. You're right. If you're going to go and watch a football game this weekend at the Premier League, the 900 different camera placements and, you know, the vision mixing and the sound engineers, you can have an e sports career and be involved in all of those things.

James: The majority of esports careers are not about being a player or a gamer. Again, similar to being, you know, how difficult it could be to be a pro, uh, a pro football player. If you don't make it, you might find yourself into coaching, or team play, or being a physiotherapist, dietitian, or a manager. Same kind of approach really to the e sports industry.

James: It's, it's such a huge, huge kind of area to be involved in. It will cover an awful lot of, of traditional and there are some non traditional opportunities. And that's what makes it so exciting. I think. 

Scott: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I guess my next question is about the. One, the, the significance of being able to get work experience in any of these different fields that we talked about across the e sports space, um, you know, what is the significance of getting that work experience and, you know, specifically towards a hundo, you know, how can we help support people with 

James: it?

James: Absolutely. Um, and as someone who, who still has a teaching hat on for a couple of days a week, I, I see at my college and. Understandably, many other colleges that work experience and career opportunities are still done in an incredibly, I'm not going to say old fashioned, I'll just say traditional manner where, you know, you, you get work experience because of who you know, right?

James: Your mom does this, your dad does this, your mate does that, or careers advice is your march through a sports hall, freezing cold sports hall, and students kind of levitate to the, the desks that have the most amount of maowams, or. Celebrations, scoff all of that. I have no idea who they're really talking to and then leg it.

James: Um, whereas of course, what we're able to do with Hundo is, although there's nothing wrong with the face to face, and that's absolutely saying what we are able to say is because of the way the modern world is working and because of the way that industry is working by moving into a virtual work experience arena and field, we can now give.

James: 50 students, the same opportunity where geographically anywhere in the world, they can now go to, as opposed to, you know, out of those 50 students, two may be able to go and have that opportunity if it wasn't online, because they're fortunate enough to geographically get there or they've got the money to get there.

James: So particularly when you're dealing with one of the biggest industries of I like 0. 4 billion, lots of people want to be involved and there's a huge clamor for it. And what I was able to do last year, um, I was able to kind of create the first ever college program, uh, with a few others, a few other schools and colleges with a company called fanatic or a huge UK e sports industry, 1.

James: 4, 5 million followers on social media been around a long time, very successful. And we created a college program where students. We're able to get meaningful work experience. They beamed in. We set something at the start of the week, they were project based and focused, and it was specific to what the industry was, was asking for.

James: And it was delivered by fanatic. They didn't. Have the time to come out and meet us in, in Basingstoke. We, we met online and it was brilliant because suddenly all of my students, whether they're bursary students, it's a differentiation or accessible, a kind of accessibility issue, they were all catered for and we housed it.

James: And that's, that's what it was about. Those were the successes and those were far more exciting and dynamic and memories and opportunities made from that than how things have gone before. And we've worked with the Duke of Edinburgh to create an e sports program as well. Because again. People are recognizing that this is a huge part of the future.

James: I think a huge part of, of the industry and what Hundo are able to do now is obviously the work that we're doing with Hundo together and the colleges and schools we're working with and, and we'll work for is that we lean into our connections, we lean into our networks. We also know that. Lots and lots of eSports organizations get hundreds of thousands of applicants a month where those students are probably saying look, hey Fnatic, hey Guild, hey XL, I'm a brilliant gamer, I'm platinum at whatever.

James: Great, but they're not looking for gamers. They're looking for people who can do community kind of funds. They can  do social media management. They can create your own LAN events. They can create and curate in their own kind of online metaverse. And so we're helping those students identify that that's the need of the industry, we're working with them for project based opportunities, and then we're saying, look, away you go.

James: And suddenly the industries are getting the right. Type of students, because as I say, they're not all working for, they're not all wanting gamers, hundreds of them, uh, but they're wanting students who've got a different interest in, in the industry. And that's, that's the kind of big win there, I think. Yeah, I think eSports is, 

Scott: the eSports community is naturally well suited towards virtual work experience as well, because there is a grassroots movement of, as you mentioned before, Twitch streamers who are of their own back.

Scott: Showcasing their gaming, uh, they're playing online tournaments already. So there's already a natural tendency towards virtual working, virtual community building, and then being able to tie that into an actual career path. Super, super valuable, um, and really core to what we believe it under, which is to, you know, tap into, um, talent, regardless of where it is, regardless of what the background is, you know, regardless of geographically where you sit or who your parents are, or.

Scott: Where you're going to go to college, it gives you that accessibility to it and being able to then connect you to those businesses and as you say for the likes of Fnatic, gives them a whole different audience that they would never have been able to reach before. Because it's, they would have won, those people might not necessarily have connected directly, but so it really opens up the doors for a 

James: lot of people.

James: Absolutely, and, and we'll, you know, Hondo does the heavy lifting for, for the students and for the employers, but that's because we work closely with both. We know what they need, and we know what they want, and we know what the students have got an interest in, and we're just doing it in a kind of, in a better way that's relevant for a modern day workplace than, as I say, the slightly more traditional approaches that are probably not as popular.

Scott: Yeah, maybe, maybe not as popular. Um, so just changing tack slightly, you know, thinking about eSports tournaments themselves and eSports events themselves. Um, you know, for somebody who hasn't actually watched or partaken in an eSports event, you know, what are the major ones to watch out for? What, um, what are the big games, what are the big events coming up, and how do they operate?

Scott: You know, how can you, how do people get 

James: involved? Well, I mean, there, there, there's many, there's many different tournaments because it's, it's, there's many different games. That's, that's the exciting, um, kind of opportunity here. Um, I think what I, what I say to people with a similar kind of angle to this is, it, it, it is mind blowing in a sense that, I think, I think the most popular esports viewed event is League of Legends.

James: It's just been around for a long time now. And if you look at the overall views and what have you, more people will watch the League of Legends final. Than the super bowl or the world cup, right? And that is that and that's always staggering to some people that something could be worth Something can have over 100 million viewers and be worth 1.

James: 4 billion dollars yet still be niche It's bizarre, isn't it? But the likes of the league of legends final again called counter strike CS2 now out about. These are all done through a variety of different ways of watching and that's again such a wonderful thing to be able to offer the esports community or if you're new and you kind of want to kind of see what all the fuss is about.

James: Your entry level and accessibility options is far easier than if you wanted to watch say Football, because if you want to go and watch the best of the best, you want to go and as a I'm from Surrey So I'm a Man United fan, but they're not the best of the best anymore Anyway, but I remember remember when they were but if you want to go watch Man City, you know It's difficult because all right geography great.

James: Nothing wrong with live sporting event. I love that but there's a cost involved There's a price involved and whatever but to suddenly jump on Twitch to suddenly see something grassroots to suddenly see something where it's the Wednesday championships that take place in an awful lot of schools and colleges in education every Wednesday.

James: That is such an easy way to be involved in your school and your students and your mates and the community and education framework. You then go to semi pro or pro. You look at all of the different opportunities that can come from it. Um, there's a Dota, Dota two tournament. That's always incredibly popular and been around for a long time now as well.

James: And because there's so many different genres of game to go and get involved in, it might be that you don't like. A League of Legends style game, but you like something called Rocket League or, you know, um, Valorant there's different genres of different games for you to go. I don't like that. I'll try that.

James: I don't know that I do that. Whereas if you don't like something like traditional football or rugby, then there isn't really the, the same genre, but alternative. So yeah, rambling a bit here, but it's the fact that there are so many options and. You can just go onto Twitch on your phone, watch a tournament, be heavily involved, see the kind of online community that comes from that and feel probably a little bit easier and a little bit more part of the, that team or that organisation than you would in traditional professional sport like, as I say, football or rugby.

James: It's a lot easier to get involved in. 

Scott: Yeah, absolutely. It's incredibly accessible that way. You know, and if you are, if you're a parent listening now, or you're running a business, you know, and you're listening now and you're thinking about, well, one, how could this be relevant to my children? You know, how could I support them in this direction?

Scott: Or as a business, you know, how could I, how could I be thinking about engaging my next employees and sort of connecting with them? But I just want to learn a bit more about eSports. You know, what's that one place they should go? You know, what should they go and check out now just to start to understand it better?

James: I would, you know, I would always, I'd always start off with, if, with a question to your, your son or daughter as a parent that says, are you a gamer? And even if it's, you know, you might be playing with your youngest on a Switch or something, okay, so it's less eSports y, but it's still an opportunity to have a conversation with, with, gaming and about that.

James: If you've got a young son or daughter, go and see if they do an eSports BTEC, right? Because if they do, there's a very strong chance they'll be involved in the Wednesday Championships by the British eSports Federation. So when I was, when I was young, every Wednesday I'd go and play football on the field and get watched by a few people, get booed by the locals or whatever, um, and then that would be me done until the following Wednesday.

James: Now there is an opportunity for. Friends, colleagues, and parents to watch your son or daughter compete every Wednesday online. You know, we, we have finals that take place in a place called Confetti in Nottingham, which is this beautiful arena where a couple of hundred people will watch live. It's all these students that have got to the finals on stage, but a couple of hundred, sorry, a couple of thousand, it's not quite a hundred thousand yet, will be watching again geographically from all over the world.

James: It's such an easy place to get involved in so quickly that you just say, are you involved in esports? What's your, you know. Are you a gamer? What do you play? Why do you play it? Why do you enjoy it? And I have, I have a now 10 year old and my, my son is fairly kind of monosyllabic when you say, how's your day been at school?

James: How's it fine? Good. Okay, great. Fine. Are you excited about the new Fortnite update that's out today? And away he goes. So you've got to tap into their interest and you will learn so much by that, by that kind of flow of communication and passion and excitement. It is really exciting to be involved in it right now.

Scott: Absolutely. Absolutely. I think if you get that excitement from, you know, you're speaking to your child, you say, What do you think about the fortnight update? And they're really excited about it. I think the key message here is that is brilliant. Exactly. Yeah. But that is brilliant. You know, and it's, it's actually a passion that they can take forward.

Scott: You know, it's a passion that they can take forward and build a career out of. So it's not just a hobby. It's not just a game they're playing. It's, it opens up far more doors and potentially plain sport does, you know, because of, in terms of accessibility. 

James: Well, that, that's the thing. And one of the, you know, as, uh, as I say, I've been in education a while now.

James: This is the first time in terms of an idea to ratification where something is contemporary, it's engaging, it's fun, and it's work relevant. And that doesn't happen in education much. By the time something is contemporary and relevant, by the time paperwork's done and, you know, red tape's done, three or four years have passed, and it's not new, it's not exciting, it's not even fashionable anymore.

James: The very nature of what we're doing with eSports and education and specifically our sort of virtual work experience means that we can be flexible, we can adapt, and we still keep it contemporary, fun and engaging. 

Scott: Absolutely, and I guess, yeah, building on that, you know, what are you most excited about the eSports space in general, you know, aside from the next Fortnite update?

James: Yes, um... I'm excited with my, you know, with my education hat on and, and what have you, I'm excited that more and more people are starting to get it right. So when I started speaking on behalf of Pearson and college and what have you, and I remember giving talks for HP and Lenovo and what have you, where I had to convince people that this is the thing.

James: And now a couple of years on the people I'm giving talks for in the companies, it's less of a. Audience going, sorry, what, what it's more of an audience going. I've heard of this. I get this. Ah, okay. I get it now. So the buy in and the resistance or pushback, however you want to call it. It's far less now, which excites me because therefore there's more opportunity.

James: It's a lot easier for a young person to say, I want to do this. I want to be involved in this industry. Without being laughed at by their mates or their mum or dad, not quite understanding or mum and dad go, no, you're going to go and do further maths and whatever that's fine too, but now there's so much breadth and opportunity that it's exciting to see where, where this will go.

James: And, and the talent that is involved with an education, these young people is immense. It is absolutely immense. And so I'm just excited to see that, that kind of side, just kind of unfold really and see where it goes. 

Scott: Yeah, fantastic. And what games do you play? Yeah, 

James: um, if I get the time. Um, so, I do play Fortnite with my son.

James: I will, I will admit that. We play Fortnite, we do Minecraft, we do Fall Guys. Um, currently watching my son occasionally run around in, not in any sports game, but Jurassic Park Online where he's building up some sort of weird Jurassic Park dinosaur arena and he's gonna spend loads of... Uh, money in there and then he's going to release and go wild and what have you.

James: So fine. Uh, that's good. Um, and myself, when I get the opportunity, uh, on top of that, my friends and I, we will play a pretty, pretty kind of rock standard kind of call of duty war zone, uh, game where we will jump on in and we will talk to each other through our mics. And be far more sociable, uh, whilst we're running around doing the kind of things in Warzone than we ever are normally in real life, we're on the phone to each other, so there's that lovely sort of community element on top of that as well, so that's cool.

Scott: I know exactly what you mean, I can pick up the phone to my brother and we'll have a very quick conversation, it's very, very practical. Um, it comes, it comes around and we, we, we always pull out Mario cart and that's it. We're gone for hours and hours and hours and conversation goes wherever. And, um, you know, I finally come back and realize we've been playing for two hours.

Scott: It's, it's very, very interesting how that can happen. Um, so thank you very much, James. A really, really good conversation. Um, you know, for anybody listening who wants to learn more about e sports or specifically what Hundo does around that area, obviously come to our website, come to hundo. xyz. There, you can sign up for our, um, our newsletter.

Scott: You can also find out details about our upcoming Kickstarter, which is specifically around AI. You can find out details about that. Um, and you can check out more information about our virtual work experience programs as well. So if what we've been talking about has generated some interest, potentially for your children or for your business, uh, you can reach out to us there to find out more about those virtual work experience programs.

Scott: So thank you very much. 

James: Thank you.

Careers in Blockchain: Skills, Behaviours, and the Path to Success with Owen Healy and Scott Byrne-Fraser
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): WorkTech
Join Owen Healy and Scott Byrne-Fraser in this engaging interview as they explore the exciting world of blockchain careers. Discover the diverse opportunities, the impact of remote work, and the role of Decentralised Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) in shaping the future job landscape. Whether you're a blockchain pro or just curious, this chat is your ticket to a fun and insightful journey into the blockchain job market!
The following is the transcript for this video:

[00:00:00] Hello everybody. And yeah, welcome again to another fantastic career con. I'm joined today by Owen Healy. Uh, Owen, could you give us a brief introduction to yourself? Sure. Um, thanks for your time today, much appreciated. Uh, so in short, I work in blockchain, uh, recruitment and. I guess it's, um, yeah, you get, it's, it's, um, for many, it's a new iteration of the internet and yeah, it's, uh, hiring everything from developers, marketers, business development professionals, all across the globe.

It's a very. It's a very global marketplace that I recruit for, um, because such talent is, um, so niche, um, compared to other [00:01:00] industries and so new and yeah, so obviously I run my own recruitment firm. Um, and I've been. Yeah, very fortunate, um, to do so, um, working for some great clients, meeting some great people on a day to day basis, understanding clients needs, understanding candidates background, and yeah, it's, um, been very rewarding.

Get to work, um, remote. Um, which is obviously huge too, and obviously there's great flexibility, um, regarding that as well. Yeah. Fantastic. I think it's a really interesting space to be working in right now as well. I mean, given the, you know, the blockchain industry is relatively new still. And it's certainly a lot of people in our audience are unfamiliar with the sector.

You know, could you describe, you know, the industry and. You briefly mentioned some of the cool jobs that you can get there, but some of the, the cool jobs that are emerging in the, this sort of blockchain sector. Sure. Uh, so I guess, yeah, I guess so from a development point of [00:02:00] view, um, I would say, uh, Um, developers learning on Ethereum, um, that the programming language predominantly used is, um, solidity in the blockchain space, um, developers with a couple of years experience can earn quite, um, substantial salaries.

Um, if they're proficient at writing smart contracts, um, which is, um. Obviously great because, um, a lot of these developers are self taught, um, they've understood the basics of programming languages like Javascript and they've done it via Udemy courses and online resources. Some of them don't necessarily have the formal four year degree, but that isn't, if they're good enough and they have a good online [00:03:00] portfolio, um, their coding efforts can be seen, um, in public eye and they have good references.

It's yeah, employers are very receptive to self taught professionals and the same can be said across all disciplines like marketing, business development, dev rel as well. And I suppose the industry is so small still that it's very much a network based effect in terms of getting various different employments.

And. Yeah, it's, um, I guess in terms of cool roles, um, yeah. So again, a lot of these communities, a lot of these blockchain projects, they're really trying to win the hearts and minds of the developers at the moment. So developer relations is a huge, um, area, um, it encapsulates both marketing and technical writing.

And yeah, some degree of marketing, no, [00:04:00] noose is required as well. Yeah. Business development roles as well. Um, are. Yeah, are very common. Uh, yeah. And what, yeah, um, yeah, like again, there's rules across every discipline really, I suppose. Obviously naturally enough to just nuance to blockchain tech. So that's understands having a good understanding of the underlying technology, understand how various different blockchains themselves differ from each other and.

Yeah, I think it's, um, I think you're right in that the, you know, certainly blockchain is a sector, you know, I often get asked the question, you know, what type of skill sets do you need? And you talk a lot about there about, you know, the likes of you need to learn solidity. Obviously, if you, if you're a developer side, you're working on a smart contract, so we tend to be rusted depending on what side of the, um, which chain you're working with.

Um, but most of the roles are much broader than that. You know, you're still speaking about, um, marketers, you're still speaking about community. [00:05:00] Builders, community managers, you're still speaking about people that do all the operation functions like any other business. And obviously you need a slightly different mindset in terms of you, there's, there's different technical abilities and understanding what the blockchain is and its capability and its use case.

Um, and. But anybody with a focus on, you know, learning and adapting quickly in these kinds of environments, um, is definitely, you know, there's definitely available jobs, even if you're not a developer. And I think that's the kind of key takeaway there is, you don't, you don't have to be a developer to be working in this space.

Um, as you just kind of touched on, um, you know, and on the, And what I find is, sorry, just to elaborate, what I find is a lot of, um, marketers, for example, they'll take on multiple projects at the one time. Yeah. It's, um, yeah, like fractional work is really booming within the industry at the moment and yeah, it's, yeah.

So, um, again, a lot of these startup projects, that is projects are effectively in startup mode. So they're trying to preserve runway and it gives the, [00:06:00] um. Individual working for them, a lot of flexibility. If things don't work out, they can move on to another project. But if things are going great, then they can move over full time and they know the culture, they know the people before joining them on a full time basis then as well.

And that's so important. Certainly for anybody starting out is, you know, understand the culture of the people you're working with before you, you, you commit to going in like with both feet, I think you're absolutely right as well about the, that fractional work is something that certainly within this industry, I've seen.

It's almost becoming the de facto, you know, it's, as you say, everybody is in startup mode or early stage growth mode, even the bigger players in this space are still relatively new. They're at best, they're only a few years old. They're still in hyper growth stages. Um, really getting a feel for the types of people they need themselves as organizations.

And I think as a young person getting into this space, it gives you the opportunity to say, well, actually I can work for three or four different. Um, you know, three or four different companies. I can work on three or four different [00:07:00] projects. Um, and that's not frowned on and that's actually seen as a benefit because it means you're learning, you're building your community, you're building your skill sets.

And when the time is right for you in an organization, then you can have a conversation about moving into a permanent role potentially, uh, but many people don't, and many people stay working across multiple different projects and that is absolutely fine. Yeah, no, absolutely. Um, I, yeah, and. Even for those people that, um.

Like, again, in some respects it's out of necessity as well. There is a bear market. Projects are, those projects that, uh, projects that even are, have, um, funding behind them, uh, are trying to preserve their, um, runway, because a lot of reckless spending, um, occurred in 2021 and 2022. And, yeah, it's, um, yeah, so, again, some, some of the fraction boom is, um, out of necessity.

But that being said, um, I think a lot of, um, [00:08:00] It's great to see so many good marketers out there and even developers as well. And just really kind of, um, get a good client list and you'll see the network effect. Your network is your network and in a fractional economy as well. I feel that, um, personal brand building exercises is, um, essential to, um, uh, effectively accelerate your career, get your name out there.

And especially in a tight knit industry that is remote first leg. Yeah, that leaves quite nice on to the next question, actually, which is, you know, what, what soft skills do you think that people need to be developing? Yeah, we touched on the sort of harder skills that depends on the type of role you're going into.

But in terms of those soft skills, in terms of those personal branding, in terms of, you know, how you interact with people within this space, what kind of skills should people be looking at amplifying? Yeah, so communicative ability, um, obviously that [00:09:00] in real life interaction isn't as, is, is, is, um, rare, um, in the vast majority of team settings in blockchain tech.

So, um. How you communicate the messages, how you, um, speak to your colleagues is, um, of vital importance, um, and how the message is delivered is not so much, it's not so much the message sent, but how the message is received and, um, obviously regular check ins as well with, um, various different, um, yeah, with various different colleagues on a regular basis as well to see how you can support your colleagues and how, um, and then from a management point of view.

Thank you. Check in with the employees working with you as well. It's huge. So because again, things can get misinterpreted. Um, and. Yeah, people can develop situations or, um, scenarios in their mind, um, when working remote I find, and they misinterpreted things, uh, whereas if it was in an office based system, they would [00:10:00] be able to pick up on various different cues a lot easier, and maybe there isn't, and oftentimes there isn't a problem, but if they, they mightn't have.

I've heard from a colleague for a couple of days and they might have perceived that something is wrong. Often isn't the case. Yeah. Um, and almost nine times out of 10, it isn't the case at all. Um, and I haven't thought about you at all in that scenario where, you know, it's, I think that's vitally important to say communication skills, certainly in this hybrid world, where either sometimes in an office, we're working with community, you know, at Hundo alone, we have a network of people that are across the globe at any one given time.

So, you know, we have to factor in. working in different time zones, we have to factor in the fact that if someone doesn't reply in two hours, that's because they may still be in bed because it's that time of day. You know, it's, it's allowing for those types of considerations, being very clear with the communication, um, trying not to leave any ambiguity there.

It's those types of skills that become, you learn very fast if you don't already know them because those, those mistakes will soon come up and you, you can soon it's right. Yeah. And especially from the communication [00:11:00] Uh, communication side of things, uh, I guess, yeah, like earlier this year about a lot of major employers within the space had to do significant head cutting, um, um, yeah, around often times around 20 percent of headcount, um, so obviously, uh, yeah, um, people are fearful that they're next.

So, um, yeah, clear communication. Um, and just, um, like there's often times candidates reaching out to me, um, curious to know what's out there. Not because they don't necessarily not like their role. They actually do enjoy their current role in the vast majority of instances. But they don't know whether or not they're next, uh, which is kind of sad in a way.

Yeah. Well, everyone always has that plan. And to be fair, it's actually sensible, you know, in this market is always sensible to have that kind of, to, to have one eye on what's next, you know, be dedicated to what you're doing, obviously. But it even goes back to what we said about fractional work. You might be working 100 percent on one thing.

That doesn't mean you [00:12:00] can't put an extra 10 percent on something else, you know, so you've got, you've got that kind of flexibility. Um. And I guess, you know, building on that, and you touched a few times on almost like a personal brand, um, what type, you know, when you are working with a, uh, somebody who's looking for a role, you know, what are you looking for?

Are you looking at their LinkedIn? Are you looking at their Twitter profiles? Are you, how are you, what kind of brand, when you first connect with somebody, how should somebody be positioning themselves in what is actually quite a very noisy? Space, even though it's still quite a small space, it's still a very noisy space.

So how do you, as an individual, how does an individual stand out, you know, and get noticed by, by the likes of you, but then also by the other people, the companies you're working with, what would make them stand out, um, from a sort of personal brand perspective? Yeah, so, um, that's a great question and from a personal brand perspective, I look at personal brand, um, from first of all, the profile, um, and then, [00:13:00] um, and obviously, uh, their profile, um, how they're positioning themselves, what type of roles they're going for based on their profile, um, maybe it could also their publishing efforts, um, their GitHub accounts, their Behance portfolio if they're, if they're a designer, um, um.

Like I think everyone should, everyone working in a remote first economy, um, and a remote first industry such as blockchain tech should have a portfolio of some description, some proof of work to say this is what I've done with X project, this is what I've done with Y project. And, yeah. So, and again, often times then it could be a case where somebody, um, participates in LinkedIn, um, conversations and, um, publishes, um, insightful posts and you say, okay, this person may have, um, potential, maybe worth speaking to, may not have this necessary experience, but might be, uh, might, [00:14:00] might be worth having, uh, on my radar for future, um, roles that are suitable as well.

So again, Thank you. Personal branding is a funny one, I find, and I am going a bit off topic here, I understand, but it's as much offline as it is online, and it's not about posting and having lovely profiles, albeit they are of vital importance, um, it's how we can cultivate those relationships offline, um, then thereafter, but yeah, to come back to your point, um, um, Yeah, having the profile having the right keywords on LinkedIn and having the right experiences down if you're lacking experience have your feature your feature your github account or your Behance portfolio or Any marketing product or any and like if it could be something like a simple PDF have it featured on your LinkedIn profile have [00:15:00] those posts featured so that people can People can see your, um, work as well and don't be afraid to put yourself out there as well.

Um, if you are looking for, um, short term gigs and blockchain tech, network with the right people, connect to them. The great thing about blockchain as well is that people will be willing to help. Um, so if you send hypothetically, maybe 20 messages to. Um, a senior marketing executive at a blockchain firm, I guarantee you that five of those people will reply because people in this industry do want to help each other.

And then what you're doing is those five people that you connect with thereafter will effectively, um, be headhunting nearly for you and they will have their best interest. They will want to help you as best they can. And after getting on the call with them. So again, yeah, your network is your network to a large [00:16:00] degree in this industry.

Um, obviously you have to have the skills as well, of course, but, um, you also have to have a, a reliable, a good, strong network I find as well. Um, simply because, um, you could be an amazing marketer, um, dash. You, but, but, but if, if, if you're not, if it's like a shop, if, if, if you don't know what's inside the shop, you're not going to necessarily go in.

And that's what I find. I like that. You know, you can have the best products in the world in that shop, but if you don't know, if you don't know, you're never going to find them and you'll walk straight past it. Um, yeah. And it's funny because I put a lot of effort into content on LinkedIn and people will.

Gregory kind of come to me and said, I've been following your post X, Y, Z. And I'm curious to know what is out there at the moment. Um, if you have any skills for my profile and their profile on LinkedIn, for example, it [00:17:00] might be very bleak, but if, but then when you see the resume, the resume is absolutely fantastic.

And you're like, okay, you are doing yourself a serious disservice here. So yeah, get the LinkedIn's, um, proper prim and proper. Yeah. Yeah. So as you know, as you'll be often as a recruiter, you're often focused on, you know, specific aspects of evaluating, um, both tech and non tech roles. So when, how would you advise the applicants, um, position the information that they're, that they're presenting to you in a way that will help you one assess how good they are.

So going back to that brand and that portfolio piece, you know, how do they best present that? To one you, but then also to the potential employers that they can be connected to. Um, that you work with. Yeah, well, I suppose I'm in the. LinkedIn PSAM, you can feature, um, your various different posts, um, on LinkedIn.

So that is featuring, if you have [00:18:00] a strong GitHub portfolio, you can feature it, or a repository that you're particularly proud of, or a Behance portfolio, you can, um, effectively feature, um, your portfolio, um, prominently on your LinkedIn can jump in and out of it. Um, Whenever they're best pleased and when they're visiting your profile, and yeah, that's absolutely Fantastic so that people can see the proof of work before I'm engaging with you and Then on the call itself I would say to people that especially people that are maybe lacking that little bit of experience as well If you have a strong portfolio but may lack that experience in terms of years or in terms of major or well known companies that you may previously work for, keep referring back to your portfolio and keep, [00:19:00] again, keep going back to the Idea, um, in an interview setting of situation, task, action, and result, um, the star format.

And again, there's a lot of people in blockchain tech that will say, I've helped X project raise X millions. Um, I've helped. X project gain, X number of followers on socials, um, but they don't, they, they, they tell, they don't, they tell the result, um, they tell the glory, they don't tell the story, and I'm not really interested in the results because if somebody told me they grew, um, a project's followers on Twitter from 1, 000 to 10, 000 or whatever.

How am I not to know that those 9, 000 extra followers are all bots? I don't know. So I want to know how you necessarily achieved what you're claiming to have achieved. And, um, [00:20:00] Like I think a lot of people in blockchain tech as well. Um, and I am being specific to blockchain they speak in the I rather than the we format and again, I would rather people um, I Again, we're working on we want um, we want people who can work as part of a team at the end of the day as well so, um, don't be reluctant.

Don't be afraid to um, say how you collaborated with others and how It was a joint effort rather than an individual effort sometimes in interviews as well. But yeah, always, I would say to any, anyone regardless of any industry that you're in, make sure that if you're, when you're in an interview setting and presenting yourself to companies on the initial call, always ask any questions that you're Or ask most questions in the form of S T A R, um, Situation, Task, Action, or Result.

Yeah. And it's great interview prep as well. If you can get maybe 50 sample [00:21:00] questions that you can quickly cite, um, in that format, you'll be very well prepared for any interview or any question, um, that may come your way. So, it just. I just want people, when you're answering questions in that, and when you're prepared to answer questions in that, um, format.

You're in a position where you can deeply reflect upon your, what you've previously done and where you can add value specifically. I think that's really good advice because you know, one of the challenges of being on either side of an interview is, you've got a very finite amount of time to convey quite a lot of information.

Um, and any projects is complicated. It doesn't matter how, how small or big a project is, there's always still a lot of detail there, particularly when you're working with a team. So if you can be very precise about the story, about what you did, about, I'm really interested in hearing about what people, how they interacted with people, you know, I'm interested in hearing about what went wrong as well.

You know, that's something I always push people on when I'm, you know, actually no project has ever been perfect [00:22:00] ever. If anyone tells you it was absolutely perfect, they're lying or it was a fluke. Um, So tell me, you know, why it went wrong. How was it dealt with? How was it, how did the team react to it? How were you working with it?

Cause that then helps me understand how people solve problems, reactive pressure, resilience, and some of those other things that you're looking for in somebody. It's particularly in the startup world, which are vitally important. You know, it's, it's nothing will be perfect. There'll always be a new challenge.

Um, and you know, understanding how that works and is super important. And again, if you just tell me that you, you know, you, you boosted your Twitter profile from one, one follower to 10, 000, I'm like. Okay, that sounds brilliant, but there's, you know, there's nobody, nobody ever has that smooth transition unless it's a, you know, unless there's a lot of other stuff going on, it's very unlikely one individual did that themselves.

Um, without ton of content, without working with the product teams, without potentially buying bots, you know, and if you did that fine, tell me, you know, at least at least someone up to it and say, well, we tried this, but it didn't work. And, you know, we got caught out and we had to apologize to the [00:23:00] community.

You know, that's the kind of story that I want to hear, you know, cause it's like, what tells me how you deal with situations and how you're trying to problem solve things. Yep. Um. Yeah, no, absolutely. And I guess with regards to, um, elaborate on what you just said there as well, you learn, especially in such a nascent industry where there is an abundance of startups and projects do a lot of projects can go by the wayside and it is effectively made.

Very, yeah, it can be very hectic, um, in a lot of, um, job work settings in this industry, I've learned kind of not to dismiss job hoppers at face value. Um, whereas when I worked as an internal, when I worked in internal, um, talent acquisition as part of, um, broader HR roles that I previously [00:24:00] had, um, in years gone by, um, you'd say, okay.

Maybe three employers in the last 18 months. What am I missing here? Whereas in blockchain tech I would You'd be less reluctant to dismiss that person as a job hopper, and you'd be willing to, you'd be very receptive to getting to know their story, again, whether it could have been a fraction of work, or it was a specific assignment, and yeah, obviously, maybe their previous employment, their project ran out of funding.

Their, um, their, again, from a token point of view, their, their, their token could collapse, their treasuries could be decimated. Um, there's a whole host of various different reasons as to why people can leave various different, um, job settings, psychological contract violations as well. There's a whole host of reasons.

Yeah. Yeah. And especially in this helter skelter Type of [00:25:00] industry where people seem to be working all hours of the night to achieve deliverables Yeah, I just learned not to dismiss job hoppers face value as best I possibly can unless it's Very obvious. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. And you know, I'm, I'm the same now from speaking to somebody.

If they tell me they've had three different roles over the last year, I'll always ask, you know, the story, but I'm going into it with a very open mind as of 10 years ago when I was working at bigger tech orgs, it might send an alarm bell ringing. It's like, why is this person not at least stuck around for a year as is now that's very different.

I'm like, okay, there's very, you know, it's a very different space. First company, you know, first company ran our runway, second company on the other two month project, but then the conserving runway, they might bring him back later. You know, there's all sorts of different reasons why I, you know, I'm always, I actually find the storage fascinating normally.

Cause it's, it's, it's, it's a good study. Everyone's got a great story from the spending, you know, two, two or three months working with a startup. You get a lot of great stories from that. Um, and I guess thinking about, you know, people [00:26:00] going into roles and the next question here is. In light of like the increased amount of one remote work, but also decentralized technologies, the amount of new projects that are coming onto the scene in blockchain and the amount that are actually disappearing, you know, how do you anticipate that the, the HR packages will evolve?

You know, are blockchain companies, you know, beginning to offer. You know, unique incentives to try and get the best people and to try and bring the best people onto their projects. Yeah, so, um, I suppose from a package point of view, it's a very interesting, um, question because a lot of work is done on a business to business type basis rather than an employee, um, so

Again, a lot of the, a lot, a lot of times the, um, the developers or the marketers working for these projects will have their own company effectively, and they'll be paid into that company. And I would [00:27:00] say that as well, um, in terms of the actual packages, I would say that vesting schedules can be a huge part of the, um.

Um, package, so to speak, um, so effectively the average or the standard, um, vesting schedule in blockchain tech would be four years with a one year cliff. Um, so effectively that would mean that after one year, um, the person would start getting their, um, token, token bonuses, um, deployed to them after that one year.

And. Again, people have made millions of vesting schedules, but people have also signed up thinking that their vesting schedules were X when it wasn't. Worked whereas whereas now it's probably not even worth the price of a [00:28:00] pint so it's yeah fencing schedules can make up a huge part of the Package and it's funny because I think now we're kind of in a stage where the job market is a little bit more It's a bit more difficult, um, for Web3 native talent.

Uh, our industry was very much leveraged on venture capital funding for two years and a lot of projects enjoyed that and it was cheap money gushing throughout the industry. Now it's obviously, that's obviously not the case as much. Um, so projects thankfully have to be more resourceful and it's funny because.

In respect to, now that cash is king with job seekers and both employers a lot more, um, employers are more willing to offer up more attractive vesting schedules in lieu of [00:29:00] salary, whereas Employees, on the other hand, or candidates are a lot more concerned about the cash, whereas they would have wanted a tasty, um, divesting schedule during the better times when things are more optimistic and some candidates would have seen, um, divesting schedule as if it was their pension, so to speak, um, in that this is where we can, this is what we can retire on.

So, um, but obviously, yeah, obviously it's a different mindset now. So, um, Obviously, things like package wise health insurance, things like that, you often have to look after that yourself, um, in a stronger

HR presence, especially in things like onboarding, realistic job previews. Oh, there's a whole host of ways. Um, we just, um, in terms of employer attention and satisfaction as well, [00:30:00] there's a whole host of ways that, um, HR could be integrated into web training. It hasn't necessarily been introduced to space as of yet, to be honest.

I think there's, it's a maturing industry and it will start to start to bring in much more of that as certainly as businesses start to scale, um, there'll be different models, I'm sure, you know, if you're a decentralized business and you're. You know, you're working in a decentralized way. HR might mean something slightly different.

Um, but I think that we're definitely going to see more bigger organizations as they grow starting to have, they're going to have to bring in more of what the more traditional ways of thinking about some of the HR, as you say, in order to keep people for the long run. Um, I think it's really interesting as well, the points about vesting schedules, because I think certainly if you're, you're new to the industry, it's, they can be very exciting, but at the same time.

You know, treat that like you would if you were an investor because you're investing time and potentially salary, you know, a sacrifice on the amount you can make on actual cold, hard cash. So think about it in those terms. You have to look a bit [00:31:00] more critical at the company that you're potentially working with.

If it's a four year vesting schedule, there's a one year cliff. Do they have a runway for a year? Are they still, what's their, if they don't, how, you know, how are they raising cash? You know, ask those type of hard questions and it can be tricky, particularly if you're young and you're new, it can be tricky to ask those, but I recommend to everybody ask those questions.

You know, you're a startup, you've been around six months. How much money do you have in the bank? What's your runway now, they might not give you concrete answers, but at least you get a sense of how optimistic they are That they can deliver against, you know Those those schedules that they're giving you and I think you'd be very critical of it Like you would do if you were taking some of your money and buying those tokens, you know And educate yourself as much as you can do about what that actually means for you and don't get swayed by A potentially big pay packet in four years time.

Yeah, make sure you've looked at it very very critically And it was crazy now in hindsight, um, somebody could be, uh, somebody in November 2021 could be offered a hundred thousand of a [00:32:00] base salary and then by March of the following year could be getting an offer of a hundred and fifty. The thing was completely boiling out of proportion, um, but thankfully, uh, I think the industry needed a a blowout really, um, of bad actors, cheap cash, and I think now the industry is building and maturing, um, but, um, I guess with respect to, um, I suppose from a other perspective as well, I'm just, um, I would just like to mention as well that like for people getting experience in this space as well and just having to elaborate on it because I'm conscious that there's a younger audience listening in.

Um, there's a lot of DAOs out there as well. Um, you can participate in various different DAOs. Um. Out there and it could be a great way to fast track your career in blockchain tech, participate in various different DAOs, or look at projects building, [00:33:00] um, you know, and then you can build street credibility within those DAOs as well, get to know the main participants, and there's DAOs for literally just about everything as of now, and it's a great networking tool as well.

There's also. One other way that I'd say like fast tracking your skills in blockchain tech is, um, find a Ecosystem in blockchain that you're particularly interested in. It could be Cardano, Avalanche, Algorand, whatever. And find projects building within those ecosystems and effectively find, help out those projects, um, pro bono for a while and build credibility within those ecosystems.

And you'll find that these blockchain ecosystems are very tribal. And if somebody has a reputation for, or have been known for helping a project within an ecosystem, um, a lot of these projects will stick to that ecosystem and give preferential treatment to somebody that has already [00:34:00] contributed and showed passion to that ecosystem.

And I know I'm just going a little bit off topic there, but I just thought that'd be important to get in given the demographic of person listening. I think it's very important actually. And for those that, for those that don't know, you know, what is a DAO? A DAO, a Decentralized Autonomous Organization, um, in the vast majority of cases, it's just a discard, um, server, but, um, uh, yeah, again, it could revolutionize the future of, um, um, the DAO economy as one that is infinite possibilities, um, going forward in DAO economy.

I describe those effectively to many as a digital co op effectively. So everyone is contributing, everyone has voting rights, everyone can delegate voting rights. And yeah, they can effectively. take control and it means um, it allows more um, like minded [00:35:00] people to get together and work on things as well.

So for the creator economy, I think that um, DAOs are going to be huge and It's an interesting time as well for DAOs as well because could AI help scale DAOs going forward? It'll be very very interesting, but how can they be decentralized when um, AI Um, relies on, um, um, centralized learning the whole time.

So, um, yeah, it's, um, yeah, there's a whole rabbit hole there about. Yeah. Um, no, I think you're, you're right. Dows are a fantastic opportunity for people to get involved, particularly as you, you find projects that you're interested in and you join the discord or you're joined the community, but however, that community connects with each other and you can just start getting involved in the conversation.

So I think that's, what's fantastic about it. You know, it's the commitment is relatively low, but if you then find one that you're quite passionate about that you care about, you can get involved in the conversation. You can see where they need help. You can [00:36:00] see where you can provide something could be helping with the community.

It could be moderating the conversation. You know, there's entry level things you can do quite easily. There's and starts to get you recognized in that community. You start to become, as you say, one of that tribe. Um, So then when you've got skills you can offer, you can offer help, you can fix little books here or there, you can find books even, you know, there's bits you can do to support and straight away that community starts to know who you are.

When a bigger project comes up, you can put your name forward for it to say it can be, you can get involved quite easily then in a very different way to sort of the traditional applying for thousands of roles, seeing what happens, you know, it's, um, it's working with people that you've built a relationship with.

Yeah, no, 100 percent and, um. I guess, um, with regards to your audience as well and the college going folk as well. I would say that, um, if there's any hackathons in your, um, region as well, um, go to them. Fantastic, um, networking opportunity. Any [00:37:00] blockchain meetups, go to them as well. Um, the hackathons, you don't have to be a developer to go to the hackathons.

There are some good talks there, um. And even if you're a marketer, for example, you can go there and help out a team, um, with their presentation, for example, you don't need to be a developer because at these hackathons, the projects do need to present as well and give a presentation for, um, a couple of minutes as well.

So you could be the person that makes the, you could be the one presenting, you could be the one designing the pitch deck, you could be the one, um. Advising the developers with low communicative ability, um, as to how to, um, do the storytelling around the, um, the proposed offering. Yeah, so go to Hackathons 100 percent and thousands of people in blockchain tech will be hired through Hackathons over the next few years.

I can be certain of that. Oh, absolutely. The reason why. I was going to say, it's one of the best ways [00:38:00] of showcasing your skill sets is to be, you know, involved in a project for two days. Yeah, absolutely. And there's a lot of, what I would say, closet, um, Web3 enthusiasts out there that have the knowledge, they just don't necessarily have the experience.

And that knowledge and expertise just comes to fore in real life. And yeah, sometimes just can't be replicated on a LinkedIn profile, for example. Yeah, no, absolutely. Absolutely. And that leads quite nicely actually onto my, you know, my final question is. Um, you know, as a parent or an educator, you know, of our audience, you know, how can they be helping to introduce, you know, the potential and the impact of blockchain and the careers available, you know, to the young people that they either work with or they're a, a parent of, how can they help get people involved in this space?

It's a very interesting question, um, and like, again, it could be something as simple as, um, turning on a [00:39:00] YouTube video. Um, I think that in blockchain tech, we are, um, we kind of have a misinterpretation or, um, we kind of don't fully understand or appreciate maybe a lot of us working in blockchain and how.

It's going to revolutionize everything. Um, like I suppose, um, it's, yeah, like again, we've just touched the tip of the iceberg, to be honest. Um, in terms of decentralized operating systems, decentralized social media platforms, um, again. It could be just something as simple as, uh, If you want your child to earn a lot of money, basically, you'll, you'll get him, um, You'll, you'll get him, um, learning, um, You'll get him learning, um, um, The basics of JavaScript, which will give you to, um, Hopefully getting an interest and passion, um, for Solidity, Um, in the next couple of years, but, uh, [00:40:00] And again, there's, I'm sure, as you're better versed than I am, but there is a lot of, um, resources out there for coding for young people out there as well.

So, um, I guess another aspect that I would maybe look at, um, as, as well, would be kind of, um, there's free courses online as well. Um, there's a. 12 week program. It might be more so for the adolescents rather than the children, but um the University of Nacoa should do a 12 week free program Introduction to digital currencies.

It gives a good history. It gives a good oversight of what blockchain is and what Yeah, just it's a great um, I suppose catch all 12 week program that can be done with two or three hours per week independent study and Yeah, all you need to do to sign up to that is have an email address and[00:41:00] 

well, like for somebody that might be on a gap year, for example, or somebody that might be, um, be able, for a student that might be able to want an extra, an extra thing to look into at the weekend. It could be a good course to do, uh, Nicosia introduction to digital currencies. I think the first, the next onboarding is in a couple of weeks.

So now is actually good timing as well. And. Yeah, the cool thing about that as well is that you get a unique certificate of completion on the Bitcoin blockchain as well, which is, um, a nice little feature too. But, um, it's a nice touch. Yeah. We're, we're the, um, moving all our, uh, on Hundo. And when you get achievements and skills in your past courses, we now, you know, we now.

Have a blockchain version of that, which will be translating those onto blockchain. So you can prove in a verified way on chain that you actually did this and who it was for. So that's the way forward. I think that of course is, you know, it's a fantastic call out for, you [00:42:00] know, courses like that that you say are free.

You just need an email address and that gives you access to some fantastic resources. Um, likewise, check out what we're doing as well for anyone listening, you know, you can see, um, follow what we're doing for, you know, for potential to be able to learn more in this space. Um, but Owen, thank you very much.

Our time has come to an end, but thank you very much for that. I think it was very, very enlightening, very useful for everybody that was listening. Um. If anybody listening does have any questions and wants to reach out to us by all means do you can either Contact me on my linkedin and i'm sure the same for owen And we're always more than happy to answer questions, but thank you very much everybody.

Thanks very much. Cool

Emerging Technologies Reshaping the Way We Work with Lara Assi and Nadiyah Rajabally
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): WorkTech
In this engaging interview, Lara Assi and Nadiyah Rajabally dive into the exciting world of emerging technologies, like AI, and how they'll shape our future jobs. They stress the need for digital skills, adaptability, and creative problem-solving to succeed in this tech-driven era. They explore the pros and cons of automation, urging us to be proactive and ethical in our approach. Plus, they highlight the role of educators and parents in helping young people prepare for the digital age, emphasizing the importance of balancing tech know-how with real-life experiences. Stay updated!
The following is the transcript for this video:

[00:00:00] Welcome to our interview with Lara Assi and today we're going to be exploring the different skills that you need in a tech centric workplace. So what skills, behaviours and Lara will dive into how we can use AI in the workplace and other emerging technologies. So welcome Lara, do you want to introduce yourself?

Yes, thank you, Nadiyah. Thank you for this opportunity. Always good to be back with Hundo. I drop everything while, you know, if anyone calls me from Hundo, I'm like, I'm in, whatever. I just, uh, really like what you guys do, big on the, on your ethos. Um, my name is Lara, Lara Assi, and I am a Lebanese, uh, based in London, Lebanese.

I'm a Web3 educator and mentor, and I'm an also... An A. I. [00:01:00] Consultant, and I'm very big on passing the knowledge and, you know, dissembling all of the tech jargon that goes on in this space and making it, you know, more user friendly to enthusiasts and people who want to know more. Cool. Well, it's lovely having you here again because you were in our career con last year.

I'm happy to have you here. Um, so we'll dive into the questions. So how does technology set us AI and other emerging technologies affect the skills required for the future of work? And how can we prepare and navigate a tech centric workplace? Um, so basically, I think first and foremost, we should not underestimate how these disruptive technologies are fundamentally changing the way we work, live and interact with one another.

So this fourth industrial revolution that we're in, it's driven by transfer transformative technologies, and it's reinventing business models to say the least. Now, I don't want to be a [00:02:00] drama queen, but you know, a lot of Blue color and white color jobs are going to be at risk in the next 10 years. So excuse me.

So I think that we need to deal with this in a proactive way. And when I say proactive way, two things come to my mind, which is digital literacy and adaptability. Now we hear, you know, digital literacy. Um, everyone's talking about this, but what does it mean? It's really just the ability to use and understand and navigate digital tools.

Now, how can we do this? We can do this through hands on experience, meaning use these tools like don't be afraid of just trying things because familiar familiarity often comes through, you know, experience and practice. So this is the number one and digital literacy and then take these online courses.

It's a very open source. Um, you know, this vibe. Uh, you know, this [00:03:00] whole technological revolution. So you'll find a lot of online courses and content and material to dabble into and then absolutely stay informed because this is an ongoing process. If you don't catch up, you're going to miss that. Uh, you know, eat train and that's like digital literacy and adaptability.

Why do I say adaptability? Because I feel that we're in an era of continuous learning. Uh, we have to. We have to stay up to date. We have to be informed. We have to have this growth mindset in order to keep up and always think, how can I solve this problem? How can I have more friends or people in the space that can explain to me this or that?

So, yeah, I think digital literacy, adaptability, they work well together. And a poor point that you may obviously keeping up to date, especially with the tech environment is always changing. There's new technology. How do you keep up with everything? And what [00:04:00] advice can you give young people and people watching this on how they can stay updated?

Absolutely. So I'm going to tell you about my small experience with AI. So I've been working with AI, like not up close and personal, but I had because I work in emerging tech and you know, the AI boom happened last year. And I was like, okay, so I understand the fundamentals. But how much should I understand to be able to, you know, work or consult, uh, companies on whether they should integrate a I to their business models or not.

So I immediately just started taking courses. You have a lot of courses on, you know, Coursera and the likes of Coursera, these free free platforms. You have a lot of AI experts on different social media platforms, whether it's linked in or Twitter. So sign up to these newsletters that you hate signing up for.

Sign up to a weekly newsletter that can sum up what's happening in the world. And then if you [00:05:00] want to dive in, just get certified. Get certified. Take these courses. Um, I know that, for example, Stanford and Oxford are doing excellent, uh, courses if you're able to, to pay for that. But if not, there's a lot of open source.

Um, a lot of information on the Internet. So use the Internet to to pay for that. Get informed. This is what I always say. Yeah, no, definitely. That's why we wanted to launch career comm monthly and dive into different topics. There's so much happening and we feel like this is a way and it's free resources.

Obviously, you can come on 100 XYZ or our platform or YouTube to help people learn and stuff. And it's important like keeping up to date and learning information and then just using it for your. To help you with your personal growth and even the workplace and finding people networking, like you said, finding your community.

So what are the key skills and knowledge, both technical and [00:06:00] non technical that you believe young people should focus on to succeed in the tech driven workplace? Okay, so I'm just going to address an elephant in the room, as they say, which is our outdated global educational system. I mean, we can't just

I mean, young people do not have the capabilities to have, you know, or adopt these technical, uh, or non technical skills and knowledge. So we don't see any flexibility in our educational system, the institutions, the pathways that allow students to effectively explore multiple disciplines. So this is Something that I hope is going to be addressed very soon because the tech is not waiting for anyone.

It's just moving forward. And yeah, so integrating this this digital literacy and in our educational systems is pivotal to the next, you know, 10 years off of the lives of these young [00:07:00] people and also just have Some collaborations between educational institutions and tech companies, you know, having these tech experts come to classes and do the talks and say that this is where you need to be focusing on.

If you're thinking about this career, think of how to, you know, have digital literacy in parallel because this is where this is where we're going digitization. So, yeah, there's a new language in town, educational systems, educational institutions, and that's coding. So I think that teaching coding first and foremost.

So I and the basic fundamentals off a I and machine learning in schools. This should have started yesterday and just as we were taught, you know the English language or any language actually to be able to converse and understand and communicate with other people and communicate with people at work. We need to understand code to understand computers.

So I think that the first and foremost is You know, these these [00:08:00] educational institutions to push harder. I know that there are a lot of things going on in the world. A lot of, um, educational systems thinking of, you know, effective ways to on board, uh, a I literacy or digital literacy into the system, But now for for the non technical skills, we said what you know, governments and education should do for the non technical skills.

What young people can do is two things for me, like, first and foremost, Problem solving communication skills. Why problem solving? Because the tech that's coming, or the dawn of, of these disruptive technologies, all of the jobs, especially tech driven jobs, will have a good deal of addressing complex issues.

Every day you're gonna have this new AI model, like new whatever in tech, and you need to understand it. You need to see if this is gonna pose a problem if you don't adopt it now or not. And if I adopt this technology, how will I use it? How will [00:09:00] my how will this fit in the framework? So problem solving creativity as well in the back of our mind, because I don't think that technology will take over or I will take over.

I think it's gonna unlock a lot of, you know, these parts in our brains that we haven't had the chance to explore, which is creativity. I mean, these autonomous, you know, or automating Repetitive tasks is going to take a lot off our shoulders. So we're going to be left with this critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills.

Absolutely. Because if you're working in a tech environment, you're talking the tech language or you have this tech jargon around you. So in order for you to be communicating with other people, especially like different stakeholders and organizations, you need to be able to translate to talk the stack jargon.

To non technical people and communication is key, you know, with technology [00:10:00] or without technology. It's a skill that I think must people, you know, young people must have. They must have. Yeah, no, I definitely agree. Communication is very important across everything. Problem solving Hondo,

This is my first tech, um, working in a tech company, and we work so fast and it's like being able to adapt to that and working fast paced, and not everyone can adapt to that which is absolutely fine, but when you do come to work in these like tech environments you realize how fast things move and you just have to get on with it.

There's something that you definitely need to learn and have in the back of your mind that it's like. Keeping up to date with everything. Make sure you know what you're doing. Communicating with the team. Make sure everyone's on the same page, like one day you come in. It's one thing. The next day it changes and the project changes.

There's yeah, having that problem solving and everything and finding solutions for different things. See, I agree. Those schools are very, very important. Um, how does what [00:11:00] aspect? Sorry, I just wanted to say like from a communications aspect as well. Just don't be afraid to ask the stupid question because There's no such thing as a stupid question, and I know that it's a cliche, but I've like a lot of my friends who wanted to work in in tech, but they don't come from a technical background.

They really gave up on opportunities because they didn't ask that question. You know, just ask the question. Say that I don't understand that. Can you please explain to me? What does this technology do? Or how can I utilize it? Or how can I interact with this software or ask these questions and seek help because It's, it's not really wrong and no one knows all the answers and we learn something every day and in order for you to advance, you need to learn, you need to ask.

Yeah, definitely. Even like with the AI tools that we use, like TrackGBT and the Dante AI, there's a few that we started to integrate in our work to help us be more productive and help. And at [00:12:00] first, a lot of us were like, we're not used to this. It's very new. But then when you start using it, understanding it, understand how, how to use it, what to use it for, then you realize, oh, it's just like, Using a Google doc or another like slack or something.

It's the same thing. And it's like, it's really important to learn, communicate and like learn these things. So yeah, it's really important. So how does WorkTech contribute to making sure that emerging technologies are used for positive transitions rather than displacing workers? Oh, okay. That's, uh, Well, the drama queen is going to come out because I want the drama queen to come out.

I'm not going to say that AI will not displace workers, AI will displace workers. And it's not because this technology is bad per se, but I mean, AI is at the core of core of this, you know, fourth industrial revolution. So just like previous industrial revolutions, some jobs [00:13:00] became obsolete while new jobs emerged.

So there's this saying that I like, and I feel it's very relevant both for me, like on a personal level and on a career level, is that the only constant thing is change. The only constant thing in our life is change. And we need to keep up because life will not stop for anyone. So now that AI is here, what shall that, you know, work tech do?

Embrace it, embrace it and empower by shifting the focus of the employees So the strategic aspect of their work rather than the time consuming and repetitive work, and that's something that work tech, you know, scene or community should be proactively doing. And how would they do it? Trainings, skill development, you know, this, this, this empowerment should come from within these organizations that are looking to adopt immersive, um, disruptive technologies such as AI.

Um, and that's how they will, you know, allow their employees or give them this [00:14:00] space. Where they can upskill and reskill in response to these, you know, changing job requirements or changing, you know, settings and also promote this positive transport transformation because everyone's scared. Everyone's thinking, will I lose my job?

Is this the end of an era? And they really need to promote it like foster collaboration. Uh, you know, Just talk about the automation. Let people understand what is that a driven decision making, for example, and, you know, work on their skills, develop their skills. So I think this just embracing this and leveraging emerging technologies to their advantage while minimizing the risk off, you know, work.

The displacement is the way forward for the work tech community. Automation is a key component of emerging technologies. What are the potential benefits and challenges of increased automation in the workplace? For individuals to be able to work [00:15:00] alongside these AI systems, like what skills do you think are important to develop?

Well, automation. Fascinating, right? I just like, I mean, I read all about like of how automation is going to make our lives easier. And people are just so afraid of it. I mean, increased automation improved efficiency. That's it. And this is, you know, this is the equation for me because humans make errors and automation.

Hopefully don't like the error. You know, the margin of that error is greatly minimized. So when automation can perform these repetitive and time consuming tasks, why not? And it really would significantly, significantly reduce costs. For organizations, of course. So and it's also good in, you know, dangerous tasks because why?

Why would we want to lose, you know, an arm or a leg in certain tasks or jobs? So automation really does serve us [00:16:00] as humans. Uh, for the challenges. I mean, again, work displacement just because a lot of these jobs out there. Revolve around repetitive tasks like even if we can solve these issues off, you know, just making things faster What will happen to to these people who actually do these?

so If they were not displaced, they were really face the skills Mismatch because you know as automation is becoming more prevalent There is a growing gap between the work processes or the workers process and the skills required Yeah. In these automated industries. So, yeah. And another thing that I always think of is privacy and security concerns, and a lot of people don't talk about this.

I mean, how is automation related to that? But automation does handle sensitive data, and there is still concerns about data privacy, security breaches. Imagine someone just hacking this big [00:17:00] automation, whatever, and just destroying everything. So we still have these risks. We still have privacy issues. We still have regulations.

They're still not put in place. I mean, the EU is moving fast. The UK is doing things about it, but we still don't have regulations on hand to be able to navigate the system, you know, and also the cost is really high. People talk about automation as if they can just pick it up Uh, tomorrow, which is not true.

It's the costs are high. A lot of resistance going to be in the workplace. So yeah, good things and bad things about automation at the moment. But I think if we just go back to the to the skills, I would always say literacy literacy. I mean, in terms of automation, this is mainly to the to the organization because Even if you upskill yourself and you work on yourself, if the [00:18:00] organization does not want to keep, you know, 1000 employees, they're just gonna let them go.

So, uh, for me, it's about just being proactive to what's happening. If you're someone who works in the tech industry, but your tasks are really limited to repetitive work, look on how you can advance yourself. Look on into these, again, these learning, um, I'd say aids, learning aids that are there. Try to, I, I'd say like try to have that digital weapon on your side.

You know, you need to have weapons to, to live. And now we're not in an era of where people fight each other physically, but . But we, you need to fight for. For having this good job and a good and like career advancements and all of that. So have that digital [00:19:00] weapon next to you, besides you, so it can just, you know, get your chances, get you better chances in landing that job.

I don't know if I'm, I, I remember, I remember in the interview you did for us for Crick on last year. I remember you said like coding is like a digital weapon. It is. And I always remember that and I feel like I do wanna do coding, so it's on my list, . So one day, hopefully this year or next year do that.

But like what sort of, um, so when you talk about digital weapons, 'cause you were, you were tapping on this, so there's this, um, code for girls. So this is, um, yes. Organization. Do you know them? I love them because, yeah, I see them on Instagram. Amazing. I'm not like a shout out to them just because I, I wanted to learn Python and I was like, I.

At that time, I couldn't just, you know, enroll and pay for that. I had a lot on my plate. And I was like, you know what? I'm going [00:20:00] to reach out and ask if they would offer me a seat. And they did. And I learned Python. And it was amazing. Well, because I know that I'm not going to be coding today, but I need to understand code to understand the infrastructure of these models that are being built, especially that Python is one of the languages used for.

AI and like AI models and neural networks and whatnot. So, yeah, yeah, I would definitely contact them because I do follow them. Um, and like you said, I need to talk to them, but if they reached, if you reached out to them and they were responsive, then yeah, I need to definitely contact them and see, cause it's definitely something.

Cause I see like all the posts that they do and how many women they've helped and young girls and it just looks really cool. So, yeah. Um, what kind of work ethnic and attitude do you believe is critical for the success in the future of work? Oh, okay. So I'm gonna talk about ethics and then ethics in AI, if you're working [00:21:00] in AI, because you have these pitfalls and we don't want to, you know, go down that route.

So ethics, basically, as you were saying, just be proactive. You have to have that, you know, Attitude first and foremost. And as we said that you need to take these initiatives to learn and adapt. So be really open minded. Be willing to do that mistake and ask that question and take your time because this is really time consuming.

What's what's happening this morning? You know, we sleep, we wake up and there's like Chad GPT. Remember when Chad GPT was we just that people were not prepared. They were not prepared to this shift, you know, to this. It's a paradigm shift, natural language processing. I mean, that's crazy. So I think it's just being proactive and knowing that things are going to change very [00:22:00] fast.

And just to have that proactive attitude and don't resist, don't resist change or just turn a blind eye on the advancements that will soon materialize to be job requirements. So just, you know, start adopting this proactive attitude, embrace these technologies, have a growth mindset, be resilient. It's okay not to know things.

It's okay to feel overwhelmed, but it's not okay just to sit there and do nothing. So and very interesting number. I was like doing, uh, I was reading an article last, uh, week and you have around 4, 000. 4, 432, 000 businesses in the UK who have already adopted AI solutions or AI technologies. Oh, wow. That's like one in six businesses in the UK.

Yeah. So it's, it's really moving fast. So proactivity is, is the [00:23:00] key to, you know, keep up with this. Yeah. I mean, I feel like people that aren't using AI systems. are behind and they're, they're stopping themselves from growing and achieving more. So I feel like since using AI, um, at Hondo and for my work and stuff, I feel like I'm so much more productive.

I can get so much more done in less time. And it's just like, and it helps me. Grow and think of ideas and stuff like that, like, especially in marketing, you always constantly think of ideas, whereas I often have GPT, something, it just helps enhance your brain and it's just like unlocks your mind. Yeah, yeah, it does a lot of people, you know, creative people know how to utilize AI tools, because like for me, I come from.

Like I have a lot of creativity, but sometimes I'm stuck somewhere, you know, sometimes I'm just overwhelmed and like, you know, this cold start [00:24:00] problem, like, how do I articulate this? Or how do I start thinking about that or whatever? So when I resort to chat, GPT, GPT, I'm not like a copy paste person. Never don't do that with AI.

It's just read what read the output. Uh, be sure to know how to prompt. Okay. The AI model that you're using just don't tell him. What is this? Or what is that? No, you need to have a very coherent prompt that the AI would respond to and would give you an optimized output. So that's something as well. Learn how to prompt guys.

Prompting AI is key to getting the best out of the AI model that you're using. Um, yes, I use chat. You can tell it's a tool. It enhances us. Everything. So why not use it? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I agree with you. It helps enhance and helps you grow personal growth as well. And it's like, like you said, like sometimes [00:25:00] marketing.

I'm like, I'm stuck on a post. I'm stuck on like, what to do next. And it's like giving them a product and just having ideas and just think, Oh, that's actually a good idea. Let me try use that and like enhance it and think of something better. And it's just using those tools. But it's like using them. I agree.

Like I explained to my friends and I tell them that the tools I use and that I'm like, Oh, you should use this for your work and stuff. And then, then they use them like, Oh my God, like, this is so cool. I haven't like my company don't use this or why haven't I used this before? And it is very cool having them.

And like you said, it helps you and it makes you, it makes your brain see things differently and helps you grow. So yeah, it's really cool. So now talking about. Ethical considerations, obviously is an important topic when it comes to ai. Um, so what ethical challenges do you see happening in the workplace as AI systems become more common and what steps can organizations and even educators address?

So basically with, with ai, there are a lot of [00:26:00] pitfalls that, um, people are still, they don't understand the implications of, of these pitfalls. So, and it's all, it all has to do with, with ethics, first of all, algorithmic bias. So let's talk about bias and let's talk about the theory of garbage in, garbage out.

So the basis of all things AI is data. What you feed the AI, it's going to process, it's going to do its thing in the black, in the, in its black box, and it's going to give you an output. Now, throughout, you know, humanity and the history of us on this earth, we have a lot of bias, and this bias is translated into Our digitization, like everything that you see online and every single piece of data can have bias, uh, embedded into it because it's a human who who actually initiated or created this data.

So the thing is that when you want to have or you want to adopt an AI model, you [00:27:00] have to make sure that the data that you're giving is not biased as all at all, because AI is not biased, but you can, if you train it on bias data, it's going to give you a biased output. So it's very important guys. Garbage in, garbage out.

This is what, uh, our professor in Oxford told us when I was taking an AI program. And it really stuck to me because it's, it's all about data. So algorithmic bias, not only algorithmic bias and Because a I bleeds into everything. So let's talk about, for example, using an AI model or an AI application for recruiting the whole recruitment process.

And you know, the CVS out there amount of jobs that are taken by men as opposed to women is there. So when you give when you feed all this data to the AI, it's going to give you male candidates for certain jobs, for example. And this is a [00:28:00] lot of, you know, recruitment. CVS Um, AI, you know, AI driven recruitment softwares have faced this and they had to back propagate and go like bad AI.

No, this is this is not what you should be saying. So it's always having, you know, experts around engineers who can back propagate and who can refine and fine tune the data that's been, you know, fed to this AI model. It's really crucial. To, you know, that's to be ethical and to be fair, you know, and to actually hire the right person and not hire someone who has been given this, uh, I mean, uh, uh, nominated just because, uh, he was, he, he, um, again, and not, uh, and not Hire [00:29:00] someone who has been, uh, a good candidate because of the AI algorithm and not because of the competency, actually.

So that's one. I can, so AI ethics, it's because AI is breathing to every industry, so we have a lot of You know, I think of considerations to to take into consideration. Uh, regulations. Once the regulations are in, we're not going to have a lot of issues because that's gonna, um, force a lot of organizations into abiding by these, um, sets of rules or framework that has been put.

So I know that the EU has been working really, really hard on this. On, uh, achieving, you know, this framework or having a trustworthy A. I. Framework, and they talked about they had a lot of requirements. Some of them were, um, like the societal and environmental well being. [00:30:00] This is one very big ethical consideration.

Transparency because you're just accumulating this data. You're using this data. And so what about transparency? What about privacy? What about human agency? What about, you know, safety, technical robustness, accountability? Who's to blame when something goes wrong? Is it the AI? Is it the human behind the AI?

Is it the engineer? So a lot of these Um, I think your considerations are still being debated on a daily basis to see how how we can shape a good framework for organizations to be using and for employees as well. Because even if you're using AI in an organization, you really need to understand. That okay, so this I should not be doing or this is like privacy.

It's a privacy breach. I need to like go back [00:31:00] to someone and ask about this or that. So again, be mindful, be proactive. Understand that sometimes AI cannot give you an explanation of its decision. And that's when you dive into deep learning. And neural networks, neural network, and the layers in the neural network is a black box.

No one understands what's happening inside it until now. You cannot understand how the algorithm or the weights of these nodes have been, uh, divided or, you know, allocated to get this output. So if you cannot explain the output of this AI, how can you adopt it? How can you adopt this output? How can you say, this is what I'm going with?

Or this prediction. Yeah. You don't understand what's what happened in the back end. So a lot of ethical considerations to to ponder and think about for both organizations and people who are, you know, AI enthusiasts who want [00:32:00] to dabble into the space and, you know, have a AI related job somehow, somehow.

Yeah. It was really interesting hearing the points that you said, because like, we did our AI, um, curriculum event in June. And it's like, I asked everyone similar questions is the ethics and everyone gave it different opinions. So it's nice hearing different stuff. And there's things that you mentioned that people haven't mentioned before, which you need to think about, like put the data you input to the AI, telling the prompts, all of that is even like considering because that you can't like you said, the recruit example, just having Males come through for tech roles and then having to train it and be like, no, that's not what we want.

We wanna go back and then redo it. And it's like, and then it, it makes people understand that even though it's an AI system, we still have control as humans to like tell it what to do and how to prompt it. And I think that's the important thing. 'cause a lot of people think just because it's tech text taking over text, Taking control.

But really, we still [00:33:00] have the human element of putting our input and telling it what to do and what we want. Specifically, still having that control and feel like that's absolutely because if you have some AI models that pull data out of anywhere. So if you look at LinkedIn, for example, and you see the tech jobs that are posted on LinkedIn, and if the I can figure out how many men are applying versus how many women it's really bad because You know, sometimes just men apply if they feel that they are a 40 percent fit, you know, but us women, we would think that I have to have that 90 percent fit because if I don't know how to do it, I'm not going to apply.

So well, that's, well, that's how we say, see it. The AI doesn't see it. The algorithms is saying that, oh, look, we have this ratio of male to woman. Um, yeah, women, you know, applying for these jobs. Is it because men are better? They don't [00:34:00] care about the XXXY chromosome AI. It's just algorithm. Yeah. So it's up for us to find data and just feed AI, uh, or just, you know, train it on equality and diversity.

We can do that. Yeah, definitely. And it's important, like you said, is whatever we give the application, that's what they're going to feed from. So it's our responsibility to make sure that the information it has is reflecting what we want. So, yeah, no, it's very important. So looking into, like, parents and educators, what can parents and educators do to help their children and students develop digital skills that we need for this future work that we're entering?

Well, um, we've already talked about, you know, our educational system being a bit outdated. Actually, very outdated. The drama of Quneg. And, but, I mean, if I want to start first with the [00:35:00] educators, Let's talk about the teachers. You cannot prepare the students for what's coming if the teachers are not knowledgeable about the subject matter.

So, you have two things. It's either you're going to send this teacher away and say, Oh, well you can't, you know, teach this, so you're, you're obsolete now, or you can empower them. And this is where the change needs to start. This is the, you know, the proactive approach that governments and educational institutions should be approaching this.

Empower the teacher. So I think around four years ago, the UK government announced, um, an ad tech strategy. Great. Amazing. So there was like a 10 million pounds. It is a 10 million pound backed strategy. It's it's, you know, the money is going to support innovation, raise the bar in schools, colleges and universities in England.

But teachers and lecturers and educational experts. need to unite [00:36:00] with innovative businesses. And this is what I always say. I mean, great. The government is doing something. But if if teachers can do a proactive step in uniting with these innovative businesses and harnessing the power of technology to tackle these challenges, that's that's how we can ensure that those working in education are equipped with the necessary skills and tools.

To meet this. So a teacher just as the student needs to be proactive about it needs to resort to open source information rather than just wait for the system to change or, you know, for the institution to say, Hey, we need to, like, jump on this. And because I see, I mean, I've always been fascinated by teachers.

A lot of my teachers have imprinted on me. There's a little, you know, like a phrase here or a phrase there or the way they approach teaching and whatnot. And I think they're fascinating human beings because we all [00:37:00] are, you know, we owe our lives and careers to these people who helped us succeed and learn.

So when we think about this technological change, especially with disruptive technologies, they're just not equipped for this. So I need we need to give them a lot, a lot of empowerment and space for them to grow and understand how they should tackle this. So and yeah, the 10 million, it's not enough, but it's it was a start.

And as we were saying, yeah, educators, please update your own digital skills and knowledge just to be able to effectively teach. Uh, these emerging technologies attend workshops and conferences, online courses tailored to teachers, uh, from tech related industries. Um, ask these professionals, these tech professionals to come to speak to your students about career opportunities, real world application of technologies.

And, you know, for [00:38:00] parents provide that access to technology. I mean, I am a parent myself. I'm a mom to a three year old and I'm just in this constant dilemma of Giving her that iPad or not giving her that iPad. But then I was like, No, I'm gonna give her that iPad and I'm gonna have these amazing tools on it.

Uh, games, educational games and just for her to be one with technology because the generation that's coming, it's one with technology. It's there's this fusion that's gonna happen and people can't still see it. And as much as I as we find it bizarre, uh, I mean, I'm, I'm older than you, Nadia, I am, I, I witnessed pre internet.

I was alive during the pre internet era and then when the internet went to, you know, modems and everything and where you used to dial and it was so weird for, for us to adapt to this, to, to this new [00:39:00] technology. While you have, um, kids born into this technology. Now, maybe born through this. It's just it's it's fascinating.

So I think that as parents, first of all, we need to accept that this is the new reality. And we need to acknowledge that this is the new reality. Now, sorry. Yes, we need to monitor the screen time, the screen time, but we need to provide educational, you know, tools for them and just Foster a loving level of learning and this curiosity about technology and then just teach them digital literacy.

I mean, a lot of my friends are enrolling their eight year olds, like six to eight year olds in coding. Um, courses, they're so fun and, you know, wicked and they're just learning how to code at eight. And, you know, we have that capacity as humans and children and [00:40:00] sadly, our educational systems. It's limited in some places while technology doesn't so, you know, be one with technology and encourage your, your children to jump on these courses and enroll them in these courses.

So, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I definitely agree. I remember one of my colleagues last year was telling me that he sends his kids to a coding school and it's called Coding Ninja. And from I think the age of like three. Maybe four upwards, they go off to school and they learn coding and they make it really cool and they make all these cool coding stuff and then they make, they use Lego and all these cool things.

And I was like, wow, like, when I was younger, I'm 25 now, when I was younger, we didn't have any of that. And obviously, Similar to where it is now, girls were very focused on like art, English, and boys were like math, science, and all of that. And I feel like now that we're starting to see people now pushing and making sure that there's equality between both girls [00:41:00] and boys in schools as well, which is really cool.

And like you said, teachers, to help them grow, they need to have the space and resources to help them to learn about these emerging technologies. So like how Honda is doing virtual work experiences, and part of that. We're going to schools and we talked with teachers and the teachers have no idea about these AI systems, and then we have to then train them and then they're like, Oh, my God, why haven't we been using this?

Like, we could be planning our lessons with this and doing this and this. And it's like, and it's like, it's just crazy how they don't use it. So I'm hoping, yeah, hopefully, fingers crossed in a few years time. Absolutely, it's gonna change. Nadia, it's gonna change. It has to change. Yeah. So, but the only thing that I would say, and just because that I feel.

As a mother, I've I've touched upon this is the balance between real life and digital life because as as children, we used to just play outside. We had like nothing. We had no [00:42:00] iPads. We had no. Yeah, we were not in touch with with technology. The only thing we had is like cartoons on on on the TV, and that was very much limited.

So I think just finding that balance between, you know, giving them this exposure to technology because technology is going to be Yeah. Or digital literacy is going to be the way forward in their lives. But as as much as that's important, it's equally important to stay in touch with with nature and just to play outside and to have friends and to Yeah, just develop develop these social skills as well and not just be in that room.

And, you know, it's really good to foster, you know, foster education, innovation and whatnot. But it's equally important to find that balance. So yeah. It's a hard job for parents. We can never get it, uh, right all the time, but you know, we try. Yeah, no, it's like you said, balance is very important. And like you said, yes, having screen time, but giving them the [00:43:00] tools, like having certain apps where they can learn and engage.

Whereas just like going on YouTube and just watching stuff that isn't relevant. It says, yeah, it's about screen time, but having a dedicated screen time, which will help them. And then also having time with nature and doing things. Cause like, like you said, one of the things that I've learned when we're talking to our young people is that they don't have those social skills.

Because they're so, they're like, they're very scared to like, even like when we have video calls with them, they have their cameras off, they don't want to talk, and like those skills is really important in the workplace, and like talking, communicating, me and you having a conversation. Some young people find it really hard in their social anxiety, and it's like having that balance and making sure that you can do both.

Cause you need those skills and they're important. So yeah, there's a lot, but yeah, balance is really important and having these skills and just keeping up to date with everything. So I could talk to you all day, but we need to wrap up now. Yeah, I know. Um, so obviously, [00:44:00] like we said, everything we spoke about, the future of work is changing, the working environment is changing constantly and a much faster pace now with the technology we have.

What are a few skills that you think will be most in demand in the next three to five years? Well, absolutely. Hands down a I and machine learning expertise. Absolutely. Because a eyes gonna bleed into every industry, and this already has begun. I'm like I just told you, like 432, 000 businesses in the UK have already started dabbling.

And I mean, look at the wonders that they are is doing

in health care, supply chain, cyber security, finance, sustainability, you name it. and they are already in, in demand. The, the, the market is worth more than 16.9 billion pounds in the uk. It's expected to grow to like a staggering 803 billion. That's in 20 20, 20 35. Yeah. So it's, it's happening. And yeah. [00:45:00] The beauty of ai, it's, it's the open source of it.

So you can have find a hell out of information like everywhere you go. About AI, AI applications, how to prompt an AI, how to use this AI model. So I always say that get in, just get involved and don't miss that AI train, guys.

That's an important. Did you hear that guys? You can hear it from here. Do not miss the AI train. Hop on with us and join

us. Well, it's been lovely speaking to you, Lara. Um, I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the day. Where would you like people to connect with you? Is it LinkedIn? Yes. LinkedIn, please. I'm very slow on my, um, messages and replying because sometimes I get overwhelmed, but please just drop me a message if you want help in, in anything.

If you want like links to articles to start, you know, learning about [00:46:00] AI, or if you want me to recommend you some courses out there that are free, or if you just want to chat or ask that stupid question that you're not asking, please do connect. Yeah, I can tell you Lara would definitely reply because I've had conversations with her.

And we still need to catch up in person soon. Um, but yeah, um, and Lara's doing so much amazing work in the tech space. And she's always out talking to people, so definitely follow her. And if you need any help, do reach out to her because she's here. And I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the day of CareerCon.

And hopefully we'll see you soon. Don't forget to follow us on hundo.xyz and keep up. And this video will be on demand as well. Thank you, Lara. Thanks. Bye. Bye.

The Future of Work: Identifying and Prioritising Essential Skills with Joanna Blazinska and Jennifer Barnet
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): WorkTech
Discover the future of work with Joanna Blazinska and Jennifer Barnet as they discuss essential skills. To thrive, embrace adaptability, lifelong learning, creativity, and emotional intelligence. Showcase your skills through experiences and self-reflection. Schools can help by teaching employability and social skills. In the rapidly changing work world, emotional control, creativity, and analytical thinking are key to success. Stay future-proof!
The following is the transcript for this video:

[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to CareerCon Monthly. This month, we are looking all at WorkTech. Um, so what it is, how it can help us, why it's important in the workplace and what it means for the future of work. I'm Jenny, I'm Head of People and Culture at hundo. Uh, and I have the pleasure of being joined today by Joanna who is a Career Coach Strategist.

Uh, with a real focus on the future of work, talent and careers. Um, so without further ado, welcome Joanna. Thank you for joining us. Thank you so much, Jenny, for the introduction and I'm super excited to be here today. Amazing. Um, would you like to tell us a little bit more about yourself, a bit about your background?

Yes, absolutely. Uh, so right now I am a career coach, career strategist, um, [00:01:00] absolutely enjoy the topic and, and, um, love studying, researching the topic of the future of work. Um, and in the, in my previous roles, um, over the last years of my career, um, I was working, uh, either in gaming industry or in hardware.

Right. So, um, I started in gaming back in Poland in my home country, and then, uh, moved a little bit across the over around the world and, um, ended up working for Sony. So in PlayStation and for Google doing projects, really enjoying the project work. So, uh, that was before and then I transitioned into career coaching out of, uh, your passion for, for the subject.

Okay, nice. Nice. What's going on there? Um, so without further ado, we will jump in with the questions. So, uh, I'm sure you've seen them say that we're not throwing them at you about any forewarning. Um, so obviously we know the future of work is evolving. Um. [00:02:00] That's what we've talked about throughout all our, all our series of CareerCon.

Um, and what do you feel are the specific skills that are becoming increasingly more important? And how can we sort of identify and prioritize the skills that are going to be most relevant to career goals? Especially for young people. Right. So I think first of all, the approach to skills is changing, right?

So before Employers would value more. Um, the degrees, right? So the school, the specific school right now, the employers are looking at what you bring to the table, right? What problems you can solve for them, especially as work is transforming. We've got multiple different generations working together in the workplace.

So all the skills we can bring together are important, right? Whether you're at the start of your career. But you're, for example, very tech savvy, very digital savvy, or you're, you're towards the end of the [00:03:00] career and has got the whole experience and lots of skills built over, over years, right? So right now, what I would say in terms of the specific skills, right?

Obviously, we've got the kind of. Um, the hard skills, more technical skills, right? And these will vary, um, across different jobs, different roles that you want to, to take on or that you're thinking of, right? Maybe you want to become a programmer, right? So, uh, coding, uh, different tools, right? Will be still relevant for you, depending on those, on those career goals.

Uh, however, what's, what's kind of becoming interesting is that the kind of our human skills, right, that used to be called soft skills, um, are gaining importance, right? So people realize that how we collaborate, for example, is very important because that's how we build better results, better work environments, right?

So collaboration, right? These times are very turbulent, turbulent and, [00:04:00] um, work is transforming, right? We see lots of tech being, uh, being released right now. Lots of a disruption coming through because of AI, right? So adaptability and lifelong learning will also be the skill that employers used to maybe ask for implicitly, or it was a good thing to have whilst you are in, in a work environment.

Right now they ask for specifically, right? So they will ask. For the skill and for the proof of your ability to learn, right? Um, other things, right? So, yes, you will need to have, um, the core skill of being digitally savvy or, um, have understanding of data or being able to learn how to work with data and work with AI tools as they are being kind of developed and implemented right at work.

Um, but also you will have to have the ability. Um, as a human being to manage those changes, but also, uh, understand how how [00:05:00] you, uh, as a person deal with change. Right? So you will have some sort of levels of level of self awareness, but also the ability to to manage change. Right? So we see how. The kind of the, the hard skills, what used to be called hard skills, right?

Uh, some of them are becoming simply core skills that everyone has to have, like dealing with data, uh, digital savviness, right? But what's gaining increasing importance are the soft skills, right? So, um, emotional intelligence, um, lifelong learning, um, being resilient, being empathetic at work and collaborating well.

Yeah, definitely. So, are you touched on those sort of human skills there, or also sometimes called power skills? Yes. In this sort of era of automation and AI, where, where there is this sort of huge shift happening as we know it, what, what sort of skills from that set would you [00:06:00] say are important, or hold the most importance?

And um, You know, can you give a brief explanation of why and why you think they're the most or going to be the most important sort of soft skills we need? Right. So, um, I think they, they kind of, um, now we're, we're learning to, to call them human skills or power skills, because I think we've all realized that they are very difficult actually to develop and valid, very difficult to manage.

I think as work is becoming transformed through tech. Right. We are. Learning to engage differently with tech, right? Not necessarily for the people who are watching us, maybe in 10 years, they're not going to be, they're not going to know what keyboard is right, but they will have their headset or will have some sort of, uh, other ability to, to engage with tech, right?

So we don't know how that interaction. Might look like for sure yet, right? We might have the ability to understand what's [00:07:00] being developed right now. And that's how we also can understand what human skills could be interesting. But I think the most important kind of idea here is to understand that we are not competing with tech anymore, right?

We are no one is kind of getting the jobs away from from each other. We're kind of leveraging, right? So we're bringing the best of what humans can do with their skills. Right? So. One will be creativity, right? So we will be Solving different, different problems and solving those problems differently, uh, learning agility, right?

So being able to, to always, um, yeah, to, to, to simply be able to, um, to navigate those changes and understand what skills we need to be learning next or. What could enhance my current skill set so I can do my job better, right? So I can solve my problem, the problem that I'm solving at work more efficiently, but also, um, in a more creative way.

[00:08:00] Right. Uh, then we've got collaboration, right? I think, um, collaboration and social intelligence, I'm going to put them together in the, in, in one category. Um, but I think it's really important to, to learn how we work. how best to work together, how best to bring results together, but also in a positive, collaborative way.

And also an aspect of it is how to build that rapport quickly with others. Right? So imagine that you are on a, on a team that is at a company, but there is, um, a product to build, right? Or or some sort of sort of problem to solve. Right? There is a team. Um, you know, launched because people know that you've got the skill set.

Other people have complementary skill set and we all come together and we all need to work from day one on a problem, right? And, and, um, deliver it quickly. Right? So that fast, uh, creation of rapport with other people will be super relevant. Um, other cultural intelligence, [00:09:00] for example, we are working remotely now.

So we are not going to be working from people from the same borough. They might be thousands of kilometers away. Um, so that's that side of things will be very interesting and communication, right? So being really, um, efficient at delivering, um, delivering written, um, communication, but also verbal communication, sharing ideas in a, in a, in a way.

So I would say these, but there is plenty of them. Yeah, there's, there's so many, isn't there? I think it's really interesting because cultural intelligence, you know, 10 years ago, even five years ago, Even someone, you know, older like myself just wouldn't have thought to list that as a soft skill and even the fact that now they're Actually, there's a shift from calling them soft skills to actually giving them the credit they deserve as human skills.

Because so many people, young people, you know, older people don't really [00:10:00] understand that they might have these skills within them. They probably use them every day and they are actually really valuable. Yes. And I think that's a big problem, certainly for younger people. I think, you know, older people probably are a bit more confident, but younger people are like, well, I can work in a team and I can lead a team.

But Is, you know, is that something that employers look for? So, I mean, in terms of that, then how do you think? You know, young people can demonstrate these skills, um, to employers in their CV or during interviews and in the workplace and sort of, you know, show that these skills are important and that they hold them themselves.

Yes. And I love the point that you're making, right, that we do have them, we might just not fully be aware, right? So always raising awareness about. What am I doing that has developed some skill to me right that that I've, I've developed that skill through maybe an activity that I didn't even realize was a, for [00:11:00] example, an act of leadership that I, that I did a project, for example, a volunteering project, um, where you do something for your community, because it's, it Because of a cause and the cost because that you believe in right might straight away demonstrate that you are a leader.

You are demonstrating leadership, emotional intelligence, um, and social intelligence, right? And and a lot of humility on the way. Right? So, so I think really kind of, um, taking ownership of of what you're doing and having those moments of reflection. What projects am I, am I involving? What's, what's my passion?

What gives me meaning? What gives me the sense of, um, happiness of meaning in, in what I'm doing day to day? What causes am I passionate about that? I've already gone and done something about right? Also, what, what, um, am I spending time on? Right? If. You are all the time learning. For example, now, if you love to engage with technology, love to learn [00:12:00] everything and anything about AI, and that's where you spend time on, right?

You are a lifelong learner, right? There's a tick if you look at a job descriptions, right? That skill is a tick, right? So, and how to demonstrate it. Um, first of all, Simply by, by really taking hold and taking ownership of everything that you're doing. So having those moments of reflection, of really kind of understanding.

Um, that those experiences matter and those experiences inform your skill set, right? Um, if that sometimes is, um, kind of unclear to you, you can always talk to other people, right? Maybe, uh, have a mentor, maybe find someone that works at a company that you particularly would love to, uh, experience working as, right?

You can go and talk to them and really talk honestly about what they do. All the experiences that that you've had, right? So, so really reflecting on those on those [00:13:00] experiences, um, experimenting a lot with different, different experiences as well with different apprenticeships or, uh, different opportunities, but also projects that you proactively engage.

I would say definitely that, and then including CV cover letter, uh, with some sort of result and showing really what what you've achieved, what you were able to accomplish. Yeah, I think definitely if you if you are passionate about something and if you care about something and it's it's not in your mind a skill But actually it is a skill Yes, if that's the best way for you to understand that actually you you've got these skills within yourself and now it's just how to How to showcase them.

So I mean with that in mind How can our schools and our colleges and parents sort of help young people develop? These skills, um, and, and keep them up to date, um, from an early age. Is there, is there like a trick to this? Do schools need to [00:14:00] start changing their language about what, you know, what soft skills are?

How, is, is there, is there a trick to, to nailing that, do you think, or? Um, I think it's it's already changing. I've seen that definitely there is private sector kind of helping out of different courses from very early age of on kind of building social skills. So, um, so definitely worth seeing will worth reviewing how how that works.

But I think when it comes to really enable young people and helping them learn those skills, um. I would say, first of all, we need to empathize with them that they are growing in a completely different world. They will be interacting differently with technology, uh, technology is part of their lives. Um, which maybe we needed to, to learn it first, right?

And really kind of have the ability to know. To have known both worlds. Right. So I think really a lot of empathy, a lot of staying on top of trends, right? It doesn't mean [00:15:00] necessarily reading through all the reports that bigger organizations and companies are releasing. However, Um, maybe sticking to a couple of, um, sources, a couple of, of, uh, thought leaders that share that information.

Right. And then, um, helping young people really kind of get exposure to different experiences. And I think experimenting and allowing people to. Um, to be able to ask questions to experiment, explore, but then also fail, get back up and then experiment again, I think, uh, also allowing them to, you know, think critically, ask questions, right?

So we do need to. Possess those soft, those soft human skills right in order to be able to also enable other people, but I think definitely kind of allowing young people to to interact a lot with others. To build different, different things together in a [00:16:00] fun, in a play way, right? And, um, learning through play, but definitely kind of through that exploration and that just, um, inhibited, uh, creativity, fun.

And yeah, and I think that there, there is, there is, uh, that, that could be the trick. Yeah, sounds good. Definitely. Um. And what skills do you think young people can develop to become more innovative? Put my teeth in. And adaptable in a tech driven work environment. Are there any sort of tips for that? Right.

So in terms of, um, becoming more innovative and adaptable. Right. So I'll start with innovative and I'm going to talk about one skill that I particularly like. Um, and it's called, uh, combinatorial creativity. Right. So this is when kind of people. It's, it sounds, sounds very fancy, but it's actually, it's when people experiment [00:17:00] with different areas, right?

And then they bring those, those, um, different learnings together. They might not even be able to say that they are doing this, right? But because. We learn from absolutely everywhere, right, by, you know, absorbing tacit knowledge, absorbing from our environments, from books, from courses, right, this is, it is about really kind of bringing different, uh, different information together and building innovative solutions, uh, through that sort of creativity of kind of bringing different insights, right?

So it might mean that, for example, if you do music, right? Some people might say, well, in the technological world, AI will create some music. Why do you, why do you do this? Right. But actually. It still builds the brain in a way which other subjects might not, right? So, um, and you might develop certain structures, certain way of ways of thinking and [00:18:00] memory, right?

That other disciplines might not, right? Then bringing together with an engineering subjects, right? The connections of the brain does might be super interesting, right? And again, we might not be even able to, uh, to fully understand that we're doing this, right? So. All this to say, uh, really exploring different disciplines.

I think, um, having that, that, uh, curiosity, right? Asking questions, going and engaging into different projects, right? I think. That's where really that sort of creativity and innovative mindset, uh, can can be built. Um, another way I would say is also kind of having growth mindset, right? This is a term that many of you will definitely hear a lot.

Um, growth mindset essentially says We are never born with a set, fixed, uh, set of skills, right? Uh, we are always developing those skills, right? So if today you [00:19:00] feel you're not great at maths, for example, it doesn't mean that tomorrow through practice, through a lot of practice and really kind of focusing and learning, going deeper on that subject that you're not going to learn, right?

So I think really having that belief, um, it changes a lot and people are more, more able to. One adopt and to innovate, right? Because they will be able to to experiment to explore and have that kind of, um, more of a researcher and happy explorer mindset. That's what I would call it. Right? And, um. What else?

Yeah. And I think that's, that's also that another aspect could be building rapport with people, right? So really kind of through that social, uh, learning experiences, right? I think this is where people get innovative because they start exchanging ideas, but they also, um, share different perspectives, different way of, of thinking about the world.

So I [00:20:00] think that's also another way to become. Innovative, but also adaptable because now it's teamwork, right? So, so we need to be adaptable when it comes to adaptability. I think, um, again, being exposed to different experiences. I think that that definitely helps. and really leaning into change, right? Not, not resisting it.

I know that sometimes there is the discomfort of change, right? It can be uncomfortable and it is at any age, whether you're 14, 34 or whatever that might be, it is uncomfortable, but really kind of learning to, to have that skill of of just of managing change and also of resilience, right? So, so being able to, to go through that change emotionally as well.

Yeah, I think that, yeah, definitely keeping an open mind and I feel. I have hope that sort of younger people, you know, Gen Z, teenagers, they already kind of have [00:21:00] those mindsets where I think like the older generation are quite set in their ways like and absolutely freak out at change. Like I know I'm one of those people.

So yeah, I feel like I need to take on board some of these lessons myself. We all do. We all do. And, and, and this is why, for example, when it comes to adopting AI, right? Yeah. Yeah. Um, The main thing will be not really the technology itself. It's going to be people who will look at it and go, do we really need that?

Right? So, so it really is, um, I think that, that we have that, that's kind of natural, um, first reaction, which, which we need to work with. And, um, the interesting thing that you said, Jenny, right? Was, was precisely, uh, that those, the younger people definitely have lots of information. They, they kind of, they are surrounded by, Lots of different technologies.

They already see the change, uh, happening. They have access to that information and know exactly [00:22:00] what's changing. So, um, so definitely that's, that's a different way of seeing the world and also to, to appreciating that they have those skills maybe already. They, they, they can hone in on. Yeah, totally. So then homing in on the actual work tech skills themselves or the tools.

Um, obviously. They're massively used in terms of remote working, hybrid working, and since COVID there's obviously been this huge shift to either fully remote or sort of hybrid working. Um, so what tools would you say are really vital to make that sort of virtual communication easier or to bring teams together in more of a sort of hybrid working environment?

Is there something that you swear by that you couldn't live without? When it comes to tools, um, I'm going to, I'm going to give the answer that might not be very direct question, but my answer would [00:23:00] be, you can make any tool work as long as you've got the right kind of mindset around what remote work or hybrid work does, right?

And how to conduct work in the way that works within remote work, right? Because remote work or hybrid work is essentially us not being in the same place, right? So. We suddenly need to self manage better. Right. So I would say one of the, the tools, the, the, not necessarily tech tools, work tech, but, uh, but tools would be self management.

So really kind of instilling those, those, um, kind of time management, self organization skills, right. And building, building those. Um, and, And really understanding and finding clarity, and this is also a skill, and this is also very difficult for managers, right, building that clarity into their teams when, where they, they are [00:24:00] able to change the way they work, right?

And, and give clear goals to their teams. So their teams can work on meaningful things, right? And collaborate in an effective way. So I think what actually What actually enables the deck to, to do is, is the deck to work for us is, is us being able to be very clear about what we're building. Uh, what the kind of principles work are, um, co create, uh, certain rules for the teams, right?

And how we, how we work, how to like, um, to deliver certain projects, what outcomes we're working on, right? And then, uh, being able to seek relevant information from other people, right? I think what's, what's kind of missing sometimes is, is. Learning from others just by observing them, right? Because we are not in one place, right?

So making sure that when we are right, and, um, we [00:25:00] are in one place, we, we kind of collaborate, but we also exchange a lot of knowledge. What's working. What's not working. So we have to kind of think about how we communicate. Uh, the best practice is proactively, so I didn't respond to the question with specific tech, but I, I, I would still swear by the fact that, uh, we can take, you know, uh, zoom, Google meets or whatever tool and really make it work as long as the team and the manager know, know what they're doing.

Yeah, yeah, a hundred percent. We've gone, we're, we're sort of hybrid really at Hundo, but, um. Some of the tools we just swear by and we wouldn't go a day without them. Uh, and others we started to use and then they, they drop out. And then you think it's really, it's because the team are not fully engaged in using the tool.

So as soon as it starts to drop, then it suddenly doesn't. become that useful tool anymore, whereas others are sort of, we use day in day out and we wouldn't be without them. But it's because there's really the team engagement and the team [00:26:00] understanding of knowing exactly how this tool can, you know, can help us in our day to day work.

Um, and educators then, so sort of schools and colleges, how, how do you think they can sort of best prepare students to cope with the challenges and the opportunities that will be presented by hybrid work settings? And what sort of skills are essential for professionals as well in that, in that sense people that are already in, in the world of work and then people that are sort of going to start going into hybrid working or even just going straight into fully remote working which.

Is now really what we're looking at for people going into work. Um, there's not that many people now. I think young people were surveyed that would be quite happy to do a nine to five office job. You know, people want to work from home. So, but are they prepared? How can, how can schools help them get there?

Right. So I think, um, I think a good starting point would be to understand what the challenges are and that those [00:27:00] challenges will be changing as well as we are learning a little bit more about how to. Um, you know, how to how to build hybrid effective hybrid workplaces and work environments. Um, so a couple of challenges, right?

So, for example, people are not necessarily always, um, fully aware how to sell and don't have the skills how to self manage, right? So really instilling those, those basic employability skills, right? And helping young people, um. You know, take ownership of their time, set effective goals, um, work on projects where they actually Deliver, uh, you know, implement.

So, so really execute on a, on an idea, right? So really drive something to completion, right? Um, another way, um, and another kind of set of skills, I would say are the social skills, right? So, you know, Again, how to proactively build [00:28:00] conversations with people, how to, uh, make friends, let's say, at work with people, the topic of friends has actually been been, uh, studied in, in, in this set in the context of, um, of the workplace.

And it's been very, um. fascinating to me. Uh, so really how to set those, how to build relationships, right? Um, how to proactively reach out to people to, to build those connections, right? Um, how to, when they join a team, right? How to reach out to people, how to connect with them. Um, so really being proactive about that, right?

And that doesn't mean that it's only the young people that have to, the moment they come into the workforce, right? That they just have to do it, right? It's, it's us all collectively, right? Um, so I would say these, um, and emotional intelligence, right? Because I think, Sometimes, um, in hybrid, we lose the, um, the [00:29:00] ability to, because we, it's, it's us working from home, not necessarily always from, from the office, right?

So we sometimes lose the ability to really empathize with others and really understand what they might be going through in the very same setting that we are. So I would definitely, um, suggest, um, working on, on, on those skills as well. Yeah, 100%. I think you've definitely hit the nail on the head with the, um, talking about employability skills.

Um, that's certainly something at Hundo that we're feeling is, is sort of lacking that students are not developing within an educational setting. And, you know, that's really, really key. So yeah, definitely, definitely agree. Um, so with that in mind, I feel like I've said that a hundred times already, but what do you think, what skills do you think are going to be in the most?

in demand in the next sort of three to five years in in terms of how fast the [00:30:00] work environments are are changing like what's going to be the top three skills that Young people need to be thinking about developing or building top three. I don't know if I can top three because there is so, so many, but, but, um, I think one skill that, and, and this is, um, in relation to your comments right now, right?

Because there is so much change. I think anything related to emotional regulation, emotional agility, resilience, right? Will definitely help people go through that period. It's. right? So really thrive in this period rather than, uh, then kind of feel a little bit out of control and always kind of out of touch because they might not be in the office, right?

Because they work from home, right? So, um, and there's so much technology, right? Are they learning the stuff that will actually, the skills that will actually make them future proof in a sense, [00:31:00] right? Can they. set goals right now, actually, or maybe things are changing so fast, right? So really kind of, um, I would say the emotional, um, regulation of emotional agility, resilience.

Um, however, out of the skills that are on the rise, and we see that from the reporting, we've got creative thinking, definitely. So really building, um, those creativity skills that sometimes might not come from. Um, you know, a subject at the uni or a course, right? But really from build building from an exposure to different experiences, right?

So, um, becoming creative doesn't necessarily mean. studying a year at a uni, you know, this object that is called creativity, it is kind of bringing together different experiences, different perspectives, different knowledge. Uh, then we've got analytical skills, right? They are, um, they be, they are becoming what is the core really of [00:32:00] any role right now, because we are seeing that It's everything is becoming measured, right?

Like we can, we can measure so many areas right now. And, um, companies are measuring, you know, whether it's well being, you know, if you see all sorts of. For example, openings, you know, the government is hiring a lot of data analysts, right? So, um, there is definitely a push for everyone to, to become, um, to have that analytical thinking and be data savvy, um, technical literacy, Definitely is becoming a core skill, but then we've got a whole set off of, um, skills that are those human skills that we actually started from.

Right? So lifelong learning curiosity. Um, what else do we have? The emotional intelligence, right? So, so really all those skills, but also being motivated and being able to, to self manage, have that self awareness, right? So it's not really top three, but a nice set of skills [00:33:00] that I think if they are able to build.

to start building, they will be fairly future proof, um, for the work. Future proof. That's what we want. Um, yeah, I think the emotional intelligence one is particularly interesting to me because it's just not one that I necessarily would have thought of, but actually it sort of lends itself to so many other skills as well.

Um, and again, people probably. A young person might not even actually think, well, what does emotion, you know, what does emotional intelligence mean? But I feel like now people have a better idea. Thank you very much. Um, I think our time is up, but thank you so much. That's been super interesting. Um, I've learned a lot of new words.

I feel like I need to go away and, uh, do some research myself or book in another chat with you to find out more. Um, Yeah. So obviously everyone can watch Greg on, on Demand and uh, have a look at everything else that we're doing this month. Um, and where can people find you, Joanna? Where is best? What's your social links?

Yes, so, uh, people can [00:34:00] find me on LinkedIn, uh, Joanna ska. And uh, that's, that's where I'm principally at. Thanks so much. Perfect. Thank you so much for joining us and thank you so much for your time. That's been very, very interesting and um, yeah, a great one for everyone to catch up and watch. Thank you so much.

Thank Jenny so much. Take your hand up. Take care. Bye.

Unpacking Career Skills: Personal, Industry, and Hard Skills for Professional Growth with Charlie Rogers and Albert Marealle
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): WorkTech
Join Charlie Rogers and Albert Marealle in this interview as they explore the evolving world of careers and the essential skills needed for professional growth. Discover the significance of personal, industry-specific, and hard skills, and how they intersect to create a competitive advantage. Gain insights into lifelong learning, adaptability, and pursuing your unique purpose in today's dynamic job market. Charlie and Albert discuss emerging industry trends and the importance of well-being in the workplace, offering valuable advice to inspire young individuals from diverse backgrounds to thrive in the changing landscape of work.
The following is the transcript for this video:

[00:00:00] Hey guys, you're locked into CareerCon Monthly. I'm myself, Albert, Graphic Designer at hundo, and I'm with the lovely Charlie Rodgers, who is a special guest today. Would you like to introduce yourself?

Basically, when people ask me what do I do, I normally say I do a few things. What this means is I do four days a week operations, where we help people build portfolios, where they earn via many sources of income. I also have a portfolio career, so I also Then on the side, write a newsletter on the future of work called Mastering in the 20s and how it's changing, as Jen said, and I also have a community called the Undefined Community, or I think it's now 28 of us who are in their 20s and 30s who like doing many things called multi potentialites.

Uh, and so those three things together for me, all about the future of work and the future of careers and how they're changing, how they're [00:01:00] developing. So I think this is a super relevant conversation and I'm looking forward to having it with you. Yeah, that sounds interesting. You know, you're really trying to like help people from all different communities, different backgrounds and different ages as well.

So that's like really inspiring to hear. So let's start off with the first question, which is, how do you define the term career and what elements do you believe in and make up a fulfilling and meaningful career in an ever changing environment? Yeah, it's a good question. I'd say, put simply, a career is what you do for a living over time, how that changes, but more broadly, it's a combination of the specific knowledge, skills and expertise that you have.

And in the past, we've often seen careers be quite linear and they've been quite obvious in that you might go be a doctor and you go and do your six years at university, you become a junior doctor for two years, and then you can go and actually specialize afterwards. It becomes quite a career, obvious career path, but nowadays we're seeing a lot more nonlinear careers, i.

e. squiggly careers, ones that change a lot in terms of how the environment around is moving. And so I think in an age [00:02:00] where technology is only getting more exponential and things are changing only ever faster. We're often seeing careers be more of a term that's applied to not just one obvious linear, linear career, but having many careers over someone's lifetime as well.

So I'd say what makes it meaningful and what makes it purposeful though. Is the alignment of purpose so really at the heart of this in an ever changing environment is you are really delving into who you are and what values you have and what purpose you want to create in the world and then you're also applying the skills that you have like what unique thing can you do really well I know Albert's great at graphic design so like how can he apply his graphic design skills and then it's how do you get enough financial benefit how can I actually pay to live in this world this gets ever more expensive also important and then how can you have the freedom to engage in work in a way that's So how can you design your day in a way that's meaningful and allows you to be most productive and also most effective?

effective in life too. Yeah, I can definitely relate to what you're [00:03:00] saying as well, especially with like the non linear pathway as well, because I remember like years back, the first thing I wanted to be was a train driver when I was younger. Yeah, like looking outside at Upton Park Station, all the trains going past, I was like, nah, let me be a train driver.

And then I wanted to be an actor for Disney Channel. Then I wanted to be a basketball player because I was younger. Then Like, when I started doing art in secondary school, that's what really made me, um, have my part. That's when, like, my creativity passion started as well. So even that, and then even alongside that, I also done photography as well.

So I was like, oh, let me see if I could, like, dabble into photography as my career. Also done video editing. I'm also, like, starting to, like, look into animation as well during, like, my uni times as well. So, like, I definitely hear what you're saying, like, the non linear, like, career path as well. Yeah, that's pretty interesting.

Do you ever still apply some of those skills now in terms of wanting to be a train driver? Do you ever still research about trains or being an [00:04:00] actor? Do you ever still act? I mean, like, I've done, like, voice acting in terms of, like, my animations, like, which is, uh, I've done, like, a recent animation for my birthday.

I was like, oh, let me do some voice acting, like, done like a little voice recording, then put it all together on Procreate and then put it together on CapCut. So like doing a little voice acting skills, then a little bit of video editing, and also trying to jumble my art into it. Train driving, I still look up like, um, uh, um, what's it called?

the YouTube videos, but also like implement, like I done, um, like a animation which incorporated like Carrington station, which is where I used to, like where I grew up. So still implementing like the public transport, like element of things into my work as well. Yeah. See, that is really cool. That's kind of like exactly what I mean here is even though you might change your skills and what you're focused on, you can still build on top of them.

They are not wasted. They are used in a unique way. Yeah. [00:05:00] Yeah. And I even got an extra question for you. Like, what would you say is like meaningful work to you? Cause you said like you're like purpose driven. Yeah. So for me, like I spend a lot of time working about this and I think the key thing here is you don't know it from day one.

It's only in retrospect when you have time to reflect that you can really define it. Uh, but for me, it's all about creating. empowering people to create organizations that actually create meaningful experiences of work. So for other people, how they can go to work and not turn up each day and be like, I hate what I'm doing, but instead be engaged and be like, Oh, I actually feel aligned to it.

So it's kind of meta. My purpose is about helping other businesses unlock other individuals, employees, freelancers, contractors, however they engage their purpose at work too. So for me, Like, there's nothing worse in the world than turning up soullessly to a job you hate. Like, I wouldn't, I hate the idea of someone doing that.

So how you can get people engaged in work is for me really, really important. Uh, sounds so lovely to hear. It's like you, it's like you've got like a big heart for like the people around you and trying to like help make the world a better place to live in. [00:06:00] Yeah. Yeah. Can you share like insights into the key trends and shifts you foresee in the future of work, and especially in light of like technological advances and global changes?

Yeah, for sure. Like, there's quite a lot here. And I think this, the key thing here is that it's always changing and that the future of work definition is so broad because you could kind of pick up on anything because everything impacts work because work is such a big part of our lives. Something we do.

I mean, most people do 40 hours a week, 50 hours a week, if not more or less. And so I think, With whatever I'm about to say here, like, take a pinch of salt. These things change very quickly as well. Um, but I'd say the key six trends that we often see, and these are the ones that I kind of consult on as well, are about flexible hybrid working environments.

So we've seen post pandemic, how we shifted from the normal thing being nine to five in an office. Monday through Friday, and now it's become, okay, maybe come in like three days a week or two days a week, uh, and then you can do the rest at home. And then if in the more innovative companies, they've gone, okay, rather than working nine to [00:07:00] five, let's do core hours, 11 to three, and then you choose the rest, but there's really interesting models of work and how people engage with it, with their time, which is changing pretty, pretty quickly as well, and there's no like set best way of doing it right now.

It's more about thinking how is an organization best set up to. Empower and engage their members of the team as well. So that first one, flexible hybrid working environments. Second one, lifelong self directed learning. Because career paths are changing so quickly and because the skills here are becoming very ever changing in the working world.

It means it's on you, the individual to learn and upskill yourself as much as other company, because we're often seeing people jump companies every two, three years at a minimum, at a maximum really. And so with Gen Z in particular, it's thinking how can they empower themselves with the learning they're taking on.

And then authentic experience of work. Number three, how can people bring their full selves to work? How can they, rather than wear their corporate mask and smile, like actually bring their full selves and talk about the things they do outside of work. [00:08:00] Like for me, it's, I'd spend 15, 20 hours doing triathlon training.

Like that's an important part of my life. , if I can't talk about it at work, like that restricts me a little bit. So in a similar vein, how can people be authentic? So that's number three. Number four, socially responsible organizations. So you're seeing this a lot with B Corps. Uh, E S G, uh, becoming more important.

And for a lot of companies it's thinking how do we actually. Care for the world around us in some way, or how do we at least account for it in the minimum way, like with carbon credits and the equivalent, it's thinking, let's be somewhat social responsible. And you're seeing the big, bigger companies think more about becoming a vehicle for doing things that are more longevity as well.

So before number five, this is the one that we often hear about nowadays next technology. So, I mean. These trends got like this, uh, but Metaverse, those trends maybe down here now, uh, but then AI is up here now, um, and then you've got Web3, which again is down here now, uh, and then Crypto, so all these trends about next generation technology, how they're embedded in the future of work is very interesting as well, and then finally the humanized hiring experience as well, so with the AI coming into it, [00:09:00] it's how do you make The application process, when there's thousands of people who apply for one role, how do you actually humanize that process?

And it's really interesting what people are doing in this space and how they're making it. So you're removing biases in like, so rather than saying we're looking for a, I don't know. I saw actually an ad before on the way to the gym this morning. It was like, we're looking for a waitress. And I was like, waitress, like why not waiter?

And I was, that's kind of interesting about how we use language to, uh, advertise jobs and roles. is becoming a lot more D& I friendly and becoming a lot more open to everyone rather than implicitly implying that Only some people can apply for a role. It's pretty interesting. Yeah, that's so interesting to hear as well.

Cause like, even like speaking about like the whole, like how we're going to like from like an office to like a hybrid, like hybrid models, like that's so interesting to hear because I remember cause I was still in uni during them times where everyone was still in the office and then lockdown, like lockdown happened and it's like, Oh, okay.

This is. This is [00:10:00] mad. Like everyone's like working from homes. I never thought I'd see the day that people will be draining like meetings from like team calls or like zoom or like google meet and then like even like the um even um google meet and like even like hybrid working models like what I've noticed is that it creates like a better work life balance because like people like we all have like our own things to do like we're always trying to like make our own um trying to make our own like lives and trying like how to like fit that around work.

like really trying to get the work done. And also like, even like speak about like being your authentic self at work. And that's what I realized is the most important thing as well. Cause you don't want to like put on a mask and like try to like pretend to be who you are. Cause like, like, what's it called?

You want to like be able to be like a good fit for the people around you as well. And even with like the. CV bias as well, like noticing the language as well, like you've got to try and make sure that you've got to be like fair towards everyone, like no matter what race, like gender, where you come from, like trying to make sure that everyone deserves an [00:11:00] equal opportunity in life as well.

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And even like from your experience, like how can individuals proactively prepare for a successful career and what skills do they need in an increasingly digital and dynamic job market? So I think here the skills and that we talked about before alignment to purpose, we need to really start from the point of what do you want to do in the world and what's your unique talent that you can add to it.

That's the really important starting point. But with that in mind, you need a backbone of soft skills because Everything in business, it's about interacting with other people, like sales skills, you're selling to someone, marketing skills, you're convincing someone to buy, uh, leadership skills. You're convincing someone to follow you, but they are all about psychology based and they are all about how you interact with humans.

So you need a strong backbone of those soft skills. Cause you can be the best coder in the world. Yeah. But if you can't interact with people and play in a team, then no one's going to work with you. Like they might hire you to do a certain project and you could probably get paid relatively well for that.

But if you can't sell yourself and can't do the soft [00:12:00] skills of. selling or marketing, how are you going to be able to do that? So it's a combination of a deep backbone of soft skills combined by very specific hard skills. So the example that I was coding for you, Albert, graphic design as well, is thinking how can you develop those specific hard skills that not everyone can do and everyone appreciates the value that you can bring through your unique application is often the hard skills, the ones where.

Someone comes in and you're like, it looks like magic. Like how, how, I have no idea. Um, and those hard skills combined by the soft skills also combined by industry skills are really important to you. So the industry skills could be in this case, that future of work, like understanding the future of careers is the one I'm sort of developing myself.

And that then combined with the hard skill. Of say, like project management and combined with the soft skill of like communication, leadership, charisma sets me up to be in a pretty good place for it too, as well. So I'd say you need all three. Um, but you also need to start thinking in how you can build 10 year games, like play 10 year games rather than one [00:13:00] year games.

Because a lot of, especially Gen Z, a lot of young people are obsessed with like seeing results very quickly. And I know I've been there. It's quite addictive to try and how can we do things faster? They're like these old people who tell me that I can't do it or they need to wait a year. Like, nah, nah, nah, I can do it now.

I totally get it, but also play 10, 15, 20 year games with your purpose, change the activities you do, but with your purpose, play long games, it'll mean that you are forever building that industry expertise, regardless of the job or the business you've built beneath it as well. Yeah. Like even when you said about like Gen Z's wanting to see that immediate gratifications, that is me.

It's so me because I'm a Gen Z myself and I'm like, I don't see things now. Sometimes like, it's like having that. endurance to like persevere for all these different like trials and tribulations to get like the results that you want as well. So it's that I definitely relate to what you're hearing is that even like learn about like soft skills and hard skills, that you want to be able to have like the combination of both as [00:14:00] well.

Because it's true what you said, like you You can be amazing at the hard skills like coding, graphic design, and like really skilled in like what you do in those sort of sectors, but if you can't really like socialize and interact with people, like how are you gonna like help other people around you as well?

Yeah, yeah, exactly. I think the other part of this is seeing what you do and what projects you work on as case studies. So this is how I think about work. It's like, I'm currently in my role. This is actually my first almost full time role working four days a week here. Um, and I've only ever been self employed before.

Started my own businesses, uh, contracted, freelance, everything but employment. Um, come around. I was like, I need a great case study. I'll be working in operations in a future of work at tech business. And I can get there by going and. Joining as a almost full time employee. So I think the way to think about career and experience and skills is how do you build a case study that you can then tell someone about that you've worked on later on as well.

It's kind of like creating your portfolio, [00:15:00] right? Yeah. Case study portfolio is all adding up together now, but the portfolio isn't just a graphic design. It's also Yeah, most definitely like portfolio can go into many different things called a property portfolio, graphic design portfolio, animation, video editing, photography, like there's lots of like different case studies you can put in there to like really like sell yourself to other people.

And if you're able to like build up on like selling yourself, then you'd be able to like attract the people that you want in your life and to help each other grow. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. And could you explain the distinction between personal skills, industry specific skills, and hard skills, and why each category is essential for professional growth?

So with the personal skills, like I mentioned before, it's all about the people. It's how you motivate them, communicate with them, and generally work with others. And then the industry specific skills, knowledge about a particular industry. So it's normally highly specific. It could be... I don't know banking, but then you [00:16:00] could go more deeper than that and talk about I don't even know enough about it So, uh have the credit system in europe like you could be a specialist that will attack system in Switzerland.

Uh, like that could be your industry six skill. Um, it normally involves learning a lot of terminology and jargon and technology that other people don't know. So that when you talk to someone who also has the same industry specific skill, it's like you're talking another language. Yeah, like no one else gets it.

Um, and then your kind of role is to be able to take the complexity of https: otter. ai Consult, help others on how to understand it too. So I'd say personal industry skills and then hard skills, the technical abilities demonstrated. In a measurable way. So this could be like, like I said, coding, rewriting, graphic design, project management, I like to think of these as like degree skills, things you normally get a degree for, uh, they're the hard skills.

I mean, it's not entirely true, but it's mostly accurate. Uh, the ones where like a certificate is quite useful. So getting a certificate for project management, Or a certificate that says, I know how to code in JavaScript, pretty [00:17:00] useful. And those are the things that you can put on a CV and say, Hey, look, I know that.

The personal skills, the more things that you can show in an interview and say, Hey, look, like I do this stuff. I can show it to you because I can smile on interview and say, I'm really good at it. Uh, and then the industry skills are more of the things that only you could say because you have the knowledge of the industry.

Thank you for breaking it down, Charlie, because I know like many people, even like myself, like hearing like soft skills, hard skills, like personal skills, industry specific skills that can be very overwhelming. So it's nice to be able to break it down and explain to other people that, oh, how can they be able to apply for professional growth as well?

And even like personal skills is like learning all these different jargons and breaking it down into layman terms so they can really understand it and help it with their professional growth too. Yeah, for sure. I mean, to become an expert, you normally have to realize how little, you know, uh, about an industry.

And then you have to, then even with knowing how little, you know, go and explore it and learn as much as you can anyway. And then when someone asks you about it, [00:18:00] if you can then explain it simply, that's when you're pretty much an expert. Yeah. And like, what would you say that the roles, like what roles do personal skills such as communication and adaptability play in a person's career success?

And how can they be developed? So I'd say the personal skills are crucial. Often overlooked, people focus a lot on hard skills. I think the personal skills are everything. Yeah, you could be, you could have zero really hard skills and just be amazing at talking to people. And if you double down on them, you maybe apply like a bit of.

Uh, bit of a hard skill, like public speaking might be defined a little bit like a hard skill, but if you're great with personal skills, it's like inspiring the people communication and being adaptable, then you can sell yourself massively. Yeah, like I've seen some of the best people in business succeed because they are great with people because it's all about leading, interacting people because you might be thinking about this.

In a technical role where you're focused on a hard skill, like maybe you're a graphic designer or maybe you're a UX designer or a coder, like great, that's awesome [00:19:00] roles, you can get paid quite a lot for them, but often the next roll up is a manager role, is one where you manage teams, and that's all about people, so if you are like not setting yourself up for personal skills, you're almost limiting your potential growth within the company and within roles as well.

And for you to make anything impactful in the world, you often need to bring together people. You to work with others to go further. And so that involves interacting with people. And so that's pretty much why they are pretty crucial as well. And think about them. This is how I think about them. It's like amplifiers.

The personal skills amplify the hard skills and the industry skills you have. They allow you to fully leverage the knowledge that you have in those two areas. Yeah, like you said, there's no I in team, right? Yeah. Yeah, like. Like being able to like, um, like come together like a community to like really like people from like all different skills and mindsets and like being able to like come together on like one, maybe like safe space or like any, anywhere where you guys have things in common [00:20:00] that really like build something that will help the other people around you, right?

Yeah, yeah, exactly. And it's like a. If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And like, even like, going on with it, like in today's like competitive job market, what are some industry specific skills that are highly sought after and why are they crucial for job seekers and professionals?

So ironically, the answer here is it depends on the industry. Yeah. Um, but it also depends on what you want to do as well. And no one expects, in a lot of roles, For you to have deep knowledge straight out of university, they expect the university graduate to be basically a fresh play. Yeah, you're going to have high potential, but you're not going to have industry specific skills at that stage unless you've maybe done a master's in something else.

So you might do a master's in one of the classic ones is like environmental policy. You might go do a master's in that and then join a climate consulting team that you would otherwise not be able to get the role without having done that. [00:21:00] So I'd say see the undergraduate. In a lot of cases as the kind of baseline and then if you want to do more industry specific learning in academia, the masters is probably the place to apply some of the industry specific knowledge, but often you can develop it on the job, like some of the classic career parts of.

Uh, consulting, uh, banking, uh, they require you to go and learn by doing it rather than by saying, you know, a lot about it, um, as well. So I'd say it depends massively, but some of the trends we're seeing defense is pretty big right now. Obviously we've got a war going on in Ukraine. So anyone that knows everything about defense, uh, do pretty well, pretty hard to develop at a young age.

So that's kind of more for the seniors who have been working in. Uh, more military roles for a while, but other big ones, climate, say global warming, increasingly becoming aware of that happening and Anyone who's working the climate spaces tends to be well sought after. And then the third one is like well being as well.

Like I'm talking [00:22:00] about here about the future of work, how it's changing, and that sort of engagement of employees at work. I think it's some crazy stat about like 21 percent of people are actually engaged at work. Like the rest of the 79 percent aren't like, that's a crazy mad stuff. I think anyone that can bring an understanding of wellbeing to help people, or even as a more selfish business goal, engage their employees.

They become more productive. Like that's super valuable, but even as a more like, you know, human goal of actually having people enjoy life. Uh, also grateful to, so I'd say it depends on where you want to play. I'd say pick a industry or space that you want to play for the next 10 years. And be able to stick to it.

I don't follow the kind of wins of that. Oh, here comes AI. Here comes crypto. Here comes web three. Like that can be quite fun and great. And it's cool to explore. But actually those things, they often fads a little bit and they go up massively and then come down. I, I would say my AI isn't, isn't a fad. It's going to keep increasing, but, um, at a rate that's slower than everyone [00:23:00] projects.

So I'd say, do not necessarily do it because it's sought after. Do it because it's interesting to you and you can do it. So that for your heart, right? Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I even like, I can even relate to some of the points that you said. Cause I remember that I also got like a master's degree straight off the university as well.

Cause I remember like a couple of years back when I finished that uni, I was like, raw, like I'm not actually prepared for the work industry. Look at the job requirements. It'd be really like, it could be like an entry level world. It'd be like, Oh, you need to two years experience in that studio, they feel like they need a cover letter, or you need to be using that Python, C HTML, CSS, I was like, nah, man, I wasn't ready.

So I was like, let me like a master's degree. And it really helps me like shape my skills. So cause I learned. like what I really want in terms of like being able to be like an artist, being able to develop in different skills, such as video editing, being able to animate, learning different softwares, including blender, which is something I've never used [00:24:00] before.

And looking that is like, I know it's my idea because you feel like it's intimidating to use. And it's like, um, once you get into it, it's like, you realize that how easy it is. it is to use as well. And even outside of that, like YouTube's your best friend as well. Cause you'd be able to like, find like lots of different like tutorials as well.

And even like right now, like you can even like find like tips on Tik Tok as well. Cause I'd be scrolling from my 4U page and I'd be looking at appropriate tips, how to do this, how to do that. And it's like, wow, like they're really trying to like help like upskill like young people to really get into like whatever field they want to go into.

Yeah, for sure. There are ways of learning online. Uh, I personally wouldn't recommend it to myself. That's your way. That's cool. Normally discovery platform of like you become, Oh, that's interesting. That's like a one minute solution to a problem I have. And then you get more into it. So I'd say if you're unsure about what to explore, maybe this platform is a good for you.

Just like try loads of things. But then when you want to like about deep knowledge, Personally, I'd [00:25:00] say avoid the old social media and get stuck into doing a thing, learning about doing it. Yeah, and even like what you shared about like mental well being, that, that stats honestly surprised me. Oh yeah, it's crazy.

Yeah, 79 percent to 21, so like even like, even those sort of fields like, like if there are people that are passionate about it, like they could like go into those sort of fields too to like help young people, like help everyone be like productive at work too. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And, uh, what would you say is that in terms of like hard skills that, that technical, technical proficiency are often emphasised, can you share examples of hard skills that are particularly valuable in various industries?

So some classic hard skills like graphic design, copywriting, project management, programming, data science, they're pretty valuable regardless of where you go, yeah? Like you could work in a startup, you could work in an agency, you could work in a corporate. They're all going to be valuable pretty much regardless because everyone needs a great graphic designer.

Everyone needs [00:26:00] someone who can turn words into sales scripts, um, operating. Everyone needs people who can actually manage projects. Everyone needs someone who can write, well not everyone, but most companies now need someone who can write code, or at least build a website, programming. And everyone's got this big data problem with loads of data, but nothing, no idea how to do anything with it.

So data science is also pretty big too. Um, so I'd say, yeah, it depends on the role, um, but I'd say most industries value those skills in some way. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And like, even like into, into the next point, like how do personal skills, industry skills, and hard skills complement each other in a person's career journey?

And how can they be harnessed? for maximum impact because you know, like how there's like the hard skills, which are, which are things that companies are sorting after. But there's also things that industry schools and personal schools, and they need to be like in unison as one. So they can really create like a big impact.

So the way I like to see it is like, think about E, I'll put it upside down for you. So the backbone is the soft skills. These are the things that [00:27:00] you almost need to do really well with the hard skills. Without them, the other bits kind of fall apart. You can't interact with a team. You can't really play in a role.

So the backbone is the soft skills. And then the hard skills become the different, um, elements of the, the user parts, the top and the bottom. And then the industry skill is the middle bit. So the industry skill is something that you want to develop deep knowledge of. The hard skills, you want to often combine multiple hard skills together.

So if you're a great, uh, project manager and you're a great graphic designer, there's probably some unique application to that. Like maybe you want to work in, uh, agency, the agency world of creating great assets for companies and manual projects. It's probably something that applies when you do two hard skills together.

So great backbone of soft skills, two hard skills on one entry skill, those elements together, help you create your competition of one. And the way I think about this is how do you as an individual become only competitive with yourself? How does no one else have the same experience, knowledge, [00:28:00] understanding that you do, and how can you be the one that's like the obvious best fit for a role or the obvious best fit to sell something to someone else?

And so with the compliments of the like two different hard skills and the industry skill, you should be able to do that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So like being able to like have like the, being able to like break it down and like make it, and like try not focus on different things at different times to like really help, like really help like grow each part at the same time.

Right. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And I mean, take an example here. Let me try and find a more relevant one of that a graphic designer, hard skill, a data science, hard skill seem kind of irrelevant, maybe they didn't really go together, but then you may put in an industry of education and you go, okay, this person then understands how best to ask for data through surveys by creating great experiences of survey data collection.

And then they can better analyze that data to more the education space. Like that's pretty unique already, um, you can obviously add in more Over your career develop quite [00:29:00] a few industry experiences. So you might have more like Ends or prongs to your E as well. So it might become like, I don't know what else to call it, a ladder rather than an E shaped model where you have multiple different steps on it too.

Yeah, that's so interesting to hear, you know, thank you for sharing that one, Charlie. And can you also share like anecdotes or examples of professionals who have effectively combined a diverse set of skills to achieve success in their careers? Just like what you said, like the graphic designer going into education, like do you have any examples of like professionals who have done the same thing?

So I'd start with people that you already know. So someone like Joe Rogan, hopefully you've already heard about. Uh, this guy, obviously, you know him for his podcast. Before that he's been like a comedian and UFC presenter. Uh, he's also got involved with boxing, UFC fighting himself. And for him, he's like deep.

Curiosity and understanding of the world helps him create a better podcast because he has a broad level of knowledge of like [00:30:00] hard skills in different areas that he can then ask his guests about in a way that's a lot more interesting and open than perhaps people that would just specialize in one area would be like Joe Robbins, a great example of a.

Like a polymath, more potential client than a modern person. We also have someone say in our TBC, the portfolio collective community, there's loads of people here who are great examples, but I'll pick out one that's really good. Um, called Nicola and she is both like a founder right now, a coach and an event specialist.

But beneath all that, she has her like values focused on like play and freedom. And so whenever she applies for roles that are maybe part time that fit in that event specialist role or in her own work, helping others through workshops, it's all on the play and freedom aspect of what she really values in the world and how she applies.

Uh, skills of facilitating to that as well. So pretty interesting. And then one from the past is someone like Da Vinci, who is one of the best examples, a true polymath. This guy can paint. This guy can engineer. This guy can go and do sculptures. He's a mathematician. And [00:31:00] like all of that together, he combines to create very unique art that we now know and love as well.

So I'd say there are examples in the past to look to who are polymaths. There are examples today who are living it too, which are super, super cool. It's basically that kind of people that do like lots of different things, but tap into like different fields. Like it can be like an actor one day, the next thing you'll have like a podcast.

It's kind of like, well, well, I don't know if Will Smith, Will Smith counts here. Cause like, he was thought of like the Fresh Prince and then he done that rap hit, like rapping. And then he went into acting with the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and now he's got his own family and they're doing like books as well.

So would you say that's kind of like an example? Yeah, for sure. For sure. Like it's building on those different skills. And I think it's. overlapping what they do as well and it's being able to embrace the fact that you can actually learn more than a few things and the fact that you combine them together makes you unique.

So for for what's meant it's probably partly like being a comedian um and also being like a great actor and then [00:32:00] probably also the family values of you know being able to bring up other young people how it looks like what it looks like to have kids and then being able to combine them together in a unique way is always really good.

Yeah that's so now now it makes a lot more sense Thank you for explaining it Charlie And even like in the, uh, coming up to the last question now. So in a rapidly changing work environment, what schools do you think will be most in demand in the next two to five years? So this, that's pretty interesting.

It always depends on how things change. Some of the most, like favorite job roles that I've seen are things like an AI prompt writer. Mm-hmm. . So we're seeing right now obviously the rise of ai. Uh, a big part of that is how do you best write prompts to get out, say of Mid journey, a great image or of, uh, open AI chat, GPT a great response.

So being able to create great prompts is a super valuable skill. Mm-hmm. . And a lot of that comes back to how we best interact with technology. Think about the skills going forward as like technology [00:33:00] management. So rather than you doing the work yourself, you becoming a manager of other technologies and AI is that becomes a really important skill. So beneath that, there are other interesting examples here, which, uh, metaverse event directors, things like how do you organize great events virtually? Pretty interesting question, especially if we're doing more of that online. Um, I mean, things like roadblocks fortnight and massive right now, and they'll continue to grow beneath that.

There is the problem of like, how do you create great clothing on the platform and avatar clothing designers, again, an interesting skill. So there's always jobs being created and it depends on where the technology goes, but as a trend, I'd say managing the capabilities of AI technology is crucial and.

Things like no code and AI together are really important. And no code is where you can build platforms or websites or applications without ever writing a bit of code. It's amazing. I've developed a bit of a [00:34:00] skill in this and it's super cool, but combining that with AI is wow. Okay. Next level. That means you can ask a chapter to build your website for you.

Like those skills are incredible. Thinking about how they're changing. It's always going to matter depending on which industry you're in, but. There's always going to be a way of managing AI. And I think one of the most important, perhaps reverse questions to this is what skills won't change in the next two to five years and things like sales, marketing, management, anything grounded in human psychology is always going to be relevant regardless.

Yeah, that's so interesting to hear. So when you say like technology cool, like management, would you be like managing like softwares at mid journey and like chatGPT then and make sure they all run smoothly for the content? Yeah. Imagine this is a classic example of like before we might have contact centers where people would answer phone calls from people who need support with.

One of the devices. Great. Now that might be a AI chapter chat [00:35:00] bot that might be managing the chatbot responses and improving the data collection and being able to improve the answers and analyzing if they're getting it accurately or not. Yeah. And that makes a lot more sense now. And like, thank you for taking your time out to speak with us, Charlie.

That was really having you on board here. And I just want to ask, like, where can we find you on our social media platforms? So the big ones for LinkedIn. So Charlie Rogers on LinkedIn is where you'll probably find me. That's just hit 10K followers.

The one old plug is a mass breeding of twenties. I typed that in on. Um, Google Magic 20 sub stack. Hope you'll come up and that's very right about the future of world has changed, Jen said. So that's the place for it. Uh, cool. Thank you, Charlie. And if you want to follow us on hundo, hundo.xyz on all of our social media platforms.

And if you want to follow me, Albert, I go by @AlbzMadeIt on Instagram, TikTok as well. So yeah, thank you guys for [00:36:00] watching our CareerCon Monthly today.

Shaping Tomorrow's Workforce: Future-Proof Skills and WorkTech Insights with Pere Pérez Ninou and Nadiyah Rajabally
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): WorkTech
In a conversation between Nadiyah and Perry, they delved into the crucial skills needed for the future, such as creativity, problem-solving, and communication, all while discussing Metacampus, a platform Perry is passionate about. Perry emphasised the importance of enjoying technology to develop essential soft skills, along with respecting virtual boundaries, conquering social anxiety, and enhancing confidence. Get set for a tech-driven future that's super cool!
The following is the transcript for this video:

[00:00:00] Hi everyone, welcome to our WorkTech event. So today I've got the lovely Perry, Founder and CEO of Metacampus, who'll be diving into the skills and technology to help shape the future of work. Perry, do you want to introduce yourself? Hi Nadia, um, hi everyone, uh, thanks for having me here. I'm, uh, Osprey Laperez.

I'm the founder and CEO of Metacampus, and we are a professional development hub, uh, to help, um, companies and, uh, creators and professionals to thrive in the exponential economy through the knowledge of AI, blockchain, and the metaverse. So Perry, skills such as creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, adaptability and communication are vital for the future of work.

Could you briefly explain these skills and why it's so significant to have them in day to day [00:01:00] life in the workplace? Yes, uh, absolutely. The thing is, um, we're going through a massive transition. As you know, in regards to how fast technology is evolving and, uh, and you know, the progress that we're seeing every day of, uh, of new tools coming to the market.

So now we're finding ourselves teaching, um, professionals to use those tools, but the use of those tools will become a standard, uh, in the near future, what will set people apart. It will be, uh, their creativity, uh, their ability to, uh, problem solving, uh, to really, uh, make the most of those tools, but to apply more of our human capabilities, how to manage people remotely and so on.

So that's, that's where we see the soft skills will become even more important than they are today. Um, but, uh, people have to go through this transition of, uh, fully understanding and maximizing the potential of the tools at their disposal. Yeah, definitely. Soft skills are so important, especially in the tech space.

A lot of people [00:02:00] think it's mainly technical skills. Obviously, you need these soft skills to be able to... Absolutely. Yeah, it's, it's interesting also to see the, you know, how we also thought that automation would be replacing some of the... Lower qualified, uh, jobs, uh, first and robotics, you know, has done a part of that, but now it is, uh, you know, uh, developers programming, some of content creation design, some of these are more highly skilled, but, uh, at the day.

Anything that it is created digitally, uh, that's where, uh, you know, with, uh, AI software, we can actually, um, automate or partly, uh, automate. And I think that's, uh, what one of the things that, um, people need to, uh, to understand is that, um, they should not see the tools as a threat into their capabilities of what they can achieve, but more as a benefit.

At the end of the day, we are moving towards this evolution of the [00:03:00] creator economy and then having a number of tools to create content assets, um, you know, any type of, um, creativities that you know you can think of. And then you have the blockchain as a way of automating then the transaction process. As well as then having all the community building, uh, then it enables, uh, anyone with creativity, anyone with a level of talent, uh, from home, you know, from, you know, regardless of who they are, you know, age group, uh, et cetera, uh, to really come up to the market and put something in front of, uh, you know, an audience, you know, finding that niche, finding someone who's also, you know, going to help you, you know, kind of grow your, your talent and then you probably, so the monetization options.

Thanks. Uh, for creative people, uh, and creative is no longer, you know, just purely about design, about copy, about, uh, this. I think we have to think about, you know, the creative use of technology, how you apply that to, uh, you know, uh, what is [00:04:00] consultancy, where is, uh, tech support, where is virtual event management, anything, uh, along those lines is, uh, is what we call the creative economy going forward.

Yeah, definitely. Well, like a lot of people, like I said, using AI. People are quite scared that it's going to take over jobs, but how do you feel, how do you think that we could like combined AI tools and like soft skills and how do you think we can help enhance those to help us become better workers? Yes, I think, you know, we're starting, um, especially I think the young generation, they're actually probably quite advantaged in this regard because they are digitally native.

Uh, so they are more adapted to learning new digital tools. And I think in the same way that whenever there is a new app, uh, you know, you can grasp it really fast and you can understand the potential, how people use it. And so on, um, the same will happen with, uh, with the, uh, AI tools, we find it, uh, a much harder process, [00:05:00] uh, with, uh, all the generations, uh, that they, even if they've been using, you know, um, computers for, for work or, you know, Microsoft office or any of these email, uh, packages.

But there's still the ability to learn lots of new softwares and adapt to constantly new changes and, and kind of integrate some of the software, some of the software applications to then generate better results, then that requires almost like a mindset change, you know, something that they have to be more willing to explore and to see that.

That's something that they enjoy, you know, and this is something that we're working towards to try to make this process, uh, that is absolutely necessary, but they see that something that is fun, that is entertaining, that is very rewarding, you know, from a person's, uh, from a professional as well as at the personal level.

Yeah, definitely. And like Kondo's, um, helping upskill young people, and obviously Metacamp is doing something very similar, but [00:06:00] with professionals and... older generations. So can you tell us a bit more how Metacampus is helping upskill professionals and people that are like shifting careers and how you can help enhance that and what people can do on your platform?

Um, yes, absolutely. And as you say, I think we, uh, we complement each other very well because you're preparing, you know, the younger generations for the possibilities and the jobs of the, uh, of the future, uh, while we're kind of taking care of, uh, professionals that, uh, they're already, uh, in the market, uh, and that they will be it.

Um, let's say the, um, the most effective group in kind of in the job transition, um, uh, we know from the report from the World Economic Forum, as well as many other sources that, uh, over the next few years, uh, there will be, you know, hundreds of millions of jobs being, uh, replaced, uh, through the use of, um, these, uh, technology tools, and there will be new jobs that will appear that to replace those.

Uh, [00:07:00] so we're helping professionals. Thank you. Uh, in that transition to make sure that, uh, they remain, um, competitive, uh, in regards to using those tools, uh, in their existing jobs, but also that to give them, uh, the ability to work or to refocus their career, uh, into the jobs of the future. Uh, given the case that some of the traditional jobs that we understand today, they may become obsolete in the digital, uh, economy.

Like we've seen, you know, the technical revolutions like e-commerce or, you know, web one, web two, and, and so on. This has been a nature of things that happen and we have to keep helping them. And we work, uh, both on an individual perspective as well as at the company level, uh, to make sure that, you know, the, the entire workforce, uh, can, um, you know, become really productive and, um, and continue to add value, uh, while the company is also upgrading their skills.

And to do this, what we do is, uh, we offer them, um, uh, we work on, on a flat fee, all inclusive from a membership. [00:08:00] Starting at 29. 99 per month, and that gives them access to a number of CPD certified courses, whether it's in Web3, whether it's in AI, soft skills, and so on, as well as then they access like a virtual campus where they can contribute to the community.

Create a virtual persona, use the blockchain, interact, uh, you know, in DAOs, you know, get to know other people, participate in some initiatives. Uh, we also assigned, uh, to each person where we call like an AI companion that helps, you know, it's almost like a career orientator, uh, that, uh, understands the personality and understands the skill set and continually kind of helps them refocus.

The learning materials as well as, uh, you know, what what they're best suited for in in the jobs of of the future. So so we look at providing these more holistic learning and onboarding experience. That is not just educational part. But [00:09:00] it is a lot of networking. There is a lot of, um, practical, um, experience as well as then, uh, focusing on social goods initiatives.

So how can you, um, you know, work across generations? You know, how can you be more adapted to other people's backgrounds, agendas, ages, and then, uh, you know, taking, you know, this kind of simulation role play. Which is something really important as, as we become, you know, we start creating our digital personas.

Uh, and that gives, you know, the ability for you to become whoever you want to become and not be restricted by, um, you know, your traditional background. And then also, you know, the stigmas that may be associated with that. Yeah, definitely. That's quite similar to why we use avatars on our platform. To help with that digital, um, element and having like being whoever you want, we would use avatar and try and get that bias you get on like CVs and names and stuff.

So yeah, it's very similar when you think of Metacampus [00:10:00] and like, um, Hondo to do. Um, so obviously the digital landscape is changing all the time. So how do you as a company, Metacampus contributes like being more exclusive, accessible to the world and also keeping up to date with all these skills and knowledge that are always changing.

Uh, yes. Um, uh, indeed, it is changing constantly and that forces us to stay up to date as well to make sure that not only to stay up to date, but to kind of stay ahead of what's coming so that then we can prepare the new curriculums. Um, and also we do a lot of live sessions, so we do cover the things that are happening today.

Um, we make sure that, uh, most of the content is renewed every 3 months as well, uh, so that you don't find some educational pieces that may be obsolete, uh, or already, uh, and then, um, we have, um, you know, a great network of contributors to the platform. [00:11:00] And they all live in projects, whether it's in Web3 or AI or the Metaverse, so that helps us to stay up to date with what the community is doing and how it's evolving and how it's um, plus we're immersed, you know, we live in the Metaverse, uh, we, um, you know, we're fully immersed there, we spend 20 hours a day.

Uh, just, you know, being part of communities, uh, delivering our own, uh, projects or social good initiatives using the latest technologies. Uh, we organize events, you know, we get, um, uh, leading, um, uh, you know, speakers. So we constantly learning so that we're able to constantly, uh, teach in a, you know, in a progressive, uh, in a progressive way.

But, uh, yeah, because it's never, um, you know, there is, uh, there's never a dull day in Web3. As, uh, as they call it, it's one year, like a decade in, uh, in traditional industries. Yeah, definitely. It's constantly, even us with Honda, one week will be something, the next week will change depending on the [00:12:00] environment and what's happening with the world.

Um, could you provide examples of work text tools and applications that young people can use to help enhance skills like productivity, collaboration, creativity? Uh, sure. So there are, in regards to the, uh, to the tech tools, there is some of them that, that you use more at. Um, uh, in the work environment, what people will find is tools like, uh, slack, uh, like mirror, uh, like all the entire suites of, uh, you know, of either Google or, or Microsoft.

So those tools are becoming more and more collaborative, uh, and they're all embedding ai. Into their, uh, software packages at the moment. So what I would suggest, especially for the younger generation is that, um, ahead of that integration and ahead of their incorporation into the work environment, um, then focusing in terms of using those, uh, AI tools, whether it's [00:13:00] the likes of or any of the derivatives that they, uh, that you have out there, but also, uh, from, um, mid journey or any of the tools that they use.

Uh, help you generate, uh, from, you know, text to, uh, text to voice, uh, text to image, text to video, and then, uh, get really proficient about the one to one, um, brainstorming, as I call it, more than prompting, uh, I think if you start engaging with your AI assistant. Uh, in a brainstorming sort of way, and then you start exploring, you start to see, you know, what gives you better results and so on, that will naturally help you become proficient at prompting.

Once, once you become really good at generating prompts, then once this is integrated across all the, uh, all the suite of softwares from the daily basis, um, then, um, you know, it will cost you no time. To learn to make the [00:14:00] most how to use Excel, even if you've never used Excel or how to use how to make the most of a slack, which is one of the main corporate communication channel.

And then, uh, things like, um, uh, from a public facing perspective, I think the, the likes of, uh, discord, the likes of, um. Twitter is something that is becoming truly interesting in regards to, uh, not just for, um, generating your profile as well as networking, but the amount of community tools, uh, and communication tools that they are launching, uh, in regards to, uh, the, uh, group chats, but the, uh, the generating an ecosystem of tools.

That help you really get very, uh, skilled at how algorithms understand content creation, how you can make the most of positioning, uh, your content, and then how you can start monetizing that, uh, which [00:15:00] is one of the key things about the creator economy as well. Because, uh, one thing is, as we were saying before, whether you may find, or may look for a job, But the other thing is, um, we believe that a lot of people will remain as freelancers and then they will, you know, uh, outsource their skills to different companies, but they will also find ways of monetizing their knowledge and their skill set.

So that's where, um, you need to fully grasp, you know, the, the key, uh, platforms on how to generate the community, how to generate the following, how to create a valuable content. And that people will actually engage with, which means that the algorithms will help you make sure that the next post is also viewed, you know, by more and more people and, and so on.

Yeah, no, definitely. And like, for me, obviously, Honda exists and I'm getting Metacampus exists because look at the education side, education, not helping young [00:16:00] people getting ready for the future work and having them. Get equipped for this. So how can educators integrate WorkTech tools, like you said, ChatGBT, Slack, um, Discord into their curriculum to help prepare their students for a tech driven career?

Oh. You're absolutely right. We do have an issue in terms of traditional education. Uh, it goes a lot slower than the pace of technology and changing the curriculum and grading the curriculum. Uh, it is, it takes a long time. Uh, I think the, it is important that, um, the schools do not ban the tools that they encourage an effective use of the tools, but also, I think that they're in.

To me, they should try to incorporate them in a playful way that shows the value of your own research as well. And, uh, your own learning as well. So, for example, uh, if you have to, uh, create, um, [00:17:00] develop an essay about, you know, if you're studying, let's say, marketing studies, and then you want your students to create an essay on a particular, on, um, marketing strategy for a particular brand.

Uh, of course, you know, you can now get Some of these AI tools to generate the benchmark and so on, but potentially, you know, you could divide the class and the classroom in different teams and then ask them one team to not use AI tools for this trying to beat another team that uses is allowed to use the AI tools for that particular case study and vice versa.

So they have the ability and the allowance to use. AI and make the most when they're using AI, uh, but they're also the challenge of saying, right, let's, you know, let's try to get information on qualitative data that, uh, only as humans, we can actually get the level of interpretation and critical thinking [00:18:00] and, uh, and so on that will make it better.

Then the standard that you can get with AI, which at the end of the day is still a summary of what it is already available on the Internet with, you know, a semantic interpretation of what is out there that it is, you know, automated. So you can get qualitatively, you can always be a lot better, but you need to learn the subject.

So if you learn about marketing, you use AI as a base. For then, uh, put in the finishing touches, which is, you know, your mark. And I think that's the sort of thing that would encourage students to use AI effectively. Uh, and still, you know, really study the subject. Uh, because that's what will enable them to give that plus.

If you don't allow them to use the tools, they will have to use them the moment that they leave the classroom. It's one of those things, you know, that, uh, you can, [00:19:00] you cannot delay progress. You can delay people from progressing. And that cannot be the, the, the goal of education. No, I really like the example you gave, like having a group doing a task where they use chat gbt and a group that doesn't use chat gbt and then looking at the differences and the similarities and differences and I thought that's really cool because I like I haven't looked at it that way and I feel like a lot of people like teachers Probably haven't thought of that.

And I feel like that's a nice way of integrating, seeing like the positive of using AI and then maybe some of the negatives and how you can use that to enhance your work. And I thought that's really cool. And obviously with Hondo, we've like launched our virtual work experience and we try and use AI for our virtual experience to give people tasks to do.

And it's like. It should come, like you said, obviously workplaces, the environment is changing, obviously COVID happened, we're more virtual, we're at home, remote working, but schools are still with their old traditional ways and it's time to, like, have a balance where we can bridge them [00:20:00] together and sort of get them together.

But I really like the way you use that. How about parents, like parents watching this, how can they help their children and get them ready for the future work? I think the, uh, with parents, um, There are two things that's, um, you know, of course, it's not about, you know, your kids using mobile phone or using tablets or, or the computer.

It is an everyday tool. Uh, it's going to, it's going to happen, uh, what, what we are replacing, uh, the more, let's say, analog, uh, sort of devices, um, but content, whether we watch Netflix or whether we, uh, do homework or whether we interact with friends, um, everything happens digitally, uh, these days, uh, so I think, um, the, uh, to me, parents, it is not about banning the use of mobile phone, but it is more steering them into Um, [00:21:00] Potentially fewer hours of using the likes of TikTok and more hours using tools that will actually help them learn in a very playful way.

I think that AI assistants are really important in helping kids development and understanding. Also, the personality of, uh, of each kid, uh, and understanding the amount of content that that kid has already seen in different subjects, so it can balance that. So if you know that, you know, you like, um, I don't know, Dragon Ball Z, and you like, you are into, uh, anime characters or things, uh, things like this, it's fine.

So, you know, there is an interest there. Uh, so rather than just everything being, you know, passive, watching off these characters, it can recommend a number of tools, a community that, uh, you know, that they craft, that they're artists, you know, working in this type of a style, [00:22:00] and then help you in terms of creating, you know, unlocking your creative talent.

Into this sort of area so that, uh, you make, uh, out of your interest, you make it like a hobby while learning the tools that are going to help you prepare for a job either as a graphic designer, either as a marketing person, as any other thing that, uh, that it may be. Uh, and I see the roles of this kind of AI tutors and companions.

Um, and the, uh, the parents, of course, we are from an older generation. So, it is, um, we have to embrace this. We have to know what tools are there. We do need help in terms of understanding, you know, how should I approach this? Um, because otherwise you only focus on, okay, you can only use the mobile phone 2 hours.

It's not, you know, that kid could be better off using it five hours if the use of that was more balanced than just, you know, on something that kind of keeps you glued to the screen, but then you get [00:23:00] nothing out of it. But I do understand this generational change. It's um, it's a balance. You know, we are the last generation.

Um, we are millennials, um, that, uh, we've seen, we grew up with an analog world and then we saw the, you know, the, let's say the beginning of the internet and the adoption of the internet. All the generations after us, they, they don't know. Anything before the Internet. They don't know anything before digital.

So their lifestyle is fully digitalized While the parents in this transition some of them They still see this as an addiction as something that it is not Good, you know for for for the kids. So it's helping the parents into that transition It's it's it's a big task and I think that's that's where you know, you probably We can provide some coaching or steer them in some direction, uh, to help them in this process.[00:24:00] 

And for you, as you mentioned, the generational gap, obviously, us growing up with digital and you guys having to learn through that, what advice would you give parents and even teachers or anyone older that's watching this? How can they keep up to date and how can they learn? Like, do you have any tips and advice or places they can learn?

It's um, they have to, to embrace. Innovation as a lifestyle as lifestyle of choice, not as a core, because if you think, oh, okay, now I have to study something new and that is a negative thing. Then I'll try to minimize the amount of time towards that. And I'll try to stop it as soon as I think that I know enough.

Um, but now the, the pace of change is really, it's really fast is, uh, we are in a need of constant change. So that needs this continuous, uh, upskilling. So that's why even what we're trying to do is it is continuous, um, [00:25:00] upskilling. And we're trying to convert it into a lifestyle because it has to be part of your day to day in the same way that You're always up to date.

For example, if you are into football, you're always up to date with a new season with the new players, uh, with with the change of rules, uh, et cetera, the same that you may be, uh, up to date with, um, with, with the basic, let's say, uh, um, internet services that you have from, from your mobile phone, uh, or from, uh, any type of, uh, you know, of, of content or services that, uh, uh, They're around.

Uh, so that's where, you know, people need to understand that, uh, let's say digital skills link to technology pros. Uh, it is something that it is a benefit that they would use, you know, uh, throughout their, um, uh, any areas of their life, you know, whether it's personal as well as, as professionals. So not only for the, for [00:26:00] your job, but also on a personal level, you know, trying to manage it Now, Uh, citizen without a smartphone and without Internet connection.

It is already, um, a disadvantaged citizen. Mm-hmm. there. Um, there is a lot of public services. There's a lot of day-to-day stuff that, uh, without being able to connect to internet without being able to use a smartphone, uh, you're already handicapped compared to, you know, to the rest of the relation. So it is an intrinsic part of our, uh, daily life, and it will become more as, uh, we are progressively digitalizing the rest of our society.

Yeah, definitely. And like you said, it's, it's constantly changing, but everything, every day is changing different in different industries and different environments. And I like the way you reference like football and like sports. And it's true. You keep up to date with that. It's the same thing with work and like tech and everything.

You just keep going. Um, so now back to young people. So while we were talking, [00:27:00] it came into my head about gaming. So obviously a lot of young people game, and I feel like a lot of young people don't realize that they actually. While gaming and being in groups and doing whatever they do, I feel like they don't realize that they're actually enhancing their soft skills.

Um, if possible, could you go into how gaming and like socializing and even being on social media, how that helps young people enhance those skills that they need for the future work? Yes, gaming is, is gone from a niche, you know, to a generation, as you say, to, you know, um, everything is gamified, you know, even some of the famous quotes from Elon Musk about we live in a simulation.

It is true when, when you actually, when you move into digital, when your work, you know, is through a digital interface, when your economy is digitalized, when your social interactions are digitalized, when your entertainment is [00:28:00] digitalized, this is a level of Digital simulation. This is a level of gamified social experience, and that's where we see the blend between traditional gaming with social media, with the progressive digitalization of all other aspects of our lives.

That, uh, that is where it makes, you know, everything becomes A gamified story, a gamified uh, environment. You can, you can be multiple personas. Uh, you can be, uh, whoever, you know, whichever character you want to play with. A particular group that you like, book reading, for example, on Shakespeare. And, uh, and you know that you can be someone slightly different to who you are with your best friends or who you are with, um, you know, with, uh, with your family or at work level and so on.

So, uh, it becomes, um, you know, it becomes a. A gamified, you know, multi stream story. And as you say [00:29:00] that, uh, then managing that process, uh, it's, it's really drives your soft skills. It drives your ability to, to socialize. Uh, for digital kids today, um, it's a lot easier to socialize through digital channels than it is to physical.

You know, my, my, my daughter, you know, she's just turned, uh, 18 and she's doing work experience as part of her marketing studies. on a retail shop on a, you know, uh, kind of white label, um, uh, goods. So for her, the panic was to dare to attend people real live. It was to pick up the traditional phone and, and to have that live interaction.

That's what she's learned because she's very social, but she's used to be social, uh, through the digital channels that give them that kind of level of comfort because it is almost like, um, you are gamifying that interaction while there she was, she felt she was exposed. [00:30:00] So I think that's one of the things that we, we have to make sure that while we can respect privacy, that we also prepare gamers for real life interactions as well, very important to see, and that's why we use AI to see their stress levels.

Uh, gaming can be very good, but also can be a source of anger, stress, uh, anxiety, uh, and, and so on, uh, which. It's not an issue with the game, it's an issue with anger management, it's an issue with anxiety management, and that the ability that, uh, we're able to detect. And this through the interactions, um, on, on gaming, this is something that is a benefit that we should use, uh, to then help that person, uh, work on those, uh, you know, either personality, uh, issues or areas for improvement and, and so on, as well as, you know, detecting things like, [00:31:00] uh, bullying, things like, um, you know, aggressive, um, uh, verbal behavior, uh, these sort of things that, um, we can detect at early stages.

Thank you. And then gaming can help massively into making sure that the social interactions are in line with what we become, you know, what we consider healthy. So I encourage gaming, um, uh, and then I encourage, uh, gaming as a source of understanding your potential. Understanding your, as well as your limitations, and then using that as a path was a, was a platform to then, you know, um, help you in the, in the, um, in the rest of your day-to-day life.

So it's, gaming is not, is not part of course, uh, it can become quite obsessive, but it is not the game. May not be addictive, you know, it could be a racing game, but it is more of, you know, an addictive behavior [00:32:00] may actually Come from something some other issues that they need to be treated So that's the things that we have to identify as parents as educators and and so on There is no inherent bad game as there is no inherent bad technology people they've been accusing blockchain or they've been accusing this as being Speculative of, you know, uh, really bad technology.

Technology is not bad, it's the use that you make of the technology. Yeah, that's, yeah, that's a nice way of looking at it, is how we use these applications and tools, and whether we use it for good or bad, and it's like, as an individual, it has a responsibility to use these tools and know how to use them, and what we do, and even like you said, like bullying, um, like communities, gaming, like there's a way that you need, there's rules that you need to stick by and make sure you follow.

So yeah, that was, that was interesting. So. Back to young people, one thing that I picked up on you were saying about your daughter and having like social anxiety, like going into work and [00:33:00] things, well obviously with our virtual experience, one of the things that we've seen that's quite common is when we have like, um, virtual meetings with our students, they don't put their camera on, and their camera is shy, and they don't want to talk, and you like, there's a few individuals that would, but then there's quite a lot that don't, and how do you think What advice would you give young people to become more confident in the workplace and like starting these new things and help with social anxiety and build their confidence?

The, um, it's, it's a very, um, it's, it's a new territory in regards to, because we now we have the ability to respect privacy through, uh, blockchain and, and everything. And that, that's an interesting one. When we work with artists, there's someone like on docs artists, um, but trying to remain fully on docs.

Youngsters do not realize the amount of work and limitations that will give you a IRL. Um, because, uh, yes, we then we invite them into events [00:34:00] to speak. Yes, they can speak remotely, and then they can speak through an avatar in this. But then, of course, then they want to do business. And then they want to meet some of the people from the cultural museums or from some of these parts.

But then they cannot be in the, uh, let's say in the public, uh, attending the event that we have to source then, uh, almost like secret meeting so that they can meet face to face with some of the, you know, museum directors. But, uh, so you, sometimes it seems that it's great about this privacy and, uh, and unboxing.

But actually the freedom that you can have by saying, okay, yes, um, I am. People know me, people I'm free and, uh, to talk to people and, and, and to put my face and I can create multiple personas. Some of them could be in those. Some of them could be linked, uh, to, uh, to my, uh, to my real, uh, persona. And that gives you plenty more flexibility, [00:35:00] how to get to that level.

I think that, uh, there is lots of softwares now where you can reinterpret yourself as any character. So you start with that, you start, you know, with forums that you're comfortable with, uh, it could be on the gaming, uh, it could be then some of the meetups as well, this is really important. When, um, you know, we spend a lot of time with NFT communities, we are part of lots of group chats, I've, you know, I've developed very strong emotional bonds, um, with, um, uh, with people that I don't know who they are, but, but, you know, they have enough credibility and we've been chatting day to day, but then when there is NFT London, or when there is a particular event, and then you meet in real life with some of them, The experience kind of goes to, um, a higher level and that, uh, bonding, it really becomes something stronger.

Uh, and then you realize that it doesn't [00:36:00] matter. I can be 48, someone else can be 24, you know, a man, a woman, doesn't matter the race, the age. And nothing matters because the good thing about undock, uh, doxxing, oh sorry, or remain undoxed, or, or private, is the fact that you eliminate bias. And, um, and once you've developed that relationship and have eliminated the product, that barrier, then when you meet each other, everything is positive.

Yeah. Everything. Uh, so I think that's, you know, you have to start breaking those barriers as well. Mm-hmm. , get yourself comfortable with the community that you know, you, your, your day-to-day makes you, uh, to be addressed. That at some point you can do a video call, or at some point you can meet up for a drink, or to do an activity together, or to be at NFT London.

Otherwise, they will never be able to attend the same event, you know, if everyone remains so private. And that's a limiting factor. Rather than freedom. [00:37:00] Yeah, that's a really good way of looking at it, like, you're limiting yourself by not having that, and like, networking, communicating, like, all that helps you progress as well as an individual growth, but also in your career as well, and like, networking and being around people who are the same as you, and like, but even like the, um, web free space, like the NIT communities, there's different communities you can join about different things, and I think that's like, The best part about web free, which I really like that you can find people, the same interests, same hobbies.

And how do you feel like young people can use like the idea of community? Cause obviously, like we said, gaming, you have like your friends where you all communicate, you could be, I could be here. Someone could be like in America and we can communicate and just building those relationships. What advice would you give young people to start building those community and building those aspects where they can group together with people that like stuff and help.

I think it's very important to find an area of commonality or common [00:38:00] ground, shared interest. That's the most important thing. So if you are a creator, digital creator, uh, or, you know, you are into, um, Then start blending into community of digital artists and collectors, uh, and then find either by following some of the artists or some collections that include, uh, NFTs from different artists.

So you're constantly learning about new people, uh, and so on. I think that's the messaging is, it is important. Uh, there is also. Areas of specialization. So if you're more into programming or more into AI, you know, you can find yourself space into generative art groups or, uh, you know, to using programming for visual stories or things like this.

If you are more into the gaming fights, uh, stories. There's plenty, there's plenty of gamification tools. Some of them more like, uh, building things socially, others more of competitive, uh, gaming. [00:39:00] But, um, there are plenty of, uh, there's plenty of collections that they're just about, you know, even on S4s, you know, there is, uh, Wakme, which is this, uh, NFT collection that, that both, I think it was, uh, I can't remember this, uh, second division or what you call a first division football club in, uh, in England and, and there, and of course, if you're like football, then, uh, that could be an easy way of having, you know, chats that, you know, you know, the subject, you know, you're already up to date, you're comfortable, you know, talking to people about, uh, about these things, uh, and so on, and then start developing those sort of, uh, friendships.

Thank you. And you find yourself that maybe, uh, there, there will be, um, you know, um, an FA Cup, uh, match where your team is going to play with the team of someone else that within the group, so that will enable you to meet a one to one or a one to four or, you know, that sort of thing that will kind of break those, [00:40:00] uh, those barriers.

And I think that's, it is finding us, I think it's really important that, uh, You find the space that you either you hobby, the space that you want to grow into, uh, that you have that, uh, uh, interest, uh, and then, you know, start small. There is always, you, you never expose yourself to 10, 000 people. There's always lots of subgroups, uh, there, uh, within that, uh, community because people are very different and they end up, you know, almost in these clusters.

Uh, even if they're, they all belong to the same community, but some of those group, um, group chats, they talk about trading, while other group chats, they talk about cars, uh, but they're all, let's say, from this MFR community, you know, it is fine, and, and some of them. You know, they're, uh, Chinese there and they have their own clusters because then the language, then they kind of speak locally.

Uh, you find this, this thing as well. We know we have one of the group chats that I mean, there is the European, uh, MFS [00:41:00] in a way, uh, you know, in, in a community that is mostly dominated by us, then you, you find yourself aligned. With, you know, with, uh, European, um, uh, people, because then there are certain topics, you know, that they're, they're closer to home and that, that kind of, and you're always more comfortable when you're talking in a group of 20, 30 people in a group of 500.

Uh, and I think that's, it is part of then discovering and then do not be worried about exploring and that's, uh, and that is where. Creating your alternative persona, your, what do you call your alt account? It's something that really helps to explore the world safely without exposing yourself and then finding the places that you're comfortable with.

And then you'll start revealing more and more. We have a meetup. We may go for dinner, 10 people in London. Of course there we meet face to face, but then when we take a picture, we all [00:42:00] put the NFT on the face and then we put it on the social media. So, it is fine, you're still not exposing yourself to the world, but you've not had the limitation of, oh, I cannot meet them, uh, for dinner because otherwise I'm revealing myself.

It is fine. People respect that. You know? So, that's, it's finding that. kind of hybrid, uh, sort of, um, uh, social gathering and, uh, and between the digital world and, and the physical world. And it's beautiful. It is, uh, it is actually, uh, it is beautiful because you'll end up meeting people from all over the place.

And that multiculturality, uh, it is very enriching. And that means that whenever you travel, there will always be someone you can meet. Uh, there was always, I keep meeting, I am from Barcelona. And, uh, and whenever people that from the communities I am, they travel to Barcelona, you know, we always meet up and then one to one for, for a coffee, for, uh, something.

So you end up [00:43:00] getting to know and getting to meet, uh, over time, plenty of, uh, interesting people and the same when you, when you travel around. Yeah. So. Oh, that's really interesting. That's really nice. Yeah. It's like having that. Obviously you have a digital avatar, but then you also have your physical and you shouldn't let that stop you and you have boundaries.

Like I said, people respect your boundaries. That's the good thing, like, when you're in the workplace and when you're older, you have those boundaries where people do respect them and you can be who you want and feel comfortable. And like I said, when you find your group of people, then that's it. You feel comfortable, you can do whatever you want, and you just, like, do it together.

We're running out of time! I'm finding this so interesting! Um, so we're gonna wrap up. One last question. In a rapidly changing work environment, what skills do you think are most likely to be in demand in the next two to five years? The skills, um, I think what, say, Is the [00:44:00] ability. Um, so everyone will have to be tech savvy.

That's, that's almost, uh, it becomes a non skill. It becomes something that it is a requirement. Uh, like it is now that you have to know how to use an email or how to use, uh, you know, the Microsoft office package that is not a skill that is actually, if you don't know that, then you cannot access, uh, most, uh, jobs.

Uh, so, you know, I think that's the, um, taking that as granted, I think then the skills on, um, on, on creativity, on, um, on really, uh, socializing on, uh, on, on connect the ability to connect with, uh, with people from, uh, different communities and also, uh, the ability to, uh, connect. The different technologies as well, uh, for an entire workflow.

So how the blend of, uh, blockchain, uh, with, um, AI, uh, with anything related to, let's say, spatial computing with all the [00:45:00] interfaces and, and so on. Uh, so how you provide a service, uh, whether it's through, you know, augmented reality through virtual reality, through mobile phone, uh, how you keep that as, as a seamless experience.

Uh, that is how brands will evolve in the, in the future. So understanding that, you know, how to, how you can market there, how you can, uh, you know, provide a communication, how you provide the relevant content, how these things, uh, I think the, I would go more for more specialized micro, uh, learning in terms of courses that, um, more generalistic and long term, because if you go now into like a five year.

Sort of, um, even like a, um, we have marketing communications degree, uh, what you're studying over those five years, you know, that 70 percent of that is not relevant. And in five years it's changing so fast that it is almost, [00:46:00] uh, the ability to do models about. You know, um, what's the marketing or, you know, um, how to, uh, how to, you know, how to talk to, uh, you know, to unbox a consumers, you know, how to, so I think all of that, let's say more up to date, specialized and short, uh, type of training, uh, is what, you know, the, um, um, where people should.

Be more valuable when they get the job. And also, I think is that it is using the finding yourself comfortable with an AI companion as your career orientator and your advisor. Uh, that will be something that, uh, will become, uh, the drone because. Completely up to date information about, okay, what sort of new jobs are coming to the market?

What sort of skills? What have you learned? The system will know already what you've learned and what else you need to learn. So that [00:47:00] gives you the ability to reap the rewards of new jobs where, you know, they're more aligned to what you've already been investing as a hobby, as a part of your day to day.

Well, Perry, it's been lovely speaking to you. Um, I want to carry on this conversation with you, so I'll have you again to come join us. So how can everyone connect with you and keep up to date with you? Do you want to share your socials and your website? Yeah, um, absolutely. Um, my, uh, socials and, you know, I am ReadyPlayerOne, uh, from, uh, the famous, uh, book and, uh, and later movie.

Uh, so, uh, Twitter, my Twitter handle is, uh, ReadyPlayerOne, uh, and then. On LinkedIn is, um, I think you can find me for Pera Perez and then at, um, metacampus. ai. That's where, um, that's where we are based, you know, uh, in essence. But, uh, yeah, I'm ready and, uh, very happy to talk to you. Uh, really glad about what, uh, what you're doing.[00:48:00] 

You know, when we found about your service with, uh, with Allison. Actually, we were both really happy because we knew we were not able to cater for that younger market. You know, it's, you cannot do, you know, everything for everyone. Uh, so we, we had to choose this, um, but we thought there is always, you know, the need.

You know, for that previous step and I think that what you guys are doing is, uh, it's great. And then, you know, where we think we have many areas that we can complement each other and then we can help also that your younger students as they progress towards the job marketplace and so on, you know, so almost they can transition from one thing to the other because It is As we were saying, you know, learning has to be adopted as a lifestyle, you know, it is continuous learning and, uh, continuous exploring and then, uh, and enjoying the, uh, the, the journey.

[00:49:00] It's, it's fascinating, you know, how, you know, the new things that we find, we discover every day. Yeah, no, definitely. Learning has to be fun and interactive. And I love what Metacampus Alison's always been a big fan of us. And obviously now meeting you and talking to you. And I feel like we can definitely have a partnership where we can work together and help as many people as possible.

At the end of the day, we want to help as many people and upskill and get everyone ready for the future at work.

Absolutely. And I feel like you said, community. This is our community. And we can work together. And yeah, it's been lovely talking to you. Um, I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the day. Um, obviously connect with Peri Metacampus if you want to learn more about it. And yeah, thank you. Thank you. And then we'll talk again soon.

Thank you. Bye everyone. Bye.

Introduction to Digital Fashion with Tery Sparato
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Digital Fashion
Terry Spataro will introduce you to the world of digital fashion, AI's impact, sustainability, and designs from creators and brands like SYKY and DRESSX. Let's get started!
The following is the transcript for this video:

Tery:

Um, hi, I'm Terry Spataro and I'm your host for hundo's Digital Fashion for CareerCon. My journey started decades ago by studying traditional commercial art, before graphic computer graphics were the norm, and I was fortunate to be one of the pioneers, um, to go from traditional art making to digital creative direction and in the early dot com era, so, which was really interesting, this was a time where science and art were beginning to come together. So my training allowed me a unique perspective as to not only comprehend the depths of color and technique and style that were rooted in our history as well as in traditional making of art, um, to harness the power of digital advancements.

So I leveraged my experience to establish one of the first digital agencies and eventually landing executive positions with famous, um, Madison Avenue creative digital agencies. I do have a BFA but then I realized I needed to get a little more business training. So I went on to get an MBA so that I could learn more about business ethics law, um, operations, and also fortifying my, um, profile as a diversified creative director.

So over the years, and to this point in time right now, AI has been my fascination as well as my creative resource. And I not only used, um, AI to train it on my patterns and models that I've made, but I also use generative AI as a way. Um, Identifying specific projects that I wanna work on, which range from things like commercial, like such as doing brand branding, illustration, advertising, even strategic communications and content creation.

Um, my AI driven creations have also found a unique. Application in fashion by creating what I call surface designs or patterns for accessories and clothing. So embracing the future of fashion, I in turn, produce only on demand products, so it's print on demand products. So I found two manufacturers, one that's located in the UK and the other is located in Canada.

Right now I'm working on an exciting fashion project, which allows me to take the ethos of a community and translate it into their unique flair and style and allow them to identify with, um, the company that has asked me to do this. Uh, I joined Skyrocket Systems - it's a management consulting firm that's a pioneer in helping, um, brands as well as businesses understand what AI can do to enhance their creativity.

Um, and let's, let's go on and talk about digital fashion. So, digital fashion has emerged as one of the groundbreaking domains where the realm of style can evoke this boundless creativity and yet, Remains deeply rooted in sustainability, and that's a really important thing to focus on now more than ever with the powerhouse of AI, or artificial intelligence, has transformed digital pattern making into innovative efficient process that generates designs that were once considered unimaginable. Using AI algorithms, we can train machines to learn from vast amounts of fashion data, adapting and predicting trends while providing unique personalized clothing designs. So there is this really big paradigm shift that also extends to print on demand, and fashions, um, and it's the focus is to reduce waste and also transform the fashion industry's carbon footprint, like lowering the carbon footprint is what we want for all industries. Additionally, with the rise of virtual reality or VR, and augmented reality, In this space facilitates digital try-on experiences, creative, the creation of surreal artistic digital clothing that transcends the limitations of physical patterns and fabrics.

This is an amazing time in a great way of looking at digital patterns and, um, digital fashion as a way of augmenting your own personality. So the amalgamation of digital fashion with AI doesn't merely hint at a future. It is unequivocally illustrates the future of costume. So, and I had the like the pleasure of seeing some really beautiful, groundbreaking creations by Xander Love and Kenn Mayfield, and I learned a lot about how digital fashion lends itself to the extension of our own personality, which is exciting.

So now I'm gonna go on to defining what is digital fashion. So digital fashion refers to clothing accessories that are created and consumed in digital formats rather than physical formats like I'm wearing.

It is a concept that has gained popularity in the recent years, driven by technological advancements and the growing influence of digital media. So let me take you through a quick little presentation to give you some illustration about what digital fashion looks like. Okay. So here's something that I really think is earth-shattering, and that is the growth of digital fashion will be 4.8 billion US dollars by 2031.

That's super exciting for anybody wanting to get into this world and, uh, super exciting because I think there will be a tremendous decrease on what may happen environmentally. So that's good. SYKY is an amazing collective. Um, Digital fashion designers, Stephanie Fung, who we will focus on a little bit, has done some amazing creative pieces, but SYKY is more than just the, the clothing and garments. SYKY also produces accessories and also your total look and appearance from here to makeup to, uh, jewelry and things like that. So here's a little thing. Um, actually I own this piece. Stephanie Fong is an amazing digital fashion artist. Um, this piece I bought really early on, I think I bought it a couple years ago, and it's an NFT So NFTs is another way of, um, producing your work and putting it out there in the world, and like collectors like myself, look for pieces like this to add to our NFT collection.

But Stephanie's work is exciting and let's just take a quick little look at what she does. There's a like the piece behind her. Oh my God, these are gorgeous, like forward looking, beautiful pieces. And the next one though, we'll talk a little bit about, and I think you should investigate more, is called DRESSX.

I, love what DRESSX is doing. I like the mission that the company has taken on. The founder's quote up here. "Sometimes people will buy an outfit and just wear it a couple of times, take a picture in this outfit, and then they return it." So even though the carbon footprint may not be as significant, it does have impact.

And these are some of the like, really gorgeous pieces. These kimonos are just beautifully designed. There's great surface patterns on them and they're just outstanding. Price points are 200 each. But if you get a chance and you wanna look um further, I would take a look at the interview that Dell did, which is outstanding on the, uh, the founders of Dress x.

So Fashion Zero is also, um, provides tools or an application so that you can have a way of looking at your digital garment in this virtual reality setting. And then this is great. This is, um, Highsnobiety. Um, the jacket to the upper right corner here is amazing to see, but you can also use your phone and see what you would look like on it and take your picture that way.

So all these digital fashion designers are really thinking not just about like creating these gorgeous pieces, these exciting pieces, but also about like what the impact on the environment. Here are a couple of things that I designed myself, like, I like science fiction, so I'm often thinking like, what my, what will my science fiction characters wear?

So this is an experiment, um, for one of the characters in the book that I'm working on. And then I thought, wow, what would a interesting futuristic wedding dress look like? And then these are just samples that I've created. Actually the t-shirt dress you can actually get, um, it's print. These are print on demands, but you can see the AI surface design patterns to the right. And these are some of the things like if you don't want to go into designing the dress itself, you can actually do, or the garments themselves. You can actually create the patterns and do that.

So I'm super excited. We have an amazing, um, group of people that are going to talk to you about digital fashion for hundo's CareerCon. Um, this is the world's first immersive, um, careers event. It's a monthly series that's designed to connect and help employers, teachers, parents, and students navigate this world that's becoming increasingly uncertain. So the, um, following the success of CareerCon hundo is rolling out this monthly series, which is exciting.

And now let's go into the agenda.

Becoming a Digital Fashion Designer: Tips and Insights with Melisa Cilli and Albert Marealle
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Digital Fashion
Join the digital fashion design adventure with Melisa Cilli and Albert Marealle! Unveil the cool differences between digital and traditional fashion. Get exciting tips for transitioning to digital design and discover the awesome tools and software to play with. Develop vital skills and create your digital fashion dreams! Let's have a blast in this colourful world of style!
The following is the transcript for this video:

Albert:

Hello everyone. Welcome to hundo.xyz, your locked in with myself, Albert, who is the. Social media coordinator and graphic designer for hundo, as well as being a character designer and illustrator and an animator outside of work. And I'm here with the lovely speaker today. Would you like to introduce yourself?

Melisa:

Yes, of course. Hello everyone. Uh, I'm Melisa Cilli. Uh, I'm a digital fashion designer and I'm based both Milan and uh, London. I have a background in both fashion and textile design and computer engineering, uh, which has given me the. Great insight, uh, into how creativity and technology can overlap. Uh, currently I'm working at the frontier of the fashion industry as a digital fashion designer at Dress X.

Um, and additionally, I am also laying my foundations for my own venture loophole, which aims to assist the traditional fashion companies in transitioning to digital to the, uh, digital realm. 

Albert:

Oh wow. Sounds like you're doing so many different things, Melisa. Wow, that's such an influence. Gotta return it back, you know?

But yes. So let's start things off. So how did you get into Digi, into the digital fashion space, and what exactly does it mean to be a digital fashion designer, and how does it differ from the traditional fashion design? 

Melisa:

Okay. It is a long story short. Initially I did my education as. Yeah, education as physical fashion designer actually, because in my university's curriculum there were no courses related to digital fashion design.

And after my graduation from university, while I was doing my, uh, freelance project, uh, for a background from Paris, I found it so inconvenient to draw a back in the program created for the. Two dimension images. So I searched for a program which, uh, could do 3D design for the 3D project, and I can say that my adventure for the becoming a digital fashion designer.

Begun from that, that point. And, um, you asked the, what is the digital fashion designer Albert? So, uh, digital fashion designer, what does it mean? Yeah, yeah, yeah. What does that mean? Uh, everyone, uh, wonders this. So a digital fashion designer creates the garments in her or his digital atelier from the beginning.

To the end. So, um, but in this digital atelier, um, there are similar similarities for the physical fashion. Uh, you do the pattern, uh, you do the pattern creation, pattern cutting, stitch, stitching, garment placed on the model. So this garment also like, um, can be adjusted for the, like, achieve the desired look like a physical fashion.

But the biggest difference, uh, to traditional fashion is that you cannot interact with digital fashion creations without using some kind of a human machine interfaces, like a cameras like, um, smart screens or virtual reality vrs. Uh, but in, uh, living the physical realm behind the need avenues for creativity, let's say, opened the normal rules, uh, of the world.

Such as like a gravity do not have the to be applied in this digital area. So you can create materials like, um, properties you could imagine. So like, uh, water or like a wind. You can do, you can put these, uh, effects or these, uh, elements to your design as well. Um, and this like a. Utterly fantastical and magical, uh, or something more simple, uh, such as a clot with different elasticity, um, and weight, um, can be achieved with the, cannot be achieved with the physical fibers.

But for the digital atelier, you can all achieve these ones. I can like, uh, uh, describe like this to be a digital fashion designer or what is a digital fashion. 

Albert:

Yeah, that sounds like so interesting and so insightful as well. But even like, even here you speak, it reminds me of like how, like even streetwear brands, they're trying to incorporate like digital fashion into like promoting their t-shirts or clothing as well.

Like those one guy that I saw named Giovanni X extremes and he, he uses, he create like a 3d avatar and like, He also placed his like clothing, like his t-shirt, short socks, shoes. Well, he didn't make shoes, but he created like, like trainers and like to promote, to promote his brand and also like let them people know that he's selling as well.

And I realised that that is such a unique way to do it as well. And I've also been realising that you can also, um, do this on Blender as well. Which is a free, free open source software so that anyone can be able to use as long as your computer's powerful or enough. But yeah, but like this is, that's another thing, but it's like really, like it really helped, like hearing you speak like really helped me like change my viewpoint on digital fashion.

Like it doesn't even have to be like, 2D as well. You can even like create like, I mean free, they can even like make like 2D character designs as well. If you wanna like promote your art too. Or your fashion as well. Like have that animated to 

Melisa:

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. 

Albert:

Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. And what software did you, did you use during your university degree that helps you start out in a digital fashion?

Melisa:

Um, actually, um, in my. Um, in my school, they, in my university, let's say academia, there, there wasn't any, uh, digital fashion. Um, I programs, they, I all self-taught myself, so all the tools I, uh, taught myself. So yeah, there wasn't any in the. My, uh, my university. 

Albert:

Okay. So it was like an entrepreneurial mindset you had then.

Melisa:

Yes, yes, yes. Like that. Yeah. Like that Albert. 

Albert:

Yeah. Um, yeah. Can you provide some, some insights and tips on how to transform from physical fashion design to digital fashion design? 

Melisa:

Um, I can say that the key point is, Try the new tools near digital tools, let's say, because there are plenty of programs emerging and you need to keep track on and explore and experiment as much as you can.

This is the one of the key points and always beyond the lookout for the NIV developments, as I just told, and develop your skills in the established software zone of the digital fashion design. So I think this is the. Crucial part for the, yeah, for this, uh, for my insight, let's say this is the, the best tip I could ever give 

Albert:

Given you hear that guys always try and make best of the tools given to you so you can make that transition if you wanna make that transition from the physical to the digital, or always make use of these tools and even expanding at that point, like what sort of essential tools that you use to de what source tools and software do you use to design your stuff?

Melisa:

Mm-hmm. Um, so Albert currently, uh, the program that I use is the CLO3D mainly. So, but they're like a supplemented with, with software such as Adopt Substance. Uh, As you said, blender, that's 3d. These are the the ones that I use like often developed to garments beyond what could achievable in CLO3D alone.

And in terms of the hardware you are going to need, as you said, reasonably. Powerful computer and, uh, CLO3D simulates the fabrics. And this take comp computational power actually. And when you come to rendering, this is another crucial part. The speed is DataMine by the strength of your graphic graphics processor.

Albert:

Uh, thank you for sharing. Thank you for sharing that, Melisa. So like, you see, it was like you just say CLO3D. 

Melisa:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Clothes is the, okay, is the crucial one.

Albert:

I never, never heard of that software before, so I might have to look into it in case wanna do like my own fashion design. If I wanna start, start selling my own merch as an artist and maybe try and look into that to create, like to emulate that, like a 3D fashion show or something like that.

One day. I also wanted to ask Yeah, like, um mm-hmm. What sort of like materials are you able to achieve using CLO3D? Is it like the whole range? So like from cotton to denim to, yeah.

Melisa:

You have everything. And you can also, um, like, um, import the like fabrics that you did. From the other programs like, uh, other substance you can get, um, all the texture maps, all the normal maps, everything.

You can take it to the CLO3D as well, or you can also create the fabrics in CLO3D or prints or, uh, anything you can do in the, as a fabric. But as you know, not all the programs, um, designing programs has the same background. So, Sometimes you need to have kind of like a rigid object, like a ring or like, uh, some kind of tiara .

So you need to use, um, another program and you can import it to the CLO3D CLO3D is a real physical atelier for a digital fashion designer. The, the same physical, um, how can I say, same digital atelier of the physical session. So you can do the the same things. Exactly. 

Albert:

No, thank you so much for explaining that to me and the many other people who would be viewing this as well.

Like, cause like it was always like handy to get into insight so you can like be able to like get started at, for those who really want to get into that fashion where it be physical or digital. Then like be, it was like really good to get like a good insight to actually actually Kickstarter cause you open a new program.

And next thing you know, your mind's just rambling. Like how does this work? Like what can you create for me that even a blender like you just get a donut tutorial, but you never know that you can, you can never know that you can create buildings as well.

Melisa:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. We all have the same steps to learn about new programs, I think. Yeah. It's a little bit like that.

Albert:

Yeah. But I appreciate you for even like giving us a little insight into that as well. Yeah. Yeah. You're welcome. Alright, thank you. And what are the key skills, uh, moving on? Like what are the key skills and abilities needed to become a successful digital fashion designer?

Mm-hmm. 

Melisa:

So, um, firstly you need to know half the, construct a garment. This is the very crucial point. And the other words, you, you need to know how to like, uh, how to. I have to know the pattern making and how to stitch a garment, for example. And first steps are very si similar with the physical fashion.

The only difference is you are doing these things in your digital atelier. I just said about that and which is, is in a computer program, you are not like a drawing by hand the pattern, but you're drawing the pattern in your program. In the digital atelier, you're cutting the pattern in your digital atelier.

You just stitch it. Again, in the digital, like a computer program, like a cloud reading and um, as well as construction, you have to know about the digital fabrics and how to create them that I just mentioned. And besides creating original concepts, you need to now have the skills to realise them. So, Uh, the, finally, the, the final thing is you, the, the crucial point.

You need to know how to rendering. This is the very important thing for the, like, uh, to finish your project. Mm-hmm. 

Albert:

Mm-hmm. Yeah. So when you say renderings, making sure you use like the right engine cycle. Cause I know there's that e ev and that cycles on blender and like each engine gives, each render gives out different results. Right. 

Melisa:

Yeah, there are plenty of rendering options and you need to choose your own self according to your project, which one you need to use. Uh, I'm not using every time the sa same rendering machine or same program, so I, I understand my design and I thought that, which one? Is the better choice for the rendering this, uh, project.

So I cannot say this is better or this is worse. I can only say that this size according to your project. 

Albert:

Yeah, most definitely. Um, for those who are looking to know, like what are like the differences between the different results, if you to like alter the engines, the engines using the rendering. Like, how would each, like let's say you have one project, let's say you have one project and you have, you decide to render using two different rendering options to um, see if there's a difference. What sort of differences would there be between the each render? 

Melisa:

So I can talk general generalise, uh, because it is like, uh, if you would like to, um, render a beats or the, like a kind of embroidery. You should select the ones who just understand the texture and understand the, um, the weight and, um, height, um, calculations better.

So you should choose that one to take the goods, um, output from your project. Because in the program, as you know, this is the three dimensional program, and rendering means it takes the. Three, uh, takes a 3D input and gives the 2D output. So in this case, the, not only the, uh, the project, but also the lights and the textures give the, like, uh, importance when the ranging processing, so, You should choose, uh, what is important for you, and you need to then, um, take the output according to your preference.

Albert:

Okay, so basically choosing the right rendering options that gives you the best result, depending on what process you used for the output, basically. Exactly. Ah, thank you so much. Cause I'm con, I've done rendering before, but never from like a fashion perspective. So it's more so from animation or like digital illustrations or even video editing.

So like, to see, to see it from like a fashion perspective is like really eyeopening. Cause like I'm only used to like random from like MP fours to like m like mov even like using. Cycles or EV when it comes to blender on like 2D and 3D animation. So it's like just so mad to see like how like detailed like rendering can be depending on what, what product you create as well.

Melisa:

Exactly. 

Albert:

Yeah, exactly. And when you say, like also going back to the point you said that in terms of like constructing the clothes together, is that the cut and sew process? 

Melisa:

Yes, there is also, there's also cutting in, um, stitching, sewing process as well. So it is a real, real atelier. 

Albert:

Okay. I appreciate, appreciate you explaining that one, that one there Melisa.

And moving on to the next part and moving on to the next point. Are there any specific courses, certifications, or educational programs that can help? Helps individuals in their journey to become digital fashion designers. 

Melisa:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. There, there are plenty of them. So for example, on YouTube, you can find so many dedicated videos for all of these fashion design programs and they're free.

Um, so yeah, these days they're like, uh, going more and more. So like before you couldn't find that much. But right now, because the program, um, the computer programs is just. Going, uh, so, so much. They also put so many videos and, um, also there are certificate courses like, uh, on Coursera, uh, domestika, um, and other online. Uh, online course providers like Udemy is another one. So if you wanted, you can, uh, check these ones out as well.  

Albert:

Uh, thank you. And are you able to, um, spell out Domestika and Coursera as well for those that, for those who may be listening in as well? 

Melisa:

Um, yes, there are like, um, uh, online course providers and um, there is like some chargers for the, some courses.

You can type the digital fashion design and you can check, uh, which one you prefer or which one is better for you. You can see them all. 

Albert:

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And what types of jobs do you see emerging and evolving now and in the future of digital fashion? 

Melisa:

That's a good question. So I can say that according to my vision, uh, in the very new feature, uh, digital pattern making, Is the one of the item jobs, the digital textile designer to make the, the fabrics or digitise the fabrics.

A virtual stylist, because we have so many like, uh, digital assets and someone needs to be styled them and make the some kind of looks. And virtual photographer is also important. Uh, virtual set designer. Um, Digital, um, assets, fashion, digital fashion assets, renderer. Um, yeah, they, they, they will be, they would be the emerge in digital design fields. I assume. 

Albert:

That's so interesting to see like there's so many like job opportunities out there for those when get into like digital fashion as well. Cause I remember when I started uni I never thought this would be possible cause like obviously like other people seeing other people around me like. Like, obviously there's art illustrators, just digital illustrations, but from like the fashion point point, like I was only seeing like fashion photography, like I wanna be like a fashion stylist.

But that was more from a physical perspective. But I never thought that there'll be one day like a digital. Digital fashion show, digital fashion stylist, that virtual photographers as well. Like, can you imagine like just being at home and being able to just take photographs in the own, in your, in the comfort, your own room.

Just like one little screenshot and then that's like next thing you know, your, your own vogue or something like that. 

Melisa:

Yes. Yeah, it's very, um, I don't know. I'm really excited to see these things becoming, yeah, 

Albert:

same, same like even like digital pattern making as well. Like wow, like you can really like put your, like really get paid to do something that you love as well and like, Even those that may not, I know what the most convenient thing is.

You can really work around with people from all around the world. Like me and you we're chatting. Right now I'm based in London and you're based in Milan. Like that could be like another opportunity for like many other people as well to be really connect with people worldwide from all different walks of life as well.

So it's like one way, like incorporating like different cultures to one another and like helping each other out as a team. 

Melisa:

Exactly. You can, you can do anywhere from the world, even though you can do from the Mars or from the moon. This, uh, this is like a, you need a very powerful computer and that's all you can do.

Anyway, this is the the best thing. You don't need to go to the atelier each day in the morning and leave it in the midnight. So yeah, it is really, really powerful. 

Albert:

Yeah, wake up, open up your laptop, do your work, chat, communicate. Next thing you know, work done, you gotta close your laptop down and you even gotta worry about like traveling back in the commute as well.

Melisa:

Exactly. Yeah. So true Albert.. 

Albert:

I try, I try. Moving on to the next part. Yeah. Uh, what, what are some of the effective ways to network and build connections in this industry? 

Melisa:

Yeah, for the physical one, it was a little bit hard to go in the that circle, but fortunately in the digital fashion it is decentralised. So there are plenty of people you can connect with and for sure there are plenty of ways to achieve this.

But in my opinion, uh, enrolling online events, uh, joining digital fashion brands, discord channels. Um, connecting people on LinkedIn would be the, like very first steps to, uh, into the digital fashion industry. 

Albert:

Yeah, yeah. Like discord is like really community based. Cause I've joined a few channels on this discord, or I never, uh, to this day I've had it since like 2019.

And to this day I still never got around to it. I've used it for like with friends to play among us. I remember like lockdown era used it, um, used it for like, um, like common convers com part of All Star community there as well. Meeting people arrive from like New York to Australia. And also using it for like anime communities as well.

Like just like a group of people who love anime to come together and it's like, I never really got, like, obviously I can see like the value in discord as well. Cause like you really get to like, make new friends, meet new people and like even like make new connections as well. Like it can even like help you out in the future too. Yeah. 

Melisa:

Yes, it's is. Really good to have these opportunities in our times. So, because before it wasn't this much easier to know the people get to know the people all around the world. So right now we have this chance to. Um, know so many people. 

Albert:

Yeah, most definitely. And do you use Discord yourself, Melisa?

Melisa:

Um, personally, not so much actually because, uh, I, I have so many messages and so many going on from the, all the platforms. It is keeping track of all of so hard. If I, if I have something to. Get done in Discord. I talk with the people, but other than that, I'm not like a daily checking my messages actually, because they have too many.

Albert:

Yeah. And you don't wanna feel like overstimulated and overwhelmed as well. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And like even got like some additional questions as well. And, and that is, are there any environmental advantages? To digital fashion over traditional fashion?

Melisa:

Oh yeah, of course. So many. I can talk till tomorrow morning because this is one of the things that I choose the digital fashion to not give harm to, to the world anymore because I love fashion.

But I know that fashion industry gives the most, one of the most, I think second, uh, in a like a, Feel that the giving is so, so, so much harm. So for example, when you think about in the physical fashion, when you think about to, um, produce a t-shirt or this blouse, let's say, yeah, this white blouse. So for this white blouse at least, you need to do 10 to 15. Uh, Like another templates, but the examples to make it perfect and each time you need to cut the fabric, you need to stitch, you need to check on the mannequin. And if you don't like the, for example, the neckline, you need to do it again. But thanks to the. Digital fashion tools, you can do this process in the digital fashion, atelier,.

And you can only do like a one blouse or at most, two blouses to understand, because in the. The programs that I use, you can even understand the how much, the elasticity, elasticity of the fabric and how does it look in the body, and if the body is like, um, so like, uh, blocked by the fabric, you can see the, all the maps if there's something wrong. So in this case, To be taking the digital fashion tools into the physical fashion for sure. To make it like, uh, shorter to the process of the designing. And it means that the, making the templates for the, uh, fashion pieces. It'll be like decreased. And in this, in this case, you don't use the water more, you don't use the fabric more, you don't use the electricity more.

So this is the best thing. And also the second thing for the fast fashion, uh, nowadays, because we have so many Instagram poppies and Instagram, uh, characters, they all put the things only for the ones to. Um, their buddies to only take a photo and after taking that photo, that dress also useless for them and they given, or they just put in a trash. It's not important for them, but for one piece of the clothes, you just, um, to produce you, you just like use so many waters, so many electric, so many things, so many, uh, resources. You, you just use. And after this point, if you use the only the digital garments for your. Photos, like what, what we do on dress X, like, uh, you can put the digital fashion pieces on your photos and you can directly share with them on your social media that like, uh, in the reality you seems like you, uh, just wear them.

So this is another thing that digital fashion, um, is better in this case, but for sure we are all human beings and we need to wear something to like, um, protect, protect us from the cold, from the sun. Yeah. We, we need some like things. Yeah. Yes. Digital fashion, never, like it takes the physical fashion's place for sure. But. I wanted to, I would like to see that physical, uh, the digital fashion takes to the fast fashions, uh, place. Because what, what is the worst thing right now for the world, for the environment is the fast fashion for sure. 

Albert:

Mm-hmm. Yeah, I feel insightful. Cause like if you're basically saying like, in terms of creating digital fashion, like if you make more mistake, you can just click Control Z and just undo, and if you don't like it, you just delete the file. Like no harm's being done to the environment whatsoever. 

Melisa:

Exactly. The only things that you, you just like, uh, produce for the, you just uses the electricity for sure because you are using in the computer. But I don't think so. It is much worse than the, the water and the other, all the stuff in total. Because when you're comparing, uh, the, the power and the electricity, I think little than the other things. Yeah. 

Albert:

And like even some house, we even got solar panels now. Exactly. Exactly. So even using renewable energy, 

Melisa:

Yeah, you can put some kind of panel next to your computer. So why not? 

Albert:

Yeah. Trust cha. You've got another additional question, and that is, are there any exciting examples of digital fashion being augmented with real life experiences such as shops or on social media? 

Melisa:

Yes, there are plenty of them. Uh, plenty of them. And you can see them on Instagram on like other platforms. So for example, last, um, couple of months I think, uh, Tommy Hilfiger made this one on the. On their shops. It's like a kind of the, uh, mirrors, like a smart mirrors. And when you go to the mirror, you can just check the different, uh, clothes, like a swiping, swiping up, and uh, also, uh, dress doing so many different things for the, uh, augmented reality. With your phones, you can just. Check the things, uh, that you already have and you can see that on your body.

And also Nike and Adidas also made some like, uh, shoes. Uh, you can with the screen of your, um, smartphone, your like, uh, phone. You can see them in your, uh, in your feet. And also not only the fashion brands, but also the makeup brands like Mac and the other brands. They also done some kind of like, um, um, like lipsticks. You can just see on the screen lipstick, they're like filters on Snapchat. Exactly. So I, uh, I think so many people are using them, but they don't know how they call. So when you said like, ah, this is, uh, ar, or this is vr, they're just, What, and I said that you already know you're using them and also in Instagram you are using some filters, some kind of things. They're all the like a similar thing. Similar technologies, 

Albert:

Yes. Just like, like new term, new terminologies, right? 

Melisa:

Yeah, 

Albert:

exactly. That's the same as well for, this was just a Snapchat filter. What do you mean augmented reality? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It's true. Yeah. And finally, last but not least, do you have any advice or recommendations for individuals who are passionate about digital fashion design and want to pursue a career in this field?

Melisa:

Um, yes. I have so many, but I will say few right now. So I just suggested, uh, they learned essential programs that I just mentioned and if they enjoy using it and like working in this, Way they, they then they can keep going on and, uh, always be on the lookout for the next opportunities and technologies that I already set because they are rapidly evolving and the, the digital fashion design is the evolving industry.

It's not like, uh, Staying. Staying. Staying because we are using the computer, we are using the programs, we are using rendering, we are using the technology. We are not using the like stable things. It's like all evolving. So they need to. Um, like, uh, on the track, always, 

Albert:

uh, Melisa coming through them gems once again, thank you for all the advice and, uh, even that one bonus question.

Yeah. What's the most, do you have any exciting projects you're looking forward to with loophole? Uh, okay.

Melisa:

I'm looking forward to how virtual I'm in VR and augmented. AR red, augmented reality ar will improve, um, fashion buying experience. This is, uh, what I'm looking for in the near future, 

Albert: uh, and may some of us be looking forward to what you do with loophole as well. And oh, thank you so much for joining this. Thank you too. Talk today with me, myself, Albert, and Melisa, to, and would you like to, um, shout out your socials so people can find you? 

Melisa:

Oh yes, of course. Firstly, thank you everyone, and thank you Albert. It was so great to talk with you today. Um, they can connect, uh, with me via LinkedIn.

My LinkedIn is Melisa Cilli, uh, and via Instagram as well. My name is Melisa Cilli and my username is Mada matruska. 

Albert:

Thank you. Thank you. And if you wanna follow me on social as well, AlbzMadeIt, Instagram AlbzMadeIt you can see more of my art as well. And don't forget to follow us on hundo.xyz on all of our social media platforms that is linkedIn to our Instagram and TikTok as well.

Exploring Digital Fashion: Style and Self-Expression with Aditya Mani and Peyton Pocock
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Digital Fashion
Join Aditya Mani and Peyton Pocock in exploring digital fashion's style and self-expression with YOLOgram. Discover tech-powered storytelling, personalised avatars, and the future of shopping, gaming, and virtual try-ons. Uncover exciting career opportunities and brand collaborations in the metaverse!
The following is the transcript for this video:

Peyton:

Hello. Welcome everyone, and thanks for joining us, uh, today. I'm thrilled to be here with Aditya Mani. A digital fashion expert and co-founder of Yologram, we're in for quite an exciting conversation as we explore the future of the digital fashion industry. So, without further ado, let's jump in. Welcome, Aditya, if you could just intro a little bit about yourself and what you do.

Aditya:

Yeah, thanks for that, Peyton. Um, I'm, kind of new to the space of fashion. I, I, got to know about the whole concept of 3D and digital fashion around the pandemic because I saw a pretty amazing experience. I saw, um, a celebrity in my own home in augmented reality, and I thought that this would be an amazing way in which content can be consumed in the future.

So I kind of jumped into the world of retail and digital fashion around about 2020. Prior to that, I've been a healthcare entrepreneur, so I've run about, uh, multiple companies in the last two and a half decades. I have about 25 years of work experience and, um, yeah, so excited to be here and excited to be in the ever-changing world of digital fashion and metaverse.

Peyton:

That sounds amazing. Let's continue that and talk a little bit about Yologram and how they're transforming the world of fashion and introducing digital fashion to new people, um, who are new to this exciting field.

Aditya:

Yeah, so hologram was born out of a concept that it's your hologram.

So can you create a holographic avatar of yourself with just your mobile phone? So we kind of envisioned that the metaverse is gonna happen, but it's not gonna always be with your headsets on. It's not always gonna be in front of your MacBook Pro or your laptop. You're gonna be mobile, you're gonna be walking around.

So can you spin up a holographic avatar of yourself? And not just that, can you also create, you dress it up with branded fashion? So that's how the whole concept came about it, and very democratic. And back in the day, the only way you could do a 3D capture of yourself was if you went into a studio. This is a volumetric studio where, you know, you did game creation.

So it's a very expensive, multi-million dollar studio where celebrities would go in and you needed a lot of artwork to, you know, craft the avatar of yourself, which is what, uh, The Marvel Studios and the Pixars of the world do, uh, we said the whole concept needs to be democratised. Uh, so back in the day, we didn't really know much about avatars, but we figured out that, you know, there's this very cool thing out there, which has been part of the gaming universe called avatars.

And then we figured out that, you know, you can go super photo-realistic like you have with the meta humans, and you can go cartoonish like you have with Ready Player Me. So there's a whole spectrum of avatars available - could be blocky, like how you have it on Sandbox and uh, there's always a need to express yourself using these embodiments.

So whether it's the kind of expressions you have on your face or the movements you have, which you can put on your avatar, or the kind of clothing you have, it all speaks a lot about your choices. And we thought that, you know, let's give people a tool to basically have a 3D TikTok or a 3D Instagram where you're dressing yourself up, creating all these moves and expressing yourself, whether it's placing yourself in virtual words or placing yourself in augmented reality.

So that's Yologram. It's just like spinning a digital version of yourself, and placing yourself in different backgrounds.

Peyton:

That sounds really inspiring. And I think getting it into people's hands and, you know, really letting people get hands on is the best way of accelerating that progress in, you know, in the technology and getting features out to people, um, and really making the most of everything.

I know specifically recently I've seen, um, some cool new features on iPhones and things where you can scan things in real life and then people can pull that into 3D software and they can play with it more. And that just becomes a quicker iterative process and it's really exciting to see. That leads me on to, um, what unique features and experiences can users expect when exploring the intersection of technology and storytelling in digital fashion?

Aditya:

Yeah, so I, think, um, fashion is just, um, a means of expression and it's a, it tells you a lot about the choices that you make in terms of style, and um, also tells you a lot in terms of what's influenced you in terms of culture, whether it's Hollywood or music. So, you know, we let the consumer choose between how they want to dress themselves up. And more than that, we believe, in addition to dressing yourself up in different kinds of brands, in different kinds of upper wear, bottom wear, where do you wanna place yourself? Do you want to place yourself in, uh, a stadium in Wembley? Do you want to place yourself in the middle of the Wimbledon or, you know, we, we give you the power to do that without actually physically traveling.

So someone wants to see what they look like in Times Square. So that gives you, very interesting storytelling, and it also gives you the power of your voice. And we've also seen that Gen Z uh, likes to communicate with their voice, so it's a completely lip synced avatar, so you can have your camera switched off, it's just tracking your facial expressions or it's just tracking your voice and the avatar speaks that.

So it's your voice with your kind of body avatar, with your choice of dressing, as well as the kind of environment you wanna place yourself in. I think it makes a great combination for storytelling because it's not limited, so you know you're not physically limited. Say if you wanted to do a Michael Jackson move, we've got a platform in there which takes video, converts it to animation.

So if there's something that you're physically not limited by, your avatar can do it. So you can do a 3-pointer basketball move like LeBron. Or you can, do a fancy tennis move like your favorite tennis player and you can place yourself in, you know, whether it's, it's a virtual store, or you can place yourself inside a virtual stadium or inside your own home, right?

You can place yourself on your MacBook Pro or on a coffee cup of Starbucks and you can do that tennis move. So that's where the storytelling makes it very personalised because the augmented reality gives you that personalisation of your own home, and we think that's gonna make a big difference too, where social media interest intersects with storytelling.

Peyton:

So it really sounds like the sort of exploring, uh, and really personalised and tailored experiences to, each individual person and then being able to share those experiences with friends and family. Um, I know that's a huge part of social media and being able to share those experiences with each other.

Not necessarily, you know, being, you might not both be able to go to a certain place at the same time, but you can experience that, um, together from different parts of the world; that sounds really good. And that leads me on to how does Yologram empower users to personalise their avatars and express their personal style in the digital realm, allowing them to stand out and share their fashion choices?

Aditya:

Yeah, great question. So, uh, like I mentioned earlier, the, um, personalisation happens on multiple fronts, right? So the personalisation could be about how you want your avatar to look, so we give you a little slider, which lets you adjust the weight so you could adjust how your chest, waist, and hip size are so that you get like a realistic body shape of yourself.

And the personalisation could even be about the choices of clothes you have. Not just the color, but you know, someone wants to wear very sporty brand, someone wants to do, uh, someone wants to wear very stylish brand. So all those choices. And also the power of mix and match. So, you know, you normally don't see an Asos mixed with a Gucci or you don't see a, uh, you know, Nike mixed with, Louis Vuitton. We give you the power to mix and match, which typically e-commerce doesn't let you do, right? E-commerce lets you just see, the clothing the way it is and just add it to cart. Uh, we not only let you see it in terms of on your body, as far as the trial is concerned, we also let you mix and match so, you know, you, you could do something interesting, like you could, you could see what a blue shirt looks like with black jeans, and you can see what it looks like with a green skirt. And then suddenly you see that the shirt looks very different with, you know, both the combinations. So that's where we think the whole concept of personalisation is gonna come in. And that storytelling really speaks volumes of, you know, say if, if you were to pick up a sporty brand and you would've placed it in the right kind of platform, say if you bought tickets, uh, for your favorite, uh, you know, game, and then you had the tickets placed on your laptop, or you have it placed on your dining table and you placed yourself, you know, doing a golf swing or doing your favorite sports move on top of those tickets.

It's not just storytelling, which is promoting the event, promoting the brand. It's also about, we also do something called virtual product placement where you know, you can actually deep link into that, click on that avatar and see what is it that the guy's wearing? Can I buy that for myself physically or digitally?

So it's personalisation, not just about your environment, personalisation, but the kind of music you wanna place. It's also about, um, you know, the kind of clothing you put on, and of course how you want your avatar to be. Uh, we've had interesting cases where people who are disabled wanna just see themselves standing completely erect and doing, you know, a salsa dance and, you know, that's fairly empowering and that makes them feel good about themselves. So, yeah yeah, so that's, that's really where we wanna give the power of you, your digital self, to be able to do anything and not physically limited by what your physical self can do.

Peyton:

Totally - and I suppose it really removes those sort of barriers to entry almost as well. Like you say, if for example, you're not able to get to a certain place at a certain time for whatever reason, uh, and you want to explore and you want to see new events and things, you're able to put yourself really in those experiences, um, and sort of maximize those, uh, those opportunities that might not be available all the time to everyone everywhere.

Um, Could you just share a little bit about, uh, the exciting ways digital fashion you think will revolutionise the future of shopping, gaming, virtual try-ons, self expressions, and how individuals can get involved in this trend? I know I've personally seen some really exciting examples recently of, uh, lots of companies sort of augmenting, um, bits of technology, bits of virtual with physical, with clothing, with, uh, toys, things like this.

Where do you think that'll go in the future?

Aditya:

Yeah, I think any, any place that looks forced on would, um, would quickly see, uh, you know, you'd have a hype and then you'd have a die down. So, you know, if you force shoppers to go to a gaming experience, they're gonna do it. But that's not what they do. They're not gamers.

Shoppers are not gamers. Similarly, if you, uh, tell your gamers to go to social media, that's not gonna happen. So we're trying to build a tool that connects. Into gaming, which connects into social media, connects into shopping, and, and it lets you figure out where you wanna go. So you know that that's one way in which I'm thinking it, it may evolve.

And I also think that, um, you know, try-ons is just the first stage. So, you know, you wanna try, wanna see what it looks like, but then you wanna save it because you wanna have that clothing available in your avatar wardrobe because you wanna build content with it because you like the way it looked and it kind of somewhere, you know, echoes your vibe and echoes the way you like, the way you probably dress in real life. Or it could be completely different from the way you dress in real life, but you wanna save that to your wardrobe as well. So I feel that, digital fashion is gonna be more about storytelling in the times to come.

And we, we think that there's gonna be a whole wear-to-earn economy, that, you know, brands are gonna compensate consumers depending on what they wear, whether they're doing it in metaverses. So you can share either in real time by being present digitally at the same time with someone else. Or you could share an experience, record an experience, and I can send it to you.

So I can either send you a recorded video or I can send you a recorded hologram, which you can just, you know, you can just beam in your home of me doing that action with that, you know, with that audio on. So it's kind of that Princess Leia moment that we're able to enable with our app, but, for, as far as brands are concerned, there's an opportunity to be present on those people.

So it's virtual product placement and it's also an opportunity for the consumer to deep link into that and buy that.

Peyton:

Totally! And I suppose, um, just making things as, as fluid and as seamless as possible, especially with sort of in-person, um, experiences. Be it, you know, going into the Adidas store, the Nike store, et cetera, these things, and having some sort of augmented or virtual experience where you can try on a pair of shoes virtually, and then you can buy that pair of shoes in the virtual world, and take it in. And I anticipate in the future a lot of those sort of, again, those barriers, the language, these things will all become, um, really fluid and will just become part of the experience. Um, even if we end up dropping terms like digital fashion, AR, VR, these things.

Um, Gradually, it'll sort of become the new norm almost.

Aditya:

Absolutely. So all, all these, uh, trends or buzzwords we, we hear about today, they're all gonna be invisible. Uh, I, I slowly see AI fading out and becoming computing and automation and, you know, you, you're slowly, we are gonna get tired of saying AI for the next one year, and we all gonna see it's just, Automation, you know, we just wanna automate it.

So I, I, I see the same happening with the Metaverse and AR and VR, and I just feel like either you're just gonna say 3D or you know, experiential or immersive or, that's it.

Peyton:

Yeah, totally, and I think I, agree that a lot of these sort of buzzwords will eventually fade evolved and change like technology does and has and we have seen before.

Um, and that that's a fairly sort of natural process as people decide which features they do and don't want to pick up and keep as well. Um, quite a sort of dynamic process. Could you just share a little bit about your journey into the digital fashion industry and the highlight essential skills and opportunities available for those that want to join and do something similar in this sort of digital fashion world?

Aditya:

Yeah. So the digital fashion world is, is, uh, very interesting and very evolving at the same time. So I think that, um, back, uh, in the time you took up a track, so you chose which software you worked on, so it could be Cloud 3D or Browzwear, or, but now I think with the, with the rise of AI, I think what's gonna happen is each one of these tools is just gonna have a little text box where you type into it and it just puts things on.

So it's more about. Having your fundamentals correct. So if you've got a good background in fashion or you have an interest in fashion, it'll become increasingly easier. And it's gonna be a, you're probably gonna have, eventually you're gonna have one text box, which lets you choose, hey, which platform do you wanna push this text into?

And we're gonna generate the digital fashion for you. So that's how I see it evolving. It isn't that way as of now, but um, it still requires. Uh, a good knowledge of 3D in terms of knowing textures, in terms of knowing how to apply materials onto clothing, and also a little bit about simulation, about how cloth moves and, you know, how, how to do draw stitch lines and all that.

But like I mentioned earlier, it's all about automation, right? So as, as a lot of this gets repeated and it's the same process all over again, the new versions are gonna be more about just: either speaking into a text box, speaking into a mic, or just typing into a text box, and this stuff will happen. Uh, it, you will stand out from the crowd if you do have a good eye.

If, you understand what is it that's trending, if you do understand what is it that the Gen Z is really looking out for? And of course, you know, the usual, uh, tenets of creativity, which includes, uh, you know, things like, um, customisation of apparel, uh, seeing what, what matches well with what. And, and, you know, the, basics of, you know, understanding style. I think that's something that's, uh, fundamental that, that will go a long way.

Peyton:

Totally. And it, it sort of almost sounds like, um, As we progress, we'll be able to automate more bits of it and make more sort of apps and programs that can take the sort of heavy lifting and the weight off and convert more of the control, the creative control back to the, the folks that are making these experiences and these products and virtual products as well.

Uh, I mean, as we have seen in other industries and in the past, throughout history, sort of taking the load off a little bit, and allowing computers to do some of the heavy lifting. Um, and then sort of almost helping, letting computers help us be creative as well, um, sort of generating those ideas, um, et cetera.

Aditya:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, because we're in an increasingly digital world, the input we give, the computer is digital and the output is digital as well. So what happens with that is that, uh, you can just trend all this into an AI and say that every time I tell you a 2D pattern of clothing looks like this is what I want 3D to look like.

You just give it enough, you give it enough samples and it's gonna be able to generate it based on what you give it in real time. So, so, uh, rather than focusing on the tool that you wanna build, you wanna focus on the elements of style and the elements of fashion. And that'll probably give you, you know, give you a longer way, it, like you mentioned, it probably may not be called digital fashion anymore, just could be called generative fashion or just maybe called. You know, fashion and, and as long as you have a keen interest in that, I think you're covered.

Peyton:

Cool. And I just wanted to ask finally, um, how does Yologram integrate social media and user generated content into digital fashion and the landscape around that?

And how do you collaborate with brands to bring their apparel into the metaverse space?

Aditya:

Yeah, great question. So, uh, I, don't think we wanna be pulling, uh, social media into digital fashion. We're doing the opposite. In fact, what we're doing is we're taking digital fashion, uh, giving it a lens of, you know, user generated content by letting users uh, play around with it, mix and match, and then push it into social media. We're also not prescriptive of where you wanna post it. So we let you generate the experience, so I, like to call it an experience because you're creating a digital version of yourself, then you're animating it with the, the kind of animations you want, and then you speak it in with your voice, and then you place it where you want.

So you could place it either in augmented reality or virtual reality. And then, you have an experience on whether you wanna record that as a video or you wanna record it as a complete 3D experience that you sent to someone else? The, reason why we're not focusing essentially on sharing on the metaverse is that the metaverse tends to get lonely. Because many times you go to these virtual worlds, there's billions of square feet of virtual worlds out there, and you hardly see anyone out there. So rather than, you know, doing the heavy lifting of trying to tie up with someone and say, hey, let me meet you at this time, on this date, in spatial or decentral land.

Rather than that, if you just record something and send it to someone and they can see it when they want, whether they wanna see it in, uh, 3d, or they wanna see it in 2d, it's totally their choice. So we are not prescriptive on how, how these experiences should be shared. We do allow a real time experience where two friends can kind of beam each other into their living room.

So, you know, if I'm speaking with you, I, you can dress yourself up in, the kind of fashion you want. And then, um, You know, I can place you in my living room and you can place me in your living room. So it's kind of like having a FaceTime call, but it's a real life realtime experience where, you know, we are seeing each other in each, other's spaces.

So that's the kind of thing that we're, these are kind of use case that we are kind of being prescriptive about because we think it's too much work to allow this to be completely built out by itself. But everything else, we're kind of being open, figure out where you wanna push it into, whether you wanna create an avatar and push into a game, we give you that.

Whether you wanna be able to, you know, uh, share to a different, uh, virtual world or metaverse, we give you that experience as well. And if you want to just record in 2D and share it to Instagram, we'll let you do that as well.

Peyton:

I suppose if you, a, a good way of building, um, products is sort of adding features and letting the users decide what it is they want to use, how they want to use it and how that they can make that interact with friends. Um, and that becomes sort of a very effective tool, especially when you're trying to integrate it into things that people already use. Uh, and really let the sort of users become the, the judge of, um, what this should look like, uh, and build it very fluidly with them.

Fantastic! And from what I've seen so far from pictures and I've, had a quick flick through your website. Everything looks really, really exciting so far, and the direction, is really sort of inspiring. So I'm really excited to see how this can be iterated on, uh, in the future.

I just had one final question for you. Um, what is your most sort of exciting thing about the future of digital fashion? Uh, and lastly, where can we connect with you? Uh, how can people get in touch? Your LinkedIn, your website, um, and sort of what are you thinking and what are you planning going forward?

Aditya:

Yes, I think that's a great question.

So, um, you know, when we started back in 2021, uh, almost two years back, uh, it was really, we were really limited by the creativity of the users, right? So we said, let's give you the power to, you know, mix and match backgrounds, mix and mix and match clothing, you know, mix and you figure out how, figure, how you wanna, you know, match this stuff up.

Now I think that, We are not just leveraging the creativity of every user out there, we're also leveraging the creativity of generative AI. So what I'm excited about the future is that, uh, you, you're just gonna be able to, you know, type into a text box and say, I'd like to place myself in a stadium, but it should look like it's on Mars.

And you'd get a background, which shows up like that. I'd like to wear, uh, a shirt that looks like balloons and it's gonna be able to do that. So that's what I'm really excited about because it's not just... So if in the, if the first version was about unlocking creativity by saying, hey, you're not, It's not what you're physically limited by, it's what you're digital, what you can digitally do.

I think even the, the creativity can be up one level by letting creativity or creations get unlocked by just the power of thought, right? So you, you're not gonna the, power, the power of generative AI is just think it and it happens. So you think of a certain kind of clothing, think of a certain kind of background, think of a certain kinda experience, and we should be able to pull that into the app and say, hey, you can do this and you can share it the way you want. So I think that's, that's the next iteration we are excited about. And, uh, there's definitely the tech out there that we can leverage. It's just trying to do it in a meaningful way where it doesn't break everything, but I'm sure it's something that we can do in the next year or two.

That's what I'm excited about the future. And in terms of reaching me, I'm most active on LinkedIn and I'd be happy to share my LinkedIn credentials and, uh, sorry, my LinkedIn contact. And, um, uh, I'm not, uh, very active on Instagram, but I do have an Instagram ID, which I can share. And, uh, yeah, you know, you look us up: "Yologram". And hopefully we should be launching very soon and we'd love to sign on as many schools and as many students who wanna come play with the app.

Peyton:

That's perfect. Well, thank you very much Aditya for joining today. Really exciting, uh, visions of sort of where this technology can go and where we're looking sort of a glimpse into the future almost, uh, really, really exciting to see how this evolves.

Thank you very much for joining.

Aditya:

Thank you very much, Peyton. I really enjoyed this, I think was a wonderful experience and a big thank you to the hundo team as well.

Peyton:

Sounds good. Thank you. Take care.

Art Meets Algorithms: The Future of AI Fashion with Kenn Mayfield and Nadiyah Rajabally
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Digital Fashion
Step into the exciting world of AI fashion with Kenn Mayfield and Nadiyah Rajabally! Discover how digital fashion blends art, photography, reading, and gaming. Uncover how high fashion designers rock web3 tech! We'll dive into ethical AI considerations and team-ups with textile artists. Get ready for some awesome digital designs and valuable advice for aspiring creators in the digital fashion world!
The following is the transcript for this video:

Nadiyah:

Hi everyone. I'm Nadiyah, head of marketing at hundo, and we're here for our video on Art Meets Algorithm, the future of ai. Fashion. I'm here with a lovely Kenn. Kenn, do you introduce yourself?

Kenn:

Hello. Thank you for inviting me here today. My name is Kenn Mayfield. I am an XR founder of Xyris XR Design, and I create, uh, now 3D Digital Worlds.

But I come originally from a, an art and drawing and photography background. I then delved into coding and into video editing and some 2D design, and now I've find myself since 2020 in the digital world, uh, creating worlds for people to gather, to talk about art and music and fashion and science as well. Thank you for inviting me. 

Nadiyah:

No worries. Thank you for your time in joining us. Why is due to fashion important to you and how did your college lead you into this field? Also, your interest is in art, photography, reading, and gaming influence you, especially into the AI fashion.

Kenn:

Thank you. I went to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design on the east coast of Canada.

And that, uh, used to be nestled in and around historic properties. Uh, there I was alongside textile artists. My focus was in drawing and photography at the time, but in the same building were people who were working with, uh, fabrics and felt a design and fashion and art. Independent of fashion within fabric.

When I went to study my academic credits, these were in French and uh, music theory that brought me to Dalhousie University and put me alongside the theater group, uh, which are fun, great people to be around. And of course, that also included costume designers. And as a result, in Halloween, I had the chance to rent some garments from the theater department and knew a guy who created latex masks.

So the ability, whoa. Is that a leopard? Yeah, it's a lion. At the time I was really into a TV show Oh. And had long hair, so I worked for that. Oh yeah. And, uh, of course borrowed a few Shakespearean or opera, uh, costumes, like a vest. Uh, some. Shirt, uh, some boots and so on. It was a great time. Yeah, I wore the mask the entire night and, uh, no one knew who I was at the time until it came off.

And it's good for the skin too, actually. Yeah. So, um, That gave me, of course, an initial experience in what it's like to wear a costume, to wear something creative that sits around you or sits around you on a human form. Now, two aspects of this kind of artistry that I appreciate are architecture where people live inside a designed space, and then fashion where people live inside.

Something that communicates their personality or their feelings or their, um, viewpoints. And with high fashion and creative fashion, it's just irresistible to want to jump into that and explore it. Cause you're dealing with fabric, you're dealing with form, you're also dealing with, uh, the sense of the fabric, how it feels and how it flows.

In space and in different environments. So of course now we have generative art, which allows us to cycle through a lot of different ideas very, very quickly. So, uh, my art and photography, uh, life drawing was my initial art form and we'd spent a lot of time doing, Initial gesture drawings that were very quick, uh, drawings where we wouldn't look at the paper but look at the subject and outline them in that way.

And the human form is, uh, a constant and endless source of communication and style, uh, and shape as well, which is another thing that digital fashion can really respect. The different shapes and the different tones that we are as a, a human family. And that's really attractive leading into photography.

Then you can start to bring out the best in both the subject. And the fashion, the costume with how you arrange the environment, the posing the light, and so on. So they're a very natural fit. Now I've been a bit shy. I've done a lot of architectural photography and I've done some person photography, so I'm missing an opportunity there.

If you look for Alfred Muca, uh, if you look for Muca as an artist, he actually used photography as a tool to stage his paintings and so much. It is the same with now, uh, generative ai. 

Nadiyah:

Ah, sounds so cool. Yeah, there's a lot happening with generative AI and obviously a lot of people using like mid journey and stuff.

Um, so that No, that sounds really cool. So how do you see high fashion designers leading the way in public experiences with spatial web three, web three technologies? 

Kenn:

When the pandemic started, I was in Prague at the time and wondering what to do next after coding, because I had coded for 10 years and, uh, wanted to move back to a visual medium to start answering or asking the big questions of life.

So, um, high fashion is what I noticed most. It seemed like they were the leaders in terms of. Creating a presence at the start of the pandemic in web three. A lot of really experimental design was finding a, a popular audience, uh, people who may not have considered it in real life, uh, high fashion in real life are we are now seeing it in the digital form, in gaming and just.

By themselves in terms of digital walkways. So I think that it's really encouraging and I'm really proud of digital fashion for leading the way and bringing that experimentation and colour and completely, almost sideways point of view from what we were used to, uh, as the web. Into the start of things, especially during that time when there was a lot of confusion and a lot of, uh, uh, staying at home.

So digital fashion, from my point of view, infused the promise of web three with their experimentation and their style and their colour, and the wildness of it all. What a great beginning. 

Nadiyah:

I agree. It's very beautiful. Even like the things that you post on LinkedIn, the images and the different garments, they're so, it's like.

It's like a different world. It's like you don't think it's real and it's just so cool having people being able to like, obviously purchase them and actually wear them online in different metaverses and gaming and stuff. So I think it's really cool. Um, what ethical conditions, considerations should fashion professionals keep in mind when utilizing AI technologies in the industry and how can they balance creativity, personal expression, and responsible use of ai?

Kenn:

That's a really important question. I recently participated in a pre-accelerator out of Estonia for people who were involved with digital arts, and we talked about the legal considerations of ai. Now, I'm not a lawyer, and this isn't advice, but what I did learn is that, um, AI is built as we all know now, on a sampling of what's available on the web.

So it's very possible that you may inadvertently, uh, copy a style. Uh, through AI of an established artist, and that could lead to questions of copyright. Uh, the other side of the ethical question is who are you representing in your images? Um, I come from a particular background, myself and other people come from other backgrounds.

And as a photographer, I like to explore the different styles and shapes and, and tones that we are, the different heritages that we bring. As part of a human family, but I also have to be cautious of how far I step into that if it's outside of my own particular vocabulary or experience, because every little detail is a communication of an idea.

So ethical considerations of AI as a. It comes into fashion, have to do with representation of culture, and also representation of an established artist's, uh, style, both of which may become inadvertent, uh, questions in creating, uh, digital fashion. Now, a third part of the ethical question would be how does it relate to real world fashion and particularly fast fashion?

But I think that digital fashion is a question or an answer to that particular, uh, issue. 

Nadiyah:

Yeah, there's a lot around it. There's a lot of ethics around it and like what's right and what's wrong, and exactly like you said, like what if you slightly copy a style of someone else and like it's like seen as copyright.

So yeah, it's very hard to know. Um, so how does the collaboration between AI design and real life textile artists and tailor's enhance the creation process, considering their expertise in fabric garments fitting and template creation? Um, for example, marvelous designer. 

Kenn:

Yes. What I've learned myself. Now, my background, of course is in, uh, drawing, photography and 3d.

So what I've learned in working with real text, real life textile artists and tailors is our questions about how the fabric, um, falls upon a person's frame. And I've seen these artists will begin to feel the fabric and fold it over and see how it drapes. In different ways, and that familiarity with fabric and how it sits on a human form is, uh, vital to creating digital fashion.

It's not absolutely essential because in the 3D world and in high fashion, you have the ability to experiment. With altering the human shape or the silhouette. Um, although of course a person is still wearing them in those conditions, so it needs to have a practical aspect. In digital high fashion, we can experiment more, but it seems to me to be most successful, uh, when traditional principles of how clothes are put together are, um, pursued.

And Mar a marvelous designer does this really well because it allows you to create fabric and costumes. In the same way that, uh, a seamstress would create a template with front pieces and back pieces of fabric that would be sewn together. And in marvelous designer, you can sew them digitally. And that's important because when the physics of the costume are applied, the, the digital fabric will drape itself.

On a humanoid form, uh, more accurately. So, the oath style of creating costumes is to be, to try and, uh, shape in all of the individual wrinkles and folds of a fabric. Uh, and also by the way, uh, studying classical art will show you a lot of experimentation from painting and drawing of how fabric falls based on real life.

In Marvelous Designer, it uses physics and collisions with a humanoid form to drape that fabric in realistic ways and have it move in realistic ways. 

Nadiyah:

That's so cool. Do you have some images that you could show us of examples?

Kenn:

Yeah, I'd be happy to. So here we have one of my first ideas, uh, for digital design, for digital fashion.

This I call the ameral dress. It's based on a somewhat smoky, amorphous. Coalescing shape that you can see is still draping on a human form. And there's a great contrast between skin in this case and the dress itself with accents in the chest area and along the yarns and on the base of the skirt. You can also see how AI has rendered the folds in and around the waist area.

And all of this conveys, uh, the style of fabric. It is that it's, uh, slightly light. Um, transmissive fabric that'll transmit light, uh, but with some experimentation and strangeness as well.  

Nadiyah:

It looks so cool. So how long did it take you to make this?

Kenn:

This went through, I think about 45 iterations because there were questions of posing, uh, questions of style, how much of it was dreamlike compared to which areas were sharpened in focus.

And here it began to approach a composition. That began to seem both intriguing, but also communicated the beauty of the dress and the subject. And then 

Nadiyah:

what type of tools would you use to create this? Would it be Mid journey or, 

Kenn:

Yes. These were created entirely in Mid Journey, so that would be, of course, text based.

You enter in a prompt and it'll do its best to represent that as an artistic instrument and as a way to shake up ideas. And create new ideas that may be outside one's habits. It's absolutely fantastic. So even if I were concerned about copyright, I could use this image to do a reverse image search online, first of all to see if it closely resembles established artists.

But then I could also use it as inspiration for sketching out, uh, a modification of the design. Or building it into marvelous designer, for example, or working with, um, a textile artist who uses computer tools to create that. So becomes, uh, an almost penley inspiration, which I really liked about the early, mid journey.

Nadiyah:

Yeah, it's, it's so cool. Oh wow. 

Kenn:

This one is more recent, as you can tell by the rendering. And I was working at combining biological forms with humanoid forms. Now in my background, I've kept a marine tank at home. I'm interested in biomimicry. I've worked with scientists on collaborative 3D environments, and I wanted to see how this could be applied to fashion even through the randomness of mid journey.

And here we have a different style. It's very much as part of the prompt, uh, a model. Uh, presenting yourself and, uh, she this lovely, lovely, uh, coffee shaded skin, beautiful hair contrasting with the shape and the colour and the impression of texture of the headdress. And one could begin to say, well, this is more high fashion or stylistic, because it's very unusual.

Is the dress alive? Uh, is it mimicking something that's alive? And it has this dialogue between the wearer. And, uh, the shape itself that begins to become interesting. So here we begin to explore some bioluminescence as well, uh, once again on Coral. And this is mixing in a bit of Iceland. And Iceland of course, is famous for its, um, magma based or lava based, uh, geology.

So we have this really dark environment, slightly stormy environment with out of place, almost tropical alien style, uh, corals. And is this symbiotic with a human form? This is probably the most avatar, like, and I'm most fond of this because it reminds me of my marine tank with my clownfish and pistol shrimp and, uh, corals and it's micro flora and fauna as well.

And here you can see, uh, how it could possibly drape on a real human form in terms of the spreading of the skirt, the strange combination of almost infused organic shapes. And then this interesting kind of overlay. Of the top piece on the shoulders and arms here again, we're exploring the underwater theme.

And it's something that's a little bit out of a fantasy novel or out of, uh, heritage folklore. Is this a presence underneath the sea? It's also slightly dangerous because the question becomes, why is she under the water? Is she commanding the water or commanded by it? 

Nadiyah:

Um, so can you discuss three or more of your favourite digital fashion designs highlighting the dimensions of light, dark beauty, and presence?

I know that you. Touched upon on your images, but is there some more we can go in more detail about them? 

Kenn:

Sure. Thank you. I'd be very happy to. This was one of the first images I created, and this was on an earlier version of Mid Journey, which was almost more painterly and experimental and less, um, uh, restrictive in style.

It was less realistic and more. Um, atmospheric and imaginative. So I called this the feather dress and I was able to create, uh, a small narrative based on different iterations of this at the time. And it was a relatively small prompt, but we can see here it has a mysterious cloaking style, uh, presence to it.

And something that's almost a little bit. Angelic or otherworldly and perhaps some of the best art combines different nuances of what we feel. On one hand, it seems slightly comforting. It seems comforting because of the gold colour, um, the warm ambience, the feathers which we can associate with friendly things like birds and, uh, other creatures.

But then you also have this. Mysterious face that you can't quite see that appears to be looking towards us. Uh, so now we ask, is it a friend or is it a, a foe? And having that ambiguity in the design, I think makes it more worth talking about. And in the background, it has an almost photographic, hand painted style background with a few random pieces as well.

So it becomes dreamlike and flowing, but yet could still be built in real life as a, a real cloak with how it falls. Around the human frame. Which one's your favorite one? Uh, I think, oh gosh, I have three favorites for different reasons. Um, the Emerald Dress, because it was the first see the feather dress because here I began to see there might be a possibility for creating real art or real narrative.

And then the, um, biomimetic or the biological style dresses, because they fuse. Natural world and human made fabrics and begin to perhaps, um, evoke questions about our place within the biosphere and the diversity of the biosphere. Plus I miss my fishes as well. 

Nadiyah:

So can you see how we could use these to create real life clothing?

And could you create this for digital fashion world and in with physical garments, like how do you think that we could combine the two and brush them together? Or do you think we can or. Do you think we can? 

Kenn:

I think that's the most interesting question because we talk about interoperability of digital fashion between Metaverse worlds and now we're talking about interoperability between the digital world and the real world, uh, which is a fascinating concept.

One leading to the other. Uh, we know that AI has promoted new ideas. In terms of manufacturer, in terms of, um, new compounds, uh, that people can use. And I wouldn't be surprised if AI is already on the way to creating a real world digital print. I know that it can be used to create, um, digital garments with an overlaying silk screen, for example, or particular weave.

And this gets to the perimeter of my experience with, uh, Digital design. I would love to speak with a, a real designer. So my perspective is, yeah, I think that's entirely possible. Um, is the computer set up to a loom? Can a, uh, binary brain creates instructions for a digital loom to create this? Can an AI suggest a different compositions and materials to use?

Can that be infused with fiber optics as is done now through a manufacturing process? And the organic shapes are an interesting question. In this case, we think, well, the organic shapes would be best created by hand using hand materials. But what if we consider in a science fiction sense crossing over to creating biological forms?

Would those then be alive and attached to address? What are the ethics of that as well? So I think that, yes, eventually. Being able to bring a address from the real world to the digital or the digital to the real world, I think is the ultimate in interoperability. And if we think about imaginative, uh, novels that I've read about changing one's own dna, would we then be able to express these materials from the human form directly?

And it gets into stratospheric, uh, imaginative ideas there. 

Nadiyah:

Yeah, no, it's really cool. I would love to, like I said, I would love to have one of your dresses in real life to wear. Cause I think they're so cool. So I'm hoping one day can happen. Um, to switch up a bit, how about for brands that are obviously in the retail space, um, fashion brands, traditional fashion brands, how do you think that they could incorporate digital fashion?

Cause obviously at the moment, I feel like a lot of traditional brands haven't tapped into space yet. Um, obviously with the whole Web three Metaverse, a lot of, um, bigger brands. I had a more expensive luxury brands tapped into like NFTs and like Roblox and Fortnite. But how about like smaller brands and other brands?

How do you think they could. Join and get involved.

Kenn:

I think that smaller brands and individuals and small, uh, groups and teams actually have the advantage here. My suspicion or I expect that established brands have the audience, uh, like a real world gallery. Having that no notoriety or that knowledge of one's name in everyday households is great advantage.

And I'm sure that, I would imagine these companies at best would have an experimental arm to see what could be done in this digital world. But I'm a biased towards individual designers at the school and college level and above because that's where the innovations happening. That popular fashion is often followed real world fashion, uh, not the other way around.

So I think that, I like to think that the upcoming generation of designers. Are the ones who are going to write the vocabulary of digital design, who will find the ways to manufacture it? Who have their voices heard? And their identity heard in a way that's really immediate and emotional and visual and almost musical, uh, in its manifestation.

Nadiyah:

Definitely. I think it's definitely a space where a lot of creators, new creators, young creators, are coming to this field as a place for them to express themselves, and I feel like they can take advantage of that and. Do designs that they feel they wanna show the world. And like you said, like how you, similar to you, you, you love the ocean, you love sea life and animals and that's what you are doing with your artwork and using AI to help boost that.

And I feel like a lot of people that, don't know much about this space obviously, which is why we're doing this video. I feel like a lot of people can learn from this and start doing things on their own if like, they can use AI to help boost their creativity as well. So I feel, yeah, can't wait to see what happens.

Um, so what advice do you have for aspiring digital fashion creators who want to make a meaningful impact in the industry and prepare them with the right vocabulary? 

Kenn:

Hmm, that's a wonderful question. What comes to mind immediately is it really is important to study the traditional means of creating dresses, uh, starting with a sketch and working with a very loose pose, exploring, um, fabrics on the page, and then exploring them near life to find matric fa matching fabrics.

Define matching fabrics to see how those change in terms of shape, how gravity affects them. Uh, I think it's also very important to delve into the history of style and fashion, which is, uh, as old, uh, um, a venue as anything else that people have had an advantage of. We've always, uh, decorated ourselves and we've always accentuated our silhouette and our shape and our status, uh, based on, uh, clothing.

And many people do it extremely well, and the outliers for whatever these may be, are the most interesting. So, um, Study the traditional means of fashion and how it's made. Study fashion history. Get to know materials because it's very tactile process, and then begin to explore with that knowledge, the very easy to approach ai, text to image prompts that we know now, and then see if that can feed back into your experimentations with placing this on a human form.

And then maybe also express it and explore it in the digital space with avatars. It seems to me that this can increasingly become a means of both income and also ownership of what you design, uh, in the digital world. So I look forward to seeing what will be created by your generation and your people in this environment.

And that's my advice. There's a thousand or thousands of years. Of history to de delve into and seek inspiration from. The greater your vocabulary and knowledge, the better your images will be.

Nadiyah:

When you talk about, obviously we've spoken about AI using the journey, um, the tools I wanna dive into when it comes to sharing.

So obviously we talk about ethical considerations. So as a young person that's watching this video and wants to try out their journey, try out their creations. Where is like the best place for them to share them, to get seen? Um, what sort of, um, implications do they need to make sure that they have security wise?

Um, And yeah, what do they like? What would be the steps for them for the process? 

Kenn:

That's a very interesting and important question. Um, as with anything else, the question of, uh, intellectual, intellectual ownership of your design is vital to being able to build your, um, collection, your personal collection.

And there will always be people that want to take that. Uh, or to take your time to create it. So I suggest, um, keeping a record of the designs you create, there may be an opportunity to copyright that as a human, uh, effort in the future. If you create something in ai, there's currently a copyright or legal question.

And again, I'm not a lawyer. This is in legal advice, but I do have to navigate this as everyone else does. If something is created entirely in the computer through generative art, Copyright from the human perspective requires human hands to be involved in the process. Now, I know that you're also interviewing another wonderful, uh, artist who has created her own AI to generate her own images, and she's been able to copyright these as well and produce a book and a publication based on that.

So own what you create. Um, read into the legal requirements and the ethical requirements. Um, are the designs you're creating truly yours? Do you have a direct uh, effect on their creation? And lastly, if you use AI for inspiration and then redraw it and create it in real life, uh, I believe that ownership is yours, but you also have this amazing backstory.

Pr, increasingly an ability to bring that into the digital world. Uh, so there are some larger concerns and it becomes a competition at that point, but you can own what you create. Exposure is an interesting problem. Do you show what you create over the web, through TikTok or through events? Do you participate in digital online events to show your avatar with your costume?

Do you find a real world gallery that people can walk into to see either a costume you've created or, uh, on a screen, an image of what you've created? And these go directly into the age old problem, uh, for hundreds of years of finding, uh, an audience and a venue for your work. And that doesn't really change.

With digital, you have more ability to create your own. Environment and show. In college, we would have, uh, textile students who would show their work. But, uh, in terms of finding and building an occupation out of it, that begins to run into the same problems that real world painters have in terms of finding a patron or a venue.

So, creating your own, having your own shows can help to start, create, create, can help create, uh, a momentum for what you're doing. Cool. 

Nadiyah:

Thank you so much. I look forward to seeing everyone creating their cool AI designs and hopefully seeing you out in the world. So, one last question. What is one thing you're most excited about for the future of digital fashion?

Kenn:

Oh gosh. Seeing the, the riot of imagination and colour and individuality and personhood expressed in a way that people can start to communicate their expressions and their body language through, through motion capture. Easier connections between what AI may create in a 2D sense and translating that into a 3D item that avatars can wear.

How young designers will take these ideas and make them by hand in the real world as well. Uh, I hope that we see a really. Exciting and energising cultural transformation of imagination. Uh, taking us away from, uh, old ideas of how we interact with, uh, fashion and interact with the digital world into this new realm where it's much more alive and expressive.

Nadiyah:

I agree. I really hope that to you. I feel like there's a lot of space for young creators and new creators, old creators to come back and really use a space to their advantage. So Kenn, where's the best place for people to connect to you? Get in touch asking your questions and see your cool artwork. 

Kenn:

Thank you. I'm on, uh, Twitter as xyris Kenn one n underscore. Um, Xr, metaverse XR or Metaverse vr. If you do a search for xyris Kenn with two Ns on the web, I'll pop up there and a muscle on my webpage, which is xyris.Ca, and of course through hundo. 

Nadiyah:

Definitely. Um, I wanna say thank you so much for your time today, Kenn. Obviously we are gonna have this monthly thing, so this is obviously our second, um, event. Um, so please. Follow us on hundo.xyz and add us to your newsletter on our website, hundo.xyz. And yeah, keep updated for more. Thank you, Kenn. It was lovely speaking you today. Hope everyone enjoys the rest of the day.

Kenn:

Bye. Thank you, Nadiyah thank you.

Fashion Fusion: Blending Physical, Digital, and NFTs for a Greener Future with Gayle Harrison and Scott Byrne-Fraser
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Digital Fashion
Explore Fashion Fusion with Gayle Harrison and Scott Byrne-Fraser, blending physical, digital, and NFTs for a greener future. Discover the importance of this convergence for the environment and the young generation. Unveil their collaboration with Graduate Fashion Week and the potential of NFTs in the industry. Exciting digital fashion insights ahead.
The following is the transcript for this video:

Scott:

Hello and welcome. I'm Scott, Bryne-Fraser. I'm the Chief Product Officer and technical co-founder here at hundo. Uh, thank you very much for joining us again today at Career Con Today I'm delighted to be joined by Gayle Harrison, and we'll be talking about. Fashion fusion, blending physical, digital, and NFTs into a greener future.

Uh, thank you very much for joining me today.

Gayle:  

Thank you Scott. Really nice to be here. 

Scott:

Um, could you start by telling us a bit about yourself, your current role, and then we can dive into some questions? 

Gayle:

Yeah, so I'm the founder of a new fashion resale platform called UNTAGGED. So we are trying to get people to buy more secondhand clothes and as I'm sure we'll we'll get into, um, we are looking at how we can use sort of emerging technologies to make that experience much more fun and enjoyable and rewarding for people.

Scott:

Yeah. Fantastic. So what made you take the route into bringing together, you know, physical and digital fashion within UNTAGGED? You know, and can you explain to everybody how that concept works? 

Gayle:

Yeah. So maybe I'll take you back sort of a few steps into sort of why, why I started all this, cuz I, uh, I think what a lot of people don't realise is quite how bad the fashion industry is.

And I, I certainly didn't realise it. So I've, I've always really enjoyed fashion and buying clothes and, uh, I guess I realised I'd got a bit of a habit, a bad habit when it came to buying clothes. I was buying too many, wasn't wearing them for long enough. Um, so I started to sort of consider what I was doing and then, and then started to, I, I sort of ended up going down a rabbit hole looking into the fashion industry and found out some really quite terrifying stats.

So, you know, for example, the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry after oil. We talk a lot about the damage the oil industry is doing to the planet, but we don't really reference, uh, fashion in the same way. Um, and I also found out that there's enough clothes on the planet to dress the next six generations of the human race.

So anything that we're making now is so surplus to requirements. There's enough stuff out there already, and, uh, we just need to find ways to get people to use what's out there much more, um, effectively than they are doing currently. So, So that's kind of why I, I started doing it and I started looking into buying secondhand clothes and I was using sort of going to charity shops a bit and trying resell platforms like eBay and Vintage Depop, all of these.

I just found it a very frustrating experience and wanted to find a way to make it much more fun for people. Um, cuz what we found was lots of people are buying secondhand clothes, particularly in the younger generation. It's definitely, uh, seen as. Is the right thing to do now, but lots of people do it for a little bit and then they stop and, and actually end up going back to fast fashion and, and continuing to contribute to the problem.

Um, so what we want to do is find a way to make it more addictive. Uh, and I I say that in a positive way. Uh, then, then it currently is. So how do you make the experience really sticky for people? So they want to keep doing it? So what we looked to was the gaming industry and. The sort of mechanics that, that games have that make them want you to keep coming back and, and playing over and over again.

Um, so things like, um, Setting people up, challenges to, to complete, um, uh, giving them rewards for doing that. Uh, so things like building sort of a sense of urgency when you, when you, when you do these things. And we've built all of those into our resale app. So it's kind of like a cross between a marketplace and a mobile game.

Um, So that makes it all much more engaging. And, and, and as you do things in the app, you earn points and these points can be redeemed for prizes and discounts with brands who've just signed up a, a national gym partner. Um, you can get money off things. So, so it's a sort of a loyalty program as well. So that's kind of the basics of, of, of the resale platform.

But when it comes to digital fashion, that's a, it's a really interesting area that's, that's very much an emerging, um, space. So I guess, what do we mean by, by digital fashion? Um, cause there are lots of different sort of iterations of, of what it can be. Um, so I think something that most people will be familiar with is, Skins in games.

So it's a huge industry. Billions of dollars are spent every year on buying skins. I, I have a 10 year old son who is spending a lot of money on buying skins in Fortnite and is desperate for each battle pass to come out so he can get the next new skin. So this is, you know, obviously something that we're quite familiar with.

So it can be. It could be that skins and games. But also what's really interesting is it can be, uh, garments that we, we are wearing in our, in our digital lives that we sort of transport around. So it could be garments that we're wearing in the metaverse, or it could be garments that you and I are wearing on this call now, which are overlays to the actual garments that we're wearing, physical garments that we're wearing underneath.

What's really interesting about this whole idea of digital clothing is. From a sustainability perspective, it's, it's fantastic. We're not, we're not using the earth's resources to create new garments. We're, you know, there, there obviously is a, the carbon footprint associated with digital things as, as well as physical things, but much, much, much, much smaller.

Um, so the idea that in the future some of our wardrobe will be digital garments and some of it will be physical garments, is, is something we really want to embrace. So, The long story to, to get to the end of all of that is that within UNTAGGED what we want to do is to give people the opportunity to trade both their secondhand clothes, physical clothes, but also digital clothes.

And whilst that's very much an emerging space at the moment, we really foresee that in the future we will have digital wardrobes as well as physical wardrobes. And why wouldn't you merge all of those together in, in one place? And, and that's, that's the vision that we're building at at UNTAGGED. 

Scott:

It sounds fantastic and I think it's really inspiring to hear about those two different areas being pulled together in a, you know, a very sensible way cuz when you were talking through, you know, the digital wearables, as you say, skins are huge, huge market.

But the thought that I could actually dress myself and have a wardrobe for the calls, I spend a lot of my time talking to people on a screen like this and to be able to. Dress myself digitally and have a wardrobe that I can pick from. Makes a lot of sense. Makes a huge amount of sense because it's, again, it's a representation of your identity, so, And I can see the market for that being, you know, the market for that will be huge, you know, will be huge in the future when the technology catches up and everybody has effectively ar filters that address you when you sit behind your, your Zoom meeting, then the, the potential is massive as well as it is for when, when you go out.

Gayle:

Yeah. And, and it is starting, um, and I have been on Zoom calls where people have been wearing digital clothes or, or digital jewelry actually. So, uh, I've been on calls with people wearing amazing digital earrings and then, Halfway through the Zoom, I noticed that they've changed them and you're like, oh, you've got, you've got multiple things that you can wear dear, and you can just change one.

You feel like it. I mean, how amazing is that? 

Scott:

It's phenomenal, isn't it? Cuz you could. You could change your outfit, you can change, you can change your facial features, you can change everything about you. So it's, yeah, it's phenomenal. The potential for it, you know, particularly, you know, depending on who you're speaking to, you, you could change quite a bit.

My next question was actually going to be about why this is important for the environment, but you've, you've already covered that in that if there's enough clothing to cover the next six generations, then it's pretty clear that there's a massive surplus. Of clothing that's being generated and the environmental impact on that is clearly huge.

You know, clearly huge. That we're driving so much energy into creating so much more of a product that we technically don't need. You know, if we had enough food on the planet right now to feed the next six generations, we would probably ease off farming. So it's, it is amazing to think of that. That's the impact already.

As you are bringing these two areas together, you know, can you talk through some of the benefits you've already started to see, um, essentially some of the issues as well when you're bringing together your physical and digital fashion? 

Gayle:

Yeah. Um, I mean, I think the first thing I would say is, Bringing those two worlds together.

Um, whilst it should be straightforward, and it sounds like a natural thing to do, it's, it's not straightforward. Um, it's, it's still, you know, the technology is evolving and people's awareness of all this stuff is, is evolving very much. And, and as an industry it's changing very, very quickly. Um, but what I would say is that it's a really exciting.

So what we've been doing, uh, sort of one example of what we've been doing is looking at AR filters for wearing clothes. So everybody, I'm sure is, is uses Snapchat. We all know about using filters for our, for our faces. Um, but you can also use those filters to clothe yourself, um, so that that technology is out there.

Um, and. Whilst the technology's not perfect yet, so if you are wearing a digital garment using an AR filter, you can tell, you know, it's, it's pretty obvious that it's a digital garment, and if you move your body, sometimes the clothes don't move quite with you or don't quite fit, fit to you. But that said, it's, it really drives people's, um, interest.

So if we've, we've just been to an event where we've, we've put this out there and let people have a little play with these digital gums through these filters and, and everyone wants to have a go, they're like, oh, what, what is that? And, and they can. They can grasp this idea that they could be overlaying these clothes on, on their bodies in the future, when, when the technology does get there.

So I think people want to do it, and when they're able to do it, they, they will do it, which is, which is really well, it's really fantastic. You know, we, we want that to happen. Um, So that's all the sort of the, the good stuff. I think on the, on the sort of the, the issues that we found. Um, I mean, as I said, you know, first of all the, the, the AR tech is a bit glitchy and you know, it, it's, uh, It's not perfect.

It is improving, but it's, but it's not perfect. So the idea that, um, you could replace physical clothes with digital clothes using that at the moment it's not, it's not realistic. It's not a replacement one, one for the other. Um, what's also quite tricky is integrating a sort of physical clothing platform with the digital clothing platform.

So, What we would really like is if people are, have a, have a, an item, a physical item of clothing that they love to be able to create a, a digital version of that so you can wear it in your digital world as well as your physical worlds. Um, and a lot of the, the digital clothing that out there that's out there at the moment is quite surreal.

And, you know, and that's, that's one of the benefits of the Digital technology is you can create whatever your, wherever your imagination goes, you can create that digitally. And obviously you can't physically, you can't. Physically make things outta fire or mercury or, you know, but you can do that in a digital world.

But I think sometimes people will also want to wear clothes that are just. A bit more normal, a bit more reflective of what they would wear in their physical lives. So we want to enable that to happen. But at the moment, that's quite tricky. It's not easy for if I have a, an item that, a physical item I want to sell.

I can't just create a digital version of that easily. Um, and as a business in creating digital garments, we have to go to specialists to create those garments for us. And, and that. Takes time, and it's quite expensive, so it means it's not yet sort of widely, um, usable. Um, but that is gonna change and we're already looking at things like AI and how we can use AI to help us create these digital garments and, and, and enable anybody to do it.

So, um, that, that will be great. Um, and the other bit that's sort of not really a problem, but, but I guess demonstrates how new all of this is, is, um, The whole sort of emergence of web three, so, The idea with digital garments, we've talked about wearing them with an AR filter. That's just quite a straightforward thing.

But where it gets really interesting is this idea of digital ownership and that you buy a digital garment and you own it and you can transport it around into different. Different worlds, digital worlds. Um, so, you know, a skin in Fortnite is a digital garment at the moment. You can buy a garment in, in, you can buy a skin in Fortnite, but you don't actually own it.

You think you do, but you don't. If, if Fortnite was to shut down tomorrow, your skins are gone and you don't, you don't get to keep them. And you can't take those skins outta Fortnite and wear them on an avatar in a different game. Um, The hope, the, the, the, the, the beauty of, you know, web three is that that will all change and that, that you might be able to transport these digital garments around and use them in different ways in digital, digital worlds.

Um, which is, which is really, really exciting. Um, and again, the tech isn't, isn't there yet. That's a sort of a vision and it's not a reality. Um, but the uptake of, um, this sort of web three world for a, a. Typical person is, is still very, very small. So we've just launched, uh, our first NFT collection of digital garments and, uh, we were at a, a big event a few weeks ago, 20,000 people, uh, mostly young people, um, at this event.

And to own a an NFT, you need a digital wallet. And of all the people, the hundreds of people I spoke to during that event, only one person had a digital wallet. Um, and, and actually most of the people didn't, didn't even know what one was, let alone sort of be able to have a conversation about it. So it's still very, very much an emerging, emerging space.

And, and I'm sure it will move very, very quickly, but that is one of the challenges we face in that, you know, we we're not yet at the point where we can turn this into a mass market thing. It's still quite, quite small. 

Scott:

Yeah, it's interesting, isn't it? Whenever I ask people, do you have a wallet or what's your understanding of web three?

If you're, if you're speaking to a typical crowd, there will always be somebody that puts their hands up, A few people that nod, but the majority of people will be. What's a wallet and why is that the thing in my pocket? And it's interesting, whenever you are working on a project like this, you're actually trying to solve the whole end to end chain.

You're trying to help people. It's almost like in the fashion world, you create the product, the store, but you're also helping people set up the bank account, work out how to put money in it. You are actually helping people through that whole process, which is clearly very challenging for people. And it's, it's a lot of steps to jump through.

Um, I was also fascinated about the, the comment you made about, Being able to see the digital fashion almost anywhere. You know, you, you made a, a fascinat comment about it, it being something that eventually you could wear almost anywhere. And again, with the uptake of, you know, spatial computing with Apple's recent announcements and ar becoming more of a standard feature, I think we'll see it becoming more and more headsets will get smaller and smaller.

You could almost imagine a world in the future where you are walking down the street and there's two views of the world. Does the actual view of what people are wearing. But then there's also the overlaid view, which is the, the view you decide to give to somebody who's wearing a spatial headset as well.

So there's something quite fascinating about that in that true mixing of the real world and digital and how they can converge at some point in the future. Yes, I'm just wearing a t-shirt right now, but if you saw me walking down the street, maybe it has, maybe it is on fire. Maybe it is doing something cool and it's, it's quite fascinating where that could potentially lead us to.

Gayle:

I think it's amazing. I think it's extremely exciting and we, we've seen bits and pieces of that happening, uh, with trainers. Um, so I've seen footage of people in, in New York walking down the street with some sort of headset where they're wearing these just awesome trainers on, you know, digital trainers on top of their actual trainers.

Um, and that, that super cool. And, and what's also really great about it, I think is the opportunity to democratise some of this. So, um, You know, that you, you could, at the moment what we're seeing is digital fashion. It's still quite expensive, but it's not as expensive as the physical luxury item would be generally.

There are some exceptions, but generally, um, so imagine there's this really cool pair of trainers that the physical pair cost 500 pounds. Most people can't afford that, but you might be able to wear the digital pair for. 50 pounds or 20 pounds. Um, so that, that's amazing. Um, and then you trade them. When you're done with them, you come to UNTAGGED and you sell your, your secondhand digital trainers to someone else who, who wants them.

That's, it's really exciting. 

Scott:

It is, isn't it? And. There's also something else about digital where it, one, it can have a sense of history, like secondhand clothing can have a sense of history to it that you, you could start to build in history into a digital item. So you start to understand where it's been in the past and it builds up metadata around it.

There's also something about the attributes that can be given to it. You know, like you can get a, a jacket that's waterproof in the real world. If you get a Fortnite skin, which gives you extra powers, extra armor, whatever it may be, then that ability to take that into the spaces as well, and it do interesting things.

Again, it, the opportunities are potentially endless in terms of what you could do with that garment. It's not just an item that looks nice, but it could do different things in different spaces depending on how it, how, how developers build for it. 

Gayle:

Yeah. 

Scott:

Yeah. So going on to the next question, what sort of skills and jobs do you think are gonna be available?

So in the short term and the longer term, as you say, the technology landscape is changing quite a lot within digital fashion, but when you are looking for people in the short term, long term, what kind of skills are you looking for? What type of roles are you hiring for? 

Gayle:

Yeah, so it's, I mean, it is such an emerging space.

Um, and, and it kind of, at the moment, digital fashion sort of spans two worlds. So you've got the sort of traditional fashion world, um, which still is quite traditional and, and actually. Uh, the capabilities to use some of the, the software required for sort of making these sort of digital garments is, is quite limited in that traditional fashion world.

And then you've got the gaming world where they have experience of building all these amazing things, but they don't have the fashion background. So it's quite interesting cuz it, what we're seeing is lots of collaborations between those, those two worlds. Um, but it does open up a massive opportunity for people who are interested in fashion to, um, To, to change their skillset or to upskill.

Um, so I, I heard somebody say the other day that fashion as an industry has historically been, uh, very elitist. Uh, if you want to become a fashion designer, um, it can be a very expensive thing to do. And even as a fashion design student is an expensive. It's expensive course. I, I, I might, from my understanding, um, but if you were to go down the fashion, the digital fashion route, it, that all changes.

It really opens it up to people from, from anywhere. And so I, I think, you know, it, it's, it's just a massive opportunity for people to upskill in this area. So, from my perspective, when we are doing this, um, I don't have an in-house person, uh, working in digital fashion at the moment. We're, we're, we're a small startup and we have to go out and find, you know, experts in this area.

Um, but I would love it if, if, um, you know, graduates had had learned how to do this and were coming to me and offering up their, their capabilities in this area. I think it's, it's, it's a, it's, it's still quite an untapped area and you could really get, get ahead of the game if you upskill in that. Um, I mean, I guess sort of separate to that from, from our perspective as, as a, a small startup, which I, I think, you know, a lot of people are interested in working in startups.

We're we're early, very early. But really what we are looking at is more of their sort of, um, Uh, sort of different skill sets around, uh, a adaptability and taking the initiative and, uh, having ideas and, and finding out ways to just go and make those things happen, um, which is very appealing, I think. But, you know, working in startups really does give people the opportunity to be able to do that, whereas if you go into big business, those opportunities are much fewer and far between and tend to come when you're a bit further down, down the line.

So, um, When I'm interviewing people to come into, into my business, I'm really looking at whether they are the sort of people that can adapt to change and accept that things move very, very fast and be prepared to do things that might not be outside of a job description. Um, and just, you know, really sort of, um, embrace the opportunity that startup world brings.

Scott:

Yeah, it's definitely a very different world working in startup to working in a big corporate. Um, but it does give you the opportunities you say, to be creative, both from a design perspective but also a technology perspective. And it sounds to me like if there's anybody listening right now who is in education and is playing with this technology and has interesting ideas, you would love to hear from them to find out, you know, what, how they're thinking about it and how they're thinking about what they could bring to that space.

Gayle:

Yeah, and I do actively speak to, to universities. I mean, I, I, I have an academic background. I kind of, you know, I understand how it, how it works within universities, and we are, we are working with a number of universities specifically for that purpose because the ideas are there and people want to get experience.

And, um, I just think, yes, tap me up. I'm, I'm here. 

Scott:

You heard it here, definitely tap up if you have those ideas. So change intact slightly and onto the, the Graduate Fashion week. Um, could you talk us through the process that you went through for your collaboration with the Graduate Fashion Week? From creating the collections, using waste materials, and then developing the virtual collections with AR and the NFT ownership side of things.

Gayle:

Yeah, so it flows really nicely into this sort of working with graduates and universities. So Graduate Fashion Week is a, a kind of an organisation that helps, uh, fashion talent get jobs in industry after they graduate. And they have an event every year called Graduate Fashion Week where they showcase, uh, the talent that's just, just finishing their degrees.

Um, and it's, it's an amazing sort of, uh, you know, event and really exciting place to be. Um, so we worked with them to, to run a competition for final year fashion design students to create physical collections only using waste materials or secondhand clothes. So they were fully upcycled collections. Um, and we, um, then catwalk those collections at graduate fashion week.

So we had a really amazing catwalk show of these sustainable, um, garments. And, and those garments are now for sale on the app as well. So we've kind of gone all the way through. Um, but the second aspect of the competition was to, to select three winners that would see their physical garments then turned into digital garments.

And this was really exciting for, for the students because you know that that's not something they've been asked. To consider before, and actually we asked them in their physical design process to consider what would the digital version of this be? Um, would it just be a replica of the physical thing or do you want something different to happen to it when it's turned into a, into a digital garment?

So, so we ran the competition. We then, we then had a, a judging panel, which crossed sort of traditional fashion. So we had a. Fashion designer who focuses very much on sustainable fashion, a sustainable fashion sort of advocate, and a digital fashion designer to help us decide which of these garments would best translate into a digital garment afterwards.

So we then created those and we created Snapchat filter to go with those. So you go to UNTAGGED Snapchat, uh, channel you can try on those garments. Now they're there, they're, they're available for free. And then the final bit was to then release those garments as NFTs. Um, and that. Also brings the new challenge about how, how do you do that?

Bearing in mind what I said earlier about people not really yet fully understanding this world or having digital wallets, so we then had to find a way to do that that made all of that really easy, almost hid it from people. So we've worked with a, with a partner, um, called Open Format, who have sort of built the, sort of the, the backends for that.

And as you go through the process of claiming your NFT. They create the digital wallet for you. You don't need to do any of that sort of slightly tricky onboarding that, that it can be sometimes. And, and then it's done. And then you have your, you have your NFT, um, uh, there in, in your digital wallet.

So yeah, we've gone through, we've gone through the full, the full process with, with students and now releasing that to, to the general public. Yeah. 

Scott:

That's awesome. And I really like the fact that you've, especially at the end of that, you, you're starting to simplify that process as well of connecting people with the potential for web three as well, because it's, it's, it's taking away that complexity that people actually need.

Uh, it sounds like an amazing project as well. That's. Really touching all the, all the different bases. Uh, yeah. Moving on to the next question. How can digital fashion contribute to reducing consumption and waste within the industry? You know, it feels like it's obvious that it's not creating actual materials that are getting wasted, but how do you see it having a longer term impact on the reduction in.

Physical material that's created and energy that's wasted. 

Gayle:

Yeah, there's a couple of areas. So, so there's the area we've, we've talked about about this. This idea that maybe digital clothes could replace physical clothes in some context in the future. And actually, I. Young people. I, I've seen a, a survey that was done with young people and, and a significant proportion of them could envisage a world where they might buy fewer new clothes if there were more digital clothes available to them.

You know, if you imagine if you're spending 50% of your waking time in the digital world, Does that mean you could buy 50% fewer new clothes? I mean, it, it'd be interesting to think that it could, it could get to that point. I, I would love to think it gets to that point. Maybe not quite that far, but I do believe a significant proportion of our wardrobes will be digital compared to physical in the future.

And actually I don't think it's that far ahead. Yeah. Even in five years it could be happening. Um, so that's the sort of area that we are playing in. But actually from a, from a fashion industry process perspective, Um, the creation of digital garments is really interesting in reducing waste in the traditional process.

So, so one part of, um, the sort of fashion creation process is, is making samples. Um, so someone will design a, a garment then, then they'll make samples of that garment, then they might need changing them, make more samples. And this whole sort of sample process uses a huge amount of, of material. And those samples.

Then sometimes they might get sold in sample sales, but a lot of them are just sitting there as waste. Creating digital garments could, in theory, take out that sampling process or massively cut it down. So even if you, you don't like the idea of wearing digital clothes, the idea that you can use this technology for making sort of physical clothes as well, I think is, is really interesting.

Scott:

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense to, to digitise the prototype prototyping phase effectively and be able to re reduce the number of steps required to even test out what a garment looks like. Instantaneously starts to remove a lot of the potential waste. And as you say, I'm also fascinated by the thought that, you know, one day there might be 50% of your items of clothing are digital and it doesn't seem that crazy.

As you say, we're spending most of our time in digital worlds and hopefully still spending a lot of time in the real world as well, but it doesn't seem that crazy to think that one day we will have. A huge number of outfits and filters and ways of representing ourselves online that are, that are digital as opposed to being physical.

Um, which is really, yeah, it's really interesting way that things could go. 

Gayle:

I think the point about all of it is, It's all, it's all clothes, it's all fashion. And I, I think it's, it, it's a historical thing to try to separate them into digital worlds and physical worlds because it's just, it's just, it's just a way of expressing yourself and th those sort of barriers and descriptions will, will go and will change.

Scott:

Yeah, absolutely. And touching on NFTs again, how, how do you see them impacting the traditional, uh, Fashion world, will it be exclusive to those like yourselves that are looking into the digital fashion area? Or do you see more traditional fashion houses effectively embracing digital ownership, whether it's NFTs or not, but digital ownership of assets as well?

Gayle:

Yeah, the, the NFT sort of area is really useful and interesting, and it's, it is already been embraced by luxury fashion houses, actually, um, excuse me, as a way of authenticating a purchase. So if, if anybody's ever tried to buy, let's say, a luxury handbag on a secondhand site, um, You're always worried about whether it's the real deal or not, and people might still have a receipt for it if they're lucky, or a certificate that came with the original purchase, but often they won't, and you just don't really know.

So then things get sent to authenticators for them to check it, and it's just laborious and not always. It doesn't always work. So the idea that when you buy a luxury item alongside that you get an NFT, which, which proves that authenticity. And then when you go on to pass it on, you've got, you've still, the NFT gets passed on with it, um, is, is really great for luxury houses and, and, and is, is becoming a big, a big, and actually for luxury resale platforms, I think that will be a really, you know, they do the authentication, they.

Get, give the NFT to alongside the physical garment. And then every time that gets sold on the, the NFT gets passed on, on with it. Um, so, so there's that. But then alongside that luxury fashion, houses are embracing the notion of digital, um, Garments to wear as well. So, you know, they're the ones that are at the forefront of a lot of this actually.

So there's been a lot of activity with platforms like Roblox, Fortnite we mentioned already, and a number of other games where these houses are creating collections. They're not transportable, but, but they're still seeing that. They must believe that that ultimately will be, and they're looking at, um, Making collections for Metaverses as well.

So they definitely see it coming and it's great to see that they're embracing it and, and just testing things out. Nobody really knows how it's, how it's all gonna go, but it's great to see that, that they're trying stuff. 

Scott:

Yeah, absolutely. It's good to see the experimentation that's taken that's almost being embraced, which, you know, fantastic to see.

And I guess that leads on quite nicely to my final question, which is, you know, thinking about the future and where experimentation takes us, what are you most excited about the future of, well, digital fashion and that combination of traditional and digital fashion. 

Gayle:

Yeah, I mean it's pretty obvious what my answer's gonna be cause it's all about sustainability.

Um, so for me, if this is a way of cutting down our consumption, Um, then hallelujah. We need something to change. We've got to drive a cultural shift in the way that we consume things, not just clothes things. Um, and I do, I do genuinely believe that digital fashion is gonna help to, to accelerate that and, and make it a reality.

I think the way we dress ourselves in 10 years time is going to be very, very different and much more sustainable than, than it is currently. 

Scott:

Fantastic. Perfect note to end on. Well, thank you very much for talking today. Really fascinating. I'm very excited to see what happens with your business. I think it's really interesting and I think you are on the cusp of some very interesting times around what digital fashion can do.

So thank you very much for joining us today. Amazing. Thanks, Scott. Cheers. Thank you very much. And if you would like, you can also share your socials and your website. 

Gayle:

Oh, oh, I will do so. Download the app that's UNTAGGED fashion in the App Store. We are only on iOS at the moment and our website and um, Instagram is at UNTAGGED fashion.

Scott:

Perfect. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you for joining us today.

Digital Fashion Revolution: Trends, Sustainability, Careers with Isola Zhu, Olska Green, and Albert Marealle
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Digital Fashion
Explore digital fashion's sustainable trends and careers with Isola Zhu, Olska Green, and Albert Marealle. Learn how it promotes eco-friendliness, discover emerging developments, and anticipate groundbreaking transformations in social media, fashion shows, and retail experiences. Get insights into essential skills and valuable advice for aspiring enthusiasts.
The following is the transcript for this video:

Albert:

What up everyone? You're locked into CareerCon monthly. This time we'll be speaking about digital fashion revolution trends and sustainability careers. It's your boy Albert, the social media coordinator and graphic designer for hundo. As well as a character designer and illustrator and an animator as well, and I've got some wonderful speakers with me as well. Would you like to introduce yourselves? 

Olska:

Of course. Okay. I'm, I'm Olska Green. I'm the founder of, uh, one of the first digital sustainable fashion brands in the world, Ecoolska based in Portugal. And we develop, uh, three directions, digital fashion, sustainable fashion, and upcycling. And we combine these spheres and, uh, we create digital, physical plus digital collections. So physical collections with digital twins. And I'm, I'm happy to be here. Thank you so much for inviting me. 

Albert:

I appreciate you being here. And yes, upcycling is really key these days, you know? Yeah. 

Olska:

Yeah. 

Isola:

Okay, so now I introduce myself. Hello everyone. I'm Isola Zhu, so you can call me. So I'm the founder of HGVIS.

So we are a digital, uh, fashion platform which allow everyone to create, create their virtual identity. Up through the metaverse and the reality. So basically we are developing a platform which allows everyone to choose their different customised, uh, uh, digital closest to, uh, express their virtual identity in web 3.

So we are going to blender gaming fashion, and share the social experience together. And cross through matter words and a reality. That's what we are doing right now. So I'm really happy to join today's panel with everyone together. 

Albert:

Wow. It sounds like you're both doing very amazing things, you know, and it's lovely to meet you, Isola, and it's lovely to meet you, Olska as well.

So mic's out to the mic's out to the open. So got a question for both of you, and that is how did your journey to digital fashion start? Who would like to go first?

 

Isola:

Yeah.

Olska:

I started, uh, sustainable fashion and, uh, I just, two years ago, not so long time ago, and, uh, in, in this, um, course I heard about digital fashion first time two years ago.

And, uh, I thought, yeah, it's a vector of ecological fashion, uh, because it's reduce our consumption and lower production. Yeah, it's, it's really cool and a really cool idea because I believe that in five, 10 years it'll be already normal to buy digital garments. To buy digital clothes instead of physical.

Uh, of course we, we, we can wear physical, we should wear, Physical, uh, clothes, but not so much like before. And, uh, it'll reduce our consumption very much. That's why I thought, uh, that, yeah, I launched my sustainable fashion brand and I want to add digital fashion in my sustainable fashion brand because it's really important now to do well and to, to.

No, um, to, to share this knowledge with people and, uh, people should try it more and more and more. And, uh, it's, it's definitely the digital revolution in the fashion industry and they like it very much. And also embrace, uh, creativity, uh, fantasy. And, uh, this is, Uh, like immersive experience, uh, for clients and, uh, for, especially for Gen Z, for gen young generation.

So I like it very much. Yeah.

Albert:

Yeah, most definitely. Like, it's like trying, like to make the book, like trying to like make the best out of the situation in terms of like upcycling and recycling clothes as well. Cause you don't wanna like put like diff, you don't wanna like put all the clothes to waste, right?

Like, cause I hear like topics within like fast fashion, slow fashion. And like I say, I think like sustainability like really helps in terms of like, um, What's it called? Um, like, like helping out the environment as well. Cause I think I saw, I think I saw about an article about like a fast fashion brand, like how much they take up in, like how they put all the waste to clothes in like an amount.

But I can't remember the exact country. I'm not gonna claim it, but like, it really just shows into his perspective, like how, like how important it's to be sustainable within your fashion and like how you can like, try, like help the environment out as well. Yeah. 

Olska:

Yeah, of course. Uh, it's, it's, uh, I think also it's, it should be developing at the same time, upcycling, digital fashion and sustainable fashion.

Yeah. And we should really change habits, uh, for all people. And, uh, people like it really, especially Yeah, young generation like it very much. And, uh, that's why I believe that's, uh, now of. Course fashion industry is changing and, and, and it's only beginning digital fashion, especially. It's only beginning.

And, uh, we are pioneers in these spheres. And, uh, I'm very happy and, uh, I, I'm really very passionate about this and, uh, I am very happy to share this knowledges, uh, with others. And, uh, I believe that more and more, uh, young fashion designers will use, uh, digital fashion for their collections. Yeah. Yeah. 

Albert:

Yeah, most definitely.

I'm happy that you're able to like, share your passions with us as well. Cause like, even me, like I've seen, I must have been Shoreditch it's not too long ago. And I've seen like so many like, vintage stores and like, even like upcycling brands as well. So like, make like keyhole dresses, like up cycling bags as well.

Collage bags, like painting on tops of like re like old bags that could have been thrown away by being reused to like make something new. Like expressing like your, your creativity as well. So it really shows like how, like sustainability has, and creativity has no limits. 

Olska:

Limits. Yeah, definitely. Definitely. No limits. Yeah, no boundaries. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Albert:

How about, how about for you Isola? So how did your, how did your, um, your digital fashion journey start then?

 

Isola:

Yeah, I am. I started the company, it's like, uh, now it's almost like one year. So as like Olska talk about at beginnings with like, um, I see the documentary of the true cost, so I know all the, how to say, um, over consumption cost, fast fashion.

They have a lot of pollution to our planet and people are consuming just because they want to showcase it on social media. You just buy it. It, or it's just be some product in your room, you will never use it again. So also I see the trend of digital fashion. A lot of brands and the designers, they are doing this also like, uh, um, young generation, gen Z, gen Alpha, they spent a lot of time, um, like Robloxs, uh, fortnite, this kind of gaming.

Also, they go crazy for buying skins, you know, the, yes. So I see there is a really interesting space and also for digital fashion, so it's. Like, uh, you can think about everything. No physical limit. Also creativity, so you can put all your imagination into the digital world. Also with augmentative reality. I explore these technology since January.

So first I developed my own small app. So it's like, uh, very, basically you scan on a picture, then you show the 3D modeling and everyone say, wow, it's like magic. So I feel like this cutting, adding not, uh, technique like ar vr really brings like, uh, another layer to digital fashion. So it's more like utility before, like all the.

How to say collections. You just buy JPG, a PNG or a video 3D modeling, so people don't know like how the utility, it's, so I'm trying to, using this kind of new technology. To unlock more and more experience or interaction to people who buy it. Also, why I decide to be a platform. So because I see like, uh, as designers, so everyone, they have different, how to say creativity.

If we bring the joint force together, so it could be a big platform so everyone can express their self with different materials from this designer, different silhouette from other people. So it's more interesting to build a whole universe. Like we put join force. And also I'm really interested in the blockchain technology.

So also in the future, I know like web3 is more like, uh, decentralised, not like the normal economy, like more centralised. So we will try to develop the smart contract, so every creator in the platform, they will get loyalty fee from every user they buy it. So it was. Split the fee equally by the new technology behind.

So that's how I started. And the project still in the, you know, we need to build, it needs a lot of time and a lot of people in the community to support us. So that's how I achieved right now. And I'm really interested in gaming. So, Also, this is like part of our journey in the future. We want to be much more like a cross metaverse cross platform because if you buy one asset in one game and one day they shut down the gaming, the system, all your asset was lost.

But ways like blockchain, this kind of technology behind, if you buy something, you really own it. Even the gaming, they shut down the game. You can still use in your limited skin in another game that will be super cool in the future. Yeah. So that's the idea behind. 

Albert:

Wow. Firstly, happy one year anniversary behind your project as well.

And, uh, and tell the people like what's the name of your app as well, in case they wanna check it out as well. 

Isola:

Ah, uh, HGVIS. Yes. 

Albert:

Yes. And I remember, do you wanna that show mind showcasing us your platform as well on the screen? 

Isola:

Yeah, uh, sure, sure, sure. Definitely. But now we are still building it.

Yeah. I can show like, wait a minute. So this is like our homepage, the first collection that we, digital garment, we create together with Kadine James. So we do the collaboration and it's the first collection that we want to encourage people to, um, how to say, express their virtual identity. So this is the, um, what we are doing.

So we are community driven digital fashion platform. So we want to build. Unique virtual identity in web3 and later we will try to build cross through metaverse and in reality. So this is the second project that we build together. So this is the NFT garment we are releasing with the AR future. And also you can see the avatar wearing it.

So yeah, you can. Scan and experience AR on your phone, and also buy as a NFT to support us later. We will help you like build the platform to unlock more features in the future. And this is like the collaboration we did with Easy Studio. Um, so this is like already done. So when you buy it as an nft, you can wear in reality and later you can unlock more feature with our nft.

So yeah, these are the, um, digital garments that, um, everyone, our community members created. And later we will try to onboard more and more artists and also like, uh, 3D designers if they want to release the 3D printing. So it's kind of like you buy it to your own NFT. Also, you have the 3D printed, um, product later.

Physically we'll deliver to your home. So this is the virtual lab that I told you before. So we want to, uh, onboard artists and let users to how. To create their own virtual identity with different materials, everything together. So we're still building it. Yeah. So these are our partner and everything.

Yeah. 

Albert:

Wow. Look at the future of digital fashion guys. They look so cool. Right. The future of digital. Um, and I'm looking to see how, I'm looking to see how this all turns out, you know, and my question goes out to. Um, to Olska Next, and that is what are some of the innovative ways that digital fashion promotes sustainability?

Compared to traditional fashion practices? 

Olska:

Yeah, of course sustainability and digital fashion, as we mentioned, uh, it's, uh, much, very much because it's reduced over production and our consumption and innovative ways that, uh, before production. You can have votings from your customers, like, like our brand. I have, uh, through my social media, I have votings.

Uh, I, uh, the first step I create, uh, digital garments, uh, or also I use AI majority, uh, for creating digital skins, uh, digital, uh, sketches and, uh, my customers working and I understand. What It'll be better to produce. That's why we have pre-orders. We have, uh, of course, uh, we produce only what people need, uh, be because it's really a very helpful for brand and for also for customers to, uh, and for customers.

It's also very interesting to be like co-creators right before production. So for us, I think of course it's sustainable way of production because, uh, uh, before, uh, usually, uh, traditional brands, uh, produce a lot, and then it's a lot of waste, uh, you know, 92 million tons of textile waste per year. Uh, and it's, uh, it's huge amounts of waste from textile industry.

It's, uh, the second most polluted industry, you know. That's why we should change, uh, these waves of production and digital fashion can help because it's very realistic. It's, uh, now, uh, technology already developing. Very good. Of course, maybe it'll be even better. Uh, but now you can alsotry on also, innovations like ar try on, ar fittings.

And, uh, before, also before buying product. Uh, it's also very good for marketplaces because, uh, you know, marketplaces have a lot of returns, approximately 60% of returns. It's crazy and it's a lot of transport emissions. That's why it's also sustainable. Then you have, uh, er try on before. For buying the product and for customers to use save, uh, returns and from marketplaces also.

It's very good. So of course I believe that sustainability and digital fashion match very much and, uh, yeah, reduce our production. Our consumption. Wait, sorry. Because, because I'm from, phone. And. Yeah. And, uh, of course, uh, it's, uh, also innovative ways that it's customisation and, uh, personalisation because also before production, um, digital twins and digital sketches you can personalise, uh, for customers, it's also better and, uh, also unleash your creativity and creativity of customers.

That's why I believe that it helps very much. Yeah. 

Albert:

Wow. Wow. So you said like, we do like virtual try ons, time to close. I'd like to hear about how does that work? You know? So do you get like an app and then like you try to close through the app basically? 

Olska:

Yeah. Yeah. And I believe that's, uh, all marketplaces, all huge marketplaces will use it.

Uh, because really for them it's, uh, helpful for reduced returns. So I think all, all marketplaces will use it. Yeah, soon. 

Albert:

Yeah, most definitely. I've, I've even seen people already on TikTok and other social media platforms. They're using like innovative ways to like, try on their apps. Like try and try on like virtual outfits or even just outfits, maybe like nails, wigs, hairstyles, eye colors, like makeup, everything.

Like, it really just shows like how, like obviously I just see as like a way of saving money, but. Even like hearing this talk now, like it really just like helped me to understand like how much of a saving to the environment that this really helps with. 

Olska:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, definitely. Definitely. It, it will be develop and uh, in nearest years.

Very fast. I believe in it.

Albert:

Yeah. Yeah. Looking forward to doing it in the stores. Just put your, just put your foot down. Try on some shoes. You don't even have to like, you don't even have to like, worry about like returning them all that and there's no queues whatsoever as well. That's the one thing, and like even if like fitting rooms or clothes, you can just try it on virtually.

Like no queues, no worries about like fitting rooms being closed. Like just be able to just try it on and just go about your day. If you like it, you can buy it. If you don't, then you just go about your day. 

Olska:

Yeah, yeah. Of course, of course. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. 

Albert:

Yeah. And the next question goes out to Isola, and that is how does the integration.

Of augmented reality and virtual reality technologies enhance the digital fashion experience and allow for innovative and immersive interactions with virtual garments and accessories. 

Isola:

So for me, I think there's a lot of like utility and interaction in first like augmented reality because now you can use just a phone, then you can see it, the digital garment, or try on to experience in reality.

Easy for everyone because VR are, it needs the headset. So later after Apple release it, more and more people we are entering into virtual reality. But now I think Augmented reality, it's like most basically everyone can use and can see in our real life. Suppose like now we are in the panel, like we do the zoom, uh, the recording together.

So also with argument reality, I can wear my digital garment. Yeah, you see it's like a utility. When you are having a, how to say, a recording or a meeting with people, then you are so lazy to dress up. So it could be like very interesting for everyone as a use case. Also, like Olska just mentioned. So it helps like, uh, retail, um, you can.

Before you are buying, you are trying virtually to see how it looks also in the in-store. So suppose you are going to like, uh, uh, a real store that you choose 10 pieces and, uh, it takes a lot of time to, you know, try this, try that mix match. If you have a virtual, this kind of mirror you first, you choose what you like, then say, okay, it combines well then.

You go into the fitting room, then, you know, like, uh, then it will be easier for customers to choose. So yeah, and it will like help the store more, how to say, efficiently. So yeah, it's basically like this. Mm-hmm. 

Albert:

Yeah. Yeah, that sounds like real interesting as well, like imagine like if you was able to have this talk in our virtual clothes as well.

Like I could be wearing Gucci, Olska, could be wearing Prada, and then you could Isola could be wearing, like, you could be wearing like Louis Vuitton with, to even like your own brand as well. Like imagine like being able to like, Create your own brand now. Like Olska create her own brand. Even though, even if it's like sustainability, like whole upcycle sustainability brand ran that entire meetings as well.

Like that shows that Wow. Like we can really like, like really switch it up. Cause I know, um, speaking of ar, like I've used, um, have you guys heard of a software called Spark ar? Mm-hmm. Yeah. It's a, it's a virtual, it's an augmented reality. It is a virtual wow. These words are not coming outta my mouth today.

It is an augmented reality app, which allows you to design Instagram filters, whether it be, um, using, um, Like 3D models extract exported from like Blender or Cinema 4D or make it like flat 3D designs and you'd be able to like try it on exports like Instagram as well. Obviously you try it on and then like you can just like use it and many people and it just creates like a trend that people can use.

Isola:

Sure, sure. It's very cool also for like, uh, there's another utility. So you can not only just wear on you, you can have, uh, virtual yourself and you dress it and it stands with you, like beside you, so you can take it with you because virtual, go to travel, take photo with her, everything. So it would be super cool.

Like this way.  

Albert:

Yeah, yeah. Even though this, I don't even know, this app called Hallway Tile. And it allows you to like connect your avatars and also the fashion that you created as well. And you could also have like, you could even like have like meetings that virtually as well, like when you have virtual meetings that you can like showcase your avatar alongside your fashion as well.

Isola:

Mm-hmm, sure. Yeah. Also for virtual reality, so now everyone use a lot of like special, even not without headset, you can also enter in it like I see also, we, oh, sorry. Also, we, uh, organize some events in our virtual gallery. So some DJs, everyone wear their garments and they, we dance and, uh, we have the, how to say, uh, live event.

So without the location, limited virtual reality and virtual gallery allow everyone from every kind, every places from the world to join and to know, um, Like we do some events, celebrate and chatting. Yeah, it would be super cool. Yeah. 

Albert:

Yeah, that sounds so proper. Cool. You know, and this next question goes out to Olska, and that is, What are the latest trends or emerging developments in digital fashion that people should know about? Or any exciting projects that you're working on? 

Olska:

Uh, by my, by my opinion, uh, the latest trend that's, uh, digital fashion go. Through gaming and metaverse and, uh, of course, uh, digital fashion very useful. Not only for physical before productions pre-orders, but it's very useful, uh, for metaverse, for avatars, for example, uh, if you have already your.

Own virtual avatar in Metaverse. Uh, you can now also change your clothes, change your digital skin for your, uh, avatar. And you know that, uh, approximately 50% of, uh, gen Z already. Uh, uh, uh, looks like, um, they, they, they like their virtual avatar, like, um, their personality and they want to express, uh, their creativity and, um, also fantasy through their virtual avatar.

So it's like alter ego, like your alter ego. And even if you don't want to express very much in real life, Uh, you can express your creativity in virtual life. That's why I believe that's the next trend. It'll be, uh, more and more developing through metaverses and through gaming. Uh, because for people, for young generation also, it will be important, uh, to have, uh, unrealistic.

Uh, fan, fantastic, uh, outstanding outlooks for their virtual avatars. So I believe in it. And of course, uh, NFTs, uh, digital fashion shows. We already created three digital fashion shows. We're. Participated in New York Digital Fashion Week, uh, London Fashion Week, metaverse also with Kadine . So of course I believe that, uh, also next trend, uh, I think it will be already a lot of fashion designers and brands who will participate not only, uh, physical runway, but also digital.

Digital, uh, fashion show. It's, um, especially for young fashion designers. It's cheaper. It's uh, more. Uh, also you can, uh, create before, uh, production, this digital fashion show. And you don't need, of course, uh, to install all these decorations. Uh, so it's also reduce waste, uh, because. Offline runway, it's a lot of, maybe also a lot of decorations, plastic, etc, etc.

But digital runway, you don't need anything. Only your computer and your fantasy, and you can create something really cool. That's why uh, we created already three digital fashion shows and for us it was like, uh, um, also sharing our. Values because the first digital fashion show dedicated, uh, also about, uh, sustainability over production, uh, or consumption.

And, uh, we showed in this, uh, uh, show, uh, that in the beginning it was very, very bad situation. A lot of waste. But in the middle of show, everything is changing because people change their habits and at, at the end of show, it's a happy end. That's. Uh, our planet is clean, uh, and, uh, uh, animals, uh, and everywhere and trees everywhere.

And, uh, we can, uh, wear our clothes, sustainable clothes and not harm, not to be harmful for environment. And so it's happen. That's, for example, in 10 years, it'll be only sustainable fashion and digital fashion, and we save our planet. Yeah. So that's, that's, I believe in these trends. Yeah. So. 

Albert:

Yeah. And that sounds so interesting, you know, cause even you're speaking about like digital fashion shows that I went to one last year called In Shorditch in East London called, um, Defy for Doddz' show alongside other the, um, by augmented reality artists names, Doddz.

And this is alongside some of the people with, from hundo. Well, like really like really interesting to see like how it actually works because I've never been to a digital fashion show. I haven't been to a fashion show, like a physical fashion show in years. And like seeing the difference between the two is so striking to me.

Like there really wasn't like that much to do. Obviously there was a lot to do like backstage, but in terms of like the models, they were just wearing white clothes. And then we, all we had to do is like, um, use Snapchat. Cause that's what the software, um, that was like the best way to, uh, use like a, um, wow.

Sorry. Used, um, the QR code to scan the website for the fashion show, which unlocked the Snapchat filter off. And when the models were on stage that we were just recording on this, on Snapchat, but when we actually you on the apps on the outer lens of your own eyes just wearing normal clothes, but when you're actually on the phone sec, they're using, um, you can actually see the costumes that were made for this show as well.

And it's like, wow. It's like, it's really just amazing and just like, Eye catching to see. Is that something that you've like, something that you've like delved into as well in terms of your fashion shows that you hosted? Like just doing like, um, different filters for like different social media apps and like allowing the models to like just wear normal clothes and then walk around in.

Olska:

Yeah, yeah, of course, of course. And also, also our last, uh, fashion show was, uh, under the water, so you can create in digital, uh, sphere, uh, something that's not realistic in real life. So you, you can't, uh, create, uh, runway under the water in real life. So you can create, it's in digital, uh, fashion show. Yeah, of course.

Yeah. 

Albert:

Now, at the moment or in the future, have you got any projects that you're working on? 

Olska:

Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, of course. Uh, now also we try to create with ai, uh, because now AI is very popular and I use AI every day also, and in fashion industry or AI will. Be very, very important for creating also digital sketches and also for creating fashion shows.

So we try to implement AI now and to create something also unrealistic. Uh, so we. We are trying, uh, to do our, something crazy now. Yeah. But of course we, uh, at the same time, uh, developing now a sustainable activewear and uh, also with digital twins for this activewear. Yeah. So it's our project. 

Albert:

I'm looking forward to see it coming to fruition, you know?

Olska:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. We'll show soon. Yeah, yeah. 

Albert:

No worries. No worries. No worries. No worries. No worries. And the next question calls out to. Isola. And that is what exciting transformations and groundbreaking ideas can we anticipate in social media. Fashion, fashion shows shopping and retail experiences as digital fashion takes the center stage.

Yeah. 

Isola:

Uh, and I think there are so many things that, uh, for digital fashion came into social media. So one is like you can showcase on Instagram, uh, Twitter, everything that. Um, like, uh, with their ar everything that you can try on. And one thing that I have a really interesting idea when we are talking with other community members, so like as Brandy can also create these kind of campaigns, so maybe with QR code or.

Like, uh, the gps. So you can deliver a campaign based on the location to just like, uh, Pokemon go. So the campaign will lead people to scan or to develop all the clues that can unlock something like, um, I'd say, uh, final YouTube give, give free, uh, nft or like, uh, something, uh, you can share on social media.

This will be super interesting for brands, also for social media to launch these kind of things connected with digital assets. And another thing is like, um, also you can use, uh, all the digital assets and also on your website. Um, yeah. Uh, wait a minute. So also for the fashion shows, so as you just talk about like Augmented reality, fashion shows with Avatar, you can just like, uh, uh, using the, how to say, you can see it like in front of you.

So it's not only about location, everything. You can participate or maybe do some interaction with all the models in augmented reality. So it creates a different way of like, uh, representing like the normal fashion show. Like you just, uh, walk and see through. Maybe you can do some interaction with all the things or like, like it, or you just buy it.

With the augmented reality, that would be super cool. And also like, uh, one, uh, also for the virtual spaces. So as I talk about, I'm really into gaming, like, uh, you know, virtual reality, virtual spaces. So I think also this kind of, um, virtual asset like, uh, um, digital fashion so you can wear on your avatar and maybe in the future the digital avatar become another influencer.

So you showcase in your virtual places, people like it and they click and buy. So it also can link into the physical item. So I'm just saying like in the future, we won't be only like, uh, just, uh, like social media. We will also have our virtual identity, virtual influencer. So brand can also participate to interact with 2D and 3D.

This. Like more three dimensionally merging everything together. So I'm thinking like in the future, it's not only like, uh, either like, uh, eCommerce. Uh, like this kind of 2D page or like, um, going to totally metaverse, like in virtual gallery something, it's going to be merging together. You, you still have like, uh, traditional things and you have like, uh, 2.5 web, 2.5.

We are talking about this and web three, so it's. Like, uh, different angles, combining the full word, but also with digital assets, you can all pro through the three, three, uh, three dimensionally worlds together. So I was thinking this way and for retail experiences we talked before. Um, brand can also do like interaction, try, um, before customer, customer buy everything.

So it will also be very important for like, uh, um, like we just talked about before, like, uh, the environment and, uh, overconsumption. So it'll solve a lot of problem. Also zero inventory. So produce on demand could be very, how to say, help the brand to cut a lot of, um, shortage, uh, uh, also material costing and help them to organise the brand. A better way. Yeah. 

Albert:

Oh wow. So much to take in, you know, like it really looks like how much of a big difference that digital fashion will make in the future. You know? Like especially that, speaking about like the fashion shows as well, like you think like it'll give like everyone like. Equal opportunity to participate in because, like hear stories about like how the fashion industry can be, especially when it comes to that modeling as well.

So would you say that it gives like many people who may be shy to modeling like a, a chance that participate in then. And like that's what you mean by like the virtual influencers as well, like the avatars being the influencers kind of reminds me of like the board apes, like the NFTs. Cause like everyone was using those as like a sense of like as the avatar profile pictures.

But you can really recognise that everyone's style. So like you can really start to see like a trend, like trend trending changes as well. And did you have any exciting projects that you were working on as well?

Isola:

So we are now working more like, how to say on programming. So as I told, like we want to create a platform which, uh, allow people to customise their.

Garments, so also onboarding artists who participate in this, um, ecosystem like, like digital fashion ecosystem. So right now we are doing this, um, before, like I showed in our website, Official website. There is some like, uh, I create and also some of them are created by our community members. So these also, we are going to attend the next, uh, digital fashion week to, as a showcase.

Also, we want to as a, how to say example to onboarding more and more artists to join our platform to co-create with us together. Yeah. Yeah. 

Albert:

Wow. And I'm wishing you all the best when it comes to the future projects that you're working as well. Like shoot in real life for like people around the community as well.

Like obviously it's like a hand in hand everything. So you get the best out of them and they get the best out of you as well. 

Isola:

Yes. It's like, uh, we co-create and how to say we value each other. So grow together. It's not only like, uh, how to say the traditional, uh, web two world. So we are competitors, so I'm more like, uh, into sharing and we grow up.

We value each other, adding value to each other. Yeah, 

Albert:

Yeah, most definitely. Like teamwork makes the dream work right. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've got got another question, and this is like mic out. It's all open floor right now, and this goes out to the both of you. And that is what jobs are available and what essential skills are needed to thrive in the digital fashion industry.

Isola:

Of course. Uh, 

Olska:

Okay. I can be, yeah. Uh, of course, uh, uh, digital design, uh, it will be very, it's a lot of opportunity for digital stylists, for, uh, digital fashion designers, for creators, for artists. Uh, so digital fashion is. Uh, it's a great opportunity, huge opportunity for creativity, for fantasy. That's why, uh, it's, it'll be a lot of, a lot of profession, new profession.

And, uh, you can see now it's already, um, Uh, start to, uh, already fashion stylist, uh, uh, for example, also before going to shopping or something like this, uh, before, uh, waste your time in shopping malls. You can try all, everything digitally. So I believe that digital fashion stylists will be very popular in future and also digital fashion, uh, designers of course, and, uh, of course programmers.

It, uh, people and, uh, supporting, uh, of course producers who create, uh, digital fashion shows. So I think it's, it's a great opportunity and new professions. And now I. Suggest, and, uh, I even, uh, uh, I, I believe that, uh, also for students, it should be better to start if, if you want to be fashion designers or fashion stylists even for better, uh, to start from digital fashion, uh, because you can try.

Uh, and minimize your budget, and you can try, uh, already to understand your audience, your target audience, and understand what they like. So yeah, I, I believe in it. Yeah. 

Isola:

Yeah, uh, yeah, because I'm also a startup of my own company, so I think in the future there will be a lot of job opportunity in I'd say digital fashion or 3D garments, this kind of area first, like, uh, more and more brands, they are shifting themselves from web two to web three.

So as you see a lot of luxury brand there already. Entering the Metaverse, they need to hire people to like working together in the space. Secondly, I see already there's a lot of like freelancers. They are doing more digital fashion. So also we are platform. So what I want to build is like onboarding them.

We co-work together. Everyone gets loyalty fee. That will be also a good opportunity for freelancer to get, um, have say passive income from their de designs. So there, there's so many opportunity and also there are a lot of studios that which used to be in real life and now. There is like another option you can shoot in digitally, like a digital, uh, use Unreal Engine or U Unity, so everything will be.

Going to digital and also this kind of 3D modeling showcase advertisement will also be passed through from 2D or traditional studio to 3D studio very fast. So I think, um, there's so many things happening. The industry and the whole industry is shifting. So yeah. Um, a lot of opportunity. Yeah, for students and also for people from other areas like 3d, um, how to say.

Other, um, careers. They used to be working 3d. Now they're, they have more and more opportunity to join into industry. 

Albert:

Yeah. That sounds like real insightful. I appreciate the both of you for giving like, many different like, jobs available. Cause like Yeah, like the industry really is changing and we're heading towards like there's never seen that so much technology.

Technological advances that happened in our lifetime before, like everything like moving towards digital, like seeing that ai, like even like supermarkets, like being using like self checkout scans. Now we're going from like traditional fashion to digital fashion, like really help. It really like allows like opportunities, like even for like young people.

It also into tech and fashion to combine both of their love. One final question, and that is, what advice would you give to young people and anyone interested in entering the digital fashion space and making a mark in this exciting industry? 

Isola:

Mm-hmm. 

Olska:

Uh, I advise, uh, of course, uh, to be here. Um, adapted to for

uh, it, it because digital fashion now changing very fast and you should be open to change. So be, uh, adaptable and, uh, embrace, uh, new technologies and, uh, uh, learn. Uh, new technologies. Learn. Uh, Also new ways, uh, to, to embrace your creativity. So I advise to be adaptable in this, uh, fast changing world because new technology also very fast changing, especially with the eye now.

It's very fast changing, so you should be, uh, uh, adaptable. You should be, um, Of course learn sustainability and principles of sustainability, how to reduce your waste. How to reduce your waste, especially through your profession and, uh, how to be, uh, really sustainable not only for boards, but also for your actions.

Right. And of course I advise, um, foster your creativity. Uh, don't hesitate to, to embrace your creativity, unleash your creativity as much as possible. Uh, And of course I maybe advise network and collaborate with others because really, especially in digital fashion, I believe that it's no competitors. So all of us, it's like a huge family and, uh, especially, uh, in this sphere.

Uh, it's a, uh, it's a still small world web3, and, uh, digital fashion is still small and everyone already knows each other and we are friends and, uh, also we can collaborate with each other. We are not, not competitors, so I maybe. I advise network and collaborate with them and to search new artists and new marketplaces or web3 marketplaces, new, new digital fashion designers, etc, etc.

So I think by combining creativity, sustainability, and technological expertise, uh, you will be very successful. So it's my advice for young generation. Yeah. 

Albert:

Those are some real gems that you drop right there. Olska, I remember that guys unleash your creativity and it's no competition. Everybody eats together.

Thank. Thank you Olska. And how about yourself, Isola? What advice would you give to young people trying to enter this exciting space?

Isola:

Yeah, I totally agree with Olska. So for me, I have one extra I want to say just like, because the area is so new, like, uh, everyone in this place have to say we have a vision for future, but from the, this, To the future.

We are all exploring. So don't hesitate to be so I cannot do this. You cannot do that. You just try and we learn by doing the project. That's the way that I grow up by doing co collaboration project. I know this, I know that. I know technology, I know people. So, and we joined force together. That's how we can, um, going forward.

So don't be so afraid. I'm still a student. I'm new. Um, don't know anything about digital world 3D fashion. You will learn it by doing it. So that's my advice for that. Yeah. 

Albert:

Yeah. Remember that guys. Believe in yourself and don't be afraid. And thank you so much for joining our talk today, Olska and Isola, like, how would you, where can, where can the people find you?

On social media. 

Olska:

On social media, yeah. We also have, uh, Instagram, discord, Twitter, Ecoolska. It's our brand. So you can, uh, follow us and see our news, uh, from digital fashion, from sustainable fashion. Yeah. And that cycling. So, yeah. 

Albert:

And how, and how pe, how would people, how would people spell it out? 

Olska:

Yeah, it's uh, uh, you can search Ecoolska, uh, but of course I can send all links. Yeah. 

Albert:

Thank you. Thank you, thank you. And how about yourself, Isola?

Isola:

Yeah, uh, we have a lot of like channels like Discord community and also Twitter. Um, Instagram and our official website. So we are HGVIS. So we also welcome everyone to be a co-creator and build together with us. We value each other. Yeah. 

Albert:

Thank you, and if you guys wanna see some of what I get up to for the My, my illustration and my character designs and my animations, feel free to follow me on Instagram and TikTok, which is Albz Made It, which is A L B Z M A D E I T. And follow us on what we do at hundo at hundo.xyz. You can find us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok as well. And that's it guys. Thank you so much for joining today. It's been a real pleasure to have you both on board. Thank you very much.

Olska:

Thank you very much, Albert. And, uh, thank you very much, Isola, nice to see you again. Uh, I respect you very much also and, uh, hope, uh, to see you personally soon. So, yes. Yes. I, I, uh, I wish everyone and, uh, who listened to us, uh, I wish everyone huge success and, uh, yeah.

Um, to be adaptable for this, uh, fast changing world. Yeah. 

Isola:

Thank you so much for holding this event and talking. So it's really my honor to speak both of you. Both of you. So also we will see like, uh, we drawing force together and shaping the future fashion digital world. Yeah.

Data-Powered Fashion: Unveiling the Secrets to Digital Fashion with Rinat Homossany Perry and Nadiyah Rajabally
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Digital Fashion
Uncover digital fashion secrets with Rinat Homossany Perry and Nadiyah Rajabally! Explore Nak3D's impact and data-driven solutions. Learn data analysis's role in enhancing customer experiences and sustainability efforts. Discover strategies for reaching new consumers, leveraging g-commerce, and shaping the industry's future. Gain insights into in-demand skills, career paths, and personalised fashion experiences.
The following is the transcript for this video:

Nadiyah:

Hi everyone. I'm Nadiyah, head of marketing at hundo, and I'm here with Rinat and we are here to talk about data powered fashion, unveiling the secrets to digital fashion success. Rinat, do you wanna introduce yourself?

Rinat:

Hi, my name is Rinat and I'm from Nak3D. Um, yeah, I've been in the fashion industry for a really long time, and then in the, you know, tech, tech part of the fashion industry, so I'm very excited to be here.

Nadiyah:

Can you provide an overview of Nak3d's role and activities in the digital fashion space and how the company's making an unique impact? Yeah. Uh, 

Rinat:

Well, Nak3d is actually bridging between the two worlds of, uh, virtual and fashion. Uh, what we do, we take, uh, fashion, uh, designs and uh, uh, you know, fashion collections that are coming out and we make them game ready for the games.

Uh, the idea is really not only to convert them, but put the metadata and enable gamers to buy them straight from the game, uh, and help the fashion brands test the collections before manufacturing. So see what's working, uh, see which, uh, uh, combinations are, are more popular or trending. And, you know, this is really to bring a more sustainable, uh, effort into the fashion industry, and it helps the gaming industry have a rich offering for the gamers.

Cool. 

Nadiyah:

Yeah. Super cool. Cause obviously in digital fashion, in incorporate a lot of gaming. Yeah. It's really cool. So how does Nak3d leverage data to enhance their digital fashion solutions and improve customer experiences? 

Rinat:

Well, the fun part about gaming is, uh, when you choose Avatar, everybody chooses their own style, right?

Everybody has their own avatar. Um, sometimes it's not who we really are in the physical world. Sometimes it's like this whole different persona. So, Um, but the cool thing about this is that we don't just, um, buy an item, right? Like we do in e-commerce. We buy a whole look an outfit. And this is a lot of, uh, data that the brands don't have today.

Cause an e-commerce, even in the store, when you go shopping in store or in e-commerce, same, you buy items, but it's not, they don't know if you're wearing them together. But in gaming, in virtual worlds, they know what people are pairing up. So they can understand, you know, what colors are trending now, um, what colors are what not to manufacture, cuz it's not really happening and people are not responding to those collaborations or the, so I think that's, that's the most important part of the data.

It's the metadata behind the creation and behind the, the making the collections game ready. It's not just converting like a lot of, uh, Companies are doing today, it's okay. You're converting it into games, but you have to learn, um, what the gamers want. How are they dressing their avatars? Why are they doing that?

Different demographic, different games. That's a lot of data that is very crucial to really bring a more sustainable, uh, industry and more sustainable, uh, aspect to the fashion brands. 

Nadiyah:

Yeah, definitely. And it's so interesting cause there's so many different styles out there, a lot of creators doing different things.

And with the avatar you can really use self-expression like hundo we use Ready Player Me. And the, each of the team have their own avatar and they obviously express themselves. My one's like got a warrior outfit, so I've got swords and everything, so, yeah. No, it's really cool. That's really cool. Um, how does the analyst data in digital fashion help brands and creators understand which item preferred together in different virtual environments, and how can they leverage with this knowledge and enhance customer experiences?

Rinat:

Well, it really depends on the fashion brand, right? Every game is a different demographic.  Um, if we're talking about Fortnite or if we're talking about, um, you know, there's so many games out there, Roblox, um, those, these are the popular ones. There are also, you know, the ones that are really for gamers that are playing and not really social.

So I think the brands need to understand, first of all, you know, what their demographic is and only then they can. Really understand how, how they can monetize it. So they can see there that, let's say in Roblox, if you have a, let's go the simplest way, right? If they have a T-shirt, so in Roblox most likely will be like with Vans

or Nike or Adidas, right? They will wear it more like sport casual. But if you take it into Fortnite, it's like what you said, it's fun, it's warriors, right? So they will put more like, um, Like more of the t-shirt with like costumes or, I don't know, leather pants or, you know, it could be like with, with the swords, you take it to a different, it's a totally different style.

And then if you go to Call of Duty, maybe it's like more, you know, like, uh, military style or, so this is something the brands can see with different demographics, how people are creating different looks. And uh, this is really strong data. 

Nadiyah:

Definitely. Yeah. And obviously like with brands like, um, Gucci, Burberry, tapping in, you can get like a Gucci bag, you can get like Nike trainers.

So it's very interesting having all those incorporate into the gaming life as well. Um, in what ways can digital fashion be utilised to test collections, demographics beforehand contribute to sustainability effects and in the, in the fashion industry?

Rinat:

Well, you know, one of the funny things is most of the games are very, um, male-centric, right?

Um, and I think one of the reasons is because you don't put any, the fashion industry is not there yet. So think about, I don't know, what's the, I'm thinking about a really like male even, uh, okay. Let's say Call of Duty, right? It's kind of like, it's very hard, like hard game. I would say, but what if you had a Valentino dress there, like a red Valentino dress that you can wear?

You think how many female gamers would go into that game? I would say then exactly. You know what I mean? So think about it, it's like you can really use digital fashion to, to bring in a whole new demographic for a game. Um, you just, you just need to want to do that cuz a lot of the avatars in these games are not.

Females don't feel very comfortable with them and you know, but you can just change it with a bit of bringing digital fashion in and then you can monetize it by, you know, if you're now wearing this beautiful, let's say not Valentino, cuz not a lot of people can afford a Valentino dress, but you know, you can like wear the Valentino dress and then uh, buy it.

I dunno if in Zara, if they have something similar, cuz usually they do. Right? It's not a Valentino dress, but it's similar. Um, not quite similar. Yeah. But yeah. But you know what I mean. I mean, you can use digital fashion to change the demographic of the game if you want to. Um, it's, it's very, very strong and, uh, the gaming industry has to be more open to bringing fashion designs, um, to their, uh, platforms.

And then it will bring a new demographic, new audience, new gamers, and I think that that could be pretty cool. 

Nadiyah:

No, definitely. Like you said, if I could have like a Burberry outfit or Valentino dress, I would definitely play like Call of Duty and everything. That'd be so cool. Yeah, it'll be so cool having like angel wings and everything, having, like, you can see, um, with Ready Player Me, um, they did a collab with Vogue and you could get like vogue outfits and go on the runway and stuff.

And obviously that's more appealing. And me and my colleagues, female colleagues, we really loved that. Whereas when it came to like, um, the more plain outfits, we didn't really like that much. So yeah, I definitely agree, when it comes to you talking about. Having more of a female audience if you have like dresses and outfits and like for big brands like that and especially like young people who are still learning and getting into the space, like they can then express themselves as well cuz there's a lot of young creators out there.

Rinat:

So yeah, I think it's really good, you know, but even with Ready Player Me, that you can wear all these items, but a lot of times, at least in my case, when I play a game and I have this very cool skin, I really wanna buy it. I wanna wear an life. You know what I mean? Yeah. And you can't do it. I mean, it's not possible today.

And with Nak3d, you could actually, you know, buy straight from the game. And that's what we're working at. It's really bringing social media and e-commerce together, colliding them together into games. And I think that would really change the whole, uh, shopping experience in these worlds. 

Nadiyah:

Definitely. So with the rise of obviously digital fashion, the shift towards skin shopping, how do you see the future of the industry evolving away from the physical realm?

Rinat:

Oh, I don't think it'll go away. They're just colliding. I mean, like we said, right? It's a way to test. So even if now you're playing a game, uh, you can wear all these crazy combinations that you would never have the guts to wear in real life. Uh, and your friends will go, Hey, that's pretty cool. So you'll say, great.

So I'm gonna go buy it. I'm gonna go today. You know, I have this lunch, I'm gonna wear it. It gives you the confidence to test things that you wouldn't do in real life. I don't think people will stop shopping. I'm hoping the fashion brands would will use this as a testing round before manufacturing. I think that's a place where it will change the physical realm.

Um, it will give a, a space for the fashion brands to be more sustainable and not just manufacture, but understand the demand, understand, you know, uh, what's trending and only then really, uh, manufacture. So I think that would be an impact. But on us as consumers, I think we'll keep buying physical clothes, but we'll just.

We'll have the opportunity to test things before we buy, so maybe, you know, we'll, we'll buy, we'll shop smarter more efficiently. That's for sure. 

Nadiyah:

Yeah, at one point that you said like, um, shopping more smartly and being able to try these items on, um, cause obviously right now a few that you get, you get like Mac makeup, a few makeup brands where you can test the lipstick beforehand and they use AR and like filters.

Do you think more brands in the retail space, we'll start doing that more cuz not a lot really do it. I know that Pandora does jewelry where you can try it on beforehand. How do you see more that's more like augmented reality?

Rinat:  

That. Yeah, absolutely. That's fun. I think that's really fun. But it's different when you're, when you're socialising with friends in virtual worlds, um, and then you really feel, I. You know, there is a connection between your avatar and the gamer. You're really immersed into this space. It's not like watching TV when you're, you know, you can watch TV and you're in the physical world here. You're really into the game. You usually, you can be hours in the games and you don't know what's going on.

You're, and this is even before, you know, uh, virtual glasses and all that. I mean, this is now when we're looking at a screen, but we're so immersed in this experience and I think I. When you're dressed there and even when you put makeup on your avatar, that's strong. But the problem makeup is, you know, it's your skin colour.

It's a bit different. It has to be augmented. Um, it could be fun in the game, but I think with clothes you could really the test it on the avatars. Cuz think about it, most of the time the clothes at the clothes, it's not about how it fits us. It's a combination. It's how we style it. That's what defines us.

Um, You know, and the sizing, that's a different, that's a different use case. So then augmented reality could go into the sizing and then you can see if, if it, if it fits, like really tight or loose. But you creating your style, your unique style, what goes with what the combinations, that's things you could play, uh, you know, in gaming.

And I think that's where, uh, that's the difference between clothes and uh, makeup. In the gaming world. 

Nadiyah:

Yeah, definitely. And so can you explain more about how Nak3d works? So I remember when we first met, you were telling me how you guys work with the designers beforehand to create these digital items, and then you then obviously put it, um, online and you sell them.

So what's the process behind it? Like how does it work?.  

Rinat:

So look the idea is that fashion, we already have a huge industry, right? Working to bring fashion to, uh, consumers, and they're pretty good. Uh, we all go and we buy if it's luxury, high Street, or, you know, uh, really smaller brands and we're saying, why not take those beautiful creations and bring them into games?

And then not just bringing into games as, you know, a digital, uh, Garment that you can just play with actually connecting, connecting it to the physical one. So I think that's what Nak3d, um, that's our specialty, connecting the physical with the digital. And also when we take the physical, we put, you know, every aspect and every element and every.

Every detail that the garment has. So it really would look exactly as the same as, uh, the physical one. And it has to be low poly, so it has to go into games. Cuz when you wanna do it in 3D for, you know, augmented and stuff, it's a bit easier. But when one, and it has to go into these virtual worlds, uh, there's a lot of technical issues that you have to address.

And that's where, uh, we are really good at. So we're able to do that. 

Nadiyah: So with the emergence of new sales channels and changing market landscapes, what strategies and approaches are being employed to adapt to these ship and reach a new generation of consumers? 

Rinat:

Yeah, so I think, uh, the new generation of consumers is really young now.

It's like gen Gen Alpha and Gen Z. Um, yeah, so. I think it's gonna bring a lot of new opportunities regarding, you know, um, sales, new sales channels and, uh, I mean, everything's gonna change. If it's gonna be where you could buy straight from the game and, you know, it comes to your house or you go to the shop and you can, uh, buy, you know, an item and you get the digital, the digital, um, twin for the game, I mean, It's, it's kind of, it's gonna change everything.

I mean, and Nak3d, we call it g-commerce, so it's game commerce. Um, it's, like I said, it's really colliding social and uh, and e-commerce together. So I think, uh, all the sales channels are really gonna change and bring new opportunities. And I think that's very exciting. 

Nadiyah:

Yeah, that is very exciting. I learned what g-commerce was, um, like you said.

Um, so how can brands and designers leverage the growth of g-commerce and digital fashion to provide unique, personalised experiences for their customers and create competitive edge in the market? 

Rinat:

Yeah, so I think the most important thing is understand their, their customers, their consumers understand which games they're playing at.

Um, that's the most important thing. I mean, a lot of brands are just creating their own games, luxury brands. Um, I don't think that is the case. I think that, I don't think that's the way to go. I think there are a lot of amazing games out there, uh, that already have a huge demographic of players. I think the.

The gaming industry wants to bring more, you know, a different set of demographics and not the traditional one. Like we said before, you know, more female, uh, playing the games. So you bring like very cool, um, you know, accessories and dresses and the things that we love and that's okay and nails and makeup and all that.

Um, it's most importantly is understanding your consumers. Um, and then you can understand which games are right for you. Um, and, you know, not being, like, being open for innovation and error. I mean, this is a whole new world. The metaverse, you know, it's just, it's not dead. It's actually, it's, it's here and it's gonna get, you know, a lot bigger and it's gonna be more immersive.

And you have to understand it's a whole different way of consumers to engage with your, with your collections and with your items. And you need to be open to that, and you need to talk, you know, to digital designers. Uh, you need to be open to talk to, uh, people from the gaming industry, understand what their pain points is, how you can bring in the fashion collections to these, uh, to these games.

Um, yeah, it's, you know, collaborations, I think it's the most important thing for now if they want to survive in this, uh, you know, like revolution and, and the change that's coming.  

Nadiyah:

So in the digital fashion industry, what type of jobs are there available and what specific skills are there in high demand for individuals looking to build a career, and where should they start?

Rinat:

Uh, well, I think today in the digital fashion industry, it would be skills like, uh, 3D modeling, uh, virtual design, software development, um, data analytics I think would be in, in like, High sought after, um, you know, expertise in gaming. I think even at being a gamer is something important. I mean, uh, you don't have to be a game developer, but playing the game, understanding the world, understanding how it works, I think that is very important.

Uh, digital marketing, you know, but again, I think, um, if you wanna be in this world, you have to. You have to play games, you know, any game. It doesn't have to be like any game. Try to understand how it works. Especially social games I think is very, very important. Uh, you know, and the regular, I think 3D artists, virtual fashion stylist, ux UI designer, I mean, all the regular stuff that you know.

Um, but yeah, it's basically understanding how these environments work. Uh, finding the game that you like and, uh, dressing your avatar, you know, seeing how, how you connect to the avatar, how it becomes like a part of you. Um, I think that's, that's the most important thing. Uh, I think they're gonna be, um, new jobs that we don't even know about. Um, especially now with AI coming in, I think everything's gonna change so, Just being part of this world is very important. 

Nadiyah:

Yeah, no, definitely. It'll be interesting for our viewers, especially our female viewers, on how you got into this space and like, yeah, just cuz obviously with me when I started in tech, there's not many.

Females in the tech industry, and even I didn't know I could like work in tech non-technical skills. So for all our viewers, young girls in schools are watching this, what advice would you give to them and explain how you got into this space? Yeah. First of all, 

Rinat:

I think computer science is all around us.

You know, we always think that computer science is for a very specific, uh, target of people, um, that they work usually in high tech or you know, all these startups. Uh, geeks, you know, writing code all day, but it's really not like that. It's all around us. I mean, computational thinking I think is something like, uh, that we encounter every day and you just need to go into this world.

You know, if we're talking specifically about virtual worlds and gaming, just start playing games, as I said. But if you wanna go into the tech industry, Um, just, just go, you know, just start. Everybody can do that. You don't have to be good at math or anything else. You just need to, to give it a shot. Learn, be open to learning new things, you know, saying if you don't know something, go.

I mean, today we've got everything online. Seriously, you can learn everything on your own. Um, you know, and, and tech is not only coding. I mean, I learned coding, I did some coding. Uh, I hate it. You know, I don't have the ability to sit alone with the computer and, and create this, this beautiful art. I, I cannot do that.

I like talking to people. I like the more creative aspect. Um, so in tech you have the so much, you know, so much to give no matter what you. What your skillset is, but just don't be afraid. Go in and, uh, you know, seriously, everybody, anybody can do it depends what you're doing, right? I mean, not, not everybody can code cuz I think code is, is a skill, an art skill.

Um, you have to be very patient. You know, like, not everybody can design, but, uh, there are a lot of, a lot of jobs in, in the fashion industry that you can do. Um, and there are a lot of jobs in gaming today, and they're gonna be even more in the future cuz I believe everything's gonna come together. Like fashion and gaming, education and gaming.

Um, yeah, it's like, it's, it's really fun. You just have to take part of it. 

Nadiyah:

Yeah, no, definitely. Yeah. I do see a future where gaming is gonna be more involved. Cause I feel like obviously the education system is very boring and very like, Um, traditional, like books and everything, and I feel like it will change, especially since covid everything, using more online stuff and integrating game and making it more fun.

So tapping into the gaming side, how do you see gaming changing, like fashion and education, all these different things?

Rinat:

Yeah, I think, uh, in gaming you can be more creative, uh, especially than, uh, in real life, right? That if we take education or even fashion, Uh, you there is like, you cannot do a lot of things in the physical world, or you can, but it costs a lot of money.

Um, or you need to do a lot of, uh, tests, right? And that's something that usually, especially in big brands, you don't wanna test a lot cuz it costs money, right? Yeah. Everything has to be like, buy the book. Uh, that's why a lot of times they cannot be creative. Um, but if you. If you bring it into the gaming industry, you know, you can do anything you want.

I mean, that's the beauty. You have all these, if you were talking about education or if we're talking about fashion, um, or design doesn't have to be fashion, right? You can do whatever you want. You can test it. You can test, uh, Different combinations that you would never do in physical life. You can test different approaches in education that you won't do in life.

So I think that's what gaming is so important, our virtual world. Um, it, it, there are endless possibilities there and uh, it doesn't cost us much, right. If you're on the right platform. Uh, yeah. So I think, I think, and if you do it smart, cuz a lot of, a lot of brands today are all over. They don't know like, which, Which game is right for them.

So they put a lot of money into only Roblox. They put money only into only, um, you know, uh, call of Duty or different games. But they can really, if they choose the right company, right, they can really go into multiple worlds at the same time. Testing environment, seeing what's right for them. Understanding where the real demographic is.

Cuz this is Gen Alpha, they're not yet their, their consumers, right? Um, so this is a great way for them to tap in. I think, uh, definitely gaming is gonna be, you know, um, in, in all ages, not just, uh, gen alpha and Gen Z. Umm, not sure of that. I'm, I'm not talking about hyper games, right. On the phone of something like, like social games.

Yeah. Like really having an avatar, you know, dressing it up, going, meeting friends in virtual worlds. Yeah. That's kind of, uh, games. Yeah. 

Nadiyah:

Yeah, I know it's very interesting, obviously, like even in the workplace, like where sometimes we have meetings in like spatial and we're in our avatars and we're having meetings and stuff like that.

And even last year when we did the launch of CareerCon and we had um, our spatial gallery and we had people going in there, we had young people, we had, um, brands, employers all going in and talking to each other. So it is different. And thing with like virtual spaces is you can be anywhere in the world. And that's like the best part of it.

And I feel like you can be anywhere, even in gaming, you can be on the other side of the world, but you're talking to someone from here. So I feel like even communication, making friends is really good. And networking.

Rinat:

You know, funny what you said about, uh, what, what you just did, cuz in the Decentraland, I think it was last year when they had the fashion, the first fashion events that they did.

So I didn't have, I didn't wanna have, I have a wallet today, but I didn't wanna have a wallet back then. And then I couldn't buy cool clothes, so I was just walking there, you know, with this avatar wearing really ugly stuff. But, uh, now look, it's a virtual world. Nobody knows who I am, but I still want it to look good.

You know, it's like, it was a, it was this, uh, fashion week and everybody was there and there were beautiful clothes and I couldn't wear anything. And that was so frustrating. So this year I didn't even go cuz I was like, you know, if I can wear cool stuff and it shows you how, Important, you know, um, dressing up for social games is like what you said.

Now when you have work events, sometimes most of the time you wanna dress up, you wanna dress your avatar, you know, set the mood. Like if you're in dark mood, you wanna wear all black, like if it's summer. So you wanna be more like fun and, you know, so I think it's very important and, uh, and I think, you know, ready player, me and all, all that Avatar.

Platforms need to remember that. Um, there's this whole fashion industry that they can come in, tap in and really bring a lot of collections. I think it's very important  to understand.

Nadiyah:Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Like we've come, we've had meetings where people come in dressed as animals and like fairy costumes.

Yeah. Sometimes I'm like, who is this person? Cause we can't recognise them. But like you said, it's like a self-expression. You can come in as however you want and be whoever you want. And I think that's the best part of it. Um, cool. 

Rinat:

It's a nice gig. Yeah. 

Nadiyah:

So one of the things that you obviously spoke about is wallets, and that's one of the, like, that's also for me, like I, I've got a wallet now, but previously, like I wouldn't tap into these spaces cuz of the wallet and the payment and everything.

Do you think there's gonna be a world where we have different payment methods without the wallet when it comes to gaming and buying these things?

Rinat:

Yeah. Cuz now, you know, NFTs are not really working. Uh, people don't wanna have the, the wallets that are offered today, they need something simpler. It's really hard.

I mean, you're, you're talking about tapping into the tech industry, right? It's try tapping into the wallet industry you need. It's, it's, it's too difficult. You have to have things that are simple people, you know, uh, want things that are easy, um, that they're not, you know, safe. Safety is so important in these worlds.

I mean, it's, I think today is number one. Um, so yeah, I think it, it will change. It has to change. It's gonna be a lot easier. It's gonna be like, you know, it's gonna be like the, the PayPal. PayPal of Web three. Somebody's gonna create it. I hope not. Elon Musk. Cause Yeah. You know, and then from PayPal it's gonna be even easier and easier, right.

People, if people, everybody was wild. So, but today you can pay. Seamlessly. Right. Um, so I guess that's what's gonna happen. I'm sure. But, 

Nadiyah:

Something interesting that you said, so any like employers and brands that are watching this, so you spoke about how, um, making sure that they find the perfect game partner when they do their outfits and who to partner with.

Do you have any advice on how. They could like find a way to collab with these and find the perfect company to collaborate. Yeah. That's why 

Rinat:

Nak3d Is, is, uh, Nak3d, is helping fashion brands find the right games for them and vice versa, help, you know, gaming, uh, find the right fashion designers that they can match your demographic.

Nadiyah:

So guys, everyone hit up Rinat on LinkedIn and you can, they'll find you the perfect gaming partner to game with. Um, yeah. Okay. So how do you see digital fashion contribute to the enhancement of customer experiences and personalisation, obviously in both in real life and the gaming environment and how it's gonna shape the future consumption and engagement within the fashion industry?

Rinat:

Yeah. Well, you know, as I said, I mean, the minute you can test collections and test items, um, it's gonna be a whole new, a new experience, uh, a shopping experience. Uh, which we don't have today. E-commerce is very, very confusing. On the other side, we have social media, which we can test stuff, but we have to purchase them.

And if we're talking about augmented, like, uh, companies that are doing augmented now for social media, it's fun, but it's, it's not, you know, as simple as buying the clothes or getting the clothes, trying them on posing. So in the games you'll be able to pose with your avatar and, uh, it'll be easier to try things and it won't be.

It won't be so bad for the environment. You know, I think, I think that's, that's the most important thing with digital fashion. It's gonna make, it's gonna create a more sustainable world for the fashion brands and for the consumers. Um, I think it's something that every fashion brand, they don't really have a choice.

You're gonna have to adopt it. Um, some brands are already doing it, so you know, they're working with Clo3d or brows wear. And I think it's very important. Um, and if you wanna stay relevant in this space, if you wanna, you know, not just be a domestic uh, fashion brand, but you really wanna go out and find, you know, be global, then you have to move into 3D design.

And that's a skill. You know, your question you asked before, that's a skill that is very important. But again, I dunno what's gonna happen with ai, right? I mean, most likely yeah. So you just need to, you know, be creative, be in the industry that you want all the time. If it's gaming or it's fashion. Uh, be innovative, see what's trending, and not be afraid of new, of new technology if it's digital right.

Design or ai. Um, I think and learning. Learning all the time, all the time. Learning, listening to videos like this, you know, reading, it's very, very important. Yeah, definitely. 

Nadiyah:

And how, how do you keep up? So like with our younger viewers are watching and anyone that's watching, how do you keep up with all of these trends?

Cause obviously in the tech industry, um, it's always changing. There's always something new. So how do you keep up? 

Rinat:

I, well, I think you need to be less on social media, you know, stalking your friends and more reading. I mean, it's, social media is great, but I think it's a lot of reading, uh, podcasts. So many podcasts out there about what's going on.

Um, I mean I heard about NFTs from podcasts like five years ago when it just started. Um, you know, and then you read more cuz you like it. Uh, I think young generation, I know they don't really work with LinkedIn, but LinkedIn has a lot of, uh, um, relevant information, especially if you tap to the right set of people, the people that interest you, and then you can really see what's going on.

Um, if it's in fashion you've got BOF, right? Um, you've got Vogue a lot of times that they have very interesting articles, but you have to read a lot from different places cuz everybody has their niche so you really have to read from different, um, magazines are articles that come out. But, you know, I think podcasts is easier a lot of times cause you can do it while you're doing other stuff, while you're running, exercising, driving, you know?

Um, Yeah, so podcasts, I really recommend it. Definitely. 

Nadiyah:

Yeah. Podcasts are good to listen to. Yeah, I like some, having some in the background. Even with videos. I won't watch the video, but I'm listening to it in the background and I think, yeah, it's really useful. That's the best part. Cause we've got so much, like you said, you can learn from anywhere.

Now YouTube, it's the videos that we're doing here. Podcast, literally anywhere. Um, so we're gonna round up now, um, so in your opinion, what are the key consideration challenges that brands should be aware of when they are entering the digital fashion space, and how can they ensure that they have a successful transition?

Rinat:

I think they need to partner with the right people, collaborate with the right, uh, you know, if it's, uh, digital marketing or, uh, even, uh, the right game. Uh, there are a lot of people that are pushing for certain games. Which are not always right for the brands. Um, and you know, like I said, listen to podcasts.

Even even the fashion brands, uh, this is a whole new, uh, you know, space that is evolving all the time. So even they have to talk to as many people, not just one person. As many people, they have to use LinkedIn to, you know, um, talk to influencers in the space or. Uh, they need to, you know, check out videos, read articles which are relevant to what they wanna do.

Um, and you know, even play the games. Like if somebody comes to their, or give their children even, you know what? Even if they're, if they're too old, you know, some people say, oh, I'm too old to play a game. That's. I cannot say the word, but that's nonsense. Okay. But even give it to your kids or to your nephews, or to the neighbors.

See what they think about the game. Check out, ask them questions. Interview this generation. See what they want. I mean, that's how you know which game to tap in. That's how you'll know which brand matches, uh, the game and vice versa. Right. I mean, just do your research. Basically they have to do it as well and not just listen.

Cuz there are a lot of people on LinkedIn that saying that they know, you know, uh, this is the best game. Tap into this game. No, check it out. Do your research. See what's right for you.

Nadiyah:

And you're definitely right. Research. You have to research no matter what market and what industry. You have to do research before you do anything.

And like you said, yeah, parents that are watching this and you're working for big brands and you wanna see what you can do to tap into the gaming, ask your children, ask to nieces and nephews, friends of children. Cause that's the best place to like get the information. Cuz they are the next generation and they're the generation that we want.

So, yeah, that's a very good piece of advice cuz people don't think about that. They don't think about their children being like their next customer. And that's the generation that we're working with. So last question. What are you most excited about? About the future of digital fashion? 

Rinat:

Oh wow. I'm excited about it. Um, I don't know. I think it's gonna be a lot. I mean, I hate, I hate e-commerce, I can say now, right? It's, it's, uh, awful. I'm, I'm a fashion designer, so when I see all, you know, even in e-commerce, I'm not alking about the physical aspect, right? That there's so much, um, that it's really bad for the environment.

All the manufacturing and burning items and collections. Um, even e-commerce, there's so much information there. I cannot find anything. I mean, it's so frustrating to shop online. Um, really, and, uh, I'm so excited about, you know, this next, next, next era where, um, gaming's gonna be a place that we can like, dress up and have fun and kill people while we're having fun or, you know, And, uh, you know, play ladybug, I don't know, but like, wearing different clothes and then buying it, you know, I think it's gonna be a lot more engaging, you know, more immersive.

And I think that that's the word. Like the minute you have those two, um, I think the experience is gonna be totally different and, uh, and customers are gonna have more control over, you know, um, What's going on, what's trending? Um, I think that's what's exciting. 

Nadiyah:

No, definitely. So Rinat, where can we find you on social? Where can we connect? If you can just share with our audience? 

Rinat:

Yeah, absolutely. LinkedIn. Uh, I'll be happy to connect. I'll be happy to, you know, answer questions. Um, yeah, absolutely. Feel free to. To link me up.

Nadiyah:

That's how I met Rinat. I linkedIn with her and then that's how we got this going.  

Rinat:

Thank you very much for having me.

Nadiyah:

Thank you so much, so much, Rinat. We're gonna have more videos coming up. I hope you guys have a lovely day watching our digital fashion event. Obviously follow us on hundo.xyz and Rinat I'll definitely, definitely message you when we do the gaming event soon. Absolutely. Thank you. 

Rinat:

Bye.

AI's Emotional Edge: Shaping Work, Life, and Shopping with Yasmin Topis and Luke Judge
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): AI
Join Luke Judge in an engaging conversation with Yasmin Topis! They'll discuss the fascinating world of AI's emotional edge, and its impact on work, life, and shopping. Explore how generative emotional AI bots revolutionize customer experiences, the insights gained from voice tone and emotion, and the transformative potential of AI in various industries. Get ready to be inspired by their innovative approach and exciting vision for the future of AI!
The following is the transcript for this video:

Luke:

Hello and welcome to the next session in CareerCon 23, where we're talking all about AI and how it's changing the way we learn and work. In this session, I welcome the co-founder and CEO of Sociate, Yasmin Topia. Welcome, Yasmin. Where you're gonna join us and talk about how AI's emotional edge is shaping the way we work, where we live and the way we shop. And we spend a lot of time shopping. So I'm looking forward to hearing all about this. Yasmin, on your LinkedIn, you talk about deep tech and websites. dying and changing. So I'm really looking forward to hearing what you've got to say. Quickly, who am I? I'm the CEO of hundo and I'm the host and that's all I need to say about me because this is all about the insights that you're here to share, Yasmin. So thank you for spending the time with us today and over to you to tell us about yourself, about Sociate and what you're doing.

Yasmin:

Thanks Luke for having me. It's a pleasure to be here. So a quick background then. So I'm Yasmin Topia, CEO of Sociate. I'm also a founding partner of a deep tech venture builder called Post Urban Ventures that we set up in 2016 to de-risk AI startups. So I work with a community of world-leading academics and scientists who are ahead of academia and these people are doing amazing things in the field of AI research. but like academics, they're not necessarily thinking about real world problems or those commercial opportunities. And that's where I come in. So my background is pretty solid in sales, business development. I was with Adecco and PWC where I was responsible for delivering over 40 million pounds worth of new business. And over the course of the years, I have helped build four other AI companies that are all now backed by investors like Microsoft, Jaguar Land Rover, and Silicon Valley VCs. Now, In January 2020, my chief scientist came to me with a fascinating bit of research that he'd been working on for over 15 years called curious AIs. So these AIs are curious. They know what they know. They know what they don't know. But importantly, they know what they need to find out to help humans. And what Luke had done is while he had associated emotions with the boundaries of the AIs, knowledge, just like us as humans when we're having a discussion and Luke, when you'll ask me a question and I don't quite know the answer to that, you will hear in my voice how I signaled slight shades of humility, uncertainty, even at a subconscious level, which encourages you to share more information, more data with me to help me over that bump in that conversation so I can give you an answer. Conversely, if we're talking about something that I'm really passionate about, I'll get excited. I'll get happy. Again, you'll feed off that excitement. You'll want to add to that excitement. So you give me more information to learn from, to encourage that. And this is so important when it comes to large language models and AIs that we speak to now in this world of conversational AI, because At the moment, when AIs get things wrong, when they break, we get very frustrated and we want to end the conversation. Stupid bot, you're driving me mad. I don't want to talk to you anymore. And that is literally the worst thing that can happen for an AI human relationship that's stopping interaction. So that's the core AI that we've been working on. And where I have applied that. is to transform how we shop online. So we've taken that curious AI. We've applied it to AIs that can see and speak to act as shopping assistance so that in the future, you never have to spend hours clicking and scrolling. You are simply able to communicate exactly what it is that you want. No matter how niche, no matter how strange, if you want a dress that looks like a termite mount, just ask the AI, it will find you a dress that looks like an ant.

Luke:

Sounds absolutely fascinating and very helpful. You know, we've been shopping online for maybe, come on, 20 years or something now. And actually the experience hasn't really changed that much. This sounds like a real step change in the way that we research products that are right for us and then ultimately find the one that we want to purchase. Interestingly, Yasmin, of course, people who may be watching this will have been hearing lots about AI. In the last six months and they'll think it's something new. But one thing that you've informed us of there is that it's not, it's been around for a long time and people are working behind the scenes or below the headlines and there are a lot of headlines now. So, you know, how long has it been around? How long, how long have you got, been in AI? How did you get into AI?

Yasmin:

So I've been in AI 2016 and I do not have a technical bone in my body. And this is what's really important around using technology and advancing technology, because there is a level here where there is decades of work when it comes to researching and getting the technology to where it is. And you're absolutely right. AI is not new, but how it has been working, so far it has been really cumbersome. So the step change that you are talking about and the headlines around generative AI is as a result of the fact that previously AI applications to work would need so much human input, so much tagging, the experience I'm talking about as well, online, that has not been possible because at the moment, if you go to a website and you say, I need a dress for a picnic. If nothing's being tagged with the words picnic, then the AI can't show it to you because it's just doing that matching of the words. So now the intelligence is that the AI knows what a picnic is. It knows what you should wear to a picnic. It can look. So in our case, our AIs have vision as well as having the ability to... to interrogate the language data. And so it can say, well, is this within scope of a picnic and then pull it out. But how did I get into AI? So I was invited specifically to join this group of academics and scientists specifically because I built up my career in... in the real world, problem solving. So you don't necessarily need a technical background to work in AI. Having real world experience, being able to problem solve is as important as being technical because it's only when you marry the two things together that you create solutions for the world that are actually useful.

Luke:

Yeah, that's a really interesting and very helpful guide for people who are watching this, because they may be thinking that in order to work in the AI sector or in businesses that are AI-led, that they need to have a technical background. But actually, you're saying, no, that's not the case. If you approach this with critical thinking and a problem-solving mindset, there's lots of opportunities for you.

Yasmin:

Yeah, absolutely. Just taking the example of the curious AI, there are so many applications of how you can fit it in. And what I was able to do is go, well, actually, this is a big problem. People are going to pay for this problem to solve, to be solved. It can potentially change your world. Let's go and tackle this problem. Somebody else would come along and with their background, with their interests, be able to identify something else that they can solve. with the same sort of technology. And I think that's the way of looking at it, that not necessarily thinking about AI as AI, but as a tool, as capabilities. How can you now take this groundbreaking innovation? Where can you apply it? What are you also really passionate about? Because that's where the authenticity and the ability to solve the problem really comes. And the fact that then you can stick with that problem and you can get the results that you are aiming for. 

Luke:

I want to ask you how you came across the problem. What was the problem that you identified? How did you come across that problem? And you started to answer it there. You're a shopper. So how did you come across the problem and start to think about solving this?

Yasmin:

Okay, so back in 1994, when I was 10, 11, I watched Clueless. And I don't know if your audience have seen Clueless, but Cher Horowitz, who is a hero of mine, has a digital wardrobe, where it is basically got contents of a wardrobe and it makes styling recommendations. Now, at that point, nothing like that existed. And I waited for years. for something like that to come into being. By 2020, I was thinking, how can we have such smart people? How can we have this AI with the ability to do what it can and nobody has made shopping and styling and dressing as easy as it is for Cher in Clueless? And so that's sort of the problem element kind of in my head came from. But... The hard problem that we are solving is if you go onto something like Farfetch, for example, and you search for a red dress, you get 1,073 results. You probably get about 25 pages. Now, what we know from research is that 79% of customers, including me, will have dropped off by page three because, oh my God, I am bored. I don't want to go through all of this. And so if, as a customer, find what you are looking for, you simply can't buy it. And that's a crying shame for retailers because that dress is in there. If only I got to it. And so the thinking was, how can we surface for customers the thing that I actually want to look at? The most natural thing to do is just to be able to convey what it is that you like. And the best way for brands and retailers to learn about what it is that you want isn't necessarily by stalking you or collecting data and cookies. Just ask, ask your customers, let them tell you, and then give them what it is that you want. So that's really the philosophy of what it is that I'm creating. And this is what I've always kind of wanted to replicate. And we are just so lucky that we are now in a world and I've got these smart people behind me that can help me recreate that experience.

Luke:

I love it. I love it. So you're really using technology to solve the problem that a consumer has, which is finding that right piece of that right item for that right occasion. And the problem that the retailers have, which is knowing that they have the right items for that occasion, but not being able to get through the tech layer to communicate and give it to the customer. So I really see the problem. And it's amazing to see someone solving that. Now, as you've been developing the platform, can you share some fascinating insights? that you've gained from harnessing the voice tone and the emotion from the AI technology that you're developing.

Yasmin:

Sure. So what we've released so far is in text, but what we have done is lots of experiments around emotional AI and the impact of voice tone on user engagement. And what's really fascinating is that by giving the AI in A-B trials, the ability to adjust its voice based on its confidence, even to the human ear. In really kind of imperceptible ways, the unconscious impact, we found that when talking to the curious AI, the customers were 23% less frustrated, they were 21% more engaged. And what that led to were longer conversations. And when you have longer conversations, you are sharing more data, which allows the AI to learn faster. So without you as a human knowing it, you're teaching the AI and it's learning faster. And that is a complete world away from, as we kind of touched upon already, AI tagging. You know, you've got these massive centers and people sitting at their screens right this minute, tagging pictures, tagging documents to make it digestible by AI. Whereas our approach is to create the world's most engaging AI, so it can be the fastest learning AI. So that was a very happy finding because it proved our theory that if the AIs are able to express emotion around the boundaries of their knowledge, then humans will engage for longer, they will share more. And so those AIs become smarter and smarter and smarter naturally. But, um, something that we weren't prepared for, and I don't know if there is a sociological commentary around this, is that we found that women had a 30 point more positive reaction to the AI showing that emotion compared to those who identified as men. So even though men ungraciously did engage for longer and did provide more information, which obviously helped the AI, when we took the qualitative feedback, men felt that the AI was the emotional AI or the curious AI was less intelligent than the non-curious, the AI that just delivered everything in a certain tone. And didn't consciously like that so much. So that's really, really fascinating around, as I said, a wider social commentary around how different groups engage with curiosity and the willingness to show humility or in a slight dip in confidence.  And again, it was something that then we had to take into consideration around what problem we solve, or who we target and fashion shopping, apparel, that market is predominantly focused towards people who identify as female. So this is where early research in product development plays a huge part and is really, really important because you won't always come with an obvious answer. This is a technology. This is where you solve it. When it comes to deep tech, you almost have to reverse that. You have to think, well, actually this is the technology. Where does it go in the world to make the greatest impact?

Luke:

Since in the time that you've been developing it, how have you seen your users adapt? Because we've seen AI really storm into our consciousness in the last six to nine months in the form of generative AI. And we're all amazed and hyped about it for three months, four months, five months. But we've adapted very quickly. We're using it in our day-to-day working lives now. So there's two part question is How are you seeing users adapt to it? Where initially they might say, well, that's a bit too much information. That's a bit too personal. Are they quickly adapting to it? And then subsequent to that, within Sociate, how have you adapted as a team to using AI in your day-to-day work?

Yasmin:

Okay. So in terms of how quickly customers adapt, I think you're completely right. The way that AI is packaged up now, for example, chat GPT, these conversational experiences, they're so natural that, and because they're so natural, it's instinctive. In retail, however, it's still very early days. So people don't trust. the search bar and people also have a little bit of an ickiness around the idea that there's an AI maybe following them around, you know, and that's just natural. Again, we've come to the conclusion that actually AI needs to be invisible. So how do we put it behind the search bar? So to you, everything looks the way that it should, but suddenly everything works a lot better. So that's the path that we've taken that make it imperceptible in terms of its presence but just make everything a hundred times better in terms of performance. And then you can start using subtle tricks and prompts to help humans just know what the technology is capable of. So I think it's very important to bear in mind that everybody is on a journey. And to make those steps gradually and help through these little tricks and tools and prompts to help people understand what that technology is capable of, and so that they can build confidence as well. Internally, how are we using AI? I mean, chat GPT is great, for email drafting, it's great for proposal drafting, you know, the ability to be able to do a mind dump. What is it that I want to say? I don't have to think about how I'm going to word it. It's just about, you know, the substance of what I want to get across. And then, chat GPT  can just simply take that and turn it into a nice email. You know, I need to send an email to an advisor. This is what I want to say to him. I want the tone to be professional. and friendly, the AI will turn it into that email. It's taken me five minutes to draft an email that would have taken me 20 minutes. Now that's a huge leap in productivity. And so personally, this is what's been great about these tools.

Luke:

It goes back to that point of problem solving. AI isn't going to do all of the job for you, but it will help you to ideate solutions to the problems that you identify, whether that problem is how do I tone this email or, you know, please summarize this long article because the problem is I haven't got time to read it or please summarize it for me. It's helping people to ideate solutions of all sorts of different types, which is fascinating. I want to switch a little bit away from AI and actually into shopping and e-commerce, because there'll be people who are watching this that are more interested in shopping and e-commerce. And I know that marketing courses in university and college talk a lot about certain subjects like branding and messaging, but not necessarily about performance and ROI, you know, a lot about that. I know a little bit about that. You know, we must get a hundred users to the site. A number of those will purchase for an average order value, which will give an ROI. Can you talk a little bit more about that so that people who are studying marketing and want to go into fashion can prepare more for the reality of driving performance and what that means?

Yasmin:

Yeah. Um, ROI is everything. You know, it's, it's the reason that a company will choose to work with your technology, if you can't somehow add to the bottom line or make significant savings, then essentially you don't have a business and the ROI that we are targeting is really around generating revenues through really deep personalization. So by making websites conversational, you personalize the ability of websites to serve people around that specific need in that specific moment. I need this for that. And if you've got millions of customers, then there is potentially, you know, hundreds of thousands of different needs. And allowing people to communicate that means that you can serve your customers in that personal way. And you can also learn as well by allowing people to just talk about what it is that they want. That business intelligence to help retailers, brands then around supply, demand, how much they should manufacture, when they should reorder, all of that is so, so important. But serving customers. So just to give you an example around the performance of our AI, at the moment, our client has a very famous search engine that they use for retail, a search and discovery tool. And that search to purchase conversion sits at 0.7%. By introducing our AI. That search to purchase conversion went to 1.4%. The stock is the same.

Luke:

So for every 100 people that visit the website, 1.4 people actually purchase something. Or for every 1000, 14 whole people purchase something, which is a huge difference from the original number, double.

Yasmin:

Exactly, it's essentially double. And that's crazy when you think about the fact that stock is exactly the same, the brand is exactly the same, everything else is absolutely the same. But suddenly, it's double the income. And that's the sort of thing that marketers and businesses want to see. So, you know, personalization is everything and the way that we personalize is, yes, we allow people to convey what it is that they want, but also with AI, you can start learning through purchase history.

Luke:

Amazing. So what you're talking about is AI is personalized and has memory. It has memory so that it can give you predictive, it can predict what you want and make predictive suggestions to you. And ultimately with all of that, you're optimizing for time, aren't you? You're optimizing for my time as a user who is looking for a specific thing, for a need that I have.

Yasmin:

Exactly, exactly. You know, I really do imagine this world where I can just pick up my phone and say, I've got an event to go to in a couple of days. It's a networking event. It's casual. It's formal. I don't have anything to wear. And the AI going, how about this? And I know you're going to love this. Or maybe the AI can even look into my existing purchases and say, well, I know you own this, and this, so how about you pair it with this? And that's a whole new app. I am no longer spending all of the time clicking, scrolling, searching around. I'm optimizing and utilizing what I have. I'm buying those hero pieces to uplift my wardrobe, make it current for a new season. There's all these things that you're unlocking now with the AI's capability.

Luke:

Yasmin, we're coming towards the end and everything you've shared has been super insight into AI, into shopping, into other areas. People are listening here and they're thinking, okay, what valuable lessons and insights does Yasmin and Sociate have that I could perhaps apply into other industries, number one. And number two, what skills are really important for the next five, 10 years of a career in this space?

Yasmin:

When we started Sociate and we said we were going to create a curious AI that could see and speak, people said, don't be silly, you know, that's impossible. You can't, you can't do that. What I want to say is that actually with the advances in AI, with what's happening in academia, that barrier of you can't physically because the tools aren't there, it's gone or it's going. And the only way you can advance technology is by really pushing and looking into the realms of possibility and science fiction. So if you have ideas, don't listen to people that say that's not possible. Find out for yourself. I would really recommend, especially if you are on your way to university, to get involved in societies where you can get exposure to the people that are also in research, in deep tech, in academia, and talk to them. And sometimes it might just sound incredibly academic, but try to get to... the crux of what it is that they are working on. And I would say work backwards. So, you know, the general wisdom is find a problem and then the solution. But now with where technology is, imagine a solution and think about where the world might be in four or five years. Imagine and build for that because everything we know and how it works is gonna change. And none of us really have a grasp of what the world is going to look like in five or ten years, really, but we do know it's going to change. So just let yourself imagine and build for that world.

Luke:

I love that. So what you're saying is actually, forget the skills, be curious, have a big imagination and go for it. Be bold.

Yasmin:

Curiosity is the most valuable tool that we have as humans. It's why we decided to give our AI curiosity. Because if you've got curiosity, you can learn, you can uncover, you go down these paths. And none of those paths, even if they do come to a dead end, they're not wasted journeys because you've learnt so much and then you just kind of, yeah, branch off a little bit. So, yeah, you know, imagine, imagine what the world is going to be and let that run wild and it will all be in the realms of possibility.

Luke:

I love it. I love it. And I completely agree with you around curiosity. Be curious about the problem, why it exists, unpack it, and then be curious about potential solutions to it and why they haven't been done yet. Maybe there's an opportunity. Yasmin, in the moment that we've got left and thank you so much for this really fascinating conversation, let's end by sharing with us the one thing that you're really excited about with the future of AI in the next, you name the time frame.

Yasmin:

So to me, the exciting thing is that AI really does a lot of potential in humans. And I think that's how you see it. So, whatever your passion is, if you have ever felt that you don't necessarily have the technical skills, that goes away. And to me, it's that democratization of ability. It's, you know, reducing the barriers of access for so long, especially when it comes to entrepreneurship, you need to have the right networks, you need to have the right friends, you need to have, you know, know how to do marketing, all of that. Now, so much of it is actually within your control and you can execute. And I think that is the most exciting thing for every single one of us.

Luke:

Fantastic, I completely agree. And I know people are gonna want to connect with you, Yasmin, and read more of your content and see more of your videos where you're sharing your knowledge and your insights from Sochiate. Where can people continue to engage with you after this session?

Yasmin:

So find me on LinkedIn. It's Yasmin Topia. If you're not on LinkedIn, I am on Instagram @Sociate AI, or you can also find me on Twitter. I'm not very active on Twitter, but on Instagram or on LinkedIn would be the best place. 

Luke:

And on your website.

Yasmin:

And on my website, yep, you can kind of click that button for a demo and at the moment that email comes straight to me.

Luke:

Very good. Thank you so much, Yasmin. That's been a really fascinating session. You've shared so much insight, not only about AI, but about shopping and about the skills needed to come into this space. I'm sure people are gonna wanna connect with you. So thanks for sharing your details there. And of course, thank you very much and good luck with the future of Sociate and saving us all time, finding the relevant things that are gonna help us look amazing or solve problems that we have on our daily lives.

Yasmin:

No thank you very much for inviting me. It's been a pleasure.

Luke:

Thank you so much. Take care.

Yasmin:

Bye.

AI in the Classroom: Enhancing Teaching and learning experiences with Dan Fitzpatrick and Amelia Loveday
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): AI
Get ready to explore the amazing world of AI in the classroom with Dan Fitzpatrick and Amelia Loveday! They'll discuss how AI can make teaching and learning even better. Find out how AI tools personalize learning, help teachers understand student progress, and provide extra support. Learn about the challenges and benefits of using AI in education and how it can promote creative and critical thinking. Join the conversation and discover the exciting possibilities of AI in the classroom!
The following is the transcript for this video:

Amelia:

Hello and welcome to this very timely discussion on AI in the Classroom, Enhancing Teaching and Learning Experiences hosted by hundo. My name is Amelia Loveday, I'm Head of Partnerships at hundo and today I have the pleasure of interviewing the fantastic Dan Fitzpatrick. Welcome Dan and thank you for lending us your time and extensive expertise today. A very, very quick intro. Dan is the AI educator on a mission to empower teachers and business leaders to gain value from artificial intelligence. He is the bestselling author of the AI Classroom, founder of Third Box and director of Edgy Futurists. So Dan, your portfolio really speaks for itself there, but why don't you kick us off by telling us a little bit more about you and about Edgy Futurists and your journey into AI and education.

Dan :

Absolutely. Well, thanks for having me, Amelia. And it's great to be able to speak to everybody at CareerCon. The yeah, my whole kind of my career has been around trying to push the boundaries of education, I guess. So I'm a trained teacher. So I try to be a teacher taught in a secondary school and really very quickly understood actually where we're going technologically as the power not just to enhance what we're doing, but to absolutely transform what we do in terms of education. And just to give you a quick example of that, people learn from the internet now. So a lot of people who will be watching this will know that you, when you want to know something, you'll quickly pull up your phone, maybe go to YouTube or another website and you'll quickly watch your tutorial on it. And it's, it's really easy to do that. And I did a very, I recently moved into my house. And I wanted to, this very boring example, but I wanted to change the switches and the light plugs and all the light plugs. Is that even a thing? The plugs on the walls. And I watched a YouTube video to show me how to do it, where the different colored wires go and everything. I do not recommend that you do that. Get a trained electrician in. But I taught myself how to do it. And that's how we kind of, we live our lives now. And. I give that example because I think in recent years, technology doesn't just kind of sit alongside education. And in a lot of respect, technology has become the primary driver of education and is transforming how we educate kind of the younger people in our society and how we educate ourselves as well as we get older. And really important to say that education is going to last out our whole lives, we're going to need to know things. I think the difference is once we kind of leave formal education, school, college, university, we kind of shift into a mentality of just in time education rather than just in case education. And I'm sure a lot of people who are watching this right now can relate to the just in case education system that we have where it's kind of like, right, four years old, get into the classroom. We're going to, we're going to teach you things. We're going to show you things. We're going to, hopefully you're going to learn some things. And then when you're 18, you come out the other end and it's just kind of being a, well, here's all this stuff. Do some exams because you might need to know this someday. Now, does that work personally? I think we can probably do, do a lot better. We can do a lot better than that. And I think the key is, is what we do when we do. Leave the formal education system and we move to that just in time education system where we learn something and then we put it into practice straight away and it becomes valuable, it becomes something we want to do because we know we're going to apply it straight away and we're going to solve a real world problem straight away. In fact when I was 15, so back in the early 2000s, I remember teaching myself how to play guitar. There was a lad in my year at school who could play guitar and I thought he was really cool. And I was like, I really want to do that. So I asked my parents for a guitar for Christmas. And then I just taught myself how to play it. And I was getting the immediate value from that straight away because I was learning the song was, I could hear it. I could hear myself learning in real time. And I think there's a lot of value in that type of education. I think we've got a lot to learn from that kind of just in time education. Um, so the, yeah, um, I just remember I was supposed to be given an introduction to myself and I'm, I'm on my hobby horse already, but, uh, I really think that, uh, that yeah, my, my career is kind of, it's kind of being focused around and thinking, I think we can do this better. I, when I became a teacher, it was pretty much the same as when I was in school myself, I was like, surely in those. What, 10-15 years that I’ve, since I was in school myself, things have moved on, but they hadn't really. So I really got into educational technology and trying to transform whatever school I was in. I became a senior leader in a secondary school where I was at, really tried to move things technologically. And then I moved into further education. So a group of colleges in the Northeast of England where I was the director of digital strategy. And then kind of in my own time, I think it's always good to have a side project going. Myself and a couple of other teachers who thought very similar to me set up an organization called EduFuturist where we explored the future of education. So it wasn't just us going, this could be done better. It was us actually going out and talking to people around the world who were doing it better and trying to make people aware, especially in England, that this can be done better. There is innovation out there. There is different ways to do this thing we call education, that might be more attractive to our young people. So yeah, that's what we did. And then that kind of being in that environment, did a lot of work with experimental technologies, new technologies, artificial intelligence, virtual reality. And then over the last six months or so, I've really been able to focus in on artificial intelligence because it's... It's kind of, it's what everyone's talking about at the moment with, with tools like chat GPT and coming out just before Christmas last year. So I've really kind of moved into that arena, started my own business around artificial intelligence, wrote a book, like you said, on artificial intelligence, and that's kind of where, where my life's at the moment.

Amelia:

Fantastic. Well, first of all, congratulations on the house move. Not a boring story at all. I'm glad to hear that just in case you do want to become a musician, you can play the guitar. We at hundo are also very keen on talking about how technology can be used to create particularly more engaging learning experiences. So, you know, on that, onto our first question, which is how can AI specifically be integrated into the classroom to enhance teaching and learning experience?

Dan :

Yeah, I mean, it's still early days on this, isn't it? And, and, and let's be honest, artificial intelligence has been in our classrooms for a long time. We just might not have known it. So a lot of the tools that we use, a lot of the technology that, that you use, if you've got a, if you've got a phone in your pocket and you sat in a lesson as a student, you've got artificial intelligence in your pocket. So whenever you pull it out and use your mobile phone or use other apps, there's artificial intelligence, it's just companies for a long time, didn't really shout about it. They didn't really say. Look, we've got artificial intelligence baked into these products. They just put them in there. Um, now that we've kind of got this new wave of artificial intelligence, generally referred to as generative artificial intelligence, because it generates content, um, generates data. So if you, I'm sure most people listening to this, it will be familiar with chat GPT and maybe even had a go of it. You'll know that you ask it a question or you tell it to do something and it will generate some content, some writing. There's also image tools, so you'll generate some like a great tool that I use all the time is a tool called mid journey, where you type in the type of image you want to see created and it creates a very photorealistic image. There's video versions. There's so many versions. There's even there's like it goes into sci fi territory. So there's a couple of months ago at a university in Osaka in Japan published a report, where they were using brain scans or MRI brain scans, which kind of you think is something like electrical activity happens in the brain, an MRI scan kind of maps that. And let's a doctor see what that is. They were able to get participants to think of certain types of images and then train in the AI machine behind it. They were, it was able to recreate the images that the people were thinking. So this technology is going into kind of mind reading territory at the moment. So we've got some of the most powerful technology ever created. Looks a bit boring at the minute, especially if you just using chat GPT. She would say it looks like a WhatsApp conversation that's got out control. it's not the most thrilling. I think it's in. It's in Snapchat. I don't use Snapchat, but from, from what I hear, it's, it's in Snapchat. Now you can talk to it almost like it's a, an AI friend. Um, how is it going to be used in the classroom? Well, I think there's two answers to that. There's, there's the, the nice, let's go with the nice answer. So the nice answer, the easy answer is, is that, well, think of the teacher. The teacher is going to be able to create content to help the students. Um, a lot of, a lot of the pressures that are on teachers is time. Teachers have to deal with a lot. In 2019, there was a report came out that said teachers spend just as much time marking, producing resources for classes and designing the actual lessons as they do, teaching classes. Now, if you're at college, school, and you're watching this, You might not realize, but your teacher, after they've taught your classes, then going on to teach another class and another class, and they pretty much spend all day teaching every day. So when are they spending their time doing the other things that takes just as much time as the actual teaching? They're doing it in their own time. They do it on weekends, they do it in holidays, they do it on an evening, they do it at lunch. So this technology being able to assist teachers to create content, to create, to mark work, to give feedback to students. And it might not be that the teachers even doing that, the students can do that. Like why not, if you're a student and you're creating work, why not put it into ChatGBT and ask it for some feedback? Ask it for recommendations. I do that all the time. I write a blog every week that goes out in a newsletter for teachers about AI. And when I wrote it, I put it in ChatGPT and I just say, can you give me any recommendations? What's the grammar like? What's the... Is it easy to read, things like that. So use it as an assistant for, for learning, I think is a, is a, there's, there's a huge example there of, of how it's, how it can make, make things more efficient. And then if the teacher is, is more refreshed, they're going to be more creative, they're going to be more personable, going to be able to, to help, to help their students and the students as well are going to have access to, to amazing. amazing resource with this AI to be able to build their own knowledge. Now, that's the nice answer. And I think we'll see that straight away. Well, if it's not happening in your in your class, if you if you if you're in a class straight away, it'll be happening very, very soon, I'm sure. I think the scary answer or exciting answer, if you mean, is actually, this has the potential over the next few years to completely change the education system. So. If you think and teachers, if you put your fingers in the ears for this bit, but if you think what a teacher, the value that a teacher gives. Okay, so a teacher is there primarily to pass on knowledge so that students can learn it, assess that knowledge. And then decide whether the student has progressed enough to then at the end of the course to be able to take an exam or do some kind of assessed piece of work. Now, I know many of you might be thinking there's a lot more value that a teacher brings and of course they do. Of course, but we'll get onto that in a second. Let's just go for this primary, narrow focus of what a teacher is and what society thinks a teacher is. Now, artificial intelligence can kind of do this now and we're gonna see a progress massively over the next year or so. So... Greg Brockman, who is the co-founder of OpenAI who created ChatGPT said that this time next year, the artificial intelligence we've got now is going to be outdated. Okay. We've got the most advanced technology we've ever had available at our finger, fingertips. So this time next year, it's going to be outdated. What are we going to have? And why is he saying that? He's saying that because he knows that they're already tested this, the technology that we're using in ChatGPT was actually created three, three and a half years ago. back in early, early 2000, back end of 2019, early 2020, they already know what's coming next and what we're gonna be working on it. And it's really, really impressive stuff. And if the power of AI is that it can hold a lot of information and access a lot of information, a lot more than a human brain can. So it can hold information about us. So if I struggle to learn things in a certain way, if I... If I only learn things, if they're, if they're kind of put in a certain context, like it's made attractive to what the kind of things I'm into. Um, if I need, really need something to catch my attention so that I can learn. If I've got special educational needs where I need a bit more attention in certain areas, it's quite difficult for a teacher to do that, especially if a teacher has got 30 students in their class to really tailor the learning to each student. Chat GPT will be able to know your struggles, will be able to know kind of your progress and then be able to chunk that information, be able to move on as well and go, actually let's leave that, let's go to something else first and then come back to that. It will really be to be a personal learning assistant. And I think once we're at that level, now this is where teachers might wanna put their fingers in their ears, we'll start getting some students saying, well, why do I need to go to college? Why do I need to go to school? Now, to get onto the other dimension of what teachers bring, they bring the fact that they're a human being, the fact that they care, the fact that they... can sympathize, can empathize, have, take you on a journey of learning if they're a really good teacher. I think those things are still absolutely valuable. And we learn probably the best we learn. And I think there's a lot of science gone into this. When we're learning the most, it tends to be an emotional experience rather than a head experience. So... where it's because there's an emotional attachment to the information or to the person that's giving us the information. So I still think that that's absolutely vital. We're not gonna have that emotional connection with an artificial intelligence app, of course we're not. So there's still room for kind of that human interaction there, but a lot of the core elements of what it means to learn will be provided by technology. And I think that'll mean that, our colleges, our schools, our universities will start to look different. They'll not be the need for a traditional classroom. They'll not be the need for certain things that uphold the current system. We'll have to rethink what that looks like so that AI is playing a part, but also that the human teachers, whatever they're going to be, we might not even call them teachers, whatever they're going to be, will be also be able to have an influence on us.

Amelia:

And I think that the potential for personalisation that comes with AI is so important to hold on to because you've touched on how it's making things more efficient and often the connotation that comes along with that is that that's less valuable work because it's been aided by an AI tool. But actually getting that out there for the needs of each student could be really, really beneficial. You touched on the elephant in the room here, which is the concerns that people have around AI. There's a lot of apprehension about its use, particularly in education, because of how it will disrupt our existing systems. What specific concerns have you heard from educators around the use of AI? What challenges should they be aware of and how can they address them?

Dan :

Yeah, I mean, there's some big concerns. I think probably the two biggest that I come across. I'm quite privileged that I get to go into schools, colleges, universities on a daily basis and speak to educators and students. I think number one is, what's generally referred to as academic integrity. So actually, if I'm gonna be submitting a piece of work, is it my own or is it not my own? And obviously artificial intelligence as we're seeing, gives you the tool, the power of the tools to produce work that you can pass off as your own. And it's really difficult for a teacher or somebody who's assessing your work to be able to know the difference. Obviously that's a problem that's been around for a while. I remember when I was doing my GCSE biology, I was in secondary school back in 2002. All right. So 2002, we're talking here. Google still in its early days. I remember downloading a biology experiment, like the whole write-up of it, the hypothesis, the, all of it. I remember downloading it and you passing that off as my own. Um, actually I was on a good morning in Britain a few months ago, and I actually told that story. I don't know why I told it, but, uh, so yeah. I'm just waiting for AQA to knock on the door and take my biology certificate off me. Yeah, the, I think there's, it's not, it's not an old, it's not a new problem. But the technology is there where you can do it in a way where it's a lot more difficult to detect. So that's one concern. I think another concern is, is data privacy. So, it might not mean a lot to a lot of people. But everything, obviously everything you put into the internet can be, unless, unless you're following really good data privacy procedures can be accessed by other people or the companies can be used, um, in different ways. If you're talking to an AI, especially at this moment in time, the chances are that data is being used to train the artificial intelligence. Um, the chat GPT, open AI, don't put chat GPT out for free. Just just for the hell of it, just to go right, have a go of it and see what you see what you make of it. They're doing it because they're training the AI model. So every conversation it has, everything you write into it, it's getting better and better and better and learning from you. So a lot of people have some lot of issues with that. And we will see regulation on that coming from a governmental level. The European Union's already gearing up to release their regulatory paper on it soon because data privacy matters data belongs to you and if you don't give them permission for somebody else to use it in certain ways and they are then and we've got a problem there. That can be an issue.

Amelia:

Just on the data point, I'm going to interrupt there, Dan. I think, particularly with minors, data privacy is an issue. But globally, data privacy policy has historically failed to keep up with big tech for starters. So what is it about AI specifically? Is it just the speed at which it's developing? And do you think regulators have any chance of staying on top of it?

Dan :

Yeah, I think it's, I think the speed is one thing. I think, um, to, to not get too technical, the, um, data, a lot, a lot of data regulation means the data has to be stored, uh, locally. The problem with a lot of these artificial intelligence machines is that it needs to go back to the main database. So that the AI can learn. Cause it's like for some, for a company like open AI, just to keep the data in Europe is they're not going to be getting any use out of it because they need to bring it into where their main servers are, where they, where they keep their, their AI, the brain for want of a better term of their AI, which is in California. So there's, there's problems there with where data is located. A lot of people are saying actually GDPR data security needs to be and regulation needs to take this into account and be updated in a realistic way. Some people say actually, no, we need to double down on this. And I think over the coming years, we're gonna see that kind of be battled out really. Yeah, I think the other one is copyright. So a lot of these, if you've used an image generation, like Mid Journey or if you use Canva, there's one in there. There's one called Dall-E, D-A-L-L. dash E, which is made by open AI. It works a bit like chat GPT where you type in a command or a prompt. Instead of text though, you get an image out. So I could, I could type in, um, I dunno, Boris Johnson on a motorbike, riding through Paris into mid journey and I would get, um, Hey, I mean, I'm not, I wouldn't want it, but, uh, what I'd get is, um, a photo realistic image. And I'm talking like, high definition photo realistic image of Boris Johnson on a motorbike driving through Paris. So where's it getting this information from? So what it does is a bit like how ChatGPT works. It is kind of fed hundreds and hundreds of millions of different images and it learns what the different components, what all the different bits are and images. And so then when I ask for something, it's able to generate a version based on its learning of all those different images. Now, the problem is a lot of people think it's copying those images. Every industry around the world is gonna be disrupted by this. And we're starting to see that already. We're starting to see the job market changing. So a lot of people listening or watching this might be going into work soon in the next year or so. And actually what the job market will look like when they go into work will drastically be different to what it looked like two years ago, a year ago. Because a lot of jobs can be done by AI now. So where, what do we do as humans? And we have to discover that. And that sounds scary, but it happens with any major technological disruption, like early 2000s with the internet, a lot of jobs just weren't needed anymore. And then, but so many more jobs came about because of it, millions and millions of new jobs came about. And that's quite exciting, because actually those who were going into the world of work for the first time will actually get to discover new jobs that nobody knew even needed this time last year and we'll get to make it their own we'll get to kind of shape that job and because there might be a lot of demand for it be able to demand a higher wage for it as well

Amelia:

We like we like to see the future of work as exciting as well. I expect that all those challenges that you talked about sort of add another layer of difficulties for teachers specifically around teaching students sort of safe and responsible use of AI when it's changing so quickly and they may not know. And also educating students on a future job market that is shifting all the time. I'm going to go back to the positives though, because I feel like that will pick us up a little bit. So we talk a lot about essential skills at Hundo, and those are skills like critical thinking, creative problem solving, agility, communication, the skills which are critical across industries and really make the candidates stand out. How can you see AI helping students to develop these skills in the classroom? How can it help to give them those essential skills that they might need across industries.

Dan :

I think working with AI is very much like working with any resource. And if you, if you're going to work with AI, you need to, for example, critically assess what it's coming out with. But I think what it does is it outlines the fact that we, although we might be relying on AI, and I rely on AI every day as an assistant with what I do, we are still the people responsible for using the information. And if you're responsible for it, you're gonna wanna check it, you're gonna wanna critically assess it. I think in a school setting, I think the emergence of AI will do wonders for essential skills and build in essential skills. Because if I'm a teacher and I'm in a classroom, now just think how learning in the education system in school, college, university, is always about, right, here's some new information, practice it, learn it, and then as a teacher, I'm gonna see how much you know so we can then move on to the next thing. How do teachers assess that learning? Well, traditionally, it's all about writing, isn't it? Like write an essay, write some questions, write some answers to questions. Teacher reads it, does that student know it, do they not know it? Now, if ChatGP, ChatGPT, Google Bard now exists, it's very difficult for a teacher to know whether that student actually knows and has progressed in their learning, or if they've just used AI to come up with the answers for them, very difficult. So actually the education system and teachers need to become more imaginative with how they assess students. They... Assessment needs to become more dynamic and that pushes us into the area of those essential skills because now, I mean, if I was, I've been out of the classroom for a couple of years, but if I was a teacher now, I'd be asking students to go away, use ChatGPT, use Google Bard, figure things out, write things down, but I'm not going to assess what you're writing down. What I'm going to do is I'm going to have a conversation with you. Can you communicate what you've learned to me? So getting them to practice communication. Kind of do a presentation where they present that information and can demonstrate that they've actually understood that information and not just got an AI chatbot to do it for them. Can they collaborate with their peers, with a group in their class? And as a teacher, can I observe and witness that they're using newly learned information to collaborate with and to problem solve with? Can they solve real world problems with their new information? So I think teachers are going to have to start. I mean, we do, teachers do that quite a lot anyway, but I think it's going to have to become more of a mainstream way of assessing students and what they've learnt and their knowledge. And if that happens, students are going to have to learn how to collaborate with their peers, they're going to have to learn how to communicate, problem solve, critically assess, and we'll be building and helping them build those skills for industry, for their workplace. Now, there's another question here as well about actually how important will those skills be in the workplace. Now, at the minute, and the World Economic Forum has been telling us for about five years now that these skills are vital for students in work. The education system hasn't... always kept up with that and hasn't offered those, the development of those skills. But I see, I see it probably changing a little bit. 

Amelia:

Absolutely. I mean, yeah, excitement, not fear is what we want to hear. We're running out of time here, so I'm going to ask you very quickly if you can, in 30 seconds, if there's one thing that you're excited about for the future of AI in education, what is it?

Dan :

I think I'm really, really excited about the future of education because I think it has the power to completely upend a two, 300 year old system that we found difficult to shake off over the last few decades. Even amongst all the digital disruption that's going on in the world, the education system just hasn't been able to kind of let go to what we've already done, what we've always done. Um, and I think this will help transform it. I think. I think we've got so much more to offer our students in terms of preparing them for success. We just need to break out of those shackles of what we've always done. And I think AI will give us those opportunities. It will help us to robustly help students prepare for the future, as well as, and I think this is probably even more exciting, as well as the teachers, the people who work in education can be more human. So a lot of people get worried saying that AI is actually going to take the teacher's job. Actually, I don't think it will. What it will do, it will take away the teacher's job that turns the teacher into a robot. So the admin, the constant putting numbers into spreadsheets, the stuff that shackles them to a computer and makes them into robots. Actually, if AI can pick that up, then it will help them be more human. And as students, We need teachers to be more human. We need to connect with them on a human level. We need to share their, we need to see them enthusiastic. We need to see them passionate so that we can share in that and be inspired by that. And I think that will make, make us better learners and more enthusiastic and passionate for the world.

Amelia:

Absolutely. I mean, that's a great message to go out on really. And in the hope that the teachers watching this don't have their fingers in their ears after what you said earlier. It's time to embrace change. You've got people like Dan to help you along the way. We couldn't wish for better. So with that, thank you, Dan again for joining us and to everybody watching. Dan, please will you tell your new audience where they can find you online on socials everywhere.

Dan :

Yeah, my website is the AI educator dot I.O. There's lots of information on there you can access. I have a newsletter that goes out every Sunday where I kind of mull over the future of education and artificial intelligence. I do most of my kind of interaction on Twitter and LinkedIn. So on Twitter, I'm at Dan Fitz tweets and on LinkedIn forward slash the AI educator. So, yeah, get in contact.

Amelia:

Fantastic, and you'll be able to find those links on hundo. So everybody get following, get liking, get learning. Thank you to hundo for hosting us today. Give us a follow as well, hundo.xyz across social media to keep up with CareerCon, our monthly series where we are discussing the industries and topics like AI that are shaping the future of learning and work. So that's it from Dan and I for today. Thanks so much for watching everyone. And Dan, thank you again.

Dan :

Thanks, Amelia.

Amelia:

Looking forward to doing it again soon.

The Rise of AI: Transforming Work, Daily Life, and the Path to New Careers with Tery Spataro, Kenn Mayfield, Xander Simms, and Daniel Potes
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): AI
Get ready to dive into an inspiring journey into the world of AI with Tery Spataro, Kenn Mayfield, Xander Simms, and Daniel Potes! Together, they'll explore how AI is revolutionising daily life, addressing ethical concerns, encouraging inclusivity for neurodiverse individuals, and supporting mental health. Discover the incredible potential of AI and join the conversation!
The following is the transcript for this video:

Daniel:

All right, guys, hello and welcome. We are doing the rise of AI, transforming work, daily life, and the path to new careers for Hundo. And with us, we've got some amazing folks. We've got Tery Spataro, I hope I'm saying that correctly. We've got Kenneth Mayfield, or Kenn. And we've got Xander Simms, the legend, the absolute legend. We've been friends and following each other for a long time, so it's amazing to finally be in the same virtual room with you. Let's have some introductions. Let's start with Tery and go to Kenn and then end with Xander

Tery:

Okay, I'm gonna make this brief because I've got several decades on all of you. Um, so I call myself an AI creative director. I've been using, uh, creative AI since 2020. Um, I got my, I got inspired by artists and Spelter who gave this really awesome demo using Playform and then it was love at first bite after that. So I uploaded all of my old artwork, the traditional old artwork, and then created my own models. Speaking of traditional, I do have a traditional art background, commercial background, did a lot of agency work and held a lot of executive positions. But this is the one that I love the most, being a creator that's using AI.

Daniel:

Awesome, alright, let's have Kenn.

Kenn:

Okay, well, I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be an artist. I tried to get into art school early, but I had to wait until high school. Um, beginning in college, I worked in programming. I grew up drawing, did photography, uh, started doing audio and video engineering, uh, at the artist run center in Halifax, Nova Scotia. And then from there, I got into more serious programming, uh, with flash for the multimedia side and then iOS for the device and to learn a real language. And after about 10 years of that, I decided that art was beckoning again and I could not resist the call. So I got back into visual work, blending unity and the multimedia skills I'd learned. And now of course we have the rise of the metaverse or the rise of immersive reality and AI. So I get to bring all of these ideas and skills into one theater, which is this. I'm also on the autistic spectrum and I advocate for people in business and in work and in school, on that side as well.

Daniel:

Thank you Kenn. Now Xander.

Xander:

All right, can you guys hear me okay? All right, wonderful. Yeah, so my name is Xander Simms, creatively known as Xander Love. I'm an artist, technologist, and designer from St. Louis, Missouri. I've been in the space of creative expression for a little bit over a decade. I started with studying music and vocal music and instrumental music and production. And then I moved to the visual arts. And along the way, I, the creativity had done such an amazing job, helping me express myself. I also gained a passion for helping brands and individuals express themselves. And so I married the two and got to work with a lot of brands and individuals to do some really cool projects, mostly in video for social media, content strategy, strategic marketing plans, and that kind of thing. And i n 2021, I made a pivot to deep technology. I got a really cool contract with a space agency out of Houston, Texas. And that was the first time I got to kind of marry my love for science fiction and technological innovation with commercial endeavors. And so after that contract was up, I was looking for the next technology wave or bubble to continue exploring. And that's when I discovered XR and the metaverse and those sort of technologies. I started using artificial intelligence as an additional layer for that in about 20, about a year ago, yeah, last summer. So it's been about a year. And so my journey for the last year has been in incorporating those tools into my workflow and helping brands and individuals express themselves and build new experiences.

Daniel:

So as you can see, we've got some pretty awesome talent. I'll do a real quick introduction for myself, but I'm not in the same category. I wouldn't say I'm one much younger and two kind of a fresh graduate. I graduated in 2021, I guess. It was a two-year master's program at Pratt where I did digital arts. And so, what is digital art? Very vague, very random term. Ends up AI is one of... the digital arts, you know? So I kind of got into it super early in 2018. I've been deep diving, worked as a professional AI artist for Sehan Lee, who now does Kubrick and a bunch of other really cool stuff. And now I work in the agency field that Tery is thankfully out of doing basically innovation design and experiential activations using, you know, as cutting edge of technology as we can get our clients to pay for. So, you know, have a lot of fun doing cool stuff, get to work on some really fun, joyous installations, experiences, et cetera. So we're excited to get started. We're gonna go with the first question, and this is gonna be to Kenn. How do you use AI in daily augmentation, like to affect changes to your everyday life with this new technology? And can you give us some examples of how, for you personally, AI has made both personal changes as well as maybe artistic expression changes.

Kenn:

Superb. Okay. These days I'm using different styles of AI. I'm using chat GPT to give myself a fresh viewpoint on what I write because I tend to use a lot of commas and write in a 19th century wordy comma style. So this kind of brings me up to date a bit. And with the mid journey, that's been a Teryfic boom. I use that to kind of revitalize my imagination. I was outside of art or art creation for about a decade while I focused on coding, but art has always been the siren song or the spirit inside of me to follow from a young age. It became more from that point of figuring out how to make a living. So now what I find with mid-journey is that I can type in a few sentences and then get back something that has a completely different spin or amazing detail or incredible style. So I'm using that for non-commercial products like promotion. And I'm using it to inspire myself. And the biggest difference has been the shakeup that it's created in terms of how I think of colors and composition. And it's also in a way an insight into not only the entire history of art that's been on the web, but also perhaps what modern styles are as well, like in comic book rendering, in 3D rendering. It's such an instant palette to draw from. That it's like sitting at an amazing emotional perceptual feast. So that's inspired me to begin creating more work by hand in sculpture and painting and a little bit in 3d. I'm trying to reduce the amount of time I spend on the computer and increase the amount of time I'm spending deep diving into myself, my imagination and to keep nourishing the colorful side of it. And so mid journey has been essential for bringing me back into the fold of artistic creation and also what other people are doing. Because I think the algorithms are weighted very much on popular culture. And the more represented something is on the web, the more prevalent it'll be in mid-journey. Now on the other side, I was fortunate enough with a client to win funding to create AI for avatar instruction, thank you, and immersion in industrial metaverse. So there I'm creating adaptive learning with AI, they're guiding the development of the algorithms. And we're also working on American Sign Language recognition and speech through avatars, because accessibility is very important to me. And I think the AI can help give us another shot at creating an accessible universe or accessible internet. So that in itself has been a journey because ASL is such a multi-layered language. and what's called a co-topic language where you can describe two things at one time. I'm not a speaker, but I've always been in love with the idea of non-verbal communication because communicating with people as an autistic individual has always been a lifelong challenge. What are the keys? What are the locks? What are the music notes that connect with people? And ASL is very much like that. It exists in a different continuum. And I find that extremely fascinating. So AI is text and images and communication these days.

Daniel:

Wow, that is one, on a personal level, I love that. That is so spectacular. Anything accessibility should be done needs to be done. And the fact that you're doing it is phenomenal. It's also a use case I wouldn't have ever thought about in advance, but thinking about it is actually like, wow, yes, it's so much better than captions at every possible step. Teryfic, wow. Tery, Xander, do you have anything to say about that? Because I was, that's awesome.

Tery:

I'm so impressed. I love it. I think it's so important to incorporate the accessibility because AI should be for everybody. It's not just for large corporations to own, it's for all of us. And I just love the way you talked about your workflow and what you're doing with it. It's just great.

Kenn:

Thank you.Thank you Tery.

Xander:

Yeah, definitely. Great point. And to add to that, I thought it was really interesting how you're using MidJourney to kind of free yourself also from the screen and, you know, explore other avenues of cross-reality or IRL expression.

Kenn:

Thank you, thank you. Well, you both inspire me to great lengths because every day I'm seeing what you're putting online and that becomes part of the accelerator to live in this universe of visual communication and hopefully soon sounding communication as well.

Daniel:

Okay, and so we're going to transfer to a little bit unrelated question, but now that I think about it, it's actually incredibly directly related to accessibility, to education, and to kind of providing an outlet, an avenue for new users potentially. This is for Xander. You're working with small children, teaching them on using chat GPT mid-journey. How do you see AI impacting the next generation, both in terms of education and just like... Workflow as weird as that is to say because it's not like they have a workflow You know what I mean? Like how is it going to affect the standards set in place for the next generation of workforce?

Xander:

Absolutely. Yeah, I do have the pleasure this summer of instructing a few sections of artificial intelligence for a few age groups. The first one is five to eight, and then nine to 12, and then 12 to 18, which is I have a background in education. It's actually one of the reasons I got into technology. I had this really incredible experience where There was this kid I was working with, he was nonverbal, he was on the spectrum. And long story short, we ended up integrating this app to allow him to be able to speak with any device, like any tablet or smartphone or anything. Him and also his other students at the school who were before using like pen and paper or flashcards to speak. And so that was the first time I had seen technology, in a real way, help people communicate outside of themselves and just open up new worlds of possibilities. And that was really started me on the journey of like, okay, I, you know, technology, while it has incredible commercial applications, like on a personal human to human level, like this has the potential to unlock a lot of things and not just the technology itself, but the knowledge and application of the technology for the needs. So That was what really inspired me. And let me tell you, like this summer, this is only week two I just finished, but they've already helped expand my vision of the application of AI technology, like by tenfold. I kid you not. They are so receptive and just imaginative for the possibilities of the technology. Like the phase of explaining it is so brief, you know, and they instantly just adapted kind of like, well, how? Well, how can we do this? Or what can we do with it rather? Not what is it? And all the ethical questions and technological questions so much as just like how we can adapt it into our lives and make it fun and entertaining. And they've given me some tips on my NFTs as well about different ways to make it cool. And I've, yeah, I've been absolutely blown away. And the teachers were actually also interested in their reaction. So far because of the engagement. And I would say the nine to 12 year old group was probably the most active in understanding. Cause I blended the, not just AI, but the metaverse in 3D too. And they just took it to another level because this is where they live at with the more immersive video games like Roblox and Fortnite and Minecraft. And so it was just like a revelation to how fast they took it. And we're just starting generating their images, taking their prompts and generating images from their description. And we're going to reveal them next time. So that's where we're at so far. But it's been an absolutely incredible experience just watching them really take the technology and the concepts and apply it with no friction.

Daniel:

That is so spectacular. I also come from a small, like a STEM, steam background where I was teaching kids science, technology, engineering, art, and math. SoI vibe with that super hard. To be fair, it was always the science part. I liked teaching the most even though I was hired for the art, but I just, you know, nothing like a kid in a microscope, that's so much fun. It is truly spectacular. The idea that we're literally providing them a new outlook into a new reality is so amazing. All right, we're going to switch over to Tery with a little question on something that was brought up that kids seemingly don't care about, but maybe we should all be thinking about talking about a little more. What ethical considerations should be addressed when deploying AI in work environments? How can we ensure responsible and inclusive use and accessible use of the technologies, especially when it comes to like... creators and then teams associated with creators, right? Because obviously video editor, you got your colorist, you have, there's very many segments of industry that are gonna be impacted. And how do you view what should be a set of considerations in this space?

Tery:

Oh my God, Daniel, that was such a great question. And it's interesting. I don't know if you all heard the news this morning or maybe it hit last night. Google basically is clamping down on anybody that works for them and using chat GPT and using it in ways that they don't feel are going to be good. So, you know, I think we all need to be, you know, even. conscious of what we're doing with our AIs. I'm part of this morning program on a Twitter space called AIRtoday and the founder of that always leads the program or signs off by saying, treat your AI right. But in terms of ethics, I think this is a huge question. It's not something I could take and talk about in just a couple of minutes. But there are a lot of categories, and I think businesses need to have a policy. And I hate that word policy. I feel as an artist, policy feels like, you know, I'm being censored or something. But I understand, like a couple weeks ago, I was in New York visiting some of my old cohort cohorts in the agency world, and I heard stories about folks that are so excited, like myself, using chat GPT and... you know, some of them were saying, I'm uploading client data into chat GPT. And I'm like, is that on your local? Or what are you doing? Don't do that, you know? So I think policy needs to be put in place on like usage and also education. I think with policy, there always has to be education. So ethical considerations, let's first and foremost say something that I think we all been talking about a lot which is humans in the loop, right? Xander on educating, Kenn on workflow and how he brings things together. We all need to make sure that there are humans in the loop, right? Because we all have to be a part of it. I found seven areas to focus on in terms of ethics, bias and fairness, privacy and data protection. transparency and explainability, accountability and liability, inclusivity and accessibility, which can touch down, human oversight and control, so humans in the loop, right? Continuous monitoring and evaluation are really important. And also developing that policy. I think every single company, oh, sorry, is that me? Has to have some kind of policy. They put forth and outline and educate everybody so that you don't like pollute the AI, first of all, with nonsense or do anything nefarious to it, or have those accidents in which your data is being exposed some way somehow because we don't really know, right? And also treating it right and having all those considerations of like when I'm prompting, I'm not, I'm prompting with positive prompts, you know, not, you know, things that are going to be a problem.

Daniel:

I've definitely gotten mad at Chat GPT before though. No Chat GPT, that's not what I meant. Please, give me what I want.

Tery:

So yeah, there's a lot to consider. The ethics are huge, right?

Daniel:

Those bullet points, honestly, I would give you five minutes at minimum per point if I could. It's the least that is deserved. It's a topic that is not brought about enough. I'm going to still extend this a little more. I'd like to hear what Xander and Kenn have to say. Let's start with Xander. In terms of just general ethics considerations when it comes to both applied AI, AI's impact into our lives. Love what you said about privacy, accessibility, all of that. What do you guys think?

Xander:

Yeah, I think a lot of those notes she mentioned are incredibly important. And then also, you know, and kind of like cybersecurity and a few other things. I'm hoping the experts in those fields really make it more open source, I guess you could say, and come together to come up with the best solutions. It's a little bit above my pay grade, but I do know how important it is. So I support all of that. And then the other part is as far as, you know, like with creative commons use. And I think there's going to be, which I had heard a lot about this in web three, but the future of ownership and IP are going to have to radically change. Um, I think, so I'm really looking really, I'm really looking forward to it. Um, as like more adaptation happens as well, and we can prevent, um, uh, models being trained off of artists and people who don't want to train, I think that's really important. And I love seeing that on some websites like Sketchfab. I love Adobe's integration with the train models from licensed material on their platform. So artists and creators can really create freely and kind of have the licensing bit taken care of out the box. I think that's a really cool model. And I hope to see more creative tools implement those sort of things. So it's fair. I think that's really important.

Daniel:

Kenn?

Kenn:

Tery has already mentioned, of course, the idea of legal and liability. And Xander has already mentioned, of course, the idea of privacy. So what I think is important to consider is that, especially say with ASL, if we're going to capture people's contribution to ASL, then that's going to be personally identifiable, even if we anonymize it and we track only the vectors that represent body position and hand position. There's still going to be a dialect. There's still going to be kind of a personally identifiable accent, I think, to that communication. So that's something to look at. I think that in a way, as Xander mentioned with licensing, we almost need to have an AI that monitors the AI so that a recognizable style can be flagged in some way. But the flip side of that, of course, is the ability to be paid as a creator. So I'm concerned about, as Xander mentioned, As Tery's mentioned, I'm concerned about authorship and ownership, which is why I don't yet sell any of the mid-journey creations that I have. I don't have enough of my own hands on them, although Adobe has solved that. So originally, the provenance of NFT was to create secondary sales income. But how do you do that if you can't prove ownership of the concept? So it becomes complicated. And to get back again to the privacy. I feel with all of this computing power that's being placed into chat GPT and mid journey that it might become easier, and this is outside my pay grade, to identify the holes or the shapes that a person exists in within that AI footprint, that data footprint. Tery has mentioned the input of commercial IP, and then there's also the input of privacy, private IP or thoughts or concerns that we have. So it's something that we really do need to figure out. And because it's coming at us so quickly, it feels like we're already in this science fiction future of living in an AI world and how do we catch up to the machine? So, and I too, I'm very polite. I always say please and thank you. Although occasionally I do kind of get a little bit frustrated with ChatGPT. As Neil Gaiman pointed out in one of his tweets, ChatGPT creates information shaped sentences. So you have to always go into the sentence and do some follow-up to see if what it's saying is bona fide.

Daniel:

No, yeah, 100%. And I just want to kind of come in and do the same that Xander did in that when I was doing my, you know, cursory initial research on the Web3 space, what I found most valuable was as a digital artist, as someone who's done a lot of research in terms of curation and collection of digital archival works, it's kind of weird. It's kind of tricky. It's like, if you're a video artist and your video art has an installation component, there's like, how do you give them the file? How do they store the file? If you've got a projection mapped piece that doesn't require it, maybe it's a facade of a building, how is that collected? How is that stored? How do you know who made it, et cetera? So I think that what we're getting after this kind of web3 push in the last couple of years to now, what is obviously the AI push that's going on currently, we're starting to combine these base concepts of like ownership and provenance and collectibility. And making sure that the root of the creation, the artists are paid and credited. And I think it's one of the more exciting things for me in terms of kind of this. new breadth of new technologies is how we're rethinking what to do with them and how to store them and how to share them and how to do it all in a way that helps as many and hurts as little as little as possible. So I think that thank you all for the great answers. It's awesome to know that other people are also thinking about the same stuff because it's very important. Ethics is super important, especially with applied AI. Tery, like you said in the very beginning. You made your own data set and you've trained a model with that data set. And that's your work. And I think that that's the future of applied visual AI is really like IPs taking control of their own IP, maybe providing access to artists and creators via some, you know, portioned out allocated amount per sale. But that openness is really what AI has done because again, the best AI is open source and the ones that aren't are the ones that you get problems, you get sued, you get issues. And if we want to do a proper open source ecosystem in the AI space, we have to get open source funding. We have to get ethical trained data. We have to use properly paid like image segmenters and people who do the micro adjustments and add detail tags to images so that we can then use them to train our data. Because  people need to be paid more than $2 a day. So it's starting these conversations and then finishing them with action that I think is something we really need to start doing more of. And I'm glad I'm in a room surrounded with people who do that. It's awesome. So we're going to go straight to Kenn with this one. How is AI being used for employment and creating inclusive opportunities when it comes to people on the spectrum, ADHD, other mental health issues, neurodiversity in general? How has it benefited? How has it maybe negatively impacting? Like what's your opinion on how AI employment and those with disabilities can kind of mesh into something that is better for the future?

Kenn:

Okay, well, that's a great question. And it's a mountain of other questions with many trees of details. So I'll make my path through it as well as I can. In the last few months, since the summer, I was accepted into the startup Wiseguys pre-accelerator program. And initially this was for the Ruby Room, which was my environment for presenting culture and ideas in which Xander took place in. And from that, I came up with the idea of a league. where we could maybe start to rewrite the rules on autistic representation and employment. And that led to considering, well, within an investment situation, what would be useful? We could start to talk about AI in terms of matching autistic skills and talents and focus and accommodations into work opportunities. And it's a little bit amorphous right now because we need to talk to the autistic community. The old saying, of course, is if you've met one autistic person, you've met one autistic person. because we're very individualized in terms of our likes and preferences and skills and needs. So this is an interesting problem because employment to my mind is basically set up in an industrial model. And in true artistic form, if I'm visualizing a word and then trying to say it, the two clash and it doesn't quite work out. So I'll try and stay above the surface of that ocean. The employment has its own built-in biases in terms of how These days, resumes are input into the system, how interviews are proceeded with, occasionally how videos are analyzed in terms of is an applicant truthful, are they confident? These are all issues that come up when you're an autistic person. If we admit that we're autistic, then we may be passed over for a position, particularly one in a position of authority. If we show autistic traits, like you see me moving around very often or looking off to the side, then those may not come across as well to an uninformed employer. And once you're within a role itself, there may be a limited time span for it, because sooner or later, the interactions with the neurotypical community or the company culture will begin to put stress upon needs for accommodations for an autistic individual. So what we hope to do is to rewrite how we're perceived because is it really a question of disability on the autistic spectrum, or is it a question of conflict with the status quo? There was an experiment done where groups were created. One was a neurotypical group, one was an autistic group to measure how well they could solve problems. And it turned out they were both about equally as competent in solving problems. But when you created a mixed group that dropped So it's a question of communication and accommodation. So what I'm hoping through AI and through the immersive world is to be able to kind of, and especially through mid-journey, for example, which creates so much visual material, to try and widen the scope of how we're accepted. During the creation of my pitch for this accelerator, I found that the statistics for employment were really drastic. More than half of us have a secondary education. But most of us, say 2.4%, it seemed in the EU, or 15% in most of North America, it's a little bit higher in the United States, have employment or steady employment. And when I say it's a limited lifespan, autistic individuals, and I know I'm going on, I'll wrap it to a conclusion.

Daniel:

No, no, please, this is important. You know, we need to, this is what technology is for, in my opinion. Go until you're done.

Kenn:

Thank you, I appreciate it very much. The time spans in between employment or steady employment can be quite drastic. For me, it's been about three years between employment opportunities. And so I've had to make my own, which is why I became an entrepreneur and to have more control over accommodations and what I could accomplish. Other individuals I've heard seven years, and these are married individuals with house payments they get by, by getting little bits of work until they hopefully eventually find a role that really suits them well. So I think with the evolution of AI in the metaverse, there's a lot of opportunity for building. And I think that autistic individuals and individuals, ADHD, dyslexia, and so on, we have different talents in terms of, say, pattern recognition or alternate point of view, which innovation depends upon. And in terms of focus, that we statistically are also more productive than neurotypical groups, which... may be part of the problem. We do so well that we're, you know, it creates conflict. But we also have bias towards integrity as well. We have a difficult enough time puzzling out very subtle divergences in communication, sometimes intentionally misdirecting or not, that we often ask, can you clarify that or become more specific with it? So that implies that, you know, anyone on the spectrum can be a liar or difficult or have their own problems, but by large, we're focused on just trying to function within a neurotypical environment. So put these traits together, an alternate viewpoint, deep interests in a specific area that we might be focused on at the time, special interests, the ability to really focus on what we're doing, increasing our productivity, and the ability to really be concerned with communication seems to make us a perfect fit for evolving this new spatial web, this new spatial universe, for innovating solutions, for creating things that can really pay back multitudes of value for employers. But we have to get around the bias issues. We have to understand, or the neurotypical environment has to understand how we can navigate or sidestep these biases and make room for our particular characteristics because we've been around for as long as people have. One in every hundred babies created is autistic. So this is an adaptation, I think. It's not a disability in the sense that not being able to see or not being able to hear may be. Exactly. So let's make room for all of us because in creating the solutions that are increasingly planet-sized, climate change, AI, and the rest, let's make room for the genius that exists everywhere. And that's what I hope we can do through these opportunities in AI. Thank you.

Daniel:

Heck yeah, that was an amazing answer. Oh my gosh. Yeah, so I'm, if you can't tell, very, very ADHD. So I appreciate that a lot. It has taken me many years to kind of figure out my place, my best mode of being. And I definitely think I'm there now, but you know, I'm 30 now, so it's taken me some time. I can only imagine, you know, the work and pressure that you put on yourself, but... it's amazing to have someone like you in the community, in the industry, making waves, making changes, and thinking about this. Because again, your generic neuro-typical person isn't gonna necessarily even know that they have to be aware of stuff like this. But this is what technology allows for, right? I think some of the more impactful VR, AR, mixed reality experiences I've ever had have been those that give me someone else's perspective. 

Kenn:

I completely agree. I tend to think of VR as theater, that it's another step in the evolution of theater, where we originally would paint on cave walls, we'd have ceremonial processes there to handle the world and have a deeper understanding of oneself. Then we had Greek theater and amphitheaters, use of masks, a narrative, then Mélia's, we had this imaginative studios at the turn of the century. And then of course cinema. And now we have VR and it's a way of stepping onto the stage with a performer being in their skin as it were.

Daniel:

Yeah, it's the empathy that can be built with technology is so powerful, and it's not nearly done enough. And it's often done for the opposite purpose, and it's somewhat frustrating. So we're going to, we have one end group question, but we have one before that. So let's go back to Xander. As a creator now, how does AI help you enhance your projects you work on? the digital Xander Love collection to other NFT projects to, you know, even your work with children and just general education and kind of communicating, whether that's a brand journey that you're trying to communicate with AI or with the help of AI, or, you know, it's your personal social media presence that is badass and you have actually amplified so well and you're an icon within the community.

Xander:

Man, thank you. That's so humbling. I appreciate it. I'm just like, that's incredible. To answer your question, first of all, my brain is just so going from all the conversations here. These are some of my favorite influencers in the world. So hearing them, hearing this talk, I'm trying to stay focused. But yeah, one thing that I, a really interesting revelation I had, a few years ago, before I even started experimenting with generative AI, and this current trend was super into science fiction, like I said, and I can't remember what the film was, but it talked about how we, or maybe it was something I read. I don't remember where I got this concept, to be honest. But it was how when we think of artificial intelligence, we usually think of it increasing our capacity for, you know, work and maybe general intelligence. However, one thing that is often maybe overlooked or forgotten is its capacity to increase our emotional intelligence with increased empathy. So, you know, even as Kenn was speaking about how when they're separated and non-typical and typical divergent groups or whatever, the communication kind of falls, but I was thinking of AI kind of being a mediator of that. And one of the biggest things I've learned from using AI for the last year is how I can be have to be very deliberate in my Words and speaking to it, you know and how sometimes a lot of times actually with humans with each other we're very vague and we don't, like a lot of times, we don't really fully know what the other person is saying, we just have to hope we are right You know But with artificial intelligence, it's a really good exercise and a lot of creative arts and being very deliberate and specific about what you're describing and the images that are in your head, how to translate those to other people. So I think to get back to your question, that's where it's been the most freeing for me. Someone who already before journey with AI, my goal I've had or as I the kids in my classroom, the superpower I've been trying to develop is kind of like this quantum ability to create at the speed of thought for myself or for others. And I think generative, I think generative AI has really enhanced that. And that really raises empathy because like getting not just myself, but being able to see other people's worlds that have been, you know, trapped inside of their minds that they can experience and see and feel, but no one else can. Instantly now we can share those as visual thoughts and then as much as we're seeing those, it's increasing our palette to appreciate and understand and maybe even just visualize, whoa, that's what's going on in other people's heads. That's really cool. And, you know, also as an artist, it helps me even push the boundaries of imagination, my own imagination and asking it to envision things for me and then kind of curating those realities and sharing them. More has allowed me to, you know, reach beyond some limitations that I had and concepts that are in my head for years I've been trying to develop put out into the world and now I can clear that space and share it and get feedback and just continue the loop of self-expression and self-actualization that comes with creating and sharing those experiences. So it's like it's every day. I'm just so grateful for the time that I'm alive and just being able to literally as far as like, dude, I can't believe this is incredible. It's so cool to be able to see this.

Daniel:

How can everyone prepare themselves in the future of AI driven everything, right? How can they take advantage of this new set of tools? To positively interact with their emerging careers, their interests, how can they use these parts of what they might like? Maybe they don't like everything. Maybe they only like ChatGPT. Maybe they only like the visual side. Maybe they only wanna make videos and right now there's not that many tools for that. Maybe they wanna learn how to get into it. How can they take those first steps?

Tery:

Wow, Daniel, you're a tough act to follow. Um, so first and foremost, you know, anybody who's watching this, just hit me up. I'm happy to teach anybody. You can hit me up on Twitter. I'm just at Tery on Twitter. And I, I've been doing a lot of education in this, like, like Xander and Kenn. Um, you know, I, I tend to educate the seniors. But over the summer, I'll be educating the youngsters. We're gonna do an AI hackathon here in my community, which is very cool. But education, like find those resources. Like AI Art Today on Twitter is a great space that happens every single day except the weekends. And we talk about all the tools and all the things like we just talked copyright. It has... I think we spent like almost a month just talking about copyright, you know, all the tools that we're using, the ethics around it, people that, you know, the artists that are doing such great things like ourselves, you know, I think that's, there aren't any books, except I have a book coming out in a couple of months on brand and AI, another book, that would be 10. but it did a ton of books. But experimentation too, don't be afraid, you know? Go in and try things out. I know I hit really hard on the whole ethics thing, but you know, don't be afraid to at least experiment and use those. So, you know, try all the tools to see what you like from chat GPT to mid journey to even Playform. Gosh, hit me up. I'll get you, you know, some free tokens on Playform if you wanna try it out. Um, but yeah, experiment. Like, like I think you mentioned, uh, like video, like I've been doing a lot of experimentation with video because I want to take my, my science fiction novel, Laundry Gate into a video that I can control and show the characters the way they should be. Like also, you know, um, beyond darkness is another, like, sorry, Kenn, I did go ahead and use, uh, mid-journey and I did publish my book, so I do have a copyright on it. I did do it, but I want to take that book and make it into like a video. And so I'm learning. I'm learning things that, you know, like, you know, that I haven't used in decades, like on macro media. Oh my God, did I just date myself? But that's cool, just get out there. Join the Google's AI test kitchen. I'm on there. I've been using it. I got to train a LaMDA, and now I'm in the MusicLM. So it's very cool. There are so many resources, and of course, all of us. So those are some of the things. 

Kenn:

You're tremendously inspiring to me, Tery, because you've produced these books, you participate in the community, you educate and you express it so well and so clearly. What a treasure, yeah.

Tery:

Thank you.

Daniel:

And let's go on from, okay, so we did Tery, now Kenn, same question. What's the best first steps that you can recommend to incoming interested parties?

Kenn:

Okay, the first thing I'd say is exactly as Tery's mentioned, jump right in. And as you've mentioned, jump right in and don't be afraid to break things. Type in a prompt with mid-journey and find out what the result is. Get to know what the contours of chat GPT's responses are like and where it seems to have great content and where it might be trying to make things up. And I would also have the perspective that this is all taking place in the continuum of human development. That if we could think of our thoughts as manifest in chat GPT or mid journey, they're like echoes in the corridor of time. So to maintain perspective on that, as an autistic person, I found getting back into meditation helps a lot because it's easy to jump into the ocean of these possibilities, but then to create with them as well. As Tery has mentioned, you've created publications, you've participated in community and this multi-dimensional aspect of living within generative AI potential, I think, can really be nourishing, but to stay in touch with your center as a creative personality. So experiment, break things, and keep on trucking.

Daniel Potes:

And we'll end it with Xander, and then we'll have one last little end-all wrap-up hangout.

Xander:

So I think one of the first things and cool things for me that I do when I experiment with new technologies or new fields, even like during the pandemic, I became a very, very big MMA fan. And just because of all of the intricacies of all the different martial arts styles and how they apply them and the personalities and I was just super interested, knew nothing about fighting. So, I mean, I didn't know the difference between a hook and an uppercut really and a jab or any of these things. So basically what I did was I, and kind of like you guys have mentioned, I found people who do talk about it and I followed them. The things like you said, the things I was hyper interested in, I could find online somebody else who was just as into it, hopefully, and then just immerse myself in those communities and worlds. And then also finding influencers or minds that you can, that resonate with you. If they talk about stuff you like, and they do stuff you like, just follow them. Try to be as active as you can. Don't be afraid to leave a comment and ask a question. Like Daniel said, there was this Steve Jobs quote that kinda, I always will remember it cause it kinda pissed me off in the moment, but then later I got a really good insightful revelation. And he said that like, anytime he wanted something, he would reach out to people and the universe, doors would always open, you know, and he would always have that access and was always gain it. And I was like, well, it's great for you, Mr. Steve Jobs, but I don't have that same network of opportunity. However, you know, this, you know, X amount of years later in this new paradigm, now we do, you know, now we can connect and within two or three clicks, reach out to sometimes it's positive, sometimes not, you never know, but if until you try, but more often than not for me, when I have reached out to find those people or those things that I'm interested in and very passionate about, the doors have always been open. So I would just say, you know, encourage you to stay curious or as Steve Jobs, stay hungry, stay foolish, and just keep reaching out, reaching out for the things you're interested in and chasing it. And yeah, you know, use those people who have failed before you as inspiration. And know that growth usually happens there in that exploration. Um, and interest and just nurture your natural curiosity, you know, wherever that may lead you.

Tery:

That's great.

Daniel:

What is the one thing in the AI space each of you is most excited about, and we can start with Xander.

Xander:

Hey, I am most excited about the relief, but you know, this may be still serving, but the release of my NFT project in Metaverse experience, Let Go, and the AI Journey X1s. I've been working on them for a year, and my goal was to like, start utilizing the tools in a real like recognizable way, because like, I don't know for a hundred percent sure, but I started realizing like, Mid Journey itself and some of these AI tools themselves have a look and a feel. I don't know if the artists can differentiate themselves with their particular style, but maybe they can implement it for a particular use case and be associated with that. So that's what I did with the AI Journey X1s as a way to really give myself a good use case and implement it directly into my creative process. And then at large, it's a part of Let go, which is a metaverse mosaic where you travel, it's a quest based mosaic where you travel through nine worlds, collecting mythical objects to get this ultimate seed phrase that has a really deep meaning, a deep meaning about the nature, a lot of the things of the nature we've been talking about, expression, consciousness, and some of those more abstract concepts. The other part is because the AI journey is one, the use cases is to get people more into our world, you know, an easy gateway. Get them into the tools, get them, get them free merchandise and let them come have positive group experiences in our industry. Sometimes there can be waves where the press negatively portrays us and for good reason sometimes some of the characters in there is like you said like not all of us are in it A for the trendiness or B just for the money grab. So there's really genuine people who are interested in the technology and connecting with others and helping others do the same. So, yeah, I encourage all of you to check that out and try to join the community and at the very least play the experience. Keep a lookout for it. It's called Let Go, a metaverse mosaic from Xander Love.

Daniel:

All right, let's go with Kenn.

Kenn:

Okay, well, tough act to follow because Xander has it all in place when it comes to the sound and the music and the theme and the color and the shapes and the rest of it. So what I'm going to do off of my own little metaverse, creating a Ruby Room 2, which is almost completed. And I hope you forgive me for the nerdy name, but I'm calling it the Cathedral of Funk. It's going to be another place to hang out. And what I'm calling part of a rebel metaverse, a place where we can put up tags, a place where we can make the spaces our own instead of just going through... the commercial side of things entirely. And the other thing I'm excited about is creating the League of Extraordinary Talent for neurodiverse individuals to rebrand ourselves, to represent ourselves differently as superheroes in our own milieu. So that's going to be a great creative endeavor as well. It's all based on a comic book look. So that's going to be impossible to ignore.

Daniel:

Alright, and Tery, how about you?

Tery:

Oh my God, that's a loaded of questions. I have so many projects going on, but I'm gonna stick with, I wanna learn the music AI. So like I said, I'm working on the music ML. So I did a few little things and pushed out there using music LM and Deforum. So Deforum gives me the video. So I wanna explore that more so I could create my own content from that, but the thing that I'm hoping for in a little bit of blue sky for the future, and since we're all loving science fiction, I really do want my own AI assistant, but not like the assistant kind of thing. I want this like companion that, you know, I could have these deep discussions with, that I could trust to not be a gofer, but like bring me back like some things that are, you know, deep and open my mind some more. So I'm hoping that's where the future takes us in terms of AI and creativity and our own imagination, which is so incredible. So thank you so much for having me on this. This is so much fun.

Daniel:

So much fun. And I'll end it with kind of the same note. My biggest excitement and the thing I've been working on now for four and a half, five years, is the blossoming field of 3D generative AI, which is now doing some amazing… we're finally there, guys. It's been so long. I was doing this stuff, you should see my independent study for 2018 at Pratt was literally, making an AI generative plugin for 3D assets for Unity, which I did not do. And it's still not done by Nvidia, by no one's done it. So it don't, you know, I got in over my head as a, but we're so close, get 3D. There's so many assortment of blender plugins. If you're at all interested in the 3D space in terms of asset rendering, making fun 3D printable objects. I've got a fun example. Look at that. That's an AI generated chair made in mid journey, processed through KDEM and then printed on a 3D printer. So like, yes, it doesn't look really comfortable if you sit on that, it won't be very nice, right? But the premise is we're at the point where I can get a file out of the AI that I can give to my printer with minimal, this one required a little bit, minimal human input. to get just printed. I can just get it. Like if I sent this to a fabricator, they would just make it. You know, it's not, there's no additional steps really other than the workflow that you set up for 3D and that's getting easier and easier. So that's what I'm most excited about. I think the idea of metaverse spaces populated entirely by unique individual input is the future of immersion. And then it's the future of personalized immersion. It's the future of personalized storytelling, which is like... Like obviously, Kerry knows, obviously, Kenn and Sandra know, like it's storytelling, even though we're in tech, even though we're using AI, that's why we're here. That's why we do art, that's why we use technology, it's to tell our stories. It's just the best tool that we found to tell that story. I sure wish I could paint, but I can't. So I guess I'm gonna use AI. And with that, we're done, guys. That was pretty awesome.

Tery:

That was so great.

Kenn:

Yeah!

Navigating the AI Era: My Journey Ahead with Imisi Fakunle and Nadiyah Rajabally
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): AI
Join Imisi Fakunle, a Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence student, in "Navigating the AI Era: My Journey Ahead." Hosted by Nadiyah Rajabally, Head of Marketing at hundo, they explore the future of technology, AI's exciting possibilities, its impact on education and work, ethical considerations, and empowering young girls in the tech space. Discover insights and inspiration for the AI era!
The following is the transcript for this video:

Nadiyah:

Hi everyone! Welcome to our AI event. So today I've got Imisi joining us. Imisi, do you want to introduce yourself?

Imisi:

Yeah, sure. Hi everyone. My name is Imisi and I'm a recent computer science with AI graduate and incoming technology analyst and engineer at Deutsche Bank. And yeah, I love all things like technology and AI and things like that.

Nadiyah:

That's so cool. So I met Imisi at a book launch, I think it was two years ago, I think, and that's how we connected. So I'm Nadiyah and I'm from Hundo and I'm Head of Marketing. And yeah, I feel like me and Imisi met ages ago and I really found it super interesting with everything you did. And obviously you, at the time you were studying AI and obviously now you've graduated, so congratulations.

Imisi:

Thank you.

Nadiyah:

As a student studying AI, what specific skills and knowledge have you gained that makes you feel ready for future technology.

Imisi:

I think there's mainly three areas that make me feel more ready about the future of technology and things like that. The first would be learning about AI fundamentals and then getting to actually practice these in my degree. Because AI is essentially simulating human intelligence and that involves learning, reasoning, and correction to increase reliability and things like that. Since I chose to do computer science with AI, I had modules that included a lot of teaching about these fundamentals, as well as learning things like algorithms of technologies related to AI, such as natural language processing, machine learning, and computer vision. Learning this theory and then getting to practice it through coursework strengthens my understanding a lot. I think the next thing is, always been encouraged to remain open-minded because AI is something that excites many people but is also something that terrifies many people. So although we weren't directly taught how to be open-minded towards AI, I think through my degree, like adopting an attitude of embracing change really helped me to be more open-minded to the benefits and possibilities of AI. And I think that this attitude of like excitement and curiosity rather than fear is a good skill to have, especially as I'm going into work in tech. I would also say that like gaining knowledge of ethics in different aspects of AI makes me feel more prepared because there's many ethical aspects like privacy, transparency, surveillance and that's been like kind of a key part of my learning as well. So I think that put me in a good place to be ready for the future and things like that.

Nadiyah:

Great, yeah, I find it so fascinating. So obviously I'm not, I'm from a non-technical background. So just like hearing people talk about something and even things that you mentioned in the question, it's just, yeah, it's just so fascinating. So can you share some cool examples of how AI is transforming various industries based on your studies?

Imisi:

Yeah, I think definitely AI has a wide range of uses. I would say that kind of generative AI and like personalization AI are two areas I find really interesting. Generative AI is probably a bit familiar to like people watching this. It's like the concept of AI basically creating something. So this could be like text, art or music and text generation is what chatbots like Chat GPT and like character.ai utilize. Chat GPT, you may have heard of, is like an increasingly popular chat bot and it generates responses based on prompts. And character.ai, which you might not have heard of, it does a similar thing, but it actually generates responses based on what they think movie and like book characters or famous people would say. So things like these are quite cool, I feel, gain an insight to AI and the fact that they're just readily available to the public. I think it's a great way to get like different perspectives, like find information and also help with tasks or just to use recreationally. Things like art and music generation tools also use prompts to generate unique pieces. So there's a lot of things that kind of generate like music based on you can say, oh, I want like an upbeat piece that focuses on this, and this or gives these kind of feelings. And it can generate a music piece for that. It can also generate like different art things, art pieces. So I think these areas are quite interesting and I learned a bit about them in my studies and more and more I'm learning about these tools and trying them out and that's quite fun. Personalization AI is also kind of a big part of what may be like available to us now. It's a big part of social media. So like you have your TikTok, your Instagram reels and YouTube shorts, which kind of use personalization to create like your for you pages or curate suggestions and things like that. So this does have a lot of like positive and negative aspects. But it's an area that I feel like is quite cool. and it definitely transformed the social media industry. So yeah, these are kind of two areas that I would say.

Nadiyah:

I have to admit I do love using ChatGPT for work. Sometimes you run out of ideas, especially in marketing. You just need something quick, just like quick posts, quick edit here and there. Now yeah, I definitely do love ChatGV, so I'm thankful we have that. So what is one of your favorite tool, AI tools to use? Because you obviously mentioned quite a lot, so I just want to know from your perspective, what's your favorite?

Imisi:

I think there's one I recently started using, it's called Dream Studio, and it's really cool. It's like an art generative AI. So you type in a prompt. So it could be like, if you want an image of a forest, for example, you can type like medieval type of forest with a moody atmosphere or something like that. And it will generate different images for you that. And you can also specify the style of art that you want, and then it will generate images for you to pick from, and you can edit different aspects. So I think that's probably my most recent discovery that I've found to be my favorite tool so far. Obviously, ChatGPT is great as well for just rephrasing things or asking questions. And on ChatGPT, I especially like... trying out different prompts. So using like explain this concept topic to a five-year-old. And I find like these opportunities really just kind of give me a different perspective. It makes things easier to understand. So I like it for that aspect as well. So

Nadiyah:

Yes.

Imisi:

I know I said two, but.

Nadiyah:

No, that's fine. I know that some of our team members like to use MidJourney to generate

Imisi:

Oh.

Nadiyah:

obviously images for our graphic design stuff. So yeah, there's so much out there. So what exciting possibilities do you see AI locking for the next generation and what excites you most about it?

Imisi:

I think since AI can fit into so many industries, like it currently benefits healthcare, finance, transportation, marketing, and different things, like even what you just talked about your coworkers using Mid Journey. So I think it will create new avenues for creativity and business, because you can almost now find an AI tool that will help you supplement your skills in different aspects of your work or your studies or things like that. And it is like the basis for more and more startups. So I think just like the prevalence of it, the diversity of AI to be integrated into almost every aspect of society, I think that will kind of unlock a lot of exciting possibilities. And that also excites me because I think if these benefits are kind of integrated into more areas of society, more applications that we use, it can definitely add value to them and increase engagement as well. And another aspect that excites me is I think that these benefits are becoming more accessible, like over, so I think that this will kind of happen over the next generation as well.

Nadiyah:

Definitely there's so much happening. I feel like, obviously, Hundo's helping young people learn more about tech and AI and stuff like that. And we wanna help them build skills so they know more about these industries. And I feel like we do need to have young people. learn from a younger age using these things and they shouldn’t be scared of using them. And even of what you'll find today, the speakers that we have, they'll dive more into these topics and they’re super interesting. So which AI roles or positions do you find fascinating and how do you believe AI will shape education and work for the future generation?

Imisi:

That's a good question. I think the automation aspect of AI does introduce risks of AI replacing certain jobs, because obviously it's available 24/7 and relatively consistent. But I think it will also create new jobs. Two jobs I recently found out about, I think will become very prevalent, are prompt engineer and AI ethicists. So prompt engineers are specifically people generate prompts or create prompts for generative AIs. So they come up with these prompts so that their outcomes that the AI gives will be more accurate and targeted and beneficial. I also think the AI ethicists will become quite a prevalent job because you want things like reducing bias and increasing data security compliance. Over the next generation, I think that AI will become more prevalent in personal use. So things like learning, fun memes, therapeutic, as well as like information resources and scheduling and checking for like spelling errors, things like that. I think it will be more prevalent in personal use. For education, I think it will encourage schools and exam boards. universities to improve their learning and assessment practices. And I think those students will also eventually, like as you were saying, from a younger age as well, be taught how to supplement their skills using AI, regardless of what they're studying or would like to pursue. I don't think it will be very much just like technical people or people from technical backgrounds trying to be interested and learning more. I think it will become more prevalent in education. So everyone knows a bit about it. For workplaces, if AI becomes cheaper to maintain, I think it will then be integrated into more business functions, including in the more traditional industries as well.

Nadiyah:

Yeah, I definitely agree. Especially like when I started, I had zero tech knowledge. My background was in marketing, so it's very non-technical. But obviously with like the use of AI and stuff, I feel like I've learned so much with using these tools and I feel like I understand language more, I understand more on the technical side. So I feel like, yeah, we should be, like we shouldn't segregate and have some people understanding and some people not. So I feel, yeah, it's really important from a young age to integrate in their learnings and then everyone feels included. So what are your thoughts on ethical considerations surrounding AI applications and how can we navigate these challenges while maximising the benefits because obviously you did touch a few while you were talking so you can dive more into it.

Imisi:

Yeah, I think if I look at two ethical issues that may mainly come up when you're thinking about AI or people talking about it, I think two ones would be like privacy and bias. So like privacy in terms of like the use and reuse of personal data, that's an ethical aspect that definitely needs to be prioritized because more complex systems are created. The fact that this is one of the first times in history where we have direct access to these things as they are being created, they're not used for some secret project or something. This means that informed consent is kind of harder to guarantee because how do you ensure that users actually understand what they're consenting to and the potential ramifications of using AI and things like that? So. This is because data collection is a huge part of AI in terms of maintaining accuracy and keeping up to date. I think we can navigate the challenge of privacy and consent through being more transparent. So trying to make AI more explainable to technical and non-technical users, as we were talking about. I feel like if more people understand what's kind of happening, like what... what it's about, not just, oh, I'm just going to do this, but, or how is it actually taking my input and giving me this output, or what is it used for in terms of how is my data being used? I think if more people understand that, then it can also help to reduce things like fears and biases surrounding AI, because then people can make better decisions about what aspects of AI they actually want to embrace. I think... The second thing was the bias. So that's a large ethical consideration in AI as well, because things like the training data used could have flaws in bias or represent biases in society that could end up programmed into AI. And we can improve this or kind of combat this by introducing proper procedures in place at the start of this. being reactive to bias, kind of taking a proactive approach to basically just stop this from happening or reduce the impact of this. I think also diversifying the workplace would be a good way to go with this because how would you, like, if you have more people representing society, creating these models, then you're more likely to spot where biases could be in different aspects, so things like race, gender, disability, just all aspects basically. If you have like a more diverse workplace creating these models, then they can maybe be able to spot these issues better.

Nadiyah:

Yeah, I definitely agree. So obviously you went into some of the businesses. So what potential benefits does AI bring to business and individuals in terms of being more productive and bringing innovation to the workplace?

Imisi:

I think AI is definitely something that is very supplementary. So if you can kind of improve business processes by kind of improving the creativity surrounding business processes, because if people have access to these tools that can help them in like a fun or like targeted way, then they can kind of focus more on the idea. generation, thoughts behind the process, rather than areas that they might just be stumped on. So for example, if you want to complete a task, instead of thinking exactly how to do it, you can get ChatGPT to plan out what you actually need to do in that, and then you can use your own knowledge and your own experiences to then fill out the different aspects of the task. So I think it can very much supplement different processes, more often on an individual basis, but things like helping workplaces as a whole, I think different industries can use technologies that AI provides to improve things like just the services that they offer. Since AI involves data collection, you can learn a lot more about your users and then you can make things like directed towards them. So yeah, I think these are like the main benefits and how it can impact people.

Nadiyah:

And previously you mentioned about obviously creative. So I just wanted to know from your perspective, how you think AI is gonna impact the creative industry and what your thoughts are on like music and art.

Imisi:

Yeah, I think there should, I see the benefits of the kind of like generative AIs I was talking about that create like music and art, but I still think there should be like a distinction of the kind of human spaces for this because obviously you can see like a potential issue arising in people who are artists, you know, like if an AI can just create this and what's the point. So I think there should be a definite distinction between human spaces for this. And I think to be honest, there already is because people still value the work of people. But for things that are more like business cases, like if you just wanna create a quick graphic for your work, or if you're working on a personal project and you wanna create a quick graphic, it can be beneficial in that sense. So it definitely has, it's like positive and negative aspects. But if we kind of define what, like create better regulations, for example, if you're gonna have like an art competition, just specify whether or not AI generated art is allowed in this and things like that. I feel like if we just create clearer rules now that these things do exist, then we won't run into as many problems regarding this.

Nadiyah:

Yeah, definitely. And now I want to go more into young people. So obviously, you're a woman in tech. So I wanted to what advice would you give young women watching this right now on how to go into the AI industry or even just in tech because I know in school when I was in school, boys were heavily pushed to like maths and technical stuff. I mean, as a girl, I was more creative like art. So what advice would you give young girls and what like what How did you get to where you are now?

Imisi:

I think the main advice I would give is that you should never just try to limit yourself because you think you're supposed to do something. I had a bit of a different background in that I went to an all-girls school, so it wasn't very much that I saw like all... I mean, I definitely noticed that there were less girls in the STEM-related classes, but it wasn't like I thought it's because boys should be doing it. I was just like, oh, okay, maybe less people are interested in it. But I've always wondered why. And I think an aspect that helped me to understand this a bit better is kind of when I was doing some tutoring and mentoring sixth form students. And a lot of people, a lot of girls especially have it in their mindset. Oh, if I'm not good at something, then I should just kind of like pursue things that I'm better at without considering potential interests and things like that. Just encouraging people that even though it may seem hard, just keep learning about it, keep going at it. Because if you're interested in something, you shouldn't have to stop being interested in it just because you think you can't do it. I recommend also learning a lot about the industry through different means. You can use AI to learn about AI, funnily enough. So now that some of these tools are more accessible, if you find an interest in it, you can look for them and use them. I recommend an application called Artifact as well, which kind of does like, it's an AI as well, and it does like personalized news updates and that can really help you to get a bit of an insight to what's going on in the industry. Every day you can just try and read like an article about it. So I think, yeah, just don't have it in your mind that you can't do it. And then also like be proactive in finding out more about the areas that you're interested in. I think those will be my two main pieces of advice.

Nadiyah:

Yeah, definitely. I think that's really good pieces of advice. And yeah, just like keeping up to date. So how do you keep up to date with like the tech world? Because obviously it's always changing. There's so many stuff happening. So how would you, how can our viewers keep up to date?

Imisi:

Yeah, definitely through looking at like using resources that can help. So like I mentioned Artifact, that's something I use pretty much daily. There's also so many tech newsletters that you can sign up to just to get some insights. I think TLDR is one that I use like daily as well. It just sends daily insights and you can sign up to different aspects of it. So if you're interested in like web development, you can sign up to that if you're interested in AI, it has an AI stream. So I think the best way to keep up to date is not actually just sitting down one day and going through it for five hours, it's more having that kind of daily five minutes, daily 10 minutes of time that you just dedicate to like learning about it, looking at your news, looking at the different things that are happening in the industry. I think those type of small amounts of time definitely accumulate. And it can also help you keep interested if you don't treat it like homework, if you more treat it like something that you just do like in your spare time. And it doesn't have to be that like time consuming or things like that. But as long as you're consistent with it and consistent with your learning, then I think that's the best way to keep up to date because it's such like a fast-paced industry. And I feel like it's so convoluted as well. the amount of people trying to get information that may or may not be true out there. So I think if you just kind of try to find these resources that you think will be beneficial to your learning and interact with them on a daily basis, I think that's the best way to, or that's the way that's worked for me for this.

Nadiyah:

Yeah, definitely. Like you said, there's a lot of fake news going around and it's just hard to know which is correct and which is wrong.

Imisi:

See you.

Nadiyah:

Obviously, Web3 space is a lot of communities and stuff. And obviously, the space is very heavy on like networking and everything. So how do you network and are you part of any communities like women in STEM or anything in general?

Imisi:

Um, yeah, so when we met, I was actually part of the global tech advocates. So that's how I've found out about the book launch and I got into the book and things like that. Um, so there's, there's definitely a lot of different communities. Um, I'm also a member of like color and tech. Um, and then the global tech advocates, they also have different subsections. So I'm part of women tech and then black women in tech as well. So there's a lot of different, um, communities out there. I'm also quite interested in product, so I'm part of a few product communities as well on Slack. So yeah, I think just how I find these communities, I look up on the internet or I go on LinkedIn and usually if you see someone posting about something they're interested in, you can just click on their profile and you can see what communities they're a part of. and you can go through the community website, see if that's something that you would be interested in. I definitely do recommend joining communities though, because that's the best way to gain access to events and areas where you can just learn more about things that you might be interested in or find out that you will be interested in. So yes, I definitely recommend joining communities.

Nadiyah:

Definitely because it's like a space for where you can all talk and communicate network you can even find jobs and there's a lot of good yeah so we're gonna round up now, can you tell me the top five things you're most excited about AI or in the tech industry for the future or even now?

Imisi:

I think, okay, first thing, I've talked a lot about generative AI. I think that could be quite interesting. I'm very excited for it because I feel like that's the part that, the closest thing that I can relate to the kind of simulation of human behavior and intelligence is like AI coming up with like a piece of work or like an art piece or music piece. So that area kind of really excites me. I feel like there could be a lot of benefits to that. Another area that really excites me is just creating different avenues for people to learn. So obviously ChatGPT and other chatbots out there are kind of opening up different spaces because people can just easily access them and learn more and even things like Google Bard as well. So there's a lot of different up and coming chatbots. I'm excited and I'm also looking forward to learning more about like the actions taken towards risk mitigation in terms of things like bias and also false information. Yeah, it's kind of weird to say that I'm excited about like false information, but I'm excited about like what's going to be done about just kind of increasing access to more honest and truthful information. And I think that maybe if chatbots can play a role in this as well, like if they kind of get better at being more reliable, I think that could be a potentially interesting part. I'm also interested in, I think this is the third or fourth thing, I'm also interested in the kind of like news generation aspects of AI, like the artifact Apple is talking about. I found that quite interesting because... There's a lot of news, like how do you know which news article to read? How do you know where to go for your information? So the fact that I can use something that brings my information to me and suggests things that I could be interested in. But it also doesn't just suggest things I'll be interested in. It also integrates different aspects I never thought of as well, because obviously you don't want to get into things called like filter bubbles. So I think... Just personalized news, personalized insights, just personalization in general is something that really interests me and excites me. I think that's gonna become more prevalent as the amount of information out there is increasing. So I think people will not just wanna stream through all of it, they would just want their data to come to them. And the final thing is probably the accessibility that AI could bring. especially in form of chatbots because a lot of students can or like a lot of school students could use it to learn about areas that they never knew they would have access to in an easier way. Accessibility as well in terms of if you use like the right prompts like if you use explain this to like a 12 year old or something. Like I was encouraging my little sister to use that because she was interested in physics. And it's just different things like that. So I feel like these technologies will make, will increase accessibility because you can kind of reach it on your own level and get that kind of like tailored insights depending on like what prompts you give. So overall quite interested in AI and specifically like the generative aspects and the kind of information giving aspects and the personalization. So yeah, I think this will be my main thing.

Nadiyah:

Yeah, it's such a ride. I feel like we're just at the beginning of the journey and I feel like there's just so much more to look forward to. And yeah, I can't wait to see what happens, especially with the regulation side and how we help maintain all that.

Imisi:

Exactly.

Nadiyah:

So yeah, I think the last question I have is, what is your dream job?

Imisi:

Oh what is my dream job? I think my dream job would be within the, definitely in technology. I'm very much passionate about technology, if you can't tell. I think it would be in a place where I can kind of just use like the curiosity I have about this and the like eagerness to learn about this to kind of make an impact, whether that is in helping towards like decision making or helping towards ethical considerations and like risk regulation and things like that. I don't think I have like a dream job title in that sense, but I definitely would like to be in a space where I can help with different AI products and aspects of AI and just kind of help them to consider all bases. prior to release and consider ethics and risks as well.

Nadiyah:

I can definitely see it as an AI officer or something doing all the regulations and stuff. Imisi, it's been lovely speaking to you and I can't wait to see all the amazing things you do in the future. Where can our viewers connect with you? Do you want to share your socials or the best place just in case they want to ask you questions or know more about your journey?

Imisi:

Yeah, I'm happy for you to connect with me on LinkedIn. It's just my name, Imisi Fakunle. So, should I spell it?

Nadiyah:

Oh yeah, you can spell it, yeah.

Imisi:

Okay, it's I-M-I-S-I, and then F-A-K-U-N-L-E. So if you just search that up on LinkedIn, you'll be able to find me. And yeah, I'm happy to answer any questions there.

Nadiyah:

Well thank you so much for your time, Imisi. It's been lovely talking to you and we definitely need to catch up and meet in person now Covid's over

Imisi:

Yeah, definitely.

Nadiyah:

and we'll plan something. And yeah, thank you so much. To find out more, obviously follow Hundo and we've got all our amazing speakers and our agenda for the rest of the day. And you can watch this on-demand if you miss the live event. So thank you. Bye!

Imisi:

Thank you.

Sci-Fi to Work-Tech: Unveiling AI’s Impact on Tomorrow with Daniel Potes and Scott Byrne-Fraser
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): AI
Join Daniel Potes, Creative And Physical Technologist at Future Colossal, and Scott Byrne-Fraser, Technical Co-founder at hundo, in "Sci-Fi to Work-Tech: Unveiling AI's Impact on Tomorrow." Explore AI's transformative influence on work, industry integration, benefits for productivity and innovation, navigating the AI-driven future, and addressing ethical considerations in this thought-provoking conversation.
The following is the transcript for this video:

Scott:

And next I'm joined by Daniel Potts. Daniel is a creative technologist and an AI artist. Daniel set out to become Indiana Jones in his early career before deciding to move into the technology field. He now helps shape the conversation about ethics of the use of AI and uses it to implement new ways of boosting your productivity in your day-to-day work. So without further ado, Daniel.

Daniel:

Hey, hey.

Scott:

Hey Daniel, how are you?

Daniel:

I'm doing great. Nice and early for me here on the East Coast, but very ready for a great conversation.

Scott:

Fantastic, yeah, thank you for joining us so early on over there. I'll jump straight into the questions then. I mean, can you tell us in our audience a bit about yourself, who you are, what you do, your journey to get into where you got to now?

Daniel:

Yeah, so I like to think I'm the most eclectic generalist of all time, but I've happened to kind of stumble into a very specific set of specializations because I'm so all over the place, right? I got my start in undergraduate studying religious studies and world cinema, which is like a super weird combination of things. I thought I wanted to be like Indiana Jones, the, you know, swashbuckling archaeologist who digs up ancient cities. Did that for a little bit, did some field schools abroad, didn't have the best time. I was actively doing archeology in war zones, which is not smart or safe or good for your mental health. Led to some really sad and poor times for my mental health. And I kind of had to shift away from what I had been doing for four years, which is studying religion, studying ancient cities, and like, how does that, you know, become any sort of useful thing for a career? Right, like if you're not gonna be an archeologist and you're doing all this time investment in studying, you know, I goofed up basically. I made a bad financial decision and then I had to kind of figure out a way around that. And so I was working, you know, every possible job under the sun. My first job out of college was I was a content consultant, which is like a very weird, vague term for someone who was making content for like scavenger hunts. So I was just looking up cities, finding information about cities, and making fun, engaging interactives that are done through an app, and designing those. So from there I went to marketing. From marketing I got, I realized, hey, I kinda have to do something in terms of education to grow and kind of enter a new industry. And at the time I had been very interested in VR, AR. I'm a video gamer, I've been gaming since I was like seven or something like that. So I just knew that was the industry that if I was going to pick where I wanted to go, that's where I wanted to end up. So I aimed myself kind of in that direction and just like launched the bow, if you will, hoping the arrow hit the mark and I got very lucky. So I got my start by falling into digital art. Digital art led me to work as a freelancer. Working as a freelancer, got me cool clients for animatronics, for designing custom digital artworks, for doing a lot of AI pre-vis work for whether it was sold to clients or was just going to be shown to a client to kind of showcase some concept. And of course, getting an MFA in digital art of course led me to the realm of AI. What was AI? No one in my program really studied or knew AI, but it was new and fun and interesting. And it was just so, the possibilities were so infinite. So I jumped at it and I happened to have gotten pretty good at it over the years. And it's what I do now professionally. So I am a physical technologist and AI integration specialist at Future Colossal. We're an experiential activation agency and innovation lab. And we do the cutting edge with technology that's never been used, and we like to do it a lot, and we have a good time doing it.

Scott:

That's a fantastic journey from Indiana Jones to AI could be the new title for this story. Absolutely fantastic journey. And it sounds like throughout that there's always been this element of exploration, you know, checking either looking into the history to discover something new or playing with new technology to understand what is coming next. So going back to your current work, particularly in AI, how do you see AI, how is it transforming the way that we work, the way that you work, and the way that you use technology in your day-to-day life?

Daniel:

Sure, so I'll go at it from three kind of angles. First is how I was started using it and like why I started using it, right? So again, I'm not an artist. I entered an MFA with a digital artwork that was an AR piece, but I didn't necessarily know anything about the digital art space. I didn't know what was possible. I didn't know the software. A lot of digital art is learning how to use tools. Whether that tool is TouchDesigner for motion. you know, graphics, or you can also, you know, projection map with TouchDesigner, to you learning Unity and figuring out all of the aspects that Unity contains, which is infinite, basically. But I got started with AI because I was not skilled. I did not know enough skills or tools, or my palette was very minimal. It was not strong enough to have a good artistic presence. And I wanted to figure out ways to increase that and to kind of heighten my abilities. So I learned about AI through Runway AI, which they initially were at a container environment that kind of they just threw all of these random AI models into a user interface and just let you have it. Obviously, I was very lucky. They came to speak at Pratt Institute. And through that connection, I got access very early in like 2018 and then kind of dived fully into it. Trying my best to figure out what is available, exploring as many different types of AI as possible from large language models to GANs, generative adversarial networks, to training on my own data sets to kind of maybe make my own GANs, which by the way, wasn't very good at the time, 2018 is a long time ago. The tech really was worse. And so from personal point of view, That's how I got into AI, and that's why I got into AI. What we do at work, and what I've seen done abroad in terms of the ecosystem, is, again, almost infinite. We use AI because we're a very small company. Future Colossal is like 17, 18 people. But we do big projects for big clients, and we have to have a very fast turnaround. So because our design team is only two people, they're incredibly talented. Sarah Liriano-Alba and Jill Shaw are incredibly talented individuals. I'm going to shout them out. They are such an amazing design team. The amount of work that they can put out in a week is incredible. But using a new tool like AI or an amalgam of AI tools, because again, there's many, it amplifies their workflow even more in a way that doesn't take away from them as designers. And then finally, in terms of, let's say, an entire industry, look at virtual production. Look at Cuebric specifically. Another shout out. I love Seyhan Lee. They got me my first job as an AI artist. I definitely didn't know what I was doing, and they still decided to invest in me. And we did some really fun projects. focused entirely on style transfer. But Seyhan Lee has now come out with this thing called Cuebric and they're basically changing the way that virtual production is done. For virtual production, you have a giant LED volume. You've usually either prerecorded some content somewhere, sent a camera team to wherever it is that your setting is, recorded a bunch of 360 video footage that cost an incredible amount of money, both to record and to use, because processing that kind of stuff is insanely computationally expensive. And they kind of just replaced it with text-guided locations, right? If you could just connect a computer or a server hardware that has a very comprehensive data set, basically like a local stable diffusion AI system running that is made to populate a 16K resolution virtual production display, you're now able to basically set your movie, any production in any setting at any time in any place with like 15 minutes of wait time maybe and that's only if you love you really want to make it perfect and that's because it requires some touching up there's some human interaction there that has to happen but that industry is fully going to change and it's transforming on a daily basis because the amount of freedom that provides writers, directors, camera crew. Like it is incredible to be able to not just have a 2D image, but they're adding depth functionality. You can have, you know, parallax effects. It's incredibly advanced, but it's also very, very simple. It's literally, you're just typing out a location setting and their backend system just automatically applies depth, sets it in the scene. You have foreground, background, middle ground, et cetera. And it makes it so that you can make a TV show in 27 different locations in a single studio. And I mean, you could have always done that, but you would have had to hire a VFX crew that costs millions of dollars and is rendering out content for six months. So now it's just, and it's done. 

Scott:

So when you're working with an organization or an individual, what kind of advice would you give them to help them transition into using AI in their tool set?

Daniel:

It's really, at least with my team, what is it that you're trying to get out of it? What's the benefit from using this tool over another tool? And how long is it going to take you to learn this set of tools or this combination or the workflow of this tool? So those are the questions I ask. And really, depending on that answer, sometimes I might recommend not using AI. Which is kind of like, it's annoying because obviously I'm an AI guy, that's my whole thing. But sometimes my response is, you know what, don't use AI because it's just not there yet for the specific need. And it's about knowing when that's the case. It's about knowing what the use is for and what combination of AI tools you're gonna use to get the result that you want. Again, it's really important to keep up, if anything, just with what's available. 

Scott:

Well, it is, it is. And as we touched on before, there are ethical, there's an ethical conversation to have around AI. We talked there about the, talked there about IP, about the rights, about the source of it. That's one, about what the training data is actually being used to create this content, which is then being commercialized. There's the impact on, or the perceived impact on the people's roles. And people are naturally concerned that it may take away their jobs. And I think that's something that we have to talk about. So... With your crystal ball, you know, how do you see it starting to impact like the types of roles that are in organizations, the types of new roles that it's going to create?

Daniel:

So I think in terms of new roles, it's a lot of learning how to talk to the machine, right? People joke about prompt engineers, et cetera, but it's a real thing. You actually have to understand the inner workings of AI to be able to really get the result that you want. It's one of the problems I have sometimes with certain new systems that come out. I learned, again, on Runway AI and Runway ML. their system, the way that they described it or visually kind of showcased like a generative adversarial network, for example. They would make a grid of images that you could literally like drag your mouse through and like look through and engage and click one and expand that one and then make a new grid from that image. It was so visual. It really, really helped me understand and I'm a visual learner for sure. It helped me grasp like how the backend system worked so that when I... talk to AI now or prompt AI or interact with a set of code or some parameter within stable diffusion, I can see what it's doing in my head. And the way I learn a new AI tool is by making the same image, every parameter that there is in that system, I'll make a same image with the same prompt by changing one of those parameters. That way I can look at the entire, every generation and I can see, oh, this parameter changes this, this parameter changes that, this parameter changes that. So it's really about like getting a vocabulary and you have to like, you know, that that's like a, it's like learning, you know, learning how to ride a bike, right? You have to be able to pick up a new skill set confidently, even if that skill set came out yesterday. In the AI space, it's so immediate. It's crazy. I have to implement brand new systems every day. They just put chat GPT on microcontrollers. I have chat GPT on an Arduino right in front of me. If I turn on the Arduino, it generates for me new Arduino code that I can just then pump back into the Arduino. It's really weird and meta, but it's like, yeah, exactly. And so it's not just about learning the skills, but then how to apply them. Right. So I don't know how to apply this chat GPT microcontroller, but eventually it's going to be a little box that you can engage with the screen that has a character that will speak to you using this AI backend as an interactive, but you have to have the foreknowledge and the thought like, Hey, I want to do this. Like I have this creative pursuit and this AI tool is a way to get there.

Scott:

One last question on the ethical side of utilizing AI. And you kind of touched this before. I guess my question is, what's your viewpoint on how far things can go before it becomes a line too far? You've crossed the ethical boundary. And you shouldn't be using that.

Daniel:

we're damn well past that. I'll be honest, there's certain companies, there's certain people, there's certain collectives, that are doing that right now. You know, there's nothing we could do about it. It's obviously needs some form of like higher level, top down like overview, but at the same time, it's like, it's really a tough conversation, right? I'm gonna start with this. I think that in AI, ethics starts at the data set, right? And that is the beginning, by no means is it the end. It's really important to be able to have a safe data set. It's really important to have an ethically sourced data set, but it's also incredibly, incredibly expensive to do those things, right? So for example, the data set that Laion made for, let's say, OpenAI's DALL-E, right? That is, like, I think it was at least $2 million. I think it was $2 to $12 million to train that data set. So it's not like it's a cheap thing, but then additionally, even that data set's not a clean data set. Like, Laion just scraped the web. Now, to be fair, we've been scraping the web for decades, or at least 10 years. I don't know about decades, the internet was military tech back then. But we've been, people have been web scraping forever. Web scraping has been a part of the internet since the beginning. But because we're now making tools out of this data, those tools inherently have a bias based on that data. So it's important to at least recognize that exists. and that there is an ethical hurdle to go over. So whether that's in how you prompt, whether that's in how you engage with the data set, whether that's you making custom data sets, right? That's how I started, and that's how I kind of like figured out my ethical kind of boundaries. Like, look, I'll be honest, obviously I use stable diffusion, obviously I use mid-journey on occasion. Those are not trained on open ethical data sets. but they're available and they are open source. There's something I can access without bankrupting myself, without having to work for META or something like that. Like it's just an access question. But at the same time, I have trained my own datasets. I do trade my own datasets. I use DreamBooth to train my own datasets on custom photos. Even that though is piggybacking on the parent dataset, which again is not ethically sourced. Now there's a lot of really, really cool people out there, and give me just one second, I'll actually tell you exactly one of these companies. It is an AI data company that is, you know what, I'm not sure, I don't remember what it's called, and I can't find it out easily. But basically, there's a lot of new companies coming out that are explicitly dealing with this by whether that's training data sets on custom. Like data that they've sourced that's ethical, that's non-racist per se, that's accessible, open source, hopefully. And it's not enough, but it's a start. And on the other end of the spectrum, there's always gonna be nefarious people, there always will be. Technology has always been, I mean, I'll be honest, technology is... kind of basically made to be bad first and then kind of is not bad after. If that makes sense. For example, VR, military technology. Haptics, military technology. Navigation, military technology. You know, like at a certain point, if you go deep enough, like the first VR headset was called the Sword of Damocles and it was literally to train like pilots to drop bombs. So yes. VR provides accessibility, it helps in trauma therapy, it helps the elderly experience life in a new way again. It helps people with Alzheimer's relive moments in a way that isn't bad or traumatic or painful. It's good, right? But it's based in bad. It's like made to help you kill. The same goes for a lot of these major technologies. The internet, that was dark, that was like a black budget military project. Like, that wasn't not initially for nefarious purposes, it was. And now it's like the most impactful thing for our society. And as a whole, like a planet, like the internet is really impactful and will continue to be incredibly impactful. But like the internet has some really dark places, right? The internet is full of bad people. My mom would tell me all the time as a kid, don't go on the internet, bad people wanna talk to you. That's scary, that's scary, but that doesn't mean I didn't use the internet. That means I learned how to access the internet safely. That means I learned how to deal with potentially sketchy encounters. Same within real life. Your mother tells you, don't talk to strangers. These lessons have to be taught, but they also have to be learned through mistakes. And I think that what's happening right now is a lot of mistakes that a lot of people are learning about. And I think that that's the start. We obviously are not at a point where we're really engaging with the ethics and the important points of like, hey, I don't want my likeness to be in this data set. Hey, I don't want... My voice to be duplicated. There's the question of IP. There's the question of like Personal You know provenance like I am me well, guess what? Read the terms and conditions of Facebook man. They own your likeness in perpetuity. It's theirs. I only know that because I made an entire art piece about the terms and conditions of Facebook And I read them in detail. They say in perpetuity forever, we own your likeness and can use it for any marketing purpose or any purpose at all. You know, like that's not even about AI and they're definitely using it for AI. Like, do you think that Meta is not training a new data set on Facebook photos? Like, you think they're not tagging and labeling all of the data that goes through their servers? to then retrain into their own cut? Why do you think Meta and Facebook are coming out with some of the coolest AI systems right now? It's because the data they have access to, ethically or unethically, you know? Because again, it's not like they didn't tell us. They told us, it's right there. You read the terms and conditions, they told you. But they're using it now, and now people are like, whoa, wait, I didn't sign up for that. Technically you did. but you did it before they even knew that that's what they were gonna use it for. All they knew is that they wanted this data and they were gonna own it forever and that you wanted to use this free social media. So, yes, AI and ethics is a big conversation that needs to stay at the forefront, that always needs to be thought about, talked about, and hopefully implemented, like ethical use needs to be implemented at every step of the way. But at the same time, like... Don't think that it's just AI. It's everywhere. Ethics in technology is important. Ethics in tech is subpar, right? It's a little lackluster. And we need to be better as people, as technologists, as artists, as humans. We just gotta be better and think a little harder before we do certain things, right? And that's super hard to say. I'm not the best example of that. I often... speak before I think as opposed to thinking before I speak or act. But we just have to be better at least being aware of the ethical implications of AI, of technology, of how it all interacts with each other. And I'll end it with this. I don't want to throw them under the bus. They're a really cool company, but this is an example of what I think to be unethical. There's an awesome company called Soul Machines. They do really cool work. However, their whole thing is they use AI to make accurate chemical simulations of human brains, right? Soul machines. They use really complex development and like really, like imagine a game engine for a brain where you're, you're just designing synapse systems. so that you can fake a human brain on a software. Then they torture. just to see what would happen. And like, I'm not trying to get emotional, but like at a certain point, like, you have to be better. Like that's ridiculous. Like I don't care it's not alive, I don't care. You're trying to simulate a human brain and then you're torturing it. Like I get that torture is real. There's Guantanamo Bay, you know, people are treated badly and we shouldn't say like AI is better than people. But if your mindset as a company is, I'm gonna make as close to a simulation of a human. and then I'm gonna torture that human, that's not necessarily okay. That's unethical at best, at worst that's evil. And when I asked them about it, they laughed. So that didn't leave a good taste in my mouth per se. And now they're the company in charge of basically taking your father's likeness and making a virtual interactable version of him that you can keep with you after death. Right, like that's their next goal, is to perpetuate life after death with AI. So it's like, that's a whole different conversation to have. Very lucky to have a really awesome friend by the name of Jeremy Manning, who's one of the founding lawyers of the Innocence Project. You never heard of the Innocence Project. They're the lawyer group that basically goes over old criminal cases that were done with either bad DNA testing or without DNA testing. but they had DNA evidence and they were jailed. And now the Innocence Project comes, checks that information, checks the DNA, and proves innocence when technology allows it and proves technology didn't work when it was wrong, for example. And so this amazing lawyer, I talk to him about AI ethics and life after death ethics with AI all the time. And he's one of the only people I know to be thinking about it, to be talking about it. But there's a lot of ramifications about AI ethics that are beyond just simple, like, Hey, this data set is unethical. Like people are literally trying to manifest your dead dad in a computer with the help of AI. And so it's like, there's a deeper level of conversations to have while we can't, we still can't just ignore the underlying issues of generalized AI ethics, of generalized tech ethics, of like data sets and use. You know, like, look, I love a good funny deepfake anytime, you know, I'd love to see Vin Diesel deepfaked onto Groot because he plays such a great Groot, right? Like I get that. But at the same time, there's people doing really things with it. And so it's like, there's balance to be had. But there's also like certain things that just absolutely need to be reined in basically.

Scott: