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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 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, 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:


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
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Digital Fashion
Join the digital fashion design adventure with Melisa Cilli and Albert! 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:


Hello everyone. Welcome to, 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?


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. 


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? 


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. 


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 


Yeah, exactly. Exactly. 


Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. And what software did you, did you use during your university degree that helps you start out in a digital fashion?


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. 


Okay. So it was like an entrepreneurial mindset you had then.


Yes, yes, yes. Like that. Yeah. Like that Albert. 


Yeah. Um, yeah. Can you provide some, some insights and tips on how to transform from physical fashion design to digital fashion design? 


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 


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?


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.


Uh, thank you for sharing. Thank you for sharing that, Melisa. So like, you see, it was like you just say CLO3D. 


Yeah, yeah, yeah. Clothes is the, okay, is the crucial one.


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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?



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. 


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. 


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. 


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? 


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.


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.




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? 


Yes, there is also, there's also cutting in, um, stitching, sewing process as well. So it is a real, real atelier. 


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. 


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.  


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? 


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. 


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? 


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. 


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. 


Yes. Yeah, it's very, um, I don't know. I'm really excited to see these things becoming, yeah, 


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. 


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. 


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.


Exactly. Yeah. So true 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? 


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. 


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. 


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. 


Yeah, most definitely. And do you use Discord yourself, 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.


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?


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. 


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. 


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. 


And like even some house, we even got solar panels now. Exactly. Exactly. So even using renewable energy, 


Yeah, you can put some kind of panel next to your computer. So why not? 


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? 


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, 


Yes. Just like, like new term, new terminologies, right? 




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?


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, 


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.


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? 


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. 


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 on all of our social media platforms that is linkedIn to our Instagram and TikTok as well.

Exploring Digital Fashion: Style and Self-Expression
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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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?


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


Sounds good. Thank you. Take care.

Art Meets Algorithms: The Future of AI Fashion
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:


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?


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. 


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.


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. 


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? 


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. 


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?


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. 


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. 


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. 


That's so cool. Do you have some images that you could show us of examples?


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.  


It looks so cool. So how long did it take you to make this?


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 


what type of tools would you use to create this? Would it be Mid journey or, 


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.


Yeah, it's, it's so cool. Oh wow. 


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? 


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? 


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. 


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? 


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. 


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.


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.


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? 


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.


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? 


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. 


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?


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.


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. 


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. 


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 and add us to your newsletter on our website, And yeah, keep updated for more. Thank you, Kenn. It was lovely speaking you today. Hope everyone enjoys the rest of the day.


Bye. Thank you, Nadiyah thank you.

Fashion Fusion: Blending Physical, Digital, and NFTs for a Greener Future
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:


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.


Thank you Scott. Really nice to be here. 


Um, could you start by telling us a bit about yourself, your current role, and then we can dive into some questions? 


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.


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? 


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. 


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.


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? 


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? 


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. 


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.


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. 


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. 




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? 


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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. 


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. 


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.


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. 


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.


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?


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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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.


Perfect. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you for joining us today.

Digital Fashion Revolution: Trends, Sustainability, Careers
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:


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? 


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. 


I appreciate you being here. And yes, upcycling is really key these days, you know? Yeah. 




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. 


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?





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.


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. 


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. 


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. 


Limits. Yeah, definitely. Definitely. No limits. Yeah, no boundaries. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. 


How about, how about for you Isola? So how did your, how did your, um, your digital fashion journey start then?



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. 


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. 


Ah, uh, HGVIS. Yes. 


Yes. And I remember, do you wanna that show mind showcasing us your platform as well on the screen? 


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.



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? 


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. 


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? 


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. 


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. 


Yeah, yeah. Yeah, definitely. Definitely. It, it will be develop and uh, in nearest years.

Very fast. I believe in it.


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. 


Yeah, yeah. Of course, of course. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. 


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. 


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. 


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.


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.  


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.


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. 


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? 


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. 


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.


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.



Now, at the moment or in the future, have you got any projects that you're working on? 


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. 


I'm looking forward to see it coming to fruition, you know?


Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. We'll show soon. Yeah, yeah. 


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.



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. 


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?


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. 


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. 


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, 


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.


Of course. Uh, 


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. 


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. 


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? 




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. 


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?


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. 


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. 


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. 


And how, and how pe, how would people, how would people spell it out? 


Yeah, it's uh, uh, you can search Ecoolska, uh, but of course I can send all links. Yeah. 


Thank you. Thank you, thank you. And how about yourself, 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. 


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 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.


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. 


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
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Digital Fashion
Uncover digital fashion secrets with Rinat Homossany Perry and Nadiyah! 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:


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?


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.


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, 


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.



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? 


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. 


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?


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. 


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?


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. 


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.


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. 


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?


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. 


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?


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. 


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?.  


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? 


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. 


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? 


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.  


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?


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. 


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, 


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. 


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?


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. 


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.


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. 


It's a nice gig. Yeah. 


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?


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, 


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 


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.


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?


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. 


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? 


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. 


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?


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.


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? 


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. 


No, definitely. So Rinat, where can we find you on social? Where can we connect? If you can just share with our audience? 


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.


That's how I met Rinat. I linkedIn with her and then that's how we got this going.  


Thank you very much for having me.


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 and Rinat I'll definitely, definitely message you when we do the gaming event soon. Absolutely. Thank you. 



Under the influencers
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Digital Fashion
Web2 began with Myspace and ended with TikTok. What’s next? Welcome to the age of the web3 influencer, free from the restraints of web2 and equipped with the tools to create more engaging and immersive experiences for their audiences. Our experts predict that web3 will unlock new ways to generate rewards - from community, rather than algorithms. How will web3 technologies enable influencers to be more authentic and create deeper connections with their audiences? And are creators uniquely placed to induct people into the metaverse? This panel discussion is brought to you in collaboration with 3 Monkeys Zeno and the Public Relations and Communications Association. Speakers: Koray Camgöz | Director of Communications and Marketing at PRCA, Hayley Stevens-Shaw | Lead Influencer Strategist at 3 Monkeys Zeno and Scott Guthrie | Influencer marketing adviser
The following is the transcript for this video:
The future of education
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): WorkTech
Hear from some of the brightest innovators inspiring the minds of tomorrow. Gen Z are the first ever digital-native generation. If schools, colleges and universities want to inspire young learners, they need to adapt and evolve to keep up. What are the alternatives to a traditional education, and who’s blazing a trail in learning? What new opportunities could web3 provide for schools and educators around the world? Speakers: Kirsty Devlin | Edtech Consultant, Dennis Littky | President at College Unbound, Ruth Gilbert | Educationalist and Digital Champion and Dr Matthew Frew | Senior Lecturer at the University of the West of Scotland
The following is the transcript for this video:
Interview with Mete Coban MBE
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical):
Meet Mete Coban MBE, Councilor for Stoke Newington and Parliamentary Candidate for Kensington. Hear about Mete's journey to becoming CEO of My Life My Say, his achievements with the organisation, and how he's determined to restore trust in politics, and bring new opportunities to the communities he serves.
The following is the transcript for this video:
Interview with Kelly
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Metaverse
Meet Kelly Vero, a digital fashionista, EdTech pioneer and certified creative badass. She loves all things style, innovation, and video games, where she’s worked at the top for years. Kelly is an absolute expert in the metaverse, and THE person to ask how you can get involved with this brave new world and build a career that defies expectations.
The following is the transcript for this video:
How to be a Gen Z entrepreneur
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): WorkTech
This panel of innovators, connectors and thinkers share how young people are building companies and brands that create real impact, real change, and real fulfilment for themselves and others. Watch for top tips on how to utilise LinkedIn, how to fight-off imposter syndrome, and how to build strong, global networks that help your members thrive. This panel is brought to you in collaboration with HustlersGlobal, a worldwide digital marketing media platform which focuses on business, hustling entrepreneurs and influencers. Speakers: Marko Stavrou | Co-founder at HustlersGlobal, Rayyan Ahmed | Co-founder and CEO at Rayze Consulting, Palakh Khanna | Founder and CEO at Break the Ice, Alicia Tien | CEO at Qfinity and Sam Watson | Founder and CEO at Enterprising Gen-Z Events
The following is the transcript for this video:
How to become a web3 changemaker
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Web3
You may have heard that web3 will solve the problems we’ve experienced with web2. It will be decentralised, inclusive, and empowering for the individual - but how exactly do we make this happen? Four web3 changemakers help us navigate the world of web3, and share the values and principles they work by. We learn how boosting financial literacy can empower people to unlock the world of crypto, and how blockchain technologies can improve opportunities for people to collaborate and work together from anywhere in the world. Widening the net of opportunity means more representation in the space - here’s how to become a web3 activist, and define the world in which you want to live and work. This conversation is brought to you in collaboration with The People, a creative company powered by a global community of 150+ young diverse changemakers. Speakers: Fadlan 'NinjaTea' Effendi | Co-founder at Blockchain Sensei, Michael Harding | Co-founder at Blockchain Sensei, Keison 'Keash' Rigg | Co-founder at Blockchain Sensei, Lara Assi | Head of PR and Marketing at The Round and Kian Bakhtiari | Founder at The People
The following is the transcript for this video:
Interview with Doddz
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Digital Fashion
Doddz is considered one of the top AR creators in the world, and works with the likes of Adidas and Disney. Hear how, despite multiple hurdles in his education, he picked up graphic design and realised the world of opportunity outside of traditional systems. Listen to how he defied the odds to work with some of the top brands and businesses in the world.
The following is the transcript for this video:
Move different: how to go freelance
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): WorkTech
Freelancing is a great option for anyone, of any age, who wants more flexibility in their career, and more choice over the way they work. And as new and innovative models of working emerge, freelancing is becoming more and more popular. But it can be hard to know how to get started. How do you make your name known in your industry, and achieve trust in your skills? How do you build a killer portfolio from scratch? And how do you maintain financial stability and know the value of your work? This panel of Gen Z creatives, strategists, speakers and writers are here to tell you how. This conversation is brought to you in collaboration with archtype, the creative house for young creators and thinkers who move different. Speakers: Luitgard Ayodele | Junior Creative at archtype, Ami Vadi | Designer at Unreasonable Studio, Shenell Kennedy | Photographer, Athian Akec | Writer, speaker, historian and Alexander Hundeyin | Strategist at Rufus Leonard
The following is the transcript for this video:
WTF are NFTs anyways?
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): Web3
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘NFT’, but aside from jpegs of apes and million-dollar deals, what does it actually mean? And more importantly - why should we care? We’ve assembled an expert panel to bust some myths around non-fungible tokens, starting with the very basics. Our experts from different industries discuss how NFTs are transforming the way businesses, artists, and entrepreneurs grow their brands and reach new audiences - and how anyone can use them to get started.
The following is the transcript for this video:
AI's Emotional Edge: Shaping Work, Life, and Shopping
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:


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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. 


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?


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.


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.


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?


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?


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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. 


And on your website.


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.


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.


No thank you very much for inviting me. It's been a pleasure.


Thank you so much. Take care.



AI in the Classroom: Enhancing Teaching and learning experiences
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:


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.


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.


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.


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


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. 


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.


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.


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, 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.


Looking forward to doing it again soon.

The Rise of AI: Transforming Work, Daily Life, and the Path to New Careers
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:


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


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.


Awesome, alright, let's have 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.


Thank you Kenn. Now 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Thank you.Thank you Tery.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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?


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.


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.


So yeah, there's a lot to consider. The ethics are huge, right?


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?


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.




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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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?


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. 


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.


Thank you.


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?


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.


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.


That's great.


What is the one thing in the AI space each of you is most excited about, and we can start with 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.


All right, let's go with 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.


Alright, and Tery, how about you?


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.


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.


That was so great.



Navigating the AI Era: My Journey Ahead
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:


Hi everyone! Welcome to our AI event. So today I've got Imisi joining us. Imisi, do you want to introduce yourself?


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.


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.


Thank you.


As a student studying AI, what specific skills and knowledge have you gained that makes you feel ready for future technology.


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.


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?


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 utilize. Chat GPT, you may have heard of, is like an increasingly popular chat bot and it generates responses based on prompts. And, 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.


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?


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




I know I said two, but.


No, that's fine. I know that some of our team members like to use MidJourney to generate




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?


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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?


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.


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.


See you.


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?


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.


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?


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.


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.




So yeah, I think the last question I have is, what is your dream job?


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.


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?


Yeah, I'm happy for you to connect with me on LinkedIn. It's just my name, Imisi Fakunle. So, should I spell it?


Oh yeah, you can spell it, yeah.


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.


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


Yeah, definitely.


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!


Thank you.

Sci-Fi to Work-Tech: Unveiling AI’s Impact on Tomorrow
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:


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.


Hey, hey.


Hey Daniel, how are you?


I'm doing great. Nice and early for me here on the East Coast, but very ready for a great conversation.


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?


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.


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?


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. 


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?


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. 


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?


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.


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.


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.


Yeah, there's a very long conversation we had about that entire space. And for all we know, we might already be those AI robots working in a machine somewhere that somebody's thinking about doing bad things to. So we always have to be mindful of that. Daniel


Black Mirror.


Black Mirror, still need to watch the new series. Black Mirror through and through. Daniel, then




Absolute pleasure. Thank you very much for joining the conversation today. I think we could talk about this space for quite some time. I'm sure we'll have a following conversation. Thank you very much for joining.


Thank you so much. It's always my pleasure. I hope I didn't dawdle too much and just kind of rant, but you know, can't help it. This is why I'm around. I'm here to explore and engage and hopefully be as ethical as possible.


I definitely get the sense you will be. Thank you.


Thank you so much.

The Intersection of Creativity, AI, and Creative Jobs of the Future
Category (may also be reffered to as theme or vertical): AI
Join Tery Spataro, AI Creative Director & Storyteller, and Albert Marealle, Social Media Coordinator and Graphic Designer at hundo, as they explore the profound impact of creativity in the digital era and the evolving role of AI in shaping the future of creative work. Get ready to be inspired and discover the exciting possibilities that lie at the intersection of creativity and AI!
The following is the transcript for this video:


Hello, hi, welcome everyone. You're joining here with me, myself, Albert, the social media coordinator and graphic designer for And I'm here with the lovely Terry. So would you like to speak more about yourself?


Sure, Albert, thank you so much for having me here. This is really wonderful. And it was so great to get to know some of your background too. So a little bit about me, and I'll try and be as brief as possible because I've got a couple of decades on most of you. So I began studying art and digital, like I mentioned, decades ago. I was like one of the first creative directors in the very early days of the dot com era. So, and then I began like, so my beginnings didn't begin with just using a computer. I have a traditional background. Like I actually used brushes and paint and ink in those horrible things where you had to spec type. So I have a traditional - Oh my God, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on a computer because the amount of cuts that I used to make from X-Acto blades on my fingers was excruciating. So I started with a very traditional foundation. But for me, what was cool and natural was like going from this traditional foundation of these physical objects into the digital and now into this world of AI. and it's super exciting for me. So there is like often this struggle between art and technology, which I found throughout my career, but now there seems to be this kind of smooth path that we're taking. So, you know, I found my traditional training actually helped me with a greater understanding from art history, from the techniques, from the styles and the colors - that brings about the style that I have when I'm using AI tools to create both written and visual content.

2020 was when I actually began using AI and really understanding and studying it. And I have to give credit to Ann Spalter who did a phenomenal job. I love her art, but also the fact that she did this great demo using Playform and Playform has both a can and a GAN to it. So it's a creative adversarial as well as a generative adversarial network. And so I used train form to like train on my original artwork and photography. And that creates my unique approach to art. So that's just a little bit about me. Oh, and I just. I just got invited to join Sky Rocket Systems to provide the AI brand portion of the practice. So it's a management consulting firm.


I'm real happy for you, Terry. Even when you're speaking about how you started with the traditional beginnings, that's at me as well, because a little bit about myself. I'm also an illustrator who also specializes in characters and animation as well. But previously, I used to use the paint brushes. I was more for... probably say that HB, 2B, pencils, grout, paints, watercolors kind of guy before I moved on into the digital artwork I see in uni as well. So that's when I started like my own digital journey I say like in 2017. It's coming up to like six years now since I started doing digital arts. So I can definitely resonate with where you're coming from as well.


And even at 2017, the tools have changed so much. Are you not excited about the integration of AI into Photoshop? Isn't that amazing?


I feel like it'll be like more time efficient for creators now.   


Yes, yeah, and I think that's a really good like segue into our conversation. It does save time, doesn't it?


Yeah most definitely and what would you say is that the power of creativity in a digital era now?


So I love this question. It's like a super important question because creativity is at the heart of everything that we do. It's the process for our mind, our intelligence. We conjure up these ideas and our creativity allows us to plan it, to pull it together, to imagine it and bring it to life. So I like that. It's the, you know. Creativity is like the ability to generate this unique values and ideas,  solutions and expressions and things like that. And I just think everything has to have a form of creativity, whether you're a creative like ourselves or somebody who's just going into the business world. Even a mathematician is super creative.


And how would you say that creative e-like drives your innovation and problem solving? Because I really is like the forefront of a person these days, you know.


So I use creativity in terms of like the problem solving area. So it's like, okay, let's imagine, like, first of all, put ourselves from an empathetic position into like, you know, whose problem we're trying to solve, because we're often solving a problem for humans, or at least I am. And it's like, okay, what does that feel like? And bringing all that emotion and all that understanding back helps in the creative process. to evolve something or transform something into, that could be useful and solve a problem for that person in their lives. Creativity itself, it does manifest itself in a lot of different domains, not just from a creative perspective, but science, technology, business, you know, it involves everyday problem solving. And I think that's where innovation is driven too.


Yeah, yeah. What would you say what sort of things that you say you're trying to solve? Like what sort of problems would you say you're trying to solve? And in order to make the world a better place with your art.


So I use science fiction as a vehicle to pull out the problems that I'm trying to solve. So a couple years ago, I wrote a science fiction novel called Laundry Gate. And what I was trying to do was help us, the general population, understand where technology can evolve to. So I used that as a creative vehicle to get those messages out so that we can have a better understanding so that we're not so ingrained in what, you know, sort of like I hear these bubblings of like AI is going to take over the world. They're going to kill us!


Like iRobot!


Sorry, if anything, we're gonna kill ourselves first. I'm sorry, I don't mean to say that,


No that's fine, don't worry, it's no worries, I'm here for all the jokes and funny stuff, you know. And like, what is he going to carry on, carry on, sorry. What is he going to say?


But it is, we have to like take it from a more logical perspective. And what I wanted to do is use the creativity to solve those problems so that the general population had a basis for understanding things. Science fiction does a great job, but it doesn't always reach like a general population.


So what you're saying is that you're trying to help people change the narrative behind technology and artificial intelligence, you say.


Yes, yeah. So that there's a much better understanding. A lot of the, I mean, everybody, I spoke to so many people over the past couple of months that as soon as you know, ChatGPT launched  and all this excitement and all my friends are like, oh my God, I wrote this novel. And I'm like, oh yeah, that's good. And then I met with some agencies and I heard that, you know, folks were just uploading and you know, proprietary information from clients into chat GPT without understanding the technology that's behind it and why you shouldn't do things like that.


But even me, I can definitely relate to it as well, because I've been using Mid Journey recently. And before, obviously, I didn't really know much about AI. So I was probably like, the other people would be like, ah, AI has taken over the world. And especially that coming from a creative perspective, ever since I started using Mid Journey, I realized that it helps me in terms of getting rid of art block, because all you can do is just type in something. And then like it helps you visualize things because I'm more of a visualizer, if that's the word. So like if I was like typing like prompts then I'll be able to see it on the screen. But I wouldn't like, me personally, I wouldn't rely on it but I would just use it as like a way to like inspire my art as well as like using stuff like Pinterest like going to art galleries and stuff as well.


Well, isn't that great? I mean, for me too, it's for concepting, right? It helps you, like you put the problem in there and from a visual perspective to see what will come out and then you can bring it back to your team and say, hey, look, what's the reaction to this and get that immediate reaction. I think that's a great and clever way of using like Mid-Journey and other generative AI tools or visual tools. I mean, I... I think that's a very good way of using it. And it helps from a creative perspective, even from a creative direction perspective, or you could tell your team like, hey, let's all use this prompt and then put it into the system and see what we each get. And then you have lots of ideas that can come out of that.


Yeah, most definitely. Even using chat GPT as well for like, if you want to come up with social media captions, like captions for your social media posts as well, I can really just type it in, just think of an idea, type it in on chat GPT. And then also just trying to add my own personality into the captions as well, but just using it as like inspiration per se.


I think it's great for self-expression, even personal growth. I know some friends that are using it to even solve their own mental health problems. Not solve, I'm sorry, but to help them visualize what's going on. Yeah.


Yeah most definitely. And even like, there's even like AI on Snapchat as well. So people are using it, like what you said about your friends, like using it for like mental purposes, like people, I've seen people do it using Snapchat's AI as well, which is similar to chat, GPC.


Oh, I didn't even know Snapchat integrated it.


Yeah, it's the most recent thing. I know it came about this year, but I think like a couple months back, Snapchat launched this on AI and then people just use it to like, many of that funny stuff, if they need help or like there's one event that people use it on Snapchat as well.


I think that's great. I mean, so much can come out of it and it becomes so useful, like from the written content that I do, like you mentioned from social media, like you can ask it to give an outline. Say you have to do some kind of annual report, you could get your outline and then use that to help with that process of putting things together. There's so much like it touches on like marketing and advertising, right? Even engineering, right? And education and learning. I mean, I'm so excited. I'm more generations behind me. I'm trying to keep up every day. There's like a new tool. How do you keep up Albert?


I don't. I don't try to keep up. I just see me. I just try and see if it's there, it's there. I don't go out my way to look for it. If it's there, I use it. And yeah, that's literally me.


So that's a good, you're looking at like, and this is what I do for myself too. It's like, I look at it and I'm like, okay, today the client is asking me to create some social media cards, right? I'm not gonna go to Playform because that's trained on my personal art. I most likely will use it through mid-journey. I'll go to OpenAI's Playground and put a, you know, ask for an outline on a topic that I'm working on, then I'm going to pull it back in and I'm going to, you know, create some comps to show it to the team and say, hey, what do you guys think, does this work? And


And what do you think like the impact of AI on creative jobs and roles in the creative industry?


So I've been, I always thought like, so I decided that I would call myself a, go back to what I originally was, a creative director. And I feel like anybody who's getting into this has that role as the creative director over the AIs. So we're telling them what we want, what we need, what problems we're solving for our clients and things like that. So I think that's a very important role. It's still like, You still need some of that traditional or any digital education to understand things like the storytelling portion of things, the technical portion of things. And even if you're for yourself and myself, from the visual perspective, is the lighting coming from here? Is it coming from over there? All those components that make the illustration look realistic.


Even like trying to build that relationship of like the human and the AI, like how do you think that the impact will have on that in terms of that human's relationship with AI and how do you think they'll try and like make like a change to like not make people feel like they're a threat if that makes sense.


People aren't a threat. And I don't think we should view these tools as a threat either. We should understand. I think the reason why I wanted to tell my story about starting as traditional, like, artist and moving into digital and then AI was because we always have to be, I think, the core of what we are or what makes us creative, right? is the fact that we love to constantly learn and update our tools. Even as a traditional creative, you're always looking for the best paints, right? When you got into digital, you're looking for the best tools to make the best representation of what you're doing. And those tools often change. Even in AI, we need to keep up so that we could give better direction and be those creative directors. I also think like other things are happening for us to make our jobs a little more easier. Like things like that are repetitive tasks that we've taken on, you know, those boring tasks that are like, oh my God, if I've got to crunch numbers one more time, let someone else do that for me. Like I still have the foundation of understanding how to do it. Now I could direct the AI to do it for me, right?


Yeah, most definitely. We're all humans, we have feelings, and we shouldn't be treated -  like we shouldn't be machines. It's more so like, they go hand in hand, so like, we're the human, but we also gotta treat the machines with care as well. So the machine can put the best results out for us. So it has like this whole harmonious relationship, if that's the right term to put it in.


But that's a really important thing, like having the relationship with the AI. But also think about how much more of a relationship we can have with each other. Like collaboration can be more impactful, right? You know, personalization, even user experiences for - you know - our audiences could be even more creative and beneficial, right? So, I mean, there's a lot of things that are going to help to,  which generative AI will help us through to make our jobs even more exciting and allow us to have our minds more open so that we're not sort of pushed down by all those boring tasks.


Yeah, most definitely. Because the most important thing is to enjoy what you do. Especially as a creator yourself, you want to make sure that you have that 100% potential in everything that you do, be that true artist.


You're right.


And what are some of the ways that we can embrace the future of creative work with the use of AI?


Um, so there, so, so in turn, oh, right, in terms of the future, I, you know, I love this question that, that you guys put out there, I think the future of, you know, creative work and the use of AI involves a lot of different things like recognizing the opportunities and challenges, like now that we're not so bogged down, now we have, you know, much more clarity to see things without having the constant pressure of doing all those repetitive tasks and boring things that we have to manage. It will help us develop like complimentary skills so that we could see the AI doing one thing, but we're growing in another way that will augment. I think I'd like the idea like, for the next 10 years, the reality is we become more augmented with it. So that will be helping, you know? And the landscape is going to change. Like you and I just talked a couple of minutes ago, like how are you keeping up with all these tools? And there are so many exciting tools out there that, you know, but yeah, I mean, this will give us more time to keep up with those exciting tools that are put out there. So, you know, we have to deal with things like opportunities and challenges and developing these complimentary tool sets and skills that we'll need, you know, and always adapting and thriving.


Yeah, most definitely. Because even me, like, when you talk about augmented reality, like, it reminds me of the time when I was in uni. And like, I only just saw the behind the scenes of, like, how Instagram photos are created as well. Because I remember Instagram back in the day, they didn't even have stories. There was no DMs. If you wanted to, like, chat to someone, you have to go into the comments section. Like, seeing how far it has come from, like, the whole, like, remember the old, I think it was like a retro camera icon? So what it is now has been used by metal and seeing that firstly, there's DMs, secondly, there's stories. And now from stories to Instagram filters on itself as well. And also, um, seeing like how people actually make the filters is actually what really spun me because, um, what's it called? I never knew it was like a Firstly, this was my first time learning about augmented reality. So I used a software called Spark AR. So you can either design it on Photoshop, the design, or do it on Blender if you want to make it 3D. And then you pour it into Spark AR. And then you just try and test it out on your face. And then if you're happy with it, you upload it to Instagram. And then you put it out there. And then that's how the people like get to see what you're on. And that's how, yeah, it just showcases how the future's changing as well.


It really is. I mean, think about those tools like from the past and in what will happen in the future and like even the augmented part or the AR part of like the reality of, you know, what can happen to AI. I mean, right now we're just like, oh, typing and sometimes like some of the applications allow us to dictate. But like having that conversation, like, I don't know, have you tried out CRISPR or any of the other like chat bots in which We could go in


Unless it’s the go to those websites and then you see them automated bots saying, hi, how can I help you? Then no, I haven't used any other chat bots like that.


Or CRISPR is really bizarre where they're like, you give like, you train a chat bot and you put it out there and it starts having discussions with all the other chat bots and then you can actually add to that discussion if you want and.


You have to send me what they - you must send me through what you're using because I'm still trying to learn about all of these artificial intelligence technology and augmented reality stuff as well. I'm still like a beginner in this sort of software as you know.


I know it's really fun, but I think from an AI creative perspective, I think we're going to see a lot of changes like in the film industry and the entertainment industry. Like right now here in the US, I'm sure you heard like the writers are on strike.  They're very nervous about what's going on, but and I feel really bad that they have to go through this to, you know, here, let their voices be heard. But also they should also understand and learn and utilize the tools to become, to be able to create things with ease. So I think we might see things like that happening here in the US a lot where people are getting frustrated and speaking out about why it's affecting them instead of understanding how it can be helping them in a way. And I'm hoping more educators like ourselves will talk about that and in terms of like let's embrace it, understand it, and you know utilize it and so that we can you know continue to create a better a better world.


Yeah, and I was even going to say that, do you think the terminology and preconceptions associated with AI will fade over time as more people adapt to technology?


I think so and also I think generations behind me are going to be the ones that are gonna lead the charge. I'm trying to do my best, like educating people that are in seniors and older so that they don't have that fear. I'm actually doing a session over the summer at the Community Center for Seniors here. It's a five week course in which I'm gonna take them through the process of using creative AIs to... you know, create whatever they want to imagine. So I'm hoping by, you know, my little speck of the universe over here, I'm hoping that, you know, I could spread the word that way and, you know, build it, you know, start with these older generations and get them to be more exposed to it. I think the problem is, is when you're not exposed to it, you fear it, so…


Gotta make sure that you educate the people about AI, because it's like, it's kinda like Chinese whisperers, that you hear like one guy, one person, that tweeting about on Twitter, or any other social media platform, even like tabloids, or like those like gossip kind of magazines, and like, how it creates like a moral panic, if that's the right word. And then people just get spread with misinformation. So it's like they take it in for what it is, but they don't really do their research. And it's like, you really got to try and like, what's it called? Like inform the people what it really is about, get them to understand things slowly, slowly. So it's like, they can really like see the bigger picture and like not be confused and like really like understand it because like you don't want to be that mis-. misunderstood, if that makes sense.


No, you're absolutely right. And I like that because if you start feeding them a little bit at a time, then the message eventually gets heard. Well, you know, in advertising, it takes three to five times for a message to be understood, right? But in the same here, it's gonna take a while for the general population to be able to absorb and understand and recognize that this is not out to hurt anyone, this is out to help. But you also bring in something that triggers something in my mind, it's ethics. Like, so, I mean, it's up to us to constantly, and we, you know, we need to train AI and ethics, but we also as, you know, developers or business owners or even creatives have to have that built into like what we're doing. So that, you know, we don't, you know, that there's no bias, there's no hatred. And things that are explosive don't get baked into what we're doing.


Yeah, most definitely, most definitely. I just wanna try and train the AI role so it doesn't cause like a huge disaster.


Yes, so that's a huge consideration.


Yeah. And do you think humans could become too reliant on AI in the future? And could this become a good or bad thing? Or could there be   a mass rejection of this new technology?


I don't think we're going to see a mass rejection of the technology. I think the more we put in the ethics and the creation of laws around it, in some ways I know entrepreneurs like myself, like, oh my God, a law, geez, please don't put another law, but it's there to protect us. So we need certain parameters and guardrails. And I think the more... we do that, the less of a problem will be or the less certain societies won't get left out of the value that this can bring.


Yeah, man, like literally, I was gonna ask her even like another question, yeah. What is the one thing that you're excited about for AI?


This is such a great question. I had such a hard time with it when you sent me this list of questions. But you know what, let me, I mean, I could go on to tell you it's gonna transform education. I'm excited about that, work in society. It's gonna accelerate a scientific discovery. But what I'm really truly, and I wanna blue sky a little bit excited about - is I love the idea of having my own AI assistant, not a gofer like you could tell Google, hey Google, can you get this for me? Or Bard, you know, I'm researching this product or Bing, you know, can you tell me more about this? Not like that. I want this actual construct that is more than just an assistant. Maybe it becomes my companion. Maybe it's something that I get when I'm, you know, if I'm, you know, a child, you know, maybe a child gets there and then. they start cultivating this relationship, this companionship, and it becomes like part of this augmented human that we're talking about. And I think it has to be more than just like, you know, like I mentioned, more than just a gofer. I think it has to be something that, you know, not that we're relying on, but it also is, it will help us in a lot of different ways.


Yeah, I can imagine having your own little assistant saves time and it's like, you'll be able to have someone that tries to understand you as well.


Yes, yes, that would be great, right? That would be great. And not to take out, if you're a child and you get this, not to remove yourself from the family or your friends or stop you from doing that. I mean, not at all, but to help you through the process of maybe you don't understand something and it can explain it to you in better terms.


Yeah. And I feel like for me, that what I'm excited about is like having something that helps you like get things done in a very short amount of time. And not using it to like, like you said, to replace your family or friends. It's like a little something on the side to like help you out, but not even just you, like help your friends out or your family out too. Because let's say your family needs something and they don't really like your family or friends that they need something, but they don't know the right way to go about it. Like you can just type. You can just use your AI and it can get results within minutes as well. Minutes, seconds, like, be like, you'll be able to spark new ideas for them as well.


Yeah, that would be so exciting. And I think that does, you know, get us to another level maybe of our own human development.


It was lovely speaking to you Terry about like, learning  about like artificial intelligence, AI, and like learning about like your creative background as well. So I'd like to say thank you for having this talk with us today.


Thank you, Albert. It was great to get to know you too. I'd love to see your work.


Thank you. And feel free to let us know where we can find you on all social media platforms. If you want to like plug yourself.


I'm on Twitter, I'm just @tery (T-E-R-Y) on Twitter. I'm on LinkedIn, so you can find me at Terys, T-E-R-Y-S on LinkedIn. I'm on Facebook, I'm on Instagram as Tery Spitaro on both. I'm on TikTok as T3RYAI, I think. So  I'm on TikTok. I'm across a lot of the social planning platforms. I'm on YouTube as well.


Be sure to follow us on on all social as well. So it's on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok as well. And yeah, Instagram as well.


Thank you so much for having me Albert. This was delightful. I hope it was helpful.

careercon live speakers

Jennifer Barnet
Head of People & Culture
Jenny spent a decade in luxury hospitality, honing her people skills first and foremost before working in restaurant brand management and compliance across London and EMEA. A pre-covid redundancy prompted a re-evaluation of wanting to be employed in a meaningful role and Jenny ended up being hundo's first employee in Dec 2020. Since then Jenny has worked in content creation, project management, customer success, operations, and account management before settling into her current role and getting back to her love of supporting people both inside and outside of hundo.
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Joanna Blazinska
Career Coach & Strategist
Joanna Blazinska is a career coach and strategist with a background in project management in the consumer electronics supply chain. Joanna started her career in a gaming company in Poland. She then transitioned into supply chain operations and reverse logistics, into vendor and project management roles, and worked at companies such as Sony DADC, Sony PlayStation and Google, across multiple countries such as Peru, Spain, Poland and the UK. She then moved into the world of coaching and is now working with professionals moving into tech & data. Passionate about career development, the future of work and emerging technologies. Content creator, selected by LinkedIn for their 1st UK edition of the Creator Accelerator Programme last year.
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Charlie Rogers
Future of Careers Expert
Charlie Rogers is an award-winning expert on the future of careers, where he blends his experience delivering projects with The Portfolio Collective with his leadership of the 30+ members of the Undefinable Community and his weekly newsletter, Mastery In Your 20s, on navigating a squiggly career as an individual with many interests to 650+ readers. All while juggling the 15 hours of training in his semi-professional career as an endurance athlete where he recently placed top 100 in his age group at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships and is now aiming to go sub 2h 30m at the London Marathon 2024.
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Owen Healy
Owen is a 'go-to' guy when it comes to hiring in blockchain tech. To date, Owen has placed over 75 people from over 30 countries into various different web3 projects serving a vast array of clients. Aside from recruitment, Owen is also very active on LinkedIn offering valuable tips and tricks on standout in today's competitive job market.
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Pere Pèrez Ninou
Founder and CEO
As the founder and CEO of Metacampus, an innovation services company that unlocks human potential in the virtual economy, I have over 20 years of experience in the digital and immersive technology sector. I have led and contributed to multiple award-winning projects and initiatives that leverage emerging technologies, interactive production, and content generation to create engaging and impactful experiences for clients and audiences. Previously, I was the Head of Innovation at Grup Mediapro, a global media and entertainment group, and the founder and CEO of VISYON, a leading company in immersive and interactive solutions. I have also held senior positions at Rockabox, MOJITO, Psycle Interactive, Doubleclick, Tangozebra, twentysix London, and JKD. My core competencies include developing innovative market solutions, digital strategy, business development, team management, and creative vision. I am passionate about exploring new ways of connecting, collaborating, and learning in the digital world, and I strive to create positive social and environmental impact through innovation. I believe in the power of diversity and inclusion, and I value working with talented and diverse teams that share my vision and mission.
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Lara Assi
Lara is a driving force within the web3 and AI movement, specializing in untangling the intricacies of innovative technologies for enthusiasts. With over 12 years of global entrepreneurial experience spanning manufacturing, media, retail, blockchain, and AI, Lara excels in simplifying complex concepts. Lara's passion lies in web3 education, where she excels in translating technical jargon into understandable terms, empowering learners from diverse backgrounds to grasp the essence of web3. Her immersive contribution enables participants to directly engage with these transformative technologies. A passionate advocate for inclusivity, Lara promotes diversity within the web3 realm and fosters equity. Her collaborations extend to influential venture capitalists, investment DAOs, and Layer 1 blockchains, underscoring her role as a bridge between technology and strategic partnerships. Moreover, Lara is a seasoned web3 consultant, aiding web2 companies in adopting the appropriate web3 technologies and assisting web3 start-ups in their growth journey. Her dynamic impact as a visionary, educator, advocate, and consultant continues to shape the accessible, diverse, and innovative landscape of web3.
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Melisa Cilli
Digital Fashion Designer
Melisa Cilli, is a forward-thinking digital fashion designer passionate about driving the future of the industry through innovative technologies. With a strong belief in the potential of immersive experiences, she is dedicated to exploring new solutions and pushing the boundaries of fashion design. Her journey in fashion has revealed the digital realm as the future. She envisioned a world where fashion is created and experienced through cutting-edge technologies like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). As a pioneer in digital fashion, Melisa strives to lead the transformation from physical to digital. With an MA in Fashion and Textile Design, coupled with a BSc in Computer Engineering, she possess a unique blend of creative and technical skills. By combining her creative vision with technical expertise, she actively seek collaborations with like-minded individuals and organisations who share her passion for revolutionising the industry. Through the use of digital tools and immersive technologies, Melisa aims to redefine the way we create, experience, and consume fashion.
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Olska Green
I am a fashion designer and founder of the sustainable phygital fashion brand Ecoolska ( We develop 3 main directions of our brand: eco-fashion, digital fashion and upcycling. I see my mission in not just creating beauty, but raising public awareness of global problems and solving them together. Fashion now is about meanings, about the individuality of each person, about a common cause - to save our planet. My dream is to change the whole fashion industry from linear economy to circular economy, from fast fashion to sustainable fashion. I have 12 years of experience in the fashion industry: I previously built my first brand from zero into a successful profitable brand with an extensive loyal customer base. My strength is inspiring the team to reach high results, while revealing the talents of each employee. I can see future trends and innovations and implement them quickly. I can create a high-quality stylish product that doesn't harm our planet.
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Rinat Homossany Perry
After acquiring extensive knowledge in the fashion industry from running my own private label to working for large-scale global retail brands as a personal stylist and fashion consultant. I always knew the fashion industry needed to adopt technology to evolve. StyleClue was built to bridge between the worlds, and break bad shopping habits for a healthier fashion industry in Web 3.0 and social gaming.
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Gayle Harrison
CEO and Founder
My focus is on creating innovative and inspiring business and marketing solutions at enterprise and consumer level that deliver excellent results. During my career, I have held marketing, strategy and innovation roles with global businesses, SMEs and start-ups, giving me a valuable perspective on what it takes to make businesses of any size succeed. I believe large businesses can learn from start-ups’ fast approach to innovation and how they leverage technology, whilst start-ups can benefit from more rigorous analysis and performance measurement to optimize their tight resources. I have had a rewarding 20-year career in marketing, strategy and consultancy roles for global consumer goods companies, leading teams, inspiring organisations behind change, and developing and implementing marketing plans that resulted in step-changes in performance. In 2019 I started my own technology business. Having immersed myself in the Web3 world, UNTAGGED leverages this and other emerging technologies such as AR and VR in a platform that incentivizes consumers to make sustainable fashion choices. I've successfully raised pre-seed investment, built the digital platform, and completed a successful beta trial.
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Isola Zhu
CEO and Founder
Founder of HGVIS, a community-driven digital fashion platform. Birding physical and digital together to enhance the experience with VR and AR technology. With a focus on co-creation and community-building, eager to push the boundaries in the web3.0 fields and create immersive experience.
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Aditya Mani
Aditya Mani is the founder of the YOLOgram Style: A direct to avatar platform where consumers can style their avatars with branded wearables and share immersive stories to social. He has taken a keen interest in showcasing digital fashion on avatars (both brand ambassadors as avatars and consumer avatars). He is an advisor in AIXR for the Retail Industry focus and also on the advisory board of Metaverse Standards Forum. Keenly looking at the digital fashion world from the lens of AR (body tracking), metaverse (persistent embodiments on avatars) and 3d commerce as well as playable commerce (showcasing fashion in gaming platforms). Aditya is also on the Advisory Board of the Metaverse Fashion Council.
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James Fraser-Murison
Head of Education
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Yasmin Topia
CEO and Co-Founder
Yasmin Topia is CEO and co-founder of Sociate AI- the worlds most engaging, fastest learning shopping AI that sees and speaks, killing the need to click and scroll ever again, changing the ecommerce experience for ever. Yasmin is a serial AI entrepeneur- with past ventured back by Microsoft, JaguarLandrover and Silicon Valley VCs- with a back ground in sales having won and delivered of £40m in new business at Adecco and PwC. Yasmin started her career as a sales assistant in retail.
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Dan Fitzpatrick
The AI Educator
I'm Daniel Potes, a NYC-based Creative Technologist specializing in event-based product design, photography, interactive arts, applied creative technology, and AI integration. Over 9 years, I've enhanced my skills from Virginia to New York, delving into Industrial Robotics, ML & IoT networks, and AI workflows. With expertise in photography, 3D scanning, application creation, and applied ML for robotics, I excel in various roles. As a Physical Technologist and AI Integration Specialist at Future Colossal in NYC, I've built $100,000+ OEM hardware for major clients while transitioning teams towards a future-forward AI workflow. From LED artworks to Mixed Reality hardware solutions and real-time AI environment design, I've honed my skills in Embedded Hardware and AI, overseeing projects from pitch to delivery. Currently, I'm excited about the future of AI Integrated Amusement Design.
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Amelia Loveday
Head of Partnerships
Amelia is Head of Partnerships at hundo, and project manager for hundo virtual work experience. She joined hundo in 2022 as the lead producer for the launch of hundo.xzy, CareerCon22. Amelia previously worked in the charity sector, where she has a track-record of delivering programmes in civic discourse, public diplomacy and education. She worked with the Aspen Institute UK to build the organisation's public and private programming, including the delivery of the EU's post-Brexit public diplomacy programme in the UK. Prior to this, Amelia worked on youth engagement and election regulation in Kyiv, Ukraine. She is also the Co-Sec of Opora, a charity supporting Ukrainians to settle and sustainably rebuild their lives in the UK.
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Xander Simms
CEO and Founder
I'm the founder of Digital Storytellers Inc. a web3 design studio specializing in helping brands amplify their voice in the metaverse by applying technologies like 3D, AI, and the blockchain. I"m also an an emerging artist, designer, and technologist and for the last decade I've helped brands achieve their goals by producing content and creative and executing strategic marketing and social media campaigns. After working with brands like NASA in the space technology sector, I made a pivot to web3 in 2021 and since have created NFTs, digital fashion, metaverse activations, and campaigns for fortune 500 brands, top web3 start ups, social media influencers, professional athletes, and entertainers.
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Kenn Mayfield
Advocate of neurodiversity, a maker of narrative NFTs, and a proponent of accessible entertainment, STEM, and industrial education immersive worlds, Kenn applies his skills in imagery, narrative, production, photography, and software development to his fully immersive Rebel Metaverse and the popular Ruby Room (nominated for Laval Virtual awards in 2022). Currently, he is developing AI-managed ASL communication in the spatial web. With a new frontier of limitless possibilities, cohesive talents and teamwork, we will shape the spatial web atop developing technologies and make it our own new world. CareerCon22 partner, hundo 100, SingularityNet Deepfunding top co-applicant, competitor in AWE XR 2023, participant in StartUp Wise Guys business pre-accelerator. Creator of the League of Extraordinary Talent ( rewriting rules of autistic income opportunity.
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Imisi Fakunle
Computer Science with AI Student at Leeds Uni
Imisi is a Computer Science graduate and incoming Technology Analyst at Deutsche Bank with a passion for technology. She has honed her soft skills through leading projects as a board member at an EdTech start-up and committee member of her university’s Entrepreneurs Society. With a background in coding and problem-solving, Imisi has also developed hard skills in software development, data science and AI through technology internships and spring weeks across 5 different industries including technology, finance and education. She mentors sixth-form students as a UK STEM Ambassador and has worked with students from 17 different UK schools.
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Nadiyah Rajabally
Head of Marketing
Nadiyah is the Head of Marketing at hundo and was the first Gen Z hire at hundo! Her background is primarily in Digital Marketing. She ensures that hundo always keeps young people in mind when making plans. Instead of attending university, she started working right after finishing her A-levels, which provided her with a fresh perspective. Aside from helping young people, Nadiyah is also a mental health advocate. Her current project is to organise and produce hundo's monthly CareerCon series, where experts from different industries share their knowledge. Stay connected with Nadiyah and hundo to prepare for the future of work!
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Albert Marealle
Social Media Coordinator & Graphic Designer
Albert Marealle is a digital illustrator from East London, and Social Media Coordinator and Graphic Designer at hundo. hundo is the immersive platform for Gen Z, educators and employers to learn about the future of learning and work. Albert launched his first NFT collection, Warm Up Sessions, at CareerCon22, the world’s first immersive careers event for Gen Z. The collection opened in The Immersive Kind gallery on Spatial, where Albert was interviewed by Founder and gallery owner Kadine James. Albert is also a Converse All-Stars community member, and his work has been featured by the likes of influencer Joanna Chimondes from love island.
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Tery Spataro
Chief AI Creative Director
“Imagination is the tool of creation. It’s a lens through which we can see our world and picture how we might change it. We have always used our imagination to transform the world around us, continuing to do so. But that doesn’t mean we should be afraid of new tools and new ways to imagine—just like a hammer doesn’t make a house, but it does make building one easier!” - Tery. As a Creative Director, Storyteller, and Content Creator, I specialize in utilizing AI to create captivating experiences. My passion for science fiction and futurism has led me to become an author, innovator, and AI enthusiast. My AI-generated digital art transcends both digital and physical realms, often combining the two, with the aim to inspire, energize, and entertain. In my fine arts, I trained AI models through Playform on my artwork, while in brand and commercial design work, I utilize generative AI. My diverse portfolio showcases digital and fine arts creations, surface design products, fashion pieces, and numerous books I have both illustrated and authored.
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Daniel Potes
Physical Creative Technologist
I'm Daniel Potes, a NYC-based Creative Technologist! My career background is in event-based product design, photography, interactive arts and design, applied creative technology, and comprehensive applied AI workflow integration! For the last 9 years, I've been working from Virginia to New York, building my client base and enhancing my creative palette. In the last few years, I've been deep-diving the world of Industrial Robotics, and integrated ML & IOT micro-controller networks as well as working on Integrating AI workflows in a variety of formats. With a wide skill set that includes everything from standard DSLR photography and video work, to 3d scanning and printing, to application creation and integration, and research and development in applied ML for industrial robotics, I pride myself in being a jack-of-all-trades, capable of dropping into any role and excelling. For the last two years, I’ve been working as a Physical Technologist and AI Integration Specialist for Future Colossal, an Innovation Agency in NYC, dealing mostly in tech solutions for immersive and interactive experiences. From designing custom wirelessly charging RFID solutions to building out $100000+ OEM hardware for major clients and finally transitioning the teams towards a more future forwards AI workflow. From LED artworks to Mixed Reality hardware solutions, to real-time AI environment design, I’ve spent this time honing my skills in Embedded Hardware and AI by taking projects through Pitch, Ideation, Research, Development, and finally, Delivery. Most recently I’ve fully dived into the Amusement Industry and am so excited for the future of AI Integrated Amusement Design!
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Luke Judge
Interim CEO
Luke Judge is a seasoned digital marketing expert with a reputation for innovative thinking and ethical practices. As the former CEO of Incubeta UK & US, Luke significantly contributed to the company's global growth, expanding the organization to over 500 people worldwide. In his role at Tapx, he spearheaded a transformative plan for the pioneering Web3 company, strengthening its foothold in the industry. Currently, as the CEO of hundo, Luke is at the forefront of preparing young people for the future of work, reflecting his commitment to making a tangible impact in the community. His international exposure, combined with his experiences in international crisis volunteering, has instilled a deep appreciation for diverse markets and cultures. Luke's mission-driven approach in his work has led to frequent speaking invitations and judge appointments at industry events. Luke's personal brand embodies innovation, ethical practices, and a dedication to growth. His unwavering support for startups and entrepreneurs, coupled with his impactful international crisis relief efforts, reflect his passion for fostering positive change both in the industry and the wider world.
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Scott Byrne-Fraser
Technical Co-Founder
Scott is a Technical Co-Founder, Chief Product Officer, Creative Technologist and Podcast host. Currently building for the future of education and healthcare with hundo and Verifi3r. Scott has helped shape some of the world's biggest products at BBC News, BBC Sport, Amazon Video, DAZN and Play Studios.
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Peyton Pocock
Technical Marketing Designer & Developer
From Cornwall, Peyton Pocock now works and lives in London as a designer and developer for hundo. Peyton works on the website and other marketing projects.
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careercon live partners

these are the companies that have been working with hundo to help produce the careercon monthly live series

This company is one of the headline CareerCon Monthyl Live sponsors
At our core, we believe in the potential benefits of the progressive decentralization of our future digital society, including identity privacy, eliminating bias, and rewarding people solely based on their merit, regardless of their background, personal details, or other external factors. We strive to empower and provide access to training for those who have previously not had the opportunity. Ultimately, we believe in sharing our success with the community.
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This company is one of the headline CareerCon Monthyl Live sponsors
UNTAGGED is a new kind of resale platform that rewards YOU for being sustainable. Not only is there zero commission for buying or selling on our app*, but you also earn points whenever you use it, which you could redeem for great rewards like in-app credit, brand discounts... and even a free coffee on us. So trade your pre-loved clothes, and start earning some rewards!
Social Links:
This company is one of the headline CareerCon Monthyl Live sponsors
We are for reasonable production and conscious consumption. We are for quality items that will not go to the landfill in a few months, but will serve you for many years. We choose the natural organic and We are in favor of giving a second life to clothes, re-sewing old garments into new upcycling collections, repairing clothes or donating them for charity. We are for a circular economy and sustainable development in the fashion industry. Together with you, we want to save our planet for the future generation!biodegradable, innovative and recycled fabrics.
Social Links:
This company is one of the headline CareerCon Monthyl Live sponsors
At HGVIS, we're blazing a trail in the world of fashion by bridging the gap between the digital and physical realms. We believe that designers should be able to unleash their full potential, and that's exactly what we aim to do. By providing the tools they need to connect with their audience and bring their brand to life, we're empowering them to reach new heights.
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This company is one of the headline CareerCon Monthyl Live sponsors
Take your digital media strategy even further. Tangoo is a digital media partner and consultant on products, solutions, and services for all your digital media activities.
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This company is one of the headline CareerCon Monthyl Live sponsors
A social-first creative agency that delivers bold mobile experiences.
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This company is one of the headline CareerCon Monthyl Live sponsors
We’re an international team of experts in marketing, technology, data and creative, who came together because we want businesses to make the most of the opportunities the digital landscape provides. Too many brands and companies get trapped between multiple partners, competing strategies or conflicting technologies. We’re the antidote to that – passionate about the digital strategy, technology and creative that supercharges growth. From the fundamentals to the final creative, we’re dedicated to helping you on your journey.
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This company is one of the headline CareerCon Monthyl Live sponsors
YOLOgram empowers users to STYLE their avatars with branded fashion & SHARE animated avatar stories to social media. UNLOCK virtual product placement of branded wearables in immersive storytelling. Use cases include AR tryons for ecommerce and metaverse stories. Our vision is to enhance apparel ecommerce with playable commerce & Immersive storytelling with social AR stories.
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The People
This company is one of the headline CareerCon Monthyl Live sponsors
The People is a creative company powered by a global community of 150+ young diverse changemakers. We exist to amplify the voices of young people and help brands build a better world. We deliver Gen-Z Insights, Co-creation and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consultancy. Fresh outside-in perspectives to help diversify and future-proof your business.
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The Immersive Kind
This company is one of the headline CareerCon Monthyl Live sponsors
The Immersive Kind is a multi-faceted art and advanced technology collective that amalgamates as an extended reality creative studio, a 24/7 global online community and open digital fashion and immersive arts platform. It is made up of a multidisciplinary and expansive team of architects, artists, creative technologists, neuroscientists, artificial intelligence engineers, and data scientists. We offer opportunities to collaborate with the XR studio and access to emerging artists pioneering advanced technology tools. We work towards redesigning and inspiring inclusive and 21st century approaches and solutions to the digitalisation of society.
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Digital Storytellers Inc
This company is one of the headline CareerCon Monthyl Live sponsors
We help get audiences excited and curious about the future and find ways to connect and explore new ideas, concepts, and technologies through our video productions. We also help engage increasingly hyper-focused communities through value-based content, education, and audiovisual differentiation.
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Sociate AI
This company is one of the headline CareerCon Monthyl Live sponsors
Magic for customers AND retailers. We are the best way to sell product while elevating the brand experience. We replace the search bar with our advanced AI that sees & speaks to immediately give a customer exactly what they are looking for. Our AI requires no data labelling and works with both text and images. We're on a mission to always be magical!
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Outlier Ventures
This company is one of the headline CareerCon Monthyl Live sponsors
We are the leading Web3 accelerator and founder community. We will invest and partner with 200 of the best founders in Web3 every year no matter where they are in the world, supporting projects across DeFi, NFTs, blockchain infrastructure and more.
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Global Tech Advocates
This company is one of the headline CareerCon Monthyl Live sponsors
Global Tech Advocates is the only truly international grassroots tech community, uniting the private sector in multiple cities and regions worldwide. More than 20,000 business leaders, experts and investors volunteer their time to campaign for the betterment of the global tech industry.
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Ready Player Me
This company is one of the headline CareerCon Monthyl Live sponsors
The metaverse is not a single app. It's a network of millions of virtual worlds people visit to play games, socialize and collaborate. Today, most of those worlds are closed and disconnected walled gardens. Ready Player Me is a cross-game avatar platform for the builders, creators and residents of the metaverse. We're on a mission to break down the virtual walls to build a more open and connected metaverse.
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Xyris Interactive Design
This company is one of the headline CareerCon Monthyl Live sponsors
“If a picture is worth 1000 words, then a three-dimensional simulation shows you the world.” February 2020 was unlike any year in modern times. The pandemic hit worldwide reaching every corner of the globe within weeks . Commerce was shut down, traffic was shut down, and lockdowns imposed to prevent further catastrophe. From this strange new world Xyris Interactive Design Inc was re-born. We recognized immediately what was building with the pandemic and what would be required of us.
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Future Colossal
This company is one of the headline CareerCon Monthyl Live sponsors
Future Colossal is an award-winning innovation lab for creative technologies. We bring to life physically and virtually immersive spaces that are memorable, playful, and interactive. Since 2012, our team comprised of designers, creative technologists, fabricators, and engineers, has been working together to craft unique and playful experiences. With expertise ranging from architecture and installation art to software development and hardware design, we achieve the extraordinary.
Social Links:
This company is one of the headline CareerCon Monthyl Live sponsors
hundo is a virtual work experience and immersive learning platform, on a mission to prepare young people for the future of work. We provide schools and colleges with engaging employment experiences for students to learn about frontier technologies and the industries that are defining the future of work. In partnership with employers and brands, we design virtual work experiences tailored to meet the needs of students across all backgrounds.
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CareerCon Live Themes

these are used to CATEGORIsE hundo careercon live videos, they may also be known as catagories, themes, or verticals.

Digital Fashion
Discover the fascinating world of Digital Fashion at hundo's CareerCon Monthly event. Tune in LIVE on July 20th; unlock valuable knowledge from top companies and inspiring speakers. From the latest Digital Fashion innovations to exciting career opportunities, join us for a day all about Digital Fashion.
Explore AI's captivating world through a live stream with top companies and inspiring speakers. Unlock valuable knowledge, from cutting-edge innovations to thrilling career prospects, and get your questions answered by industry professionals!
Explore the productive world of WorkTech through a live stream with top companies and inspiring speakers. Unlock valuable knowledge, from cutting-edge software and innovations to thrilling career prospects - get your questions answered by industry professionals!

hundo advice and inspiration articles

Meet hundo's Commercial Operations Manager: Tom Martin
Catagory: interviews
Introducing Tom Martin, hundo's Commercial Operations Manager. Get tips on how to become a Commercial Operations Manager, how to maintain a work-life balance and more. Let's dive in!
The following is the article body text for this post:

Tell us a little bit about your role at hundo...

As a Commercial Operations Manager, I am responsible for the day-to-day running of the business.

What inspired you to follow your current career path, and how did you get started in this field?

At 16, I didn't know what I wanted to do. My math teacher approached me and asked if I'd like to take accounting in sixth form as it was the first year my school offered this course. Having no other options and loving numbers, I agreed to the course and completed the first year. After that, I decided I wanted to pursue a career in accounting, so I researched what I needed to do. I found out that I could go to college and gain my AAT qualifications. The skills I gained from these qualifications allowed me to not only get a job in accounting but to progress to where I am now.

What are the most important skills and qualities for success in your job?

In any accounting position, attention to detail and ethical behaviour are essential skills/qualities.

What does a typical working day look like for you?

The typical day for me involves making sure the company's finances are in order and the business functions properly. I would do bank reconciliations, pay vendors, chase customers, sort payroll, and handle month-end duties.

What are some misconceptions about your job or industry, and how would you address them?

“Operations management sounds boring” - There is such a wide range of stuff to do, and you are not always doing the same thing every day so nothing feels repetitive.

Do you have any tips for maintaining a good work-life balance?

One tip I should follow but don't is to turn off emails/Slack notifications after work has been completed, because there is no need to respond at 9pm!

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?

Researching and planning what you want to do is essential, as there are many paths in accounting, and your goals may change as time goes on, but having a plan will help you get there faster.

If you could give your younger self one bit of career advice what would it be?

Don’t stress about having your life together at the age of 18-20 because you aren’t even a 1/4 of your life in!

When you face failures or setbacks, how do you handle them, and what have you been able to learn from these experiences?

If you face failure or can’t figure something out, take a step back and leave it for 5/10 minutes and go for a walk or get some air. Having a clear head when tackling again is more beneficial than staring at the problem.

What's the craziest or most interesting thing that's happened to you at work?

I went on a ski trip 3 months into being at the company - highly recommended!

If you could switch careers for a day, what job would you choose and why?

I’ve always wanted to try out a sales role because for one of my previous jobs I worked at a Vauxhall garage and wished I gave it a go.

If your job had a mascot, what would it be and why?

A finance mascot would have to be a bag of money or a calculator.

If you could have any superpower what would it be?

I would love to have super strength, mainly because I love the gym.

What are your most commonly used emojis?


Meet hundo's Head of Partnerships: Amelia Loveday
Catagory: interviews
Introducing Amelia Loveday, hundo's Head of Partnerships. Discover what it's like to be a Head of Partnerships, what skills you need, and how to maintain a work-life balance. Let's dive in!
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Tell us a little bit about your role at ….?

As Head of Partnerships, I have oversight of the relationships in hundo’s wonderful partner network. This includes schools and educators, local authorities, companies, charities - and other friends and fans of our work. I work closely with our partners to design and implement projects which help inspire young people for their future of work. I also lead production for CareerCon, the immersive on-demand careers expo.

What does a typical working day look like for you?

I’m not sure a ‘typical’ working day exists at hundo, which is one of the benefits of working for a smaller company. Generally, my day involves a lot of planning and collaboration with the team, lots of communication with partners, and working on whichever projects are active at the time.

What are the most important skills and qualities for success in your job?

Agility, communication, and strategic thinking. As a small and fast-moving company, we need to be able to adapt to changing circumstances quickly and effectively. Good communication is essential for ensuring the team are all on the same page about their responsibilities and the end goal. I also need to be able to communicate our value proposition and partnership opportunities clearly and effectively and to think creatively about how we can leverage our strengths to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

What was your highlight when producing CareerCon?

Live interview in hundo’s immersive gallery with Kadine James and our in-house creators.

Do you have any tips for maintaining a good work-life balance?

Work out how you work best - what structure suits you, what helps you feel productive? If you’re struggling, when is it time to down tools, have a break, and come back refreshed for another go? Approaching the working day with a good understanding of your working rhythm, capacity and limitations helps to reduce stress, and empowers you to plan and set the boundaries and deadlines of a project from the outset.

Also, your colleagues are there to support you. Ask for help when you need it.

Is there anything exciting or innovative happening in your industry right now, and how do you see it shaping the future?

Virtual work experience - it can bring amazing opportunities to young people regardless of where they live.

If you could give your younger self one bit of career advice what would it be?

You don’t need to know what you want to do with your life. If a role or industry seems interesting to you, try it out, and then try something else. No experience is a waste of time, and the skills you accrue in the first few years of your career will always be valuable.

If you could work remotely from any location in the world right now, where would you choose?

Madrid. I love it there.

If you could have any superpower what would it be?

Photographic memory.

What’s something you couldn’t live without at work?

My laptop. My contact lenses? My colleagues, of course.

Meet hundo's Social Media Co-Ordinator and Graphic Designer: Albert Marealle
Catagory: interviews
Introducing Albert Marealle, hundo's Social Media Co-Ordinator and Graphic Designer. Find out how he became a designer and creator, and what he does in his role. Let's dive in!
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Tell us a little bit about your role at hundo?

As a content creator and Graphic designer, I mainly create video content for Instagram and TikTok exploring topics like digital fashion, esports, gaming, and music within web3 and the metaverse. Through the content I create, I hope to educate people about how the future of work and learning will change. I also enjoy making trending videos on TikTok and creating videos with the team.

Additionally, I design and create assets and graphics for hundo's marketing and sales team, including email banners, social media assets and presentation decks using Canva and Figma.

What are the most important skills and qualities for success in your job?

You must enjoy socialising and making new friends, as well as communicating clearly between team members, so there are no misunderstandings. You should also be able to communicate with your social media followers and build relationships with them.

In addition, you need to be a fast learner and able to adapt to different tools and software. For instance, TikTok and software for video editing like CapCut. As well as being able to use graphic design software like Figma, you can create a wide variety of designs and animations and improve your graphic design skills.

What does a typical working day look like for you?

I normally plan, create and edit videos for our social media channels at Hundo. My video includes researching topics and themes, choosing the video I want to create, writing scripts, finding footage, recording it, and editing it. I do voice recordings most of the time to explain topics or show tutorials to our viewers, as well as any ad-hoc work for the team, such as design work for emails, presentations, or graphic assets.

What's the most rewarding aspect of your job, and why?

Being able to inspire people and make people happy and laugh through the content that I make. Just knowing that I can inspire people is humbling.

How do you manage your full-time job and your freelancing work?

In general, I try to do most of my creative work outside of working hours and on weekends.

What themes do you explore in your artwork?  

My artwork explores a variety of different topics, but the following are just a few of the things I've done in the past:


💥Black Joy

💥Hip hop

💥Childhood upbringing

How do you think young creatives can be better supported?  

Youth creatives can be better supported in many ways, but the most important is to provide them with career opportunities within their field.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field or who wants to start freelance designing?

There are a number of things, but I would most definitely say that these are my top tips:

✨Always stay true to yourself

✨Don’t change for anyone

✨Make sure you do what you love

✨Make sure you know your worth and don’t let people try to make you feel you’re not worthy

✨Never settle that causes you to compromise on things

✨Always do things with joy and enjoy what you do no matter what it is

What's the most interesting or memorable event you've attended for work?

As part of my work trips, I have attended several memorable events such as The Shard, Lichfield School, Retail Week, and Leeds Digital Festival. Also included are team days out, like the time spent at OtherWorld in Victoria and Fair Game in Canary Wharf by the team. I've had a great time at all of them, and I look forward to attending more.

What's your favourite work-related meme or inside joke that always makes you laugh?

For me, it was what time every time showed up to the team breakfast because it starts at 9 am but you know what the London commute is like!

What's the coolest piece of technology or equipment you’ve used at work?

For me, I would say that it was most definitely the Meta Quest 2 headset and playing Beat Saber, Epic Roller Coasters, and even experiencing Youtube in VR for the first time, which was fun.

What are your most commonly used emojis?


Meet hundo's Technical Marketing Developer: Peyton Pocock
Catagory: interviews
Introducing Peyton Pocock, hundo's Technical Marketing Developer. Discover his journey so far, his role at hundo, and insider tips on tech and marketing. Let's dive in!
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Tell us a little bit about your role at hundo?

I've been working at hundo for a year, and my responsibilities include maintaining and updating various websites and marketing tools.

Before working at hundo, I worked on a passenger ferry ship called the Scillonian. The ship sailed to and from a few small, local islands off the coast of Cornwall. Since working for hundo full-time, I’ve been able to move to London for a little bit which has been pretty fun so far.

The Scillonian III passenger and cargo ferry in front of St Michael's Mount in Penwith.

What inspired you to follow your current career path, and how did you get started in this field?

I started looking into web development when I was taking a media course in college. I have always been interested in design and technology. Our college work had to be showcased on a well-presented website. I spent much more time jazzing around than I would like to admit, making sure my coursework was nicely coloured and layered. I then started exploring different web platforms I could use and found Webflow, which I continue to learn more about.

Ultimately, this led me to my current position as a technical marketing developer at hundo. I really enjoy creating new designs and making functional digital experiences. These projects often change over time as new tools and standards become available.

What are the most important skills and qualities for success in your job?

In general, just being able to effectively communicate ideas as part of a crew and bring new ideas into an existing design system is pretty important. To do this, you need to be able to solve problems, pay attention to details, be adaptable, etc. You also need a solid understanding of how users interact with digital products. This includes factors such as where users' attention is focused and in which order, hierarchy, colour theory, and responsive design.

In my role as a technical marketing developer, the most important skills and qualities for success are attention to detail, problem-solving, adaptability, and the ability to collaborate with various teams effectively. Being up-to-date with the latest technologies and trends in the industry is also essential, as well as having a strong understanding of web development and design principles.

What does a typical working day look like for you?

In my day-to-day role, I tend to have a wide range of design and development tasks. These include coming up with new design ideas, building out website pages, creating graphics and assets, and integrating marketing tools.

What are some misconceptions about your job or industry, and how would you address them?

I don’t think there are too many misconceptions but when I’ve been working on new designs, there’s definitely a surprising amount of technical knowledge and consideration for how lots of different users will navigate a digital product. Moreover, things tend to change pretty quickly, so staying up-to-date with the latest web specs, trends, and business needs has been very important.

Peyton at Retail Week Live, trialing new VR technology.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?

You should keep an eye out for new tools and programs that can make life easier. A few starter examples of programs that democratise the development of web-centric projects by adding features such as super-friendly interfaces and integrations include Figma, Webflow, Zapier, and Blender.

Be open to learning and collaborating with others around you, as well as building a high-quality portfolio. You can work with friends and family who work for other companies or with people you meet online. However, always set up an agreement before starting any work! It's also super important to stay up-to-date with the latest technical specifications, trends, and best practices.

If you could switch careers for a day, what job would you choose and why?

If I could switch careers for a day, maybe I’d become an architect or city planner. I love seeing how different buildings and public spaces are designed to create accessible and unique user experiences. In a parallel universe, I could also imagine myself as a professional forager or gardener, but truthfully, I don't have any idea how a city is planned or which plants are poisonous.

If your job had a mascot, what would it be and why?

If my job had a mascot, it might be a lizard (but one of the colour-changing fellas), which represents an ability to adjust to different projects and requirements, but I think they’re just unique in their own way. Maybe jellyfish too, have you seen the glow-in-the-dark ones? They're pretty cool too - they look like miniature aliens.

If you could have any superpower what would it be?

If I could have any superpower, it would be the ability to never forget useful info, I'm not known for my incredible memory, so it would save me from having to write it all down!

What are your most commonly used emojis?


What’s something you couldn’t live without at work?

My laptop – unsurprisingly it’s been pretty essential for all of my day-to-day design and dev work. It’s super handy for keeping in touch and collaborating with the whole hundo crew too.

How can businesses retain and attract Gen Z talent?
Catagory: advice
It’s clear that the latest generation to enter the workforce is taking it by storm. For businesses to retain and attract top Gen Z talent, they need to be prepared to meet their needs and desires. Here are some steps businesses can take.
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Flexibility at work

Gen Z prioritises work-life balance and values the ability to work remotely or have flexible hours. A business that is willing to offer this kind of flexibility at the workplace is more likely to attract and retain young talent. This means businesses must invest in technologies and processes that support remote work and flexible schedules.

Demonstrate purpose

Gen Z is socially conscious and expects businesses to have a purpose beyond profit. It is important for them to work for companies that prioritise social responsibility and environmental sustainability. Companies that focus on these issues are more likely to attract and retain this generation.


Gen Z values collaboration and teamwork, and they expect inclusive work environments. It is essential for companies to create a work environment and culture that values and celebrates differences and provides equal opportunities for all employees.

Career development:

A company that prioritises ongoing learning and development opportunities will successfully attract and retain top Gen Z talent. They value career development and want to work for companies that invest in their learning. Consider providing mentorship programs and regular feedback to give Gen Z opportunities to grow and advance their careers.

Ultimately, the future of work is changing rapidly and Gen Z is leading the way. By implementing flexibility, purpose, collaboration, and career development, businesses can attract and retain Gen Z talent. By embracing these values, businesses can create a more engaged, productive, and motivated workforce that drives success within their businesses.

Take your mental health to the next level with virtual reality
Catagory: advice
As the metaverse takes over the world, its virtual spaces have evolved into places not only for building connections and experiences but also for enhancing mental health and well-being.
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Firstly, what is the metaverse anyway?

Let’s sum it up in one sentence. It’s like a huge digital playground, a virtual space where users can create, explore, and connect with others. You can attend virtual concerts or build your own digital empire - the possibilities are endless in the metaverse.

So, how can the metaverse boost your mental health? Here are some of the top benefits:

Building community and connection

In the metaverse, you can interact with people from all over the world who share the same passions and experiences as you. Whether you're into gaming, music or art, a virtual community exists. This sense of belonging can reduce loneliness and isolation.

Creative freedom

The metaverse is a space that lets you truly express yourself, from designing your own avatar to creating digital art or music. This is a place where you can let your creativity and self-expression run wild, which can be incredibly therapeutic and boost your well-being.

Exploring and adventures

Do you ever feel like you're stuck in the same place? Through the metaverse, you can escape your everyday ordinary life and go wherever you want. There are endless virtual worlds to explore and new experiences to try out to give yourself a break.

Relaxation and de-stressing

Sometimes we just need to unwind and de-stress, and the metaverse offers a variety of activities that can help you. Whether it is a virtual yoga class or a peaceful walk along the beach, you will definitely find something that relaxes you.

The metaverse offers a wide range of benefits, although it's important to keep in mind that it can’t replace professional mental-health care. However, it can offer a sense of belonging, community, creative expression, and relaxation, which can certainly be a fun and exciting way to boost your mental health and wellbeing. So what are you waiting for? Dive into the metaverse and see what it has to offer!

What role is Gen Z playing in redefining the workplace?
Catagory: advice
It's no secret that Gen Z is revolutionising the workplace by setting new values and expectations. Find out how they are refining the future of work.
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Work-life balance

Gen Z knows how to work hard, but they also know how to play hard! It's important for them to find the perfect balance between work and personal life. Their goal is not only to be able to work from anywhere and at any time but also to take care of their mental health. As a result of these new demands from this younger workforce, the workplace is becoming a more fun and relaxed environment.

Making a difference

Gen Z is passionate about making a positive impact on the world, and they want to work for companies that demonstrate the same. They want to work for companies that share their values and provide a sense of purpose. As Gen Z leads the way, the workplace is becoming more socially aware and meaningful.

Diversity and inclusion

The Gen Z generation is the most diverse yet, and they want their workplaces to reflect that as well. Their goal is to make workplaces more welcoming, supportive, and inclusive for all people, regardless of their background. As a result, companies are becoming more diverse and inclusive, and this is making the workplace a more vibrant and dynamic place.

Career development

Gen Z is focused on learning and growing within their careers. They're looking for companies that offer mentors, career development programs, and instructive feedback. In order to retain young talent, businesses must prioritise the provision of professional development programs and ongoing learning opportunities.

To conclude, Gen Z is revolutionizing the workplace, and businesses that are looking to attract Gen Z talent must keep up with their needs and expectations.

Academy’s Mahmoud Serewel on using tech to aid social mobility  
Catagory: interviews
 Mahmoud on working at Academy, aiding social mobility and his background in law 
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Being a comprehensively educated British-Syrian studying law at some of the world's leading institutions, social mobility very quickly became a passion of Mahmoud's. At first, given his legal background, he focused on social mobility in law. However, Mahmoud also saw the impact that new tech could have on younger generations of people, specifically those who would benefit from social mobility. Find out exactly how he discovered the world of tech below.

Tell us about what you do? 
I am working at Academy, a seed stage startup that trains humanities and social sciences graduates in tech, so that they can work in tech. What makes the Academy cool is its focus on social mobility. If you look at the cohorts, about 60% are ethnic minorities, 55% are women, and 25% were FSM eligible. It’s really cool that I’m able to work at a company that is so social mobility oriented. I'm personally working on partnerships and some of my own social mobility missions within Academy, which is super exciting.

How did you start working in tech?  
My start in tech wasn't particularly typical given my legal background. I actually completed three different law degrees before discovering the world of tech! My initial motivations for studying law were human rights oriented, having grown up with the Syrian crisis and experiencing it through my family. While finishing my degrees however, I started looking into other ways to create impact. I ended up applying for Jumpstart, which is a great graduate recruitment program specifically focused on startups. I was connected to Academy through their program. Jumpstart made what is typically an opaque industry seem so transparent. As progressive as tech is, a problem with it is that it’s difficult to break in unless you know people in the industry. Companies like Jumpstart and Academy are working to solve that problem.

How long have you been working in this space? 
I began working in social mobility as an undergrad. I volunteered for charities while studying. I had my own mentees who I was helping with law school applications. I even co-founded a social enterprise with my friends, whose aim was to help kids access law, whether through academia or careers. Social mobility is something I’ve always been passionate about and, ironically, there is more work to be done in progressive industries such as tech, than there is in traditional industries like law. There is this huge gap in tech, and there’s a huge need for talent. Nevertheless, grads are finding it so inaccessible. Particularly grads from certain backgrounds; minorities, women, people from working class backgrounds are finding it so hard to access this space, despite the demand. When I saw what Academy was doing it just really excited me, and I'm equally excited to be contributing to it!

What's one thing people should know about you?
I'm a comprehensively educated British-Syrian graduate of LSE, Harvard Law and Oxford. I used to shy away from sharing accomplishments, and it's still my instinct to do so. But, at a certain point, I realised aspirational young people from similar backgrounds to me don't have many examples to point to. When I was applying to these universities, I didn't know of any Syrians who had managed it and I didn't know people who had been there and done that to guide me through the process. Hopefully my example can create a reassurance that it's doable for socially mobile students/minorities. And if even one disadvantaged student reaches out to me asking for help as a result of my answering this question, it's worth me feeling a bit uncomfortable!

Are there any figures that have inspired you? 
A great inspiration of mine is Tyson Fury. I spent most of my second year of undergrad in hospital with my dad who was unwell. Unfortunately, I underperformed that year. Wanting to achieve a top masters offer, I found myself in an uphill battle. Tyson Fury was beginning his comeback to boxing around this time. Despite the doubt surrounding him, I had absolute faith that Tyson would regain the heavyweight championship, which inspired me to ignore my own doubts. This also inspired me to take up boxing, which helped me lose some 30 kilos and gain a stronger mindset. Ironically, the day I sent off my Harvard masters application was the same day Tyson put on a great performance in his first fight against Deontay Wilder. I received my offer to study at Harvard Law a few months later. To top it all off, during my year at Harvard, Tyson became world heavyweight champion once again.

What excites you most about the future of tech? 
It’s that there is this demand and hunger amongst employers to improve social mobility and representation. Every employer that I've spoken to is passionate about making their work environment more representative.

There's also a clear enthusiasm amongst employers to include grads as well. Conventionally, job listings in tech require at least a few years of professional experience. At Academy, we train recent grads and everyone who takes on Scholars from Academy’s training has really loved them. They've seen how immediately impactful our Scholars can be. We are starting to break the convention that you need years of experience.  We're seeing an appetite for change within this space and I'm excited to see how that progresses.

Meet the metaversers: Hrish Lotlikar 
Catagory: metaverse
‍Hrish on creating SuperWold, becoming a founder and his upcoming projects 
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Pokemon Go was the inspiration, and SuperWorld was the outcome! Get into the mind of founder Hrish as he takes hundo through what it means to be a founder, working to create an augmented reality project and the journey along the way to launch of SuperWorld. 

Tell us about how you came up with the concept for SuperWorld? 
In 2017, Max Woon and I came together in Santa Monica, CA. We were inspired by the worldwide sensation created by Pokemon Go and thought, ‘what if we could build a virtual world mapped onto the real world where anyone could create, discover and monetise anything anywhere.’ It was here that the first seeds of SuperWorld were planted, and when we decided to explore the possibility of building a Metaverse platform. 

How would you describe your career experience before becoming a founder? I co-founded Rogue Initiative Studios (partnered with director Michael Bay), a Hollywood film, TV, gaming, and immersive entertainment studio. I was also the founding Managing Partner of Eastlabs, an early-stage VC fund based in Kyiv, Ukraine. Before this, I was a Senior Business Developer and Global Evangelist at Toptal (backed by Andreessen Horowitz, the Rockefellers & the co-founders of Facebook and Zynga), a venture capital investor at Spencer Trask Ventures, and an investment banker at both UBS Investment Bank and HSBC Securities, where I specialised in public finance, corporate finance, and M&A. I was also an Associate in the Global Business Development Group at management consulting firm Hewitt Associates. 

What was the most interesting part of starting SuperWorld? 
I wouldn’t say there is one single interesting part. Every aspect of SuperWorld has its own uniqueness to it. From exploring the virtual real estate map, connecting with anyone while simultaneously being able to monetise content in augmented reality, to leveraging the platform to help build a better world. It’s been so rewarding to see people all over the globe come together to build the Metaverse in SuperWorld. It all boils down to community, and I feel like we’re cultivating one of the strongest, most creative communities in Web3. 

What are you most excited about as web3 develops? 
I am most excited about seeing the growth of technology and how the ecosystem itself becomes more collaborative among users, from individuals and brands to large corporations and charitable organisations . In the Web3 space, it’s apparent that we all want to elevate this evolving technology, and here at SuperWorld, being able to do that while helping to create a positive ecosystem is something that I find to be both extremely rewarding and truly exhilarating. 

Can you tell us about any projects you're currently working on? 

Right now, we’re about to launch the Luxor project with the crypto artist Vesa. It’s a 3D, interactive VR gallery modelled on the Luxor Temple in Egypt–it looks like nothing I’ve seen before–and hopefully like nothing anybody has seen before. Likewise, we’re building an embassy for Barbados in the Metaverse, along with numerous other initiatives, including the Guardians project, an exhibit featuring dozens of the biggest names in digital art who have come together to support indigenous communities in the Amazon forest of Brazil. 

We’ve also got plans for a token launch coming up in the next few months, along with a 3D map interface that puts users anywhere in the world, and adds a whole other dimension (literally) to our virtual real estate platform. Aside from that, we’ve got a few more surprises coming soon, but I need to stop before I give away anything more!

If you could give your younger self one bit of career advice, what would it be?
I’ve always tried to remember the ancient maxim that 'fortune favors the bold' and I think my career trajectory has been relatively emblematic of the adage. I’m not entirely sure that If I could go back and give myself some advice, I would do anything dramatically different. If I had, I might not be where I am today, and right now, there’s no place I’d rather be than here at SuperWorld.

Check out Hrish on LinkedIn.

Meet the metaversers: Kenn Mayfield 
Catagory: metaverse
Enter the inner workings of the metaverse and web3 with the XR founder
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XR founder Kenn Mayfield on creating 3D environments, the metaverse as a blank canvas and neurodivergence in tech! 

You create 3D environments for e-learning among other things, can you tell us a little bit about this? 
I’m from a family that values education and we have humble origins. I taught adult classes in video and audio production and served on an artist-run centre’s board for seven years. I’d always been interested in knowledge and merging different communications media, starting with video and 3D, then sound, music and interactivity. This is driven probably by my lifelong effort to understand communications.

I believe that engaging environments inspire 'ambitious learning' so I looked for ways to make interesting subjects themselves teach learners.
For one of my many 3D STEM environments, I made a Solar Lab which is part science fiction and all science. Students can stand at a device that ‘creates’ a sun and learn about its features, composition, and gravitational effects. For a visual learner like myself, seeing calculus in 3D is much more understandable than reading the theory in its mathematical language, at least at the start.

How did you get into working in XR and the metaverse?
These roots were planted way back in college days. I’m an avid fan of special effects and Cinefex magazine. Around that time 3D animation was slowly ascending as a way to create worlds. I found it exciting that worlds could spring from my imagination, even with videotape and 286 Mhz computer processors. After college, I largely left computers to work in video, audio and photography, and even a bit of performance art! Then I orbited back into the digital world where I built 2D interactives and then mobile apps.

After a decade of iOS coding, I set programming aside to return to a more visual form of work. Coding, for me, wasn’t answering the big questions about who we are now, and where we might go as people living in a mostly 2D digital metaverse already. Just as the pandemic started, work laid me off along with a few other people, so I immediately focused on Unity and virtual worlds. I started with a template for multiplayer and relied on what I know best, which is lighting and staging, but in virtual worlds. 

In 2019 I started to explore conversational avatars based on IBM Watson and also on iOS’ linguistic tagging AI libraries, then how these avatars could be presented in AR to supplement text-based chatbots. With a client, I was recently awarded a grant to build accessible AI services. The metaverse I envision emphasises inspirational environments encouraging learning, co-working, trade, counselling, meditation, gaming, ecosystems, biomes, concerts and teambuilding.

This sounds like a lot of unrelated areas to focus on, but to me, they are a continuum of experiences serving many facets of being human.

Tell me about your work with Xyris? 
Xyris Interactive Design started with my deep appreciation of scientific illustration. ‘Xyris’ derives from paleoxyris, the Latin name for ancient shark eggs. Design-wise I like the flowing shapes of their tendrils. The word includes  ‘X’ ‘Y’ and ‘S’, and “XR” now is a popular term for mixed, or extended, reality.

XyrisID became a provider of graphic design and 2D experiential interactives - in Flash! We also coded the games for a CD(!) of Doodlebop Clubhouse Adventure games which still functions today on modern computers.

Now, when the pandemic started, I felt a strong intuition to move into a medium where the ‘big questions about learning, who we are, and what technology is shaping us to be, could be explored. I also wanted to return to a more visual arts-related field, so, I started creating multiplayer virtual worlds. Word of the oncoming metaverse, crypto and NFTs surfaced on the internet, and now here we are.

Are there ways in which being neurodivergent has helped you in your career and work? 

Definitely, yes. From as far back as I can remember, I’d been able to think in pictures. A single world or thought immediately evokes detailed scenarios in my imagination.
Not only pictures, but motion, sound, light, scents, details, music and narrative continuity - even film grain and colour temperature - in lucid, repeatable dreams as my experience living in the world, and outside of it, develops. I was feeling deeply restless when I worked out my 'dream home': a two-story house with nearby topographic features, and even where my bedroom was, all based on an intense feeling of yearning. Then I discovered this was an early home my family lived in while I was still an infant. I still remember my kindergarten, the teacher, the layout, activities, my main storybook, where that building was relative to my home, and the teaching assistants. I also remember a few fantastical dreams from the early days.

Being neurodivergent in this career rewards me for submerging my mind in imaginative voyages and then resurfacing with riches to build into shareable metaverse worlds for others to see. In my experience, and every neurodivergent person is different, coming to terms with the world involves some level of almost monastic insularity. It’s like writing page by page to fill a library with illuminated volumes. I can revisit these when building metaverse worlds.

If you could tell someone one thing about the metaverse what would it be? 

I would say the metaverse is yours to make. The metaverse, a modern theatre, is a portal through which your inspiration, talent and experience can manifest for others to understand. Throughout human history, we’ve imagined unseen worlds inhabited by otherworldly creatures infused with magic. We’ve spun legendary stories of heroes which have lasted thousands of years. These stories freely belong to history and to cultures - keepers of the flames of inspiration, freedom, identity and spirit.

Feel encouraged to build your own metaverse experiences, whether in a commercial context, in gaming, or within a cultural context where you define what’s important to communicate. The rules aren’t yet written for the oncoming metaverse, even though both web3 and established gaming groups occasionally seem to imply otherwise.

Look into media literacy and bias to understand how legacy communications and social media manufacture consent, which in a metaverse context, may become both more subtle and more powerful as a method of persuasion.

We have forms of art, fashion, literature, architecture and theatre which have survived thousands of years. Your metaverse could inspire the future of us all, your design could become a heritage for future generations on Earth, and wherever our descendants travel next. 

Are you working on any exciting projects at the moment? 
Yes! My Ruby Room invites remarkable support from industry and cultural leaders. I’ve planned a series of events featuring spoken word, music, culture and theatrical experience as a platform for artists and scientists (sometimes they are the same people) to communicate their inspirations, opinions and evidence-based knowledge to others. I have arts-related plans to extend, explore and share my little corner of the metaverse. Also, I want to adopt a cat. Seriously!

What has been a career highlight? 
Ruby Room’s first event. It was a dream come true. Phnam Bagley of NonFiction Design, Andre Sobolewski of Clear Coast Consulting, and Xander Simms of Digital Storytellers took a chance on me to share their stories in the Ruby Room. I’m grateful for their support and thrilled they liked being present online with each other at the event. There is not a more esteemed group in my mind.

I then arranged an Event For Ukraine in the Room. A friend made possible the invitation of a wonderful and accomplished academic family to discuss the history, culture and art of Ukraine. Ruby Room, was also nominated to compete at Laval Virtual 2022, one of three submissions in its category. Being invited to pitch felt like a welcome, a validation of experience and imagination as an outsider in life into the wider world of accomplished metaverse practitioners, authors and commentators.

10 creative things you can do in the metaverse
Catagory: metaverse
Imagine a virtual world where you can live, work, shop, and connect with others — all from the comfort of your couch in the physical world. Welcome to the metaverse.
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Despite still being in an experimental stage with only a few platforms available for general use, the unified virtual environment of the Metaverse promises limitless options for work, gameplay, social connections, and revenue generation. That’s right, the sci-fi movies we’ve seen are becoming a reality and, like most tech fans, you probably can’t wait to discover what the future’s got in store for us. Here are our top 10 creative things to do in the metaverse. 

Express yourself through avatars
If you ask someone, ‘what can you do in the metaverse?’ one of the first answers you will receive is ‘be whoever you like.’ You might think of avatars in the realms of sci-fi, but in the metaverse avatars are customisable characters that can represent you across multiple metaverse platforms. You can change your hair colour, body type, accessories, gender, or even appear as a fictional character in the Metaverse. How cool is that? There’s also a case for avatars minimising initial hiring bias. 

The metaverse brings individuals with shared interests together while avoiding the impersonal webcam view used by Teams and Zoom where actual participation is limited. 

Whether you're learning a language, developing your communication skills, or mastering a new skill, the metaverse has the ability to totally transform how you learn, practice, and perform. 

Not only that, but there are also opportunities to be educated on the metaverse. That’s why hundo has created Campus, our own platform for young people to learn about, and skill up in web3 areas. 

Purchase real estate 
Real estate sales are among the top use cases for the Metaverse, with individuals and companies keen to become early movers in this field.

Metaverse platforms are divided into land blocks called parcels, which may be acquired using the environment’s specific cryptocurrency token. Once you purchase real estate, you can sell it at a higher valuation, or lease it to a property developer or VR event organizer for profit.

Consume and create art
Visiting art galleries is a great thing to do in the metaverse, and provides an opportunity to look at and create art. 

Art in the metaverse aims to bridge the gap of inaccessibility to some art forms.

The digital sub-sector of art is attracting serious attention as both digital artists and NFTs are already amassing sizable interest. So it's only natural to assume that this will continue in the metaverse.

Play Games 
Online multiplayer games that allow for virtual interaction have been around for years, but the  most popular taking the metaverse by storm are Roblox and Fortnite.

VR gaming is one of the key use cases of the metaverse and probably the purpose for which it was initially envisioned. The Sandbox, for instance, is a collection of games that have progressively matured into a prominent metaverse platform.

You will no longer play games for amusement but also engage in ‘play-to-earn’ activities.

Shop, trade, and sell
The Metaverse allows people to engage with things in a way that is unattainable via e-commerce or online storefronts. For instance, your avatar may visit a virtual shop, wander around the aisles, try on things such as clothes or shoes, and make payments directly in bitcoin. You may choose to buy virtual things for your avatars or begin a real-world transaction and have the product delivered later.

Work collaboratively
Working from home has become increasingly popular these days and for some, it's a blessing and for others, it's just the opposite. One of the ideas of the metaverse is to bridge that gap and make it everyone's dream.

The Metaverse is a no-zoom zone because it's rather unnecessary. In the metaverse, you don't have to pretend to stare at your colleagues on a screen as the virtual world allows you all to participate in the digital office.

From there, you can meet with colleagues, chat, work on projects, and easily set up meetings too. It will be one of the most inclusive and accessible workplaces ever.

Meet with friends
There are currently several ideas as to what the primary goal and function of the metaverse should be. But the most popular and prevailing idea is social interaction, making hanging out with family and friends one of the most important activities.

From lounging on a sofa with loved ones to sitting in a digital cafe chatting with your friends, the virtual connection has never felt so real. You can also attend live music shows and watch performances no matter where you are in real life.

Visit other realms
Holidays can be taken in the real world, so why not in the virtual one? This is perhaps one of the most exciting things to do in the metaverse. Big tech companies like Facebook, Microsoft, and others are ready to work together to create a world where transportation is possible. The concept of the metaverse is that you can easily switch areas, what we would think of as locations, without worrying about capacity issues or latency.

Attend concerts, trade exhibits, and learning events
Do you love to attend shows and concerts? VR real estate in the metaverse may be utilised to hold all types of events, from music concerts and social gatherings to business events and learning sessions. 

Metaverse events have the ability to reach a significantly bigger audience while ensuring that the interactions remain genuine and intimate. Most platforms release a monthly schedule of their activities ahead of time.

5 reasons why Gen Zers should get involved in web3
Catagory: web3
There's no better time like the present to take the plunge into the metaverse
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Tired of working menial jobs or looking for investment opportunities that are anything but future-proof? Well, web3 is quickly proving to be Gen Z's answer to creating generational wealth, accumulating assets and building meaningful careers. 

According to Investopedia, 23% of Gen Zers already own crypto, with the large majority believing that it will deliver the greatest investment returns over the next decade. Still not sold? Here are 5 reasons Gen Zers like you should get involved in the metaverse now rather than later.  

Web3-related careers
It's safe to say that companies ranging from luxury goods to the music industry are looking to jump on the metaverse and web3 bandwagon. Companies like Spotify, Meta, Nike, Gucci and Disney are just some of the companies that are hiring web3 specialists. 

For example, fashion house Balenciaga now has a metaverse department, while Gucci was actively looking for a web3 specialist that can help drive sales of digital collectibles like NFTs. The NFL also posted a job advert for a senior manager that can identify branding and marketing opportunities in the metaverse. Streaming giant Spotify also posted an ad for a senior backend engineer with a web3 focus. 

In addition to tech jobs, there are tons of opportunities for web3-thinking Gen Zers looking to get involved in shaping big companies' metaverse strategy. Moreover, it's clear that companies and recruiters will be looking for individuals ready to upskill and learn more about the metaverse. 

NFTs and crypto as investments
According to a recent Capitalize survey, 56% of Gen Z adults include cryptocurrency or NFTs as part of their retirement strategy. For Gen Z, a generation that is more critical of traditional systems, the decentralised nature of web3 is very attractive. 

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that, according to brokerage firm Charles Schwab, two-thirds of new investors are Millennials and Gen Zers, who now have unprecedented market power. This is because the exciting new sphere of web3 is less gatekeep-y than the traditional stock market, making it easier for Gen Zers to collaborate and thrive. #WAGMI

Business and entrepreneurial opportunities
Undoubtedly, Gen Zers is paving the way for entrepreneurial opportunities in web3. In particular, the NFT sector is brimming with talented Gen Z artists, developers, and entrepreneurs who have set themselves up for success.

FEWOCiOUS is just one example. After creating his first art works at 13, he got involved in digital and at 17, grossed over $17 million in just under a year via NFT drops.

Benyamin Ahmed is another example of how Gen Zers are absolutely smashing it in the NFT game! Benyamin made headlines after his Weird Whales NFT collection sold for £290,000 during school holidays. He followed his success by working with artists from Disney and Marvel on a second collection, Non-Fungible Heroes. Clearly, Gen Zers are showing everyone how it's done!

Access to community 
There's nothing quite like the web3 community. Search for the hashtags #NFTs and #Crypto on Twitter, and you'll immediately find thousands of other digital natives connecting over their love for web3. 

Community is essential for any metaverse project. With DAOs being an important building block of web3, it's safe to say that web3 communities are far from passive. Rather, communities decide on the direction of a project, improve the project's code, and enable you to connect with like-minded individuals when you just want to say good morning.  Thanks to web3-popular tools like Discord and Twitter, as well as metaverses like Decentraland and The Sandbox, Gen Zers are tuning out the noise and connecting with other like-minded people who get them. 

Living life to the fullest
As the first truly digital native generation, Gen Zers are using the metaverse to live their lives more fully. Therefore, as the metaverse expands, so will the opportunities for Gen Zers to experiment with their identity and find themselves through web3. Whether it's a virtual concert, transforming into a different being, or using a VR headset to chat with a friend who lives on the other side of the globe, the possibilities are indeed endless!

Words: Janelle Borg

4 Gen Zers taking web3 by storm 
Catagory: web3
Meet the young people paving the way for a web3 future 
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We are constantly amazed by the incredible young people out there. Whether it’s Gen Z taking the creative industries by storm or becoming aficionados in the tech world - the abundance of talent is undeniable! That’s why we wanted to profile our four fave Gen Zers taking the web3 world by storm. Stay tuned, these legends are up to some incredible things…

has been creating art from the age of 13, and by 17 had sold NFT drops worth a total of 17 million dollars! A true digital native, the now 18-year-old never fails to impress. His easily characterised brightly coloured digital art, support for LGBTIQ+ artists, and personable Instagram really set him apart!  He’s even had a collection in collaboration with Sotheby’s. Deffo follow him on socials to keep up with his wild journey through the digital and virtual art worlds. 

NFT kids
Founded by 13-year-old NFT artist and photographer Gemeidon after making an NFT short film for children, NFT kids is a publication run by and for kids! It’s one of the first-ever decentralised publications and features exclusive content from generation alpha’s digital artists from as young as 6 years old! They even have their own kids calendar merch to sell! This is a really interesting and creative use of the metaverse, and web3 and shows us truly that generations, even younger than Gen Z have got their finger on the pulse of web3. 

Miss Teen Crypto 
Miss Teen Crypto has been encouraging young people to invest in crypto and NFT’s after spending her own pocket money investing in Bitcoin. Now a crypto influencer, the 19-year-old is taking the rest of Gen Z under her wing, and educating them about how to navigate the NFt and crypto world. That’s not where her accolades end, she  is also an event speaker, panelist and host of her own Miss Teen Crypto Show

Benyamin Ahmed  
Last year when his peers were enjoying the school holidays, Benyamin Ahmed was busy selling his NFT collection of pixelated whales! The animal themed NFT collection called Weird Whales were so popular that they landed this 12-year-old £290,000 in crypto currencies! The young NFT artist has also gone on to make Youtube vids about his NFT hobby, and continues to mint NFT’s. Pretty cool if you ask us! 

Meet the metaversers: Alison Alexander 
Catagory: metaverse
‍Metacampus’ director of ethics on web3 career prospects, personal highlights, and economic mobility
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Alison Alexander’s background working in children’s services, and later as the CEO of a virtual reality company lead her to be approached by metacampus’ CEO, Pere with the opportunity to work as the company’s director of ethics. Since then, Alison has been busy building her Twitter community, and considering the ethical challenges that are presented to us within the web3 space! Check out her full interview below. 

Tell us about your work with metacampus? 
I have worked with metacampus since it started in January. Previously to that I was a CEO of a virtual reality company, and the founder of metacampus I met because he helped with the production of some VR films to be used in education and social care. He then asked if I wanted to join in his venture because he wanted someone who had a real grounding in people services, as he was working very much on the social concept. He wanted one person to keep the team really mindful of how we are here to bring equity across the world for all of those disadvantaged groups, and that’s something we need to keep in mind. 

Why is it important to consider the ethical issues that arise within the metaverse and web3? 
There are two things for me around ethics. What you’ve asked, and also how we apply ethics when we work with people. Does anything we produce, whether it’s in web3 or outside, enable everybody to have the opportunity to utilise it! What are the ethics we are applying? Are we developing products that only those who have a good education or access to resources can get to? Then, as you move further into it people are talking about the ethics in AI. With the use of web3, how do you enable people to understand what we are creating? If you look at web2, you have a lot of people that would say ethically things don’t work because young people are at risk of being hacked, and abused, and how do you stop all of that. For me, that’s the bit that’s really crucial about asking this ethical question. How do we ensure that we keep people safe. Every time we are producing an AI, how do we make sure people can use it in a safe way and it doesn’t exploit people, especially young people.

How do you think web3 is going to enhance career prospects for young people? 
In lots of ways! The one thing that got me interested is when Pere, the founder of metacampus, sent me an article about web3. At this point I didn’t know what web3 was, and we had a conversation and the thing I thought was amazing, is that we can really change the economics of the world. That might sound like a big statement, but it’s not really. At the moment people are paid based on the economy they live in. If we are saying ‘all the jobs are in web3’ your location becomes irrelevant, and we have an opportunity to rebalance the economics of the world. If a job is worth 30k, if a developer or community manager role is worth 50k, should that change if you live elsewhere? Therefore it doesn’t matter if you’re a young person here in the UK, or a young person in a country in greater poverty than a young person in the UK, because actually as long as you have web access, you have a means to earn. 

Currently in the UK we have a state where you advance in your career based on the qualifications you have, which depends on how well you fit into the education system we have. Did you thrive, or did you potter out of it? If you fit the system, then you will keep performing and fit into any job. If you went to uni it will be easier for you to be able to walk into jobs. Not that it’s needed, who says it’s needed as a project manager!

For me, web3 says ‘to be honest, the degree is irrelevant!’ It's about engaging and communicating with different people, and building teams - all of those things. The beauty of web3 is it says ‘those are huge skills and this is what is needed.’ If you want to get a job in web3 at the moment, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a CV to be honest. The world of web3 doesn't give a damn about the old style CV. They want to know, do you have Twitter, do you have LinkedIn, do you use Discord, and where is the evidence! For me, this gives people who are at the other end of the wealth, or young people that didn’t fit into the education system, opportunities.

What would you consider to be a personal career highlight? 
In this role my highlight is that I’ve created a Twitter space and started to engage with people. For me, I had never been into web3 before last November, I didn’t do any of those things, and now I have people engaging in Twitter spaces with me.

In my first career I would say probably the highlight was going from working-class kid on council estate, kid in care, to being the Director of Children’s Services, and the Chief Executive of a council. I guess for me, I would have to say that was quite cool. Many people around me made assumptions that I had lots of degrees, and went through school, but I hadn’t. I had been expelled from school, didn’t have any qualifications and then did an apprenticeship scheme to get into my professional career. I think for me, that shows everything is possible.

Have you got any exciting upcoming projects with Metacampus? 
We are working on something that will take people who have never touched web3, and help them to migrate into web3! This means people who are already in careers. We are going to give them the means to become really transferable, very quickly!

4 things going on in the metaverse right now
Catagory: metaverse
A round-up of the latest web3 news
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Things are constantly changing in the metaverse and web3 worlds. To help you keep up, we’ve rounded up some of the most recent stories of how people are pushing the boundaries in this space.

The metaverse is getting its first ever diversity and inclusivity centre
The world of crypto isn’t just for silicone valley bros. Here to prove it, People of Crypto Lab (POC) has teamed up with The Sandbox to launch the first centre for diversity in the metaverse. Launching in June this year, POC aims to create new opportunities for underrepresented creators, work with brands who celebrate diversity, as well as creating a diverse avatar collection with 57 skin shades and differently-abled bodies.

Virtual offices could be the antidote for Zoom fatigue
Thanks to the pandemic, working from home is very much the new normal now. There are obviously pros (no commuting with your face in someone’s armpit, for one thing), but on the downside, it can make it harder to connect with your colleagues. But as technology develops, we could all be working from home through a virtual office. Think: virtual versions of office spaces so that you can interact in real-time as avatars with your colleagues, brainstorming ideas on a virtual whiteboard and even virtual team-building nights out.

The future of make up is digital
The latest beauty trends blur the line between the digital world and the real world. It’s not just about filters that make your skin look flawless, either – some creators are coming up with 3D beauty that doesn’t exist in our reality, from futuristic make up looks to AR manicures. There’s also talk about how the metaverse could improve buying actual make up – for example, trying on different shades of lipstick in the metaverse and then having the actual product delivered to your door.

NFTs have the power to create more opportunities for women
The world of NFTs can feel like quite a male-dominated space, but Lisa Mayer is on a mission to change that with Boss Beauties. Lisa has spent the last 10 years running her social enterprise, My Social Canvas, which provides opportunities for young women and girls around the world. Boss Beauties is the next step, with an NFT collection of 10,000 avatars of inspiring women. Sales from the NFTs, as well as partnerships with brands such as Barbie, Hugo Boss and Rolling Stone, are helping to fund scholarship programmes for the next generation of women, which is what it’s all about.

Words: Izzy Aron

Meet Nissy Tee: Content Creator, Speaker and Entrepreneur
Catagory: interviews
The founder of social media and branding agency NT Media shares her career journey
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Having started her career in media when she was 15 years old, Nissy Tee is now an award-winning content creator, speaker, digital strategist, and founder of social media and branding agency NT Media. With a following of more than 140,000 people across all her platforms and more than 61.1k YouTube subscribers, Nissy has taken the social media world by storm. She’s also worked with brands such as The BBC, Amazon, Coca-cola, Boohoo, and Dell. We chatted to her about setting up your own business, the importance of diversity and inclusion and her predictions for 2022 social media trends. 

What inspired you to launch your own business?
I set up NT Media in the middle of the pandemic. I was working for a very corporate company which wasn’t very creative. I was doing their social media and marketing, and after a while, I understood that it wasn’t for me – that’s when I quit. In 2019, things started to take off for me. But of course, when the pandemic hit, that had to stop and my income stopped. I had to think about how I could pivot. I was getting loads of questions about how I could help people on social media – that’s when the idea came about that I should build an agency. I can make money from this because people are now starting to realise how important social media is when building an online brand. 

You started in the media industry at 15 years old – how did that come about?
I was part of a beauty pageant called Miss East London. I kind of threw myself into the pageant and I didn't win, I came fourth or something. I was really upset and I sat down with myself and thought: I want to do something that I can win at. I asked myself: What can I do that I’m bloody good at so that I never experience this feeling again? I always knew I was a good speaker and I could communicate with a lot of different people. I started to research different people – I looked at Oprah Winfrey, Les Brown and other speakers, presenters and hosts. That’s when I realised that I wanted to be a speaker and a presenter. I wanted to be an entertainer and to be on TV. So I decided to start a radio show. I presented and produced programs – it was run by an amazing organisation called Break London. It all started to spiral from there. 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start an online radio show or podcast but isn’t sure where to start?
I don’t think there is a right way or just one way to do it. Personally, the thing I would say to people is to just start. Some people want to achieve their big goals straight away but it takes time to get there. When you start something, of course you want it to grow, do well and win awards, but before you can get there, you just need to start. The second thing I would say is to plan and prepare yourself so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Sometimes people lose creativity or don't know what to do because they haven't planned or prepared. 

Before you set up your own company, you worked at a big corporation. What inspired you to make that big career change?
I got to a place where I just wasn’t happy. I started losing my confidence. I remember one day so clearly – I went for my lunch break in a local park near my office. I was just sitting there and I didn’t feel like this bubbly, confident person anymore. I also started to feel like I was getting anxiety every time I was getting ready for work. I knew that wasn’t me and I wasn’t happy. The crazy thing is that it wasn’t anything to do with the company I was working for. The company was incredible, my boss was amazing and my team were amazing. I knew I needed to leave because I was losing who I was – and I never want to lose who I am. 

You’re passionate about diversity and inclusion, how can companies improve when it comes to these issues?
Companies and organisations need to speak to people in different communities and do the work to connect with people who they may not otherwise necessarily connect with. For me, people can champion diversity and inclusion by opening more spaces for people to show their worth and show that they deserve to be in those positions. What I mean by that is having events that target people from different backgrounds. However, when it comes to bringing those people into your business, make sure they have the skills and will do the work. This has nothing to do with feeling sorry for anybody – it’s about giving people what they are due because of their hard work, commitment and capabilities.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self, about starting a business?
Don’t rush and calm down! I don’t know what it is about being young, but you feel like rushing so much. The older I get, I’m like: damn, I wish I slowed down. Don’t feel like you have to do everything all at one time. 

What do you think are the biggest marketing and social trends we’ll see in 2022?
I am starting to see this already but longer forms of content are definitely going to be back in. Everyone jumped on reels on Instagram and Instagram extended the time from 15 seconds to 30 seconds to 60 seconds. People are starting to create mini vlogs on their Instagram through reels which shows there’s still a desire for people to connect with stories, rather than just small snippets like what you see on TikTok. That said, TikTok will carry on dominating the market. You can do whatever you want on TikTok, whether that’s teaching someone how to make a hat or debating about current affairs. It’s not about perfection. Facebook aka Meta will become a big player in the game. Facebook is linked to Instagram and Whatsapp, so you’ll continue to see Meta (Facebook) around. When you look at the stats, it’s mainly older people using Facebook, but I think what the company is doing with Meta will attract a whole new range of young people who will want to get involved.‍

What’s been your biggest career highlight so far?
There are so many, but the biggest highlight was when I went to Ireland in 2018 to be a keynote speaker at an event for women. I remember the energy and love I felt in that room – it was amazing. I’ll always remember that day.

What advice would you give to young people who want to start their own business?
Planning is so important. Plan out what you want to do, plan your goals and make them massive! I also think it can help to have a mentor who has done the things you want to do. You can message people online and on social media, email people or meet people at networking events and connect.

What’s your favourite quote and why?
I am a quote and affirmation type of girl, so I don’t have a favourite quote – it always changes. But right now I would say: ‘Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you are right.’ That just speaks to my mindset right now.

Check out Nissy Tee’s website here.

3 things going on in web3 you need to know about 
Catagory: web3
A round-up of some of the wildest things happening in web3, right now
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Web3 is a place filled with unlimited opportunities and experiences, and there are sides to the metaverse and web3 space that makes way for the unexpected. Here’s our quick round-up of web3’s recent happenings, and things to keep an eye on.

There’s an NFT project inspired by ravers 
If you’re sick of the club, but still want that Friday feeling, look no further. An NFT collection inspired by ravers has been launched. The project, titled Rave The Future, is created by EDMNOMAD and is made with music lovers and passionate party people in mind. Each raver has a set of unique accessories, and there are over 10,000 NFTs in the collection! Check out the collection here.

Metaverse landlords are a thing
If you thought you’d been priced out of buying an actual home, imagine being unable to buy land in the metaverse. Astonishingly, Republic Realm just bought a piece of The Sandbox metaverse for a record-breaking 4.3 million dollars. Whilst it’s hard to see why someone would spend so much money on buying something virtual, metaverse real estate is a very real part of this expansion and development of web3. 

People are tying the knot 
You might think that getting married is something that only happens in the real world, but one couple took to the metaverse to show their commitment to one another. A couple recently hosted a Harry Potter-themed wedding in the metaverse. They were inspired to get married this way because of COVID restrictions which meant that they couldn’t have all of the family they wanted attending in person. They even made an avatar replica of the bride's father who had passed away. Are web3 weddings here to stay? Only time will tell.

A new study reveals that Gen Z feel more themselves in the metaverse
Catagory: metaverse
4 key takeaways from Razorfish and Vice Media’s study on Gen Z's attitudes towards the metaverse and gaming
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We know that Gen Z are using the metaverse, but what we haven’t previously thought about is how they feel within it. A new study by Razorfish and Vice Media titled ‘Metaverse: a View From Inside’  investigated Gen Z’s role in this space and the impact the metaverse has on their identities. Here are some key takeaways from the report. 

They spend more time hanging out in metaverse spaces 
For Gen Z, the metaverse is a space where they grow and learn about themselves, cultivating new friendships and social connections. In the survey, it was revealed that Gen Z gamers spend twice as much time hanging out in the metaverse than they do in real life. They spend an average of 12.2 hours playing games in the metaverse, compared with 6.6 hours of in-person contact. 

They see a future in the metaverse
At hundo, we are constantly making sure that Gen Z are championed in the web3 space, and that we are providing a platform that aims to educate and consolidate web3 career growth. Whilst metaverse sceptics like to put an unfounded time limit on all things metaverse and web3 related, Gen Z really see a permanent future in the metaverse, with 52% saying that they would like to make money from the metaverse and 33% saying that they see themselves building future careers in these spaces.

The metaverse and gaming is part of their identity 
45% of Gen Z gamers said that they felt more like themselves when they were playing in the metaverse than in real life. In addition, 40% attributed gaming and metaverse tech to having a positive impact on their self-confidence. 

For many Gen Zers, gaming relieves stress
For Gen Z, having an interest in the metaverse and gaming isn't just about building confidence, or a glimpse at a new possible career. They're also in it for the stress relief, with 77% agreeing that gaming is their biggest form of relaxation. 

You can check out the entire study here.  

What is a digital human?
Catagory: metaverse
A peak inside digital twin technology
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Helping you get your head around the key metaverse and web3 lingo is always a priority for us here at hundo. This time, we are delving into the world of digital humans.  

Digital humans are created using digital twin technology, in order to replicate human functions in the metaverse or web3. Whilst a digital human isn’t exactly a clone, it can sometimes be useful to think of it as such. In the case of the metaverse, digital twins are virtual representations that serve real-time counterparts.

One of the main ways that digital human/digital twin technologies have been explored in web3 is by using these replications to act as souped-up chatbots, which give a person access to someone's digital version of themselves any time and anywhere. 

As you can imagine, the possibilities of digital humans to aid career mobility are limitless and give a sense of the possibilities being in two places at one time. Digital Twin technology isn’t just metaverse or web3 specific, it can be used in other industries. For example, manufacturing companies use the technology to make supply chains more efficient. 

Ethically, there are some issues to consider. How do you know if someone’s digital human is in fact theirs and not someone else wrongly replicating another person? 

The future of digital humans and their place in web3 is an interesting consideration and something that we are excited to see explored further within this ever-evolving digital space.

‍Meet the metaversers: Sonya Seddarasan
Catagory: metaverse
The UPWorlds co-founder on the opportunities you can find through the metaverse
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Sonya Seddarasan used her background in art and design in order to create the daring and creative new tech venture, UPWorlds. A portfolio marketplace for web3 and metaverse creators, UPWorlds was created by Sonya and her co-founder Jai in 2020. We chat to Sonya about the benefits of unique metaverse tech, why she never saw a traditional career in her future, and exactly how she sees the future of UPWorlds panning out. 

Tell us about your work with UPWorlds.
UPWorlds is a portfolio marketplace for virtual worlds and metaverse creators. I launched it in early 2020 after doing a series of workshops on UX 3D virtual world through Patreon back in 2019. The idea for UPWorlds came from the many people I met during a session on how underprivileged creators are in the web3 space, and how there was no dedicated space for the creators to showcase themselves and their creations in this new-found industry. Based on these pain points, me and my co-founder Jai started building the product. Today, UPWorlds is an infant product, made by creators for creators (we call them builders), to be able to showcase themselves in this space. 

What has been the most rewarding part of founding UPWorlds? 
Definitely community building and seeing builders grow from newbie builders to professional builders to eventually being able to kick start creators' economies based on their credibility. I love meeting different people and talking about the new things in the industry, but mostly I love diving into different virtual worlds with these builders. Back in the day, a doctor could only be a doctor but today's dynamic world, our builders come from a range of backgrounds. They are doctors, designers, architects, IT workers and pianists. There’s an unconventional thing that is happening here and passionate people are making groundbreaking worlds every day. It excites me every time they walk me through their thought process.

How would you like to see the company grow in the future? 
With more people on the server every day, we hear more about people's needs and we try to match those up with forthcoming industry trends. Currently, we are building UPWorlds 2.0 to meet some of those needs. One of our plans is to create an ecosystem for our early users to build the platform with us through the power of blockchain. Just like how UPWorlds started, I believe people with the same mission have great ideas when put together. Now is a good time to join us as users and commission builders to take advantage of what we are building early on. The other thing that excites us is using peer-to-peer power to support builders to build each other’s credibility and the creator's economy. This is something we learn as we go, but we truly believe that social currency is one of the most powerful currencies today and we really would like to be able to integrate it into the product experience. 

Experiencing one of UPWorlds builders immersive experiences

What was your career experience before UPWorlds?
I graduated with a degree in Art and Design in 2012. Art and design have always been close to my heart since I was a child. I wanted to fight what's seen as the stereotypical career route for people from an Indian background, which often involves becoming a doctor or an engineer. When the tech period started, I grew my career from being an HCI designer to working in product design, working with various startup industries from smart cities, in fin-tech and marketplaces. Marketplaces have always been an exciting business model to me, but as a designer there were many business sides of it that I did not understand and wanted to learn about. Being an entrepreneur has always been my dream, so I took an extra course from Harvard on Disruptive Innovation and a Master’s Degree in Virtual Reality from IED Barcelona.

Do you have a personal career highlight?
I've had lots of career highlights! Each of the products I have worked on is like a baby to me and I continuously nurture them until I have to move on to different products. Everything that I do with UPWorlds is trial and error for me. I learn as I build them together with my co-founders and community. It can be very tough, but I’m learning to appreciate that trial and error is part of my strength. 

What does the average day look like for you?
Being online for almost 18 hours in UPWorlds Discord would be an accurate expression of what my day-to-day looks like. You can find me within those hours in Discord – talking to builders, on-boarding builders, doing sprint planning with designers, researching for product needs, and talking to different communities for collaborations. That's as well as exploring virtual worlds with builders and being their consultant to help deliver better worlds. We are a small team of a couple of people, and most of the work is being shared by everyone together. 

What's the one piece of career advice you'd give to your younger self? 
No matter how difficult things get, always invent your way out of that box! Remember, that's what makes you you. I grew up in an environment where I never fit in and it was very easy to second guess myself. But when I follow my heart, the goal is to live life by design, not by default. 

Meet the metaversers: Max Gadney 
Catagory: metaverse
Max Gadney on starting StoryWorlds Media, and the collaboration between web3 and visual storytelling 
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Max began his career working as a UX designer at the BBC, before running a design company for a decade and later founding StoryWorlds Media, a comics publisher. We sat down with Max to talk about the launch of Storyworlds#1, a space where comic book production and web3 collide.

Tell us a little bit about your work with Storyworlds. 
Storyworlds is a new platform for creating media, starting with Storyworlds comic issue 1. We will also be looking at media rights technology using the blockchain in the future. Comics help us start to licence people’s NFTs like a Bored ape from @j1mmmy.eth in Issue 1. We ran competitions with the Avastars and Animetas communities to get competition winners' characters into Issue 1, which comes out as our first token on 18 May.

What was your career experience like before working on the platform? Have you always worked in comic books or storytelling?
I started as a UX designer at BBC News, then worked in digital product strategy at BBC TV. I spent 10 years running a design company at after the flood, and then started Storyworlds, a comics publisher. All I've done is thought about how to communicate different ideas to different people, which is continuing with Hero.

Why do you think it's important to bring strong storytelling to the metaverse space?
Storytelling helps us spread messages and ideas. I am not convinced all the points of the metaverse need stories (the fortnite store is doing fine without storytelling). It is more likely in the shorter term that metaverse tech can enable current storytelling paradigms. For example, POAPs for sports/ music fans, tipjars and shareable content for independent creators. I’ve written more about this here. 

As the metaverse and metaverse awareness grows, has Storyworlds grown or changed? 
We will look to see where the interesting media opportunities are in the emerging space. The good thing about comics is that they visualise IP and ideas quickly - we’d be looking for similar quick to build media like indie games, media, anime to prototype with. We’re also keeping a log of the problems we encounter and those we hear from others - these will be fed into a tech development program to solve some of these and maybe scale some products up.

What has been a career highlight so far? 
Most recently, putting a great team together to meet the unique challenges of web3 has been great. The networks we build over the years help in the most unexpected ways, and I am able to draw on some really good advisors. Before that, the critical acclaim for our launch comics at Storyworlds has been great.

What are your hopes for the future? 
We’re looking forward to our first launch. The main thing will be building a great team of people around this, expanding our network with people both adept and curious around all things web3.

What's your favourite thing about what you do?
Being at a frontier of tech or industry is really interesting. There are plenty of new ideas that require honest, critical thinking and finding people who can help solve these problems is great. 

New animated TV show lets NFT holders decide the narrative 
Catagory: metaverse
Find out more about the Mila Kunis supported NFT inspired TV show
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Are NFTs breaking into the TV world? It would appear so! Made in partnership with Mila Kunis' production company, 'The Gimmicks' is an animated TV show which will see NFTs be put at the heart of the storytelling.

Web3 animation studio Toonstar and Mila Kunis’ digital wing of her production company Sixth Wall are behind the NFT TV collaboration. The storyline will follow retired wrestling stars who are gunning for their chance to be returned to the top spot. The show-specific NFTs went on sale on 18 March, via the show's website and are generated via the solana blockchain.

But how exactly will it work? Essentially, this new form of NFTV (see what we did there?) will allow character NFT holders to choose their own adventure at the end of each episode, and even have a say in future character development as well as plot lines. This interactive era of TV is an interesting move for those in the web3 space, and takes audience participation to a brand new virtual level. Keep your eyes peeled on the website for 'The Gimmicks' for more info about the launch of the animation. You can even invest in your own Gimmicks NFT for a chance to play a part in the narrative.

Meet the metaversers: The Digital Speaker
Catagory: metaverse
Mark van Rijmenam on creating a digital twin, speaking via hologram and ethical issues in the metaverse
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In early 2020, when the COVID19 outbreak meant cancelling all travel plans, keynote tech speaker Mark van Rijmenam decided to practice what he preached by creating a hologram version of himself that could speak anywhere, regardless of restrictions. Two years later, and after with the launch of his fourth metaverse focused book in May, we sat down with Mark to discuss the future of the metaverse, creating ethical spaces and his next digital adventure. 

How did you become known as The Digital Speaker?

I have been a keynote speaker for almost a decade now, and I have been talking about the digital transformation of big data blockchain AI. I’ve written a few books on this topic. When the pandemic hit and I couldn’t fly anymore and my in-person speaking business came to a halt, I decided I needed to reinvent myself. I thought: why don’t I practice what I preach, and digitalise myself? That’s how I came up with the concept for the digital speaker. I'm now available as a keynote speaker in person, as well as an avatar or a hologram. Nowadays it’s a lot more common, but 2 years ago it was quite novel and new. Also, The Digital Speaker is a lot easier to pronounce than my surname, so it makes my life a little bit easier. I’ve created a new website, and also a podcast where my avatar interviews my guests. I'm currently creating a digital human, which is a lifelike digital twin of myself. I’m exploring my options – I might add a real-time chatbot so that you can chat with my digital twin 24/7. I also delivered the world's first TED X Talk in virtual reality, which was cool – it’s me with my avatar giving this talk

You’re also an author – tell us a bit about your books.
I have four books published already, one about big data, one about blockchain and one about the organisation of tomorrow. My fourth book, which is called ‘Step into the Metaverse’. In it, I talk about the opportunities that can occur within the metaverse, and how brands can step into the metaverse and what it means for enterprises and what economics are available. It's a broad discussion on the metaverse, and for this book, I did over 100 in-depth interviews with people who are building in the metaverse, including artists and collectors. I wanted to get as much information and news from the community to understand what is going on and this came out in early June!

You’ve spoken before about creating ethical spaces in the metaverse, how do you think we can achieve that? 
It’s very complex, and we haven’t managed to make web2 an ethical place. In the metaverse, which doesn't necessarily require web3, we will create 10-100 times more data than we do today so all the dangers that we have in the current web – deepfakes, misinformation, sexual harassment, bots, you name it – will be extrapolated in the metaverse. If you think that web2 polarised society, web3 and the metaverse will polarise it a lot more. I think that is very problematic. I mentioned that I am creating a digital human of myself. If I can do it, you can do it, you can clone my voice and be me in the metaverse. There’s nothing I can do about that. It also happens on Twitter, when 'Elon Musk' gives away free bitcoin. We know it’s not Elon Musk, but people still fall for it. Now imagine having a hyper-realistic avatar that looks like Elon Musk and sounds like Elon Musk. People will think it is him, but that is probably not the case. We need a solution for that.

How do you think the metaverse could positively change the future of work for young people?
Firstly, it’s going to be a way to attract talent. Gen Z and Gen Alpha are metaverse natives and they live and breathe Roblox, Minecraft and Fortnite. You won’t find them on Facebook, you’ll find them on Roblox. That’s where they have birthday parties, it’s where they socialise, so to attract those people you need to be there as well. They have a different approach to life, so if you were to put them in a 9-5 cubicle job that’s not going to work. They are much more open to a more globalised world, and they have a completely different perspective. There is also room for collaboration. We already see the first phase of VR meetings happening. Humans are made for 3D, not 2D. I’ve spoken to several people who have moved their meetings to the metaverse to VR and they all say it’s a lot more intuitive, you don’t get Zoom fatigue and it’s a different way of working that makes collaboration easier. But it will also enable co-creation, with products, and design things in virtual reality, with people who are dispersed all over the world. It will have an effect on career mobility. You don’t have to live where work is anymore.

What would you consider to be a career highlight?

I am particularly proud of the book I've written. The market has to see if they agree with me but I wrote it in 3 months, which is pretty insane, so that’s a nice highlight!

You can check out Mark's website here.

Meet the 1994 collective’s founder: Chloe Mykel
Catagory: interviews
Find out what happens when ambition and the ability to shake up the music industry collide
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After working on her artist management skills, Chloe Mykel launched her own music collective. 1994 Collective was founded in order to bring together creatives and supports artists. It was inspired by a clear creative vision, industry knowledge and a passion for uplifting emerging talent. We chat to Chloe about the 1994 Collective and how she's shaking up the world of music.

What was your first experience of working in the music industry? 

My first experience working in the music industry was actually managing my younger brother Young M (go check him out @youngm). Artist management allowed me to gain a plethora of skills that I’ve carried with me throughout my career in music. I wouldn’t know half of what I know today if it wasn’t for that experience.  

What inspired you to start 1994 Collective and FEMUSIC?
1994 Collective was actually born out of the experience of gaining all the skills and knowledge that I had racked up throughout my artist management days. I got to a point where I felt like I had a lot to offer, with a very sharp creative vision, too. I noticed a distinct lack of accessibility to certain services and expertise within the industry for emerging artists in particular, so I wanted to bridge that gap. FEMUSIC was unintentionally formed after I decided I wanted to host a brunch for women in the music industry to meet each other and connect in person after being in lockdown. It was only meant to be a one-time thing, but when myself and my now business partner Crystal came together to plan it, we realised that it was much bigger than just a one-off brunch. 

What are your hopes for the future of the 1994 Collective? 
I want it to continue to grow, in whatever way that looks like. I don’t have distinct plans for 1994 in terms of a tick list of goals or milestones, but I do want to make an impact and do things that have never been done before.

What's your favourite part of your job? 
I enjoy the freedom of working for myself, choosing my clients and creating my own schedule. I’m not someone who performs well when I feel restricted. Freedom is the key to fulfilment for me. 

How does it feel to operate under an independent wing of the music industry? Does this let you bypass some of the issues that can often occur within some big record labels? 
Operating within the independent realm is definitely a blessing, but it also comes with a lot of challenges and roadblocks – most of which I never saw coming! Often at times, there’s a discord between what we are able to do independently versus what we could do if we had a big label budget or a huge team. As a small business, building a strong infrastructure when it comes to your team is key. You can only perform as well as your team can, so supporting and nurturing them is the most important thing.

What has been a career highlight for you so far? 
Probably being nominated for the ‘Best (Service) Agency’ at the Young Music Boss Awards this year. That was a crazy and overwhelming experience.

What's the most exciting part of your day-to-day life? 
I’d say planning my schedule for the day. Every morning the first thing I do is make a list of all the tasks, meetings and to-dos for the day. That sets me up for a productive day. I love to be organised.

If you could give your younger self one bit of industry advice what would it be? 
Always remember your ‘why’. So when times get tough, and they will, you never lose sight of why you started.

You can check out 1994 collective online here.

Meet the metaversers: Christopher Lafayette
Catagory: metaverse
Get to know the GatherVerse pioneer
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Christopher Lafayette is an innovator and technologist whose work champions best practice within the metaverse space. With his recent endeavour, GatherVerse, he aims to make space for communities within the metaverse. Find out more about his work, the big plan for GatherVerse and why innovation should never be restricted.

Tell us about what you do.
I’m a technologist producing events that bring global communities into the metaverse web3 world safely and humanely. 

Your work focuses on medtech and edtech. Can you tell us a little bit about this work?
Medtech or wellness has been a field I’ve been studying for some years now. I’ve often marvelled at the relationships between health wellness and technology itself. They really aren’t as far apart as many would think. In fact, the medical ecosystem and technology ecosystems are one and the same. It really depends on how you’ve come to know and understand the nature of technology and the essence of medical nativity, which is the human body itself. I’ve dedicated a large part of what I study and work on toward the advanced exploration of the medical eco-environment. 

What has been your previous career experience?
Brand Development and Filmmaking. Intimately understanding the world of design and its relevant presence. 

Can you talk us through any exciting projects you're currently working on? 
GatherVerse – it's an event platform but it's also so much more. Part of this system is the Humanitarian Project, bridging thousands of communities and millions of people into the metaverse. We do this by hosting specific events that showcase and express so much of whom we’ve made the metaverse for. 

What is your favourite part of your job?  
Removing barriers to innovation.  

How do you see your role evolving as the metaverse and web3 grows? 
A push for humanity-first standards – this is what I'm after when it comes to the metaverse and web3. I have a keen focus on accessibility, education, equality, community development, safety, privacy and wellness. I'm bringing thousands of communities and millions of people safely to the metaverse. My biggest contribution to web3 is bringing it into humanity-first standards, and working on how we can leverage this technology for good. I also work on survivable and sustainable best practices for both public and private sectors of business and for social ecosystems globally. One of the reasons I've chosen to go in this direction in line with everything else that I do in technology is because someone has to get it right, someone has to lead the metaverse into a more humane experience for greater access. I'm doing this through my platform called GatherVerse, where we gather speakers from around the world to talk and discuss various subjects through the lens of the seven standards of the metaverse. We’re launching events that have specific focuses on industries and emerging technologies that interact with the metaverse. I understand I’ve signed up to take the harder road. In business, it’s the road I’m most familiar with.

4 key takeaways from hundo’s Future of Work SXSW panel
Catagory: metaverse
Here’s what went down at our talk in Austin
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On March 12, hundo co-founder Esther, our TikTok creator DJ Krystal Lake, and Imagen Insights co-founder Jay Richards arrived Stateside to give a talk on Gen Z, the metaverse, and the future of work. Here are the biggest takeaways:

Build an audience with Gen Z

One of the key messages that came from the Saturday panel was the idea that you have to build with Gen Z for them to relate to your company or brand. In the words of Jay Richards: "There has to be constant communication with Gen Z. Pay them, make them part of your community, and build that long-term trust!"

For Gen Z, a display of active involvement can really seal the deal. The best way to do this is by building trust with two-way communication. Esther reiterated that ‘if we can collaborate and partner in the territories where we can make an impact, we believe we can do it'.

Use the metaverse to upskill
The metaverse isn’t just a fun virtual playground. It's a valuable tool for young people to be able to upskill, and become educated on web3 on their own terms. That’s exactly what hundo is most passionate about, ahead of building our very own metaverse learn2earn platform. The possibility of the metaverse and web3 has yet to be fully realised, and it is young people that are going to benefit the most from it.

Gen Z care about having a community
A generation fuelled by all things IRL, building niche online communities is something valuable to Gen Z. This is something that the metaverse will offer in more ways than one for young people and those after them, to incubate niche communities based on shared interests and preferences. The metaverse is going to present a new way of navigating a virtual social life. Krystal noted that ‘young voices are so important. So many people say that but they still don’t feel heard.’ and giving a community to these young people, where they do feel seen and heard by their peers but also by companies, is incredibly important'.

It’s our job to equip Gen Z
When it comes to web3, there are certain resources needed to access the metaverse. Our panel concluded that it's the job of businesses, companies, and corporations  to make sure that everyone from all backgrounds are equipped to tap into their full potential, in both web3 and other careers. Esther told the audience that ‘fundamentally we believe in giving young people 100%.’There should be no resource barriers placed in front of young people to thrive!'.

Paula Akpan on taking the leap into freelance journalism, documenting Black British history and writing her first book
Catagory: interviews
Meet journalist, author and historian Paula Akpan
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When Paula Akpan was growing up, she wanted to be a lawyer. But when she got involved with a student newspaper at university, she quickly realised that journalism was her real passion. She tells us about how she’s honed her craft and developed her career over the years – from being involved with the early days of gal-dem magazine to going freelance and now working on her first book.

When did you first get interested in journalism?
I did sociology at Nottingham university and there was a student paper called Her Campus, so I got involved with that. It kick-started my interest in writing. I also started getting feedback on pieces and realising that my friends could get excited by things that I was writing. People were saying things like: “I was thinking about this thing, and I didn't know how to put it in words. And I feel like you put it in words better than I could.” I felt like I was giving voice to issues that maybe not everyone else felt as comfortable to do.

What was your path into writing and journalism after that first step?
I think it was in my last year at university that I started getting involved with gal-dem. It was in the early days and we were trying to figure out fundraising and interest – like, is there space for this? Is this something that we need? Obviously it was. I became the social media editor and volunteered with gal-dem for five years. The magazine was there for a lot of my formative journalistic moments. It was nice to be able to write quick turnaround pieces – to know that there was a home for them and that people were interested in what I was saying. That's when I  started gaining confidence as a writer.

When did you decide to go freelance?
gal-dem wasn’t a full-time role. My first full-time job was as a communications officer at a charity in south London. But after about a year, I ended up going freelance in November 2018. I had all these projects I wanted to do and I didn't have time on top of my job. So I went freelance, which was terrifying. Looking back on it now, I don't know what I was thinking. That was a big leap.

Photo credit: Maëva Vitéla

What was it like making that move?
It was super scary. I didn't know the first thing, really. I didn't realise that freelance could look like it does for me now. I didn't look beyond shift work or working at a broadsheet. I didn't realise that it could look much bigger. When I was earlier on in my career, I would have never seen myself writing for some women's magazines in the way that I do now. So much of the content has shifted in the matter of about 10 years. Some of the investigative pieces that you'll find in a glossy magazine might not have been there before. I didn't realise that was something that I could do or that I could explore topics of interest to me, like interrogating blackness and what it means in Britain, in those spaces.

Do you have a favourite piece that you've written? 
My favourite piece is one I was commissioned to do for Good Housekeeping. I interviewed three generations of black women from one family. It was looking at their relationships but it was also foregrounded with the black civil unrest that was going on in the background – Stephen Lawrence’s murder, or the threat of white skinheads. I felt honoured to convey at least a fraction of their relationships and family history.

You’re currently writing your first book – ‘When We Ruled: The Rise and Fall of Twelve Queens’. What can you tell us about it?
It’s a historical examination of 12 African regnants who have played a part in shaping the history of the continent. I'm trying to come at it from a lens where we celebrate these achievements, but also critically engage with them. I struggle with the way that we understand African royalty because I feel like we are, understandably, excited to have historical faces who weren't enslaved. But I think that means that we simplify some of the very human things that they did – the harmful things, alongside the regular, useful and inspiring things. I think those are things you can only really grapple with through an African feminist lens and a black feminist lens. That's what I'm planning to bring to this.

How do you come up with ideas?
I think the timeline has always been fantastic for ideas. When people do long Twitter threads, I say to them: this could be an article – someone is going to pilfer this off you and you should have space to examine these ideas more fully than you can on Twitter. I think social media is a really conducive space for ideas – just seeing what is taking hold of people you're following and thinking: okay, how can we examine this?

What advice do you wish you'd been given as a young journalist?
I wish someone had told me about the basics. Words like ‘pitch’ and ‘byline’ are so innocuous, but when you're hearing these industry terms and you don't know if you're using them correctly, it can have a big impact on your confidence. I also wish I’d had another black woman to take me under her wing. That's not to say that there weren't any, I just didn't know how to get in contact with them. I didn't know if it was okay to do that. I think it's important to share knowledge with other budding journalists. I try to be transparent around fees and commissions, to share emails, read pitches, things like that. If we're able to positively improve the experience of just one or two journalists, it snowballs. And we desperately need that.

What’s your biggest career highlight?
One of my highlights was interviewing Syd (from the band The Internet). I've listened to The Internet and Syd for years, and it was amazing to be able to ask questions that I've always wanted to ask. But also, because I'm a history nerd, talking to people like a survivor from the New Cross fire, talking to people who have been in uprisings like Broadwater Farm – these are events that I've read and researched around, so I feel honoured being able to talk to those people. In those moments I feel like: I can’t believe that I'm recording this and contributing to further mapping out our lives.

Words: Izzy Aron

Check out Paula on Twitter.

4 things we learned about Gen Z  from the new GWI insight report
Catagory: advice
Get into the psyche of Gen Z with the trends you need to know in 2022
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GWI has provided analytics and insights to companies and individuals alike in order to better understand a Gen Z market, trends, and consumer attitudes. Here are hundo’s 4 key takeaways from their most recent report.

There was a drop in social media engagement
Social media is no longer a tool to share holiday snaps with your nearest and dearest; it's one of the most powerful marketing tools of current times. People with large amounts of followers are called influencers for a reason (they are, after all, highly influential). GWI’s report demonstrated that overall social engagement had dipped from 2020. In fact, there's been a 12% rise in people saying that they are engaging less with social media. GWI poses various explanations for this dip, including the uptake in COVID vaccinations meaning that we are no longer  stuck to the confines of the house. However, despite this dip, TikTok continued to be one of the most rapidly growing social media platforms.

Short form video for the win

With the obvious in-your-face success of TikTok, it’s no surprise that this is the case, as short-form video remains the most successful video format for Gen Z. Less polished, quickly produced short videos are the way to Gen Z’s heart! That’s not to say long-form is completely out of bounds; Gen Z also enjoy long-form vids from time to time.

Nostalgia marketing is on the up!

Put simply, nostalgia marketing is any technique that uses the ‘good old days’ or fun past memories to engage an audience. Whether it’s the Instagram archive feature, or the snapchat memories, harping back to a better time is exactly what Gen Z relate to! Any events, or campaigns that centre nostalgia is an example of this consumer marketing trend in action.

Wellness trends do well
As Gen Z appears to consume less social media, another way to keep the generation on side is to consider wellness, and wellness trends. Wellness related trends include the ‘photo dump’ that takes away the pressure from posting one significant image, and shifts the focus to a range of ‘random’ photos that are more sincere and true to life. 3 in 10 feel more confident sharing images of themselves as a direct result of this trend!

You can download the full report here.

What you need to know about RWC’s company culture 
Catagory: advice
Dive into the social side of RWC 
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For RWC, company culture has become an increasingly important part of the way the business runs. Find out below exactly what RWC does to show continued support for their workforce.

Employee appreciation day 

What better way to celebrate your hardworking team than to throw them a whole day! RWC launched an employee appreciation day, rewarding each employee with a treat to demonstrate the ways in which they value their team.

International Women’s Day
Every March, international Women’s Day (and sometimes month) is a great way to celebrate the women within your workforce. RWC celebrated their women with several events dedicated to IWD. This included educational visits to the National Women’s History Museum, as well as a range of inspirational speakers, and even collaborative book reviews and discussions.

World mental health day
Mental health, and looking after it in the workplace is a big discussion in the working world. How can employees better support their employees during times of bad mental health? RWC did their bit for world mental health day, from organising discussions with Olympians about their mental health journey to offering presentations from both clinical and wellbeing specialists.

Pride celebrations!
Pride month is a big deal for members of the LGBTQI+ community, and feeling respected and supported by your company is essential in a work environment. RWC decided to celebrate Pride Month with a series of events targeted to uplift their queer workers!

Diversity and inclusion
Celebrating diversity and inclusion is a large part of RWC’s company culture. RWC introduced company Employee Resource Groups, or rather ERGs. These ERGs are voluntarily run by RWC employees and act as a means to allow RWC employees to network with their peers, and champion one another. Joining an ERG group allows you to connect and resonate with other team members, and chat about everything from shared work experiences to future goals.

RWC shows support for women in STEM
Catagory: advice
Find out how RWC show continued support for women in STEM
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STEM careers are notoriously male-dominated, with research on the STEM gender gap, revealing that just 28% of those in STEM careers are women. The gap can be attributed to a variety of factors, including a systematic educational pivot away from encouraging women in STEM subjects, to a lack of accessible routes for women into the field. Over at RWC, the team have pledged to continue to close the STEM gender gap and support women’s flourishing STEM careers. Here are some of the ways that RWC have served to ensure the future sees women succeed in essential STEM roles.

In 2021, RWC teamed up with the Women in Engineering Society to facilitate an International Women in Engineering Day. The partnership was geared to inspire and educate the next-gen of women in STEM, and to help the industry better promote gender diversity. WES also geared up to help lobby government decisions to decrease the gender gap. RWC teamed up with WES as part of their DNI incentive and outlined that this partnership, and event, would sponsor female talent across the board.

Not only has RWC shown support for women in STEM through their partnership with WES, but they have also stated that they believe that competitive apprenticeships should be widely available to help continue boosting numbers of women working in more technical roles, and have continued to onboard women on to these early-career apprenticeships.

RWC also uses International Women’s Day as a way to show support for the women in their workforce. Hosting a range of panels, talks and even museum visits curated to inspire and uplift their women employees. At a time when women in STEM have never been more valuable, showing company appreciation is a key motive for RWC.

Tery Spataro:‘Web3 transforms me from artist to creator’
Catagory: web3
The accomplished artist shares her experience of working in digital for decades
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For the latest instalment of our Meet the Metaversers series, we caught up with artist Tery Spataro who has been championing digital art since the 80s. Find out what Terry has been creating, and how she’s been embracing web3 creativity. 

What has the process of adapting your art into web3 been like? 
I’ve been creating digital art since the 1980s. Every decade, there is a new evolution to the tools that I use. I’m talking about the evolution of technology, new devices and software, for example. With web3 we have a new type of tool called AI(artificial intelligence) and it is transforming my way of working with digital art. For example, when I tried out my first creative AI application called Playform, which is no-code AI, it was exhilarating!

I learned so much from this experiment. It turned my world upside down to realise that AI contributes to my artistic style. That’s where I discovered what makes my art magical. AI understood my vision of getting very close and intimate when I photograph, plus it uncovered textures that add to the composition in ways I never would have seen before. You can take a look at this piece on the Art Mine (GAN) gallery that I created using an AI called Playform: Flower Magic.

The last year was all about experimentation and discovery. I wanted to learn ways my digital art would adapt to the physical world. So I had a very prolific year and produced 804 physical products wrapped in my digital art. I care very much about the environment, my products are 100% made to order. Web3 transforms me from artist to creator.

You're an author as well, tell us a little bit about this? 
I got into writing because I wanted to entertain, educate, and communicate my philosophy about the future, which is that humanity's future is inextricably tied up with technology, the environment, and our consciousness. Writing doesn't come naturally to me. I got over the hurdle of publishing by doing what I do best: I described Erwin Schrodinger's quantum theories through pictures.

Laundrygate, Strange Stories About the Future is a science fiction book that imagines the future outcomes brought about by technological change, human curiosity and posthumanism worlds. It has four heroines and many themes and other-worldly ecosystems. The audience is taken on a technological rollercoaster of human evolution, environmental ramifications and political fallout, all with very human emotions.

Tripendicular orange moth transformation

What would you consider to be a career highlight so far? 
My career in digital began in the 1980s. Over the past decades I was involved in brand strategy and creative development in hundreds of projects for many well-known brands. I push the envelope for digital to be part of the physical environment. Although times have changed, my passion hasn't. My expertise has evolved with technology and now I'm providing insights as to how Web3 and metaverse will affect the business, brand, and human condition. 

My greatest career highlight was being the founder of STIR, one of the first digital marketing agencies in New York City.

What exciting projects are you currently working on?
All my projects are exciting!  I’m working on the Playform Art Mine “Flower Magic'' which is my first GAN experiment. I love using Playform, whether the piece I’m creating is all AI-generated or mixed with my signature. It’s a thrilling experience. 

I just finished a collaboration project with a wonderful artist from Bali, only known to me from Twitter as Giraxel /@pixellnft. I learned so much from Giraxel who makes pixel art. I took the role of producing the animation, which involved adding the background screens and mixing the AI music track. Mama, Where are you is my first animation that tells a sequential story. I’ll be incorporating more AI-generated music into the art I’m creating and I have 29 tracks that I recently created. You can view some of my other digital pieces here.

I am also producing Tom Lombardo's Evolution of Science Fiction series. Tom is an amazing scholar of science fiction, and I’m also taking on the problem of making estate planning current and accessible, with an incredible team.  

How do you think web3 and the metaverse will continue to change the way we consume and make art? 

Web3 and the metaverse are definitely changing the future of consumption and art. I’m learning how to use Horizon Worlds to create a VR world.

I also use Tilt Brush which helped me envision VR as a catalyst engaging the audience with art in a whole new way. 

  1. The viewer emerges in the art as an experience. Kind of like the Van Gogh experience but in the metaverse. 
  2. The viewer learns from the masters by becoming the master. Imagine if you can learn how Hilma af Klint made her gorgeous bold art pieces.
  3. The VR canvas is collaborative. I can invite friends in to create art that is expansive and engaging.

If you could give your younger self one bit of advice, what would it be? 
Find what you love to do and make it into a business but don’t quit. Don't give up and don’t sell yourself short! Be persistent but love what you do.

What is your favourite part about what you do? 
When the idea is starting to form, I see a sparkle, like a tingling! I love the excitement of discovering and investigating the idea. I like to explore different techniques to bring the idea to life and consider, will this idea be around in the future? I like to imagine the audience's response and engagement with the artwork, and I love collaboration.

Meet hundo’s solidity developer: Giovanni Di Siena 
Catagory: metaverse
Get to grips with the ins and outs of hundo’s technical side with our very own, Gio
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As hundo moves into the metaverse space, our technical team have been working incredibly hard to make this a reality! Meet our Solidity developer Giovanni, and find out exactly what he’s been working on. 

Tell us a little bit about what you do at hundo? 
At its core, I am helping to design and build technical architecture for the next evolution of hundo. This primarily involves Solidity smart contract development for the upcoming Campus learn2earn platform beta.

What exactly is a Solidity developer? 
Solidity is the native and most widely used programming language for creating decentralised applications that run as smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. So, a Solidity developer is one who uses the language to write code for Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) - compatible chains, typically utilising one of a number of available frameworks (e.g. Hardhat, Brownie, Foundry, etc.) for deployment and testing.

What was your career experience before you started at hundo? 
I had only recently graduated with a BSc in Physics prior to starting work with hundo, although I think official confirmation came through a little while after! In any case, I have been fully immersed in the web3/decentralised finance (DeFi) space for a number of years now, skilling up and volunteering whenever I could find the time (this mainly involved speed-running lectures on 2x and the inevitable burnout that came as a result on occasion haha!). I don’t come from a traditional comp-sci background, having previously worked as a lifeguard at school. I was only exposed to scientific software engineering through my degree course, although having now been in a couple of Solidity roles it's clear both my career and passion lies in this exciting intersection of decentralised finance and tech.

What exciting things are you working on at the moment?  
There is always so much more to learn, so I am constantly on the hunt for interesting articles, videos and code snippets. For people not familiar with the niche Crypto Twitter (CT) community, you’d be surprised by how great an educational resource it is - so if anyone ever catches me scrolling, it may not look like work but I you promise it is! Other than 'nerd sniping' advanced smart contract development patterns and gas optimisations on Twitter, I am looking to expand the scope of my limited company 81k, to include Chainlink oracle node operation which will be incredibly exciting once that gets going.

What does your day-to-day look like? 
Being self-employed, and especially a result of working in this industry, no two days look the same. There are always new distractions, whether it be surprise admin, technicalities of some DeFi hack, new project launches, tons of awesome educational content or the latest CT drama. It’s impossible to stay completely up to date with everything going on. I also have the added difficulty of trying to balance work with chronic health issues which can be incredibly unpredictable and frustrating at times. So other than dev work and new learnings, meetings and some form of physical activity make up the rest of my time.

What would you consider a career highlight so far? 
To be able to go back to university to give a talk as a Chainlink Developer Expert. That's a clear winner for me so far. I now offer mentorship to other scholars on the programme which supported me during my time as a student, so it feels amazing to start giving something back already, especially when this can at times be such a confusing and daunting space to get started in.

If you could give your younger self a bit of career advice, what would it be?
I would probably reassure myself that there is a role for everyone, that you can enjoy your work, and to embrace imposter syndrome. The importance of resilience can’t be understated - it’s so difficult trying to figure out where you fit in, which is why it’s absolutely crucial to keep an open mind and have confidence in yourself.

Check out Gio's LinkedIn here! 

Amélie Ebongué: 'Social media is a space of infinite expression in the search of growth and personal development'
Catagory: interviews
Uncover the secrets of the socials with author Amélie Ebongué
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From blogging about new digital technologies in 2009 to writing an entire book on TikTok and the new age of social media, there isn’t much Amélie Ebongué can’t tell you about social media culture. Find out below about how Gen Z interact with socials, current trends and Amélie’s creative future plans. 

Tell us a little bit about how you got into working in social media?
I started writing on the Internet in September 2009 through a Skyblog. I wrote about new technologies and digital early on. I’m fascinated by innovation and as my professional experiences have progressed, I have refined my expertise on the subject. Deeply passionate about technology, I have a sensitivity to social media usage and how brands innovate on platforms. 

I started my career in a Parisian fashion office supporting brands on their identity as well as strategic issues. Strategic planning was on the rise and I was fond of understanding how this profession came to life in an advertising agency. I joined Young & Rubicam to develop the positioning of different brands. Following this professional experience, I wanted to explore my second passion for social media within the UZIK agency.

I was able to develop content strategies for a range of brands in spanning beauty, fashion, food, sport and hotels, working for a while with AccorHotels group, and ibis brands. Afterwards, I wanted to see how my profession lived on the media side. I then accompanied the launch of two media on the French market: Forbes and HYPEBEAST. 

As my profession is constantly evolving, I wanted to explore it from all angles and independence was an excellent experience to understand this change that accelerated in the middle of the pandemic.

What do you think is most interesting about the way that Gen Z interacts with social media?
Gen Z were born into social media, and it shapes their identities. Social media is a space of infinite expression in the search of growth and personal development. 

How influential will GenZ be in influencing the future of social media?
Social media is an extremely time-consuming hobby and it’s not just about GenZ. It’s hard to separate from social media when you’re born with new technologies, and that’s especially true on platforms like TikTok. Indeed, it’s a space that is useful in every area of daily life. News, society, politics, education and even job searches. Few of their activities escape social media! Social media are an integral part of the lives of young people, they even work on them in a collaborative way as part of a school project for example.

Tell us a little bit about your book! What are the key themes explored?
It’s a book for all people who want to learn how TikTok works, and who want to integrate the platform into their content strategy on social media. In this book, I talk about the history of the app, its marketing influence, its impact on the music industry and the features that make TikTok unique today!

What are your creative hopes for the future?
An acceleration of the practices observed during the crisis with a desire to have more transparency. The pandemic has allowed multiple content creators to speak out on topics they have never discussed before. Even more, they can now enjoy their financial income from the creation they have distributed on social media. They retain the will to be the bearer of a message that has more meaning. 

As for brands, they will continue to invest more in creation budgets and promote co-creation to be as close as possible to content creators who matter and who are closer to their identity. The winning brands will be those who have understood that the creation of content is a real lever of acquisition and in-fine sales by placing it at the heart of their business strategy.

How do you think employers can better support Gen Z?
In order for companies to attract Gen Z, it’s necessary to understand their habits and behaviours. Honesty and transparency are fundamental values for them. They are educated, realistic and pragmatic.They are also a generation that has an extraordinary openness to the world. Companies have every interest in speaking the same language in order to offer them a place in their organisations. This new youth are in search of more professional freedom.

What would you consider your career highlight so far? 
In my 10 years of experience on social media, I have witnessed the birth (Discord, Snapchat and TikTok for example) and the end of some of them (Myspace, Vine and Google+). Vine was launched in 2013 and was a huge success with over 200 million monthly active users. Vine has been eclipsed by other social networks like Instagram that have quickly followed the same innovations. In 2021, writing the first book on TikTok is a testament to a time when we are living to the fullest in the age of social media platforms. 

You can follow  Amélie Ebongué on Instagram here    

LinkedIn has been hastily removing NFT profile pictures, but why? 
Catagory: metaverse
Find out why LinkedIn are missing a very important trick through their removal of avatar profile pics
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In a world of web3 and avatars, profile pictures (PFP) are becoming a popular type of NFT – specifically as social media identifiers and web3 indicators of identity. Personalised, and incredibly common within the metaverse and web3 community, there is no doubt that avatars and NFTs as profile pics are already becoming a universally accepted norm. Why then, is social media network LinkedIn taking down these digital profile pictures? And could this strict image policy unknowingly contribute to bias within their community?  

In 2020, hundo won an Innovate UK grant to successfully pilot the use of avatars as a way to remove hiring bias. With this in mind, LinkedIn might be contributing to a wider issue. 

Esther, hundo’s co-founder explains: "We know that bias occurs with the use of profile photos, and it highlights a wider web2 issue which is that anyone can use any ‘real’ photo and that might not be them. A more effective way of dealing with the advent of avatars and PFP NFTs could be verification rather than removal - which should equally apply to photographic images. Engaging with the future of online personas rather than resorting to doxing and NFT PFP removal is a better starting point for dialogue, improving online protections and reducing bias."

The discourse surrounding avatars and PFPs as a possible solution to hiring bias comes at a time when LinkedIn is actively taking down PFP NFT and avatar profile pics. A user profile pic bought from a popular NFT collection, One Bored Ape, was removed by LinkedIn, claiming that the image was ‘in violation of the LinkedIn Photo Policy.’ One Bored Ape has also recently hit back after Buzzfeed doxed them, revealing the founder's identity, without their consent or respect for their anonymity.

VERSED innovation lead Meta Mike (aka Stu Richards) has recently fallen victim to LinkedIn’s avatar image requests and has had to dox himself of his metaverse pseudonym in order to adhere to the platform's guidelines, after being shadowbanned. In a recent post, Meta Mike said: "I’ve had my profile picture replaced before because of these guidelines, and so have many others in my network. NFT PFP culture has infiltrated LinkedIn, and although I know organisations have to implement parameters for security purposes, I don’t understand the harm in having someone represent themselves in the way they want to be presented (within reason)."

LinkedIn’s deletion of NFT profile pics, during a time when 165K people have ‘metaverse’ written in their LinkedIn bios, shows the platform is yet to embrace how those in web3 communicate and present themselves. It also fails to recognise the pivotal global move into web3. It begs the question, why would an employer need to know exactly what you look like in order to consider hiring you - shouldn’t it be other credentials or aspects of your personality that land you the job? LinkedIn might be forced to reconsider the elimination of PFP NFTs and to rethink whether someone's representation of themselves is, in fact, a ‘violation’ of their company guidelines. We would like LinkedIn to engage with their growing web3 community to find a better way to solve this issue together.

Words: Grace Goslin

Metaverse jargon buster: what exactly does the language in web3 mean? 
Catagory: web3
A guide to the metaverse terminology you need to know
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Our 'WTF is the metaverse? feature was an introduction to the digital world. Now, here's an explanation of the common terms and phrases used in web3. Tricky language shouldn't be a barrier to web3 knowledge, so find out exactly what an NFT is and what XR means with our jargon-busting guide to metaverse terminology.

NFT: Non Fungible Tokens  
It’s best to think of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, as the outcome of metaverse exchanges! An NFT can take various forms like a piece of art or a fashion collection. It's something that is bought using a cryptocurrency, that is completely unique and can be either sold, purchased or traded. Major fashion houses are creating exclusive collections, and some people are selling NFTs made from their childhood bedrooms. Creating one-off collections of NFTs is often more successful than selling individual items. Some big NFT collections include the Bored Ape Yacht Club and Azuki. Check out the largest NFT marketplace, OpenSea, and get hands-on with your own NFT discovery. 

Cryptocurrency is far from a new concept. However the ways that it is being used has changed within the metaverse. A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that is secured, making it impossible to fraud or double spend. The reason why cryptos are important in the metaverse is because they are used predominantly in the purchase of NFTs, with Ethereum becoming one of the most popular NFT currencies. Crypto’ and non-physical currencies will continue to play an integral role in the growth of web3. 

Avatars are images, often NFTs, that are used within the metaverse community (especially on socials) to represent people. They are often highly personalised, and can contribute to minimising hiring bias!

XR: Extended Reality  
XR is an umbrella term used to encompass all areas of digital reality technology. A term that has existed for decades, XR is often used as marketing talk to incorporate both augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality. What XR means exactly is up for debate, but it can be attributed to any digital reality form! 

AR: Augmented Reality  
Augmented reality, or AR, refers to any form of real life experience that is subsequently enhanced by a form of digital technology. Filters are the easiest way to conceptualise AR; you take a photo of your face that is then enhanced by AR filter technology. Check out our interviews with Doddz and Piper ZY who are both pioneers in the AR area, to understand exactly what forms AR takes in the digital world, and now the metaverse. 

VR: Virtual Reality 
When VR became popular, it was a new way to experience gaming, entertainment, and even education . VR is an experience in a simulated reality, that can be both similar to real life, or completely the opposite! The limits and possibilities are endless with VR, but each virtual reality experience is usually aided by VR headset technology.

AI: Artificial intelligence 
Artificial intelligence refers to robots or machines that replicate human-like functions. Some of the most common uses of AI include Alexa, self-driving cars and smart assistance. 

DAO: Decentralised autonomous organisation

A DAO is an organisation based on open-source code, that is crafted by users and written onto the blockchain. It normally focuses on a specific project and is community-oriented with no central authority. With a DAO the community works together to make a decision about a certain project.

DeFi: Decentralised Finance

DeFi is an emerging financial technology. Similar to cryptocurrency, it eliminates service fees that usually exist for holding money, and allows you to securely keep your currency in a secure wallet, rather than in a bank.  

The blockchain is a database where information can be stored electronically. The blockchain plays a large role in the running of cryptocurrencies, as they are able to store multiple pieces of information, including crypto-related transactions.

Words: Grace Goslin

hundo’s five fave metaverse-themed SXSW panels 
Catagory: metaverse
Find out which panels we couldn't wait to see in Austin
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As you may know, hundo went to SXSW  to learn and educate on topics surrounding Gen Z, the future of work, and the metaverse! In the run-up to the big event, we compiled some of our most highly anticipated panels from SXSW 2022.

hundo: Gen Z, the metaverse and the future of work
Obviously, we couldn’t do an SXSW panel round-up without talking about our very own panel! Hundo’s co-founder Esther gave a talk on all things, Gen Z, the metaverse and the future of work. It was interesting as it was educational, and Esther was joined by hundo’s panel of experts including co-founder of Imagen Insights Jay Richards. Attendees got to find out about metaverse investment opportunities, how Gen Z approach work, and how XR tech can help out in HR.

Fashion’s New Frontier: The Metaverse
Whether it’s luxury fashion houses creating and investing in NFTs, or the launch of metaverse fashion shows, there is no doubt that fashion has a very large part to play in web3. This particular panel dived into the ins and outs of metaverse fashion, and looked at how its popularity as a creative industry will continue to grow within the metaverse space. Panel hosts included metaverse icon Cathy Hackyl, as well as other speakers from gaming platform ROBLOX, Ralph Lauren and Funomena. 

Across the Metaverse: Independent Music in XR
Big names such as Ariana Grande, and Lil Nas X have already played well-attended shows in the metaverse, but exactly does the metaverse offer up for the smaller players in the increasingly complex music industry? This particular talk was geared to independent labels, and artists who want to make waves in XR and the metaverse, in a post-COVID landscape. Making the metaverse accessible for indie artists and labels was the goal of this panel, and it aimed to bust the myth that only industry giants can participate in web3 and XR. Representatives from Ristband Inc, Roblox, and British Underground gave insights into curating metaverse events, on any scale. 

NFTs and the Metaverse: Art’s Digital Age
NFT collections are selling like hotcakes, and for any artist, hopping on board the metaverse train would be a wise idea. This talk educated attendees about the digital age. How we experience, collect, sell and create artwork is changing and this digital shift requires some general tech and NFT knowledge. Panel hosts included the VP of Product at Saatchi Art, the founder of The Other Art Fair, Ryan Stainer as well as some digital artists themselves. 

Inventing Humans in the Metaverse
Whilst the title for this one is pretty, well…meta, the subject matter was incredibly eye-opening. It was all about facilitating a human presence into a metaverse and XR space, and exactly how this can be done. From avatars to virtual beings, how will real-life people and communities look and be represented in web3? Big names from Verizon and Microsoft spoke on this enlightening panel. 

You can check out the rest of the 2022 SXSW schedule here.

A peek into the creative side of fashion TikTok with Benulus 
Catagory: interviews
We chat to Benulus about video editing, the creative process and growing on TikTok 
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Berenice, better known as her social handle, Benulus, has made waves on TikTok with her innovative fashion and lifestyle videos. From creating interchangeable ‘swipe on’ outfits, to making accessories that fall from the sky, we chatted to Berenice about growing on TikTok, making content creation creative, and attending her very first New York Fashion Week…

Tell us a little bit about what you do? 
I dedicate myself fully to video content creation. I started my YouTube channel 6 years ago but didn't start dedicating myself to it until the beginning of last year 2020. I knew all along that this was what I was meant to do, but I set this dream aside because I went to college right after high school. Graduating college was a big reality check because I had no interest in making a career out of my degree and realised I had missed 4 years of what could've been a very successful YouTube career. Because I still wasn't aware of my passions, I started looking for any mediocre job that could support me financially, but I wasn't happy. Early on in life, I had learned that comfort kills dreams, and I wasn't willing to sacrifice mine for comfort. It wasn't until the day that I decided to take a leap of faith and take myself seriously when I started seeing growth in all aspects of my life. Today, I have successfully been able to achieve 56K followers on TikTok, 3.4K on Instagram and 2.1k subscribers on YouTube within the last 5 months. This is the most I have ever grown in my life, not only in an amazing engaged community but also personally, spiritually and emotionally. 

How did you get into working in fashion and lifestyle? 
I started my YouTube channel with the intention of showing people what went behind the scenes of pageantry, which ties in perfectly with fashion and lifestyle. I am no longer interested in that field, but I do have to say, being in the pageant world influenced how I explored and played around with fashion. Pageant fashion is very girly and involves a lot of dress-up; dresses, heels, sequin, accessories, in other words, over the top, and that is exactly how I would describe my taste. I like to make an impact everywhere I go, and the pageant showed me that side of it, you always want to dress to impress. Of course, many other great factors came out of this experience; confidence growth, body positivity, analysing social conflicts, communication skills, connections, friendships, travel, etc.  

The TikTok fashion videos that you create are incredibly innovative and interactive. When did this become your approach to creating content? 
Fashion influencers have been doing the same type of content for years now, to the point where everything on Instagram or TikTok looked the same. I was waiting for innovation and creativity. I came across this amazing video on my FYP once, from @liv.isha, that seemed like floating clothes were falling from the top and perfectly falling onto her. I was amazed at that style of editing. Many of her followers asked for a tutorial, but she never shared it. That's when I decided to study the video and try to come up with that video technique myself, in which I succeeded. The next day, September 9, 2021, I uploaded my video with a tutorial and that was the beginning of a new style of editing. This ‘y2k Games for Girls’ trend became so big that many bigger influencers took my tutorial and started creating content of their own. I do not like to take full credit for this style of editing as I wasn't the first one, but I do like to be recognised for it as I was the first one to share such a unique and innovative tool of editing to everyone. At the end of the day, I did come up with the technique myself because there wasn't anyone that taught me. I then started exploring more with my editing skills and that's how I've been able to come up with amazing content that is now 100% my own creative concepts. 

What's it been like growing your platform on TikTok? 
Growing my platform on TikTok has really been a blessing. TikTok has opened so many new opportunities that I never in my life would've thought it could be possible. I've grown a great following in all my three socials (TikTok, Instagram, YouTube) that I like to call community. People keep showing their immense unconditional support and I couldn't be happier. I've also made so many incredible friends, reached bigger influencers, grown connections, achieved paid collaborations, but most importantly, I've grown personally. I can be myself and I know there are people that are interested in my authenticity and that is the most valuable thing to me. 

@benulus Reply to @rebecadrafts Not your typical NYE outfit😌💖 #nyeinspo #newyears ♬ Me Too - Barry ALLEN🇵🇭THABRADAZPHCLO

How would you describe your creative process? 
At 2am when I can't sleep! My creativity hits randomly. I don't like to force myself or overthink too much. The most important thing to me when creating content is to deliver some sort of emotion so my followers can hopefully relate to it. I love to bring the emotion of happy nostalgia to my videos, it's also a way of healing my inner child and fulfilling all of her dreams. When it comes to planning a video, I don't really do much, I prepare that same morning or, at most, a day prior. I've even done some videos on the spot because I go with what I'm feeling inspired in that exact moment so my emotions are real and are portrayed as is. I like to have faith that the outcome will deliver perfectly. The most I can organise is by writing down my ideas that come to me at 2am in a note on my iPhone. 

Do you have any exciting upcoming projects?  
I am so excited to announce that I will be going to NYFW this February. TikTok has granted me the opportunity to connect and meet amazing artists, content creators, designers and I was personally invited to attend a fashion show event for spring NYFW. This show will be hosted by the talented Abigail and Elizabeth twins @hausofjunon, I couldn't be more excited to attend my very first show! It has been an absolute dream for me to attend NYFW, what better way to do it than supporting a designer you personally connect with!

@benulus Holiday last minute get ready with me✨ @Petit Moments #pmpartner #Christmasgetready #NYE2022 ♬ Mercy Alex Chapman remix - Alex Chapman

If you could give your younger self one bit of career advice, what would it be?  
Stay true to yourself, always speak your truth and stand for what you believe in. People will love and support you for your authenticity, creativity and innovation. You are worthy of the life you desire, 'cause guess what, you are deserving of it! It would've been very hard to believe in these words 4 years ago. I am so glad I can say the opposite today! 

Words: Grace Goslin

Meet the Metaversers: Meta Mike
Catagory: metaverse
VERSED’s innovation lead Meta Mike on metaverse awareness and building Web3 knowledge
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Meta Mike – aka Stu Richards – switched from working in digital advertising to fully throwing himself into the world of web3 in 2021. He’s gone from being the innovation lead for metaverse marketing company VERSED, to securing a role as a partner success lead for GigLabs. He give us the lowdown on his previous roles, his excitement for the metaverse and why everyone needs to get ready.

What does your role at GigLabs involve?
As Partner Success Lead, I help GigLabs' clients build out long term strategies for their web3 initiatives and help them understand how best to make use of our NFT technology platform, Gigantik.

Tell us about your inspiration for Meta Mike? 
I had been working in the digital advertising industry for over 7 years, and the term metaverse was still something that the general population hadn't had much exposure to. In 2021 I fully embedded myself in the web3/ metaverse/ decentralised world and I wanted to start growing a network of contacts who were doing the same. Instead of bombarding my previous ad salesperson-saturated LinkedIn network with content that would make them think I've gone mad, I created a new LinkedIn solely for my new connections. Thus Meta Mike was born and I've stuck with it ever since. The inspiration for the name though? Couldn't tell you. Probably just me riffing on contextually relevant alliteration!

How long have you been working within the metaverse and web3?
I bought my first crypto in late 2017 – yep I was one of those suckers – and started embedding myself in XR in late 2019. I started working in the space in March 2020.

Talk us through your previous role at VERSED?  
My role was to help creators understand how they can deliver the most utility possible for their 3D creations across the metaverse. For example, if I'm working with a digital fashion designer, I will help them understand all the possible virtual worlds that they can bring their work to life in. Be it decentralised, centralised or mixed-reality virtual worlds. I help them understand what can and can't be done in each of these platforms and strategise with them on what avenues for activation make the most sense for them as a creator. 

Is there a particular piece of web3 focused work that you are particularly proud of? 
Creating interoperability where I can take one asset and use it across multiple virtual worlds really excites me. An example of this is if I have an avatar that I can use in Somnium Space, take it into Substrata, use it in PC games and then take a photo of myself as the avatar in AR. There are no omni-platform standards that exist yet, but people are working on it. I am currently building out a pipeline of how to do this with one of our clients at VERSED. 

I also think some of the early work that I have done with spatial audio and lights in Unity was some of the work I was most proud of to date. I was able to create a VR rave experience that had fully-immersive spatial audio where the lights were synced with different frequency bands of live audio streams. In other words, I could, for example, make one set of lights turn blue when a kick drum would play and another set of lights turn orange when a hi-hat would play. Seeing this brought to life in VR while listening to a DJ set from my favourite artist was a pretty mind blowing experience.

What are you most excited about within the metaverse? 
One thing that definitely excites me in 2022 is 3D NFT projects coming to life through avatar interoperability across virtual worlds, as well as the virtually produced content that will be generated because of this. By the end of 2023 (if not sooner), I can see there being short films created by users who own 3D NFT avatars (for example, Ethereum Homies, CloneX, NFPs), and those films being premiered in a VR environment where attendees can come as their own avatars. A film premiere about avatars by avatars in a virtual world created by avatars where the attendees are avatars - it's a pretty crazy narrative. 

Another thing I'm excited about is the adoption and proliferation of content in VR. I believe these two components will act as catalysts for fulfilling the potential of VR as a technology.

How do you think the metaverse and web3 is going to change our everyday life? 
There are a multitude of ways that this will happen, but I think it will make our digital lives a lot more social. Not the type of social where I'm fed photos of my friends and celebrities in a manner that extracts the most money out of me as a use. But the social where I am consuming content with multiple friends and others with similar interests. If you think of a platform like Discord that garners always-on conversation, I believe the technologies and infrastructure of the metaverse will allow for this but with a more immersive experience, be that in XR or simply flat screen 3D. This idea of the metaverse driving social transformation is only part of a very large sum, but it could be one of the most impactful for culture and society.

Why do you think it's important for people to have an awareness of the metaverse? 
For the same reason, I think it was important for people to have an awareness of the internet in the mid-1990s and social media and smartphones in the 2000s. It may seem like a fantastical concept that's hard for many people to wrap their heads around or believe in its benefits at this point in time, but the same can be said for most radical technologies in their early days. All I recommend to the non-believers, skeptics or those who don't quite get it is to just pay attention to the headlines (both positive and negative) and do your own research every now and again. 

What has been the biggest career highlight for you? 
Starting a company in this industry and now being able to work full-time on metaverse-related initiatives that I have a true passion for. That's as fulfilling as it gets. 

You can keep up to date with Mike over on his LinkedIn! 

5 brands that are actively embracing the metaverse
Catagory: metaverse
Find out how these companies are taking web3 in their stride
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As you may know by now, we're fully embracing the metaverse at hundo HQ, and incorporating web3 consistently into our future. And we aren’t the only ones with an eye for the unrivalled potential of the metaverse space. The drum recently published a feature highlighting the big brands that have welcomed the metaverse with open arms. Here's who is getting involved in the metaverse!

Massive luxury fashion house Gucci is just one of many big names that are hopping on board the metaverse. As you might have read in our metaverse fashion week report, fashion and the metaverse have a healthy relationship, with fashion's biggest players making huge waves in web3. A recent collaboration with online gaming giants Roblox has seen Gucci use the platform to showcase their digital collection targeted at Gen Z. We’ve also seen the likes of Balenciaga and Nike hop on the virtual collection trend, and we expect that many more fashion brands will be moving into this space. Gucci even has a Discord channel titled Gucci Vault to facilitate metaverse conversation - Father, Son and House of Gucci!

Facebook (Meta)
When the metaverse was merely an abstract concept to the majority of us, Mark Zuckerburg announced an etymological shift from Facebook to Meta. But this wasn’t just a name change, this was a change of direction for the social media monopoly. Since the Meta announcement, Zuckerburg has made it clear that his goal is for Meta to bring the metaverse to life and help businesses. 

No, Disney isn’t creating a specialised NFT collection or branching into the world of creating filters. But they are tapping into the fantasy side of the metaverse; last December, they filed a patent for a truly virtual Disney World! The virtual world would reproduce one of Disney’s famous theme parks, would be ‘highly immersive’ and wouldn’t require an AR headset. Whilst the team as Disney has hinted that this patent is just an indication of things to come in the future, and would not happen immediately, they are interested in taking the storytelling side of the Disney franchise into web3.

Coca Cola
Coca Cola auctioned off one of a kind NFTs demonstrating their awareness of the metaverse. One NFT collection was sold for just over half a million dollars, with the proceeds going to charity. The head of global strategy for Coca Cola reiterated that the metaverse is set to enhance everyday experiences within the digital world. 

Hyundai Motor
Last year, motoring company Hyundai moved into the metaverse when they launched ‘Hyundai Mobility Adventure’, a metaverse space that lives in Roblox featuring Hyundai’s most advanced products. The space also offers users digital characters and avatars, allowing them to interact with one another within web3. Their goal, not dissimilar to hundo's, is to innovate the company's relationships with young people through this virtual world! 

Words: Grace Goslin

Angela Hui: ‘I didn’t realise that writing about food was a viable option’
Catagory: interviews
Angela Hui on breaking into journalism, writing her first book and how to deal with imposter syndrome 
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When it comes to writing about food, Angela Hui’s passion knows no bounds. But she didn’t always think it would be a viable career option. She built up her career through freelance work and networking. Now, as well as her freelance work, she’s Time Out London’s food and drink writer, and has just written her first book. We chat to her about how she built up her network, career highlights and the ways she’d like to see the journalism industry progress.

What was your path into writing and journalism? 
I’ve been collecting magazines since I was a teenager. I love everything about print. I knew I wanted to work in magazines. I started doing unpaid work experience and internships at local newspapers and magazines to build up my portfolio. I went on to do an undergraduate in journalism and a master’s in magazine journalism. But I don't think it's necessary to go to university in order to get into journalism. There are loads of ways to get your foot in the door. Start writing on Medium to build a portfolio, join writing groups on social media to find work, network with other journalists and start pitching!

What was your first job in the industry?
I started out as a freelancer because I couldn't find a staff job in journalism. I took a more content marketing and advertising agency route. I always felt that this was ‘cheating’ and wasn’t real journalism, but I was wrong. I learnt a lot and found that I could be creative in a lot of different ways – writing sharp copy for clients, storyboarding for a big pitch, food styling on shoots or coming up with a social media strategy campaign. Alongside my commercial work, I’d freelance for publications I admired, which helped me build relationships with editors and other writers. 

Your work is largely focused on food – was that always your goal? 
I started out writing about fashion and music, interning at i-D and Mixmag, but I fell out of love with it. I didn’t realise that writing about food was a viable option. I always thought food writing meant being a recipe writer or a restaurant critic. I fell into food writing from working with a supermarket chain client early in my career. Now, I specialise in features, reviews and opinion writing on agriculture, hospitality industry, and the intersection of food, drinks, culture, politics, race, identity and travel. I’ve snooped through chef’s fridges, I’ve recreated fast food in my home kitchen and I’ve reported on Britain’s broken food chain. The more I write about food, the more I learn. Food is such a broad, colourful and diverse subject. It’s incredibly fascinating, but frustrating at the same time and that’s what I love about it. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of it. 

Photo Credit: Justin Lim

Do you have a favourite piece you've written? 
Definitely, the ‘This is What Anti-Asian Hate Looks Like in the UK’ for Vice. I worked incredibly hard on it for months, tracking people down and spending hours doing interviews. I’m so glad it resonated with so many people, but it was also emotionally difficult. I knew that this was an important piece. The sources, the victims, members of parliament and charity bodies trusted me with their stories and I wanted to do them justice. At the time, this topic was under-reported and when it was covered it was done poorly. That added pressure because I wanted this piece to be right. Having a good editor is just as important as the writing. They’re not there to destroy your piece you’ve worked so hard on with annoying comments. They’re there to offer advice and see things in a different light. If you don’t agree with edits it’s okay to push back if you justify why. You’re working together to achieve the best possible story.

What’s been a big career highlight for you? 
Writing a book! I can’t believe I’ve managed to squeeze more than 80,000 words out of myself and onto a page. It feels surreal. It’s called TAKEAWAY and it’s out this year. It’s a food memoir about growing up in a Chinese takeaway in the Welsh Valleys. Each chapter focuses on a family recipe and delves into race, identity and food. It’s the most personal and raw thing I’ve ever written. I’m incredibly proud of this book and being able to tell my British Chinese story. I hope many people can relate to it and hopefully start bigger conversations.

Is there any advice you wish you'd been given when you were starting out?
I wish I wasn’t so hard on myself. I have the worst imposter syndrome. I don't think I'm ever worthy of writing for these prestigious publications. I’d say: learn to grow into your confidence and write the things that make you uncomfortable, things that will make others stop and think – that’s the work you’ll be most proud of. If you’ve got a great idea, the drive, and a good voice, the rest will come. 

Are there any ways you'd like to see the industry change? 
Over the last two decades, the changes in journalism have reached new extremes: competition for clicks, mass lay-offs and the fight to be the biggest on social media. I hope the industry realises that people want to read more compelling long form and quality content. There needs to be better pay, better unions and better support for staff and freelancers. It’s important to nurture talent and value people. That old mentality of ‘you should be grateful you’re here because you’re easily replaced’ needs to die. I hope we go back to slower, meaningful and more thoughtful journalism. 

Any final words of advice?
Be nice and never burn any bridges! I’ve jumped ship from different industries and held and lost so many different jobs, but I’ve always tried to leave on good terms and make a good impression. People remember that – I’ve had a lot of work from previous colleagues and made valuable contacts.

Words: Izzy Aron

Meet the metaversers: Xander Simms 
Catagory: metaverse
The creative technologist and founder Of Digital Storytellers Inc, and Senior Business Development Manager for Ozone Metaverse shares his knowledge
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Xander Simms uses creative video to help brands find a unique voice, and more recently has transferred his wealth of expertise into the metaverse space. We caught up with him to discuss his creative practice, career highlights and his hopes for the metaverse.

Talk us through what you do at Digital Storytellers inc? 
It's an exciting time. We just pivoted to specifically servicing companies and brands based in the metaverse ecosystem, web3, AI, XR, Blockchain, NFT and cryptocurrencies. I’m the founder and it's been a solo venture, but I’m starting to build a small project-based team due to demand.

We help brands navigate the transition between the web2 and web3 ecosystems through custom creative strategy and production solutions. The most important thing we do is listen and then ask questions. We help get audiences excited and curious about the future and find ways to connect and explore new ideas, concepts and technologies mainly through our video productions. Also, we help engage increasingly hyper-focused communities through value-based content and audiovisual differentiation. 

What was your path to working in creative video?   
I’m an artist and musician and have a deep love for film’s ability to transcend our reality. Growing up, my family didn’t have the means for many luxuries like vacations, but we had magical moments going to the theatre and seeing movies. Afterwards, we would extend the experience by having in-depth analysis and discussions about the movie.

I started editing videos in high school for our digital yearbook, with the hope of making movies one day. Also, working at Blockbuster through my college years, pre-streaming services, gave me access to as many free movies and video games as I wanted, which was a big deal at the time. Next, I worked in marketing and other creative production roles, and developed strong social media and other web2 skills. However, video is the medium that allows me to combine all of my skills into one cohesive experience. It's the way I best communicate, and it's a valuable business tool.

Lastly, having a pulse on the industry and paying attention to thought leaders explaining what's next for video really helped. Forward-thinking brands are partnering with creative video producers in order to tell stories in more unique ways, and one of the best ways to do that is tapping into more diverse storytellers.  

How is video content creation changing within web3 and the metaverse? 
There are more diverse mixed-media experiences. Visuals range from 8-bit to 8k and beyond sometimes simultaneously. The user experience extends beyond flat screens and has evolved spatially; we've entered the age of 3D, immersive, and interactive virtual environments. The experience is paramount. 

My approach is adopting more of the video aspect in my productions from video games. Also, audio branding and sound experiences add a layer of visceral immersion that deserves the utmost respect and attention. 

Digital assets themselves and digital video artists are becoming rockstars. The mograph (motion graphics) and 3D scenes are exploding as NFTs are being more widely adopted. Artists like Beeple is a prime example; his success last year is bringing more eyeballs on the art form and the creators.

What would you consider to be your standout career highlight? 
My standout career highlight is what I'm doing next. I'm so grateful for where I’m at right now at this moment. I'm between massive success and being completely unknown. Massive success on my terms includes staying healthy, improving my relationships, spreading love, loving the work I do, being excited about my clients and collaborators, and making enough profit to take care of my needs. Some want to contribute and continue to grow my business.

I’m grateful for my journey and excited to contribute and connect in an authentic way to my community. I always root for the antiheroes, the dreamers, the rebels and the outcasts. Web3 is the place for much more diversity of thought and inclusion.

Are you working on any exciting projects at the moment? 
Absolutely! My work with the Ozone Metaverse – an elite metaverse engine that will have a breakout year in 2022.

Also I’m the creative technologist on The Metaverse Show, an audio experience working with some of the brightest minds in the industry (including my good friends Teddy, Lans and Amuray).

My original limited content series is another. Into The Metaverse takes my audience on an inter-dimensional journey into the future and prepares curious minds, business leaders and marketers to explore the vastness of the metaverse.

Into The Metaverse will have 7 parts with 7 guests answering 3 questions expressed over 21 short film mosaics. Also, in an effort to support more diversity and inclusion, in NFTs and the metaverse, each of the 7 guests on my limited content series, Into The Metaverse, will be women. 

I’m partnering on a couple of independent NFT projects as well! I've also begun creating NFT display video art. I’ve worked with some gracious NFT holders to create custom display videos showcasing their prized NFT. So far I’ve had the pleasure of creating videos with some of the NFT world’s biggest stars, Cryptopunks, Bored Apes from the Bored Ape Yacht Club, Mutant Apes, World of Woman, and Clone X. There are one or two others I’m excited about but can’t disclose more yet. 

What's one myth about the metaverse you would like to bust? 
There are actually two I'd love to bust! One is that the metaverse is far off. As Jon Radoff says, ‘Don’t listen to the cynics, they won’t build anything anyway, it exists this moment’. 

The second is that it’s unnatural. I hold a belief that technology is organic in a sense. The metaverse is a step towards humans moving from being a physical biological species to becoming increasingly multidimensional. This is more in tune with the rest of the universe in relation to frequency, energy and vibration. I’m fascinated by the technological and metaphysical aspects of the metaverse.  
What are your hopes for the future of the metaverse and web3? 

Humans are getting to have more fun! A true decentralisation and a more equitable future for all people. There was an alpha quote from Kelly Vero in her spot for Meet the Metaversers, 'Don’t make your metaverse about you, egos are not a priority in 2022. The only way to build a metaverse that we all want to live in is to make your community the architects of your vision'.

Also, I hope collectively, we find ways to connect in the metaverse and web3 to help cure us of the mental anguish that leads to so many people taking their own lives, which is one of the leading causes of death. I hope the metaverse creates more opportunities for people to be reminded they are not alone and connect in meaningful ways to communities that support and inspire them to love themselves, celebrate and share their talents. 

You can check out Xander's LinkedIn here! 

What jobs will there be in web3?
Catagory: web3
Get ahead and start preparing for work in Web3
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Web3 is a broad subject. But it's also a space that harbours a wealth of opportunities!  First, we had the good old Web1, in its simplest form; think just getting emails and hearing that Windows login sound every day. Next came Web2, a more established version of the web that incorporated features such as social media, pushing forward user-generated content to the forefront of the internet. And now in 2021, there's web3 - a relatively new, unexplored territory that incorporates the metaverse, NFTs, virtual reality, 3D graphics and altogether more advanced technologies.

Whilst web3 is still very much in its humble but impressive beginnings, we still have an idea of the types of jobs that it'll open up to people. Find out about the types of roles that will be coming up. 

Solidity Developer 
As web3 is a naturally tech-driven area, many of the roles may exist in tech already but will be transferable for Web3. One of these roles is solidity developer. In short, this type of developer creates smart contracts that can be deployed on one of the largest blockchains, Ethereum. Solidity is the name of the type of programming used to create these contracts. If you fancy a developer role within the Web3 space, this could be for you. Added bonus: salaries for this specialist skillset are HUGE.

Marketing Officer
Along with the high-tech jobs and roles that will be offered up within web3 there will still be scope for more traditional, non-technical roles. One of these roles will be within the field of marketing, from junior marketing roles to senior chief marketing officers. If you have experience within the marketing field it might be worth learning more about the space and transferring those skills.

Public Relations
Another non-tech role that will be launching in the metaverse is public relations. With new tech comes the need for new ways to drum up excitement around a new metaverse product, or software. So if you’re a PR whizz looking for a change of industry, it might be worth hopping on the metaverse and web3 PR hype.

Blockchain Engineer 
Ethereum and Bitcoin are some of the biggest blockchains currently in existence, and the blockchain engineer role will most likely require you to work within these spaces. This role involves designing and developing applications through the use of blockchain technology, evaluating blockchain applications, and using blockchain tech to create an application or system that would be beneficial to the company they're working for.

Community Manager
A community manager is pretty much what it says on the tin, but within very specific channels and spaces. It's a role is for someone who is not only able to manage the company’s relationship with its community, but  will most likely require you to manage these communities on messaging platforms such as Discord or Telegram. You’ll be in charge of drumming up conversations and hype for your company in these spaces. So keep your finger on the pulse; you’re going to see a lot more metaverse community roles propping up. 

Unity Designer 
If you’re into the game development side of web3, the role of the unity designer might be just for you! Much like Solitary, Unity is a game engine designed to create games and experiences in both 2D and 3D and with the metaverse VR, AR etc.! This is an area that is as creative as it is tech-savvy, and would lend itself well to someone who knows how to navigate Unity, but is also keen on creating these experiences within the metaverse.

Web3 career is a great starting point for keeping up to date with upcoming roles.

Words: Grace Goslin

Get to know 3MZ through their creative campaigns 
Catagory: advice
From social impact to connecting community and culture
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3 Monkeys Zeno specialises in crafting gripping creative brand campaigns, which has cemented their reputation as a PR and communications company to be reckoned with. From highlighting period poverty to collabing with Kano, find out below about four of 3 Monkeys Zeno's most impactful campaigns so far. 

Lenovo - ‘New Realities’ 
Inspired by Lenovo’s own research that that 78% of people worldwide feel an empathy gap, Lenovo challenged 3 Monkeys Zeno (3MZ) to demonstrate to Gen Z that technology can aid empathy and change.

3MZ's response was New Realities, an award winning global campaign that told the stories of 10 women, from 10 different countries, through the medium of 360 degree technology in Virtual Reality. The featured women all offered leading commentary on a variety of critical social issues in their communities. The campaign was a huge success and gained a large amount of media traction worldwide, positioning Lenovo as a thought leader in empathy powered by technology.

When we spoke to our Gen Z community about what they liked about 3MZ’s campaigns, one person said, "The Lenovo 'New Realities' campaign impressed me the most as it is an interesting concept which encapsulates the very relevant themes of empathy and the experience of women around the world."

Wray & Nephew - ‘Engaging communities through culture’
In 2019, 3MZ started to collaborate with the Campari group, working specifically on elevating their whiskey and rum brands. Working with the Group’s Jamaican white rum, Wray & Nephew and 3MZ crafted a strategy to make the brand more relevant to 20-somethings while in high energy nightlife spaces. Using music as the universal unifier within London’s communities, 3 Monkeys Zeno hosted the ‘Wray Residencies’, a programme of gigs and events with up and coming talent that took place in empty retail spaces and community hot spots. When 2020 rolled around, they took things a step further, collaborating with grime artist Kano, turning Newham leisure centre (in his hometown) into the playground for a one-off live performance, which was hailed as a ‘triumph’. 100% of all proceeds went back into local causes to support Black British businesses and creativity.

Hey Girls - ‘UNSanitary’ 
Highlighting the devastating impact and sheer volume of period poverty in the UK, 3MZ teamed up with social enterprise, Hey Girls. New research showed that a staggering 1 in 6 women or a family member of theirs had been affected by period poverty, which mostly incorporates a lack of access to sanitary products. After launching the campaign to media and influencers, on launch day pop up shops gave away the ‘UNSanitary packs’ , created by adam&eveDDB, that looked and felt like normal sanitary products. However, they were not, and instead of including tampons or pads, they were stocked with items such as loo roll, newspapers, and socks, all items that many people with uteruses are forced to use. The campaign was featured in the likes of Glamour and even on Sky News, London Live amongst others. Our Gen Z respondents were impressed with the boldness of the UNSanitary campaign and were glad that it served to tackle a 'taboo subject like menstrual waste.’ 

Corona - ‘Wave of Waste’
In conjunction with World Oceans Day and Corona, 3 Monkeys Zeno built a literal wave of waste sculpture, to draw attention to the high levels of plastic pollution in our oceans. What’s more, this campaign had a celebrity touch as actor Chris Hemsworth surfed the plastic wave, and renowned environmental activist Ben Fogle was brought in to spearhead the campaign, securing national news coverage. 

Our trusty go to Gen Zers saw the ‘Wave of Waste’ stunt for the masterpiece it was, commenting that ‘it's always good to see companies working on promoting sustainability and saving the environment.’ They even got influencers on board by sending out sustainable Hawaiian Shirts to encourage their social audience to nab a shirt themselves with all proceeds going to charity. 

Read more about 3MZ campaigns here

One year at hundo: Nadiyah Rajabally
Catagory: interviews
Hundo’s digital marketing manager, Nadiyah, has been with the company for one whole year! Find out everything she’s learned on her exciting hundo journey so far. 
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What has been one of the most exciting tasks you've worked on? 
I got the chance to work on quite a few exciting projects last year, but the one that stands out the most would be managing our ‘Story so Far’ and round announcements across hundo, the team and hundo’s family and friends' social media. I remember planning this for months and how stressed I was because it was the first proper project I owned. I had to create three different separate crib sheets with different examples of post copy and make sure timings, hashtags, dates, social assets etc were all perfect. 

On the day of the announcement, the team was in the office and we told everyone to post at a specific time because we had two announcements, and Esther and hundo’s post had to be done first. I remember feeling the pressure, running around helping everyone with their posts, making sure tagging, hashtags etc were all done properly. It was a stressful time for all of us, but it turned out amazing and we got to celebrate together. 

The announcement challenged me and proved I was capable of having ownership of my own projects. I learned a lot about myself and made me realise that I can do this, and I should be more confident in myself. The turnout and responses we got were incredible, to be able to know that I ran that project is something I am very proud of because we have had a lot of individuals and businesses wanting to work with us which is amazing!

Your job role is very varied, what part of it do you love the most? 
When I first started at hundo, I was meant to be working on social media but I have been very lucky to have worked across all of hundo’s projects, doing graphic design, managing hundo and the team’s social media, creating website content, managing our PR events, and representing hundo at events. So, yeah my role has been very varied but I have loved every minute of it because I get to try new things! 

It’s hard to pick one haha, so I will pick my two favourite jobs. My first favourite has to be having the opportunity to work so closely with Esther and run her PR events. I really enjoy managing and researching information for her events because each event is so unique and the topics they focus on are always different. I also get to work with some cool organisations and companies. By working alongside Esther, I have learned so much by watching her speak on panels/podcasts and just spending time with her. Esther inspires me every day and I see her as a role model. She has helped me push myself and believe that I can do so much more and I shouldn’t limit myself.

Second, attending events is also a favourite because it has built my confidence. Normally I find it daunting to go to an event without knowing anyone. However, now I find networking super-fun especially as I have met some really cool people, even some who are famous!  

You've attended some really cool events this year and met some incredible people. Do you have a highlight? 
All the events I attended in person last year were really cool from Voxburner’s YMS 2021, My Life My Say #CFF21, Newable - Breaking Barriers, 3 Monkey Zeno - Bravery event, and the Black Women in Tech book launch. I got to meet and speak to a lot of incredible people like Mete Coban MBE, Flavilla Fongang, Timothy Armoo, Nissy Tee, Sam McAlister, Josh Akapo, Swarzy Macaly, and many more who were very inspiring. 

My highlight would have to be meeting Timothy Armoo at Voxburner YMS 2021. That was the first solo networking event I attended which went on for 3 days. I learned a lot from the talk sessions and got to network with people who I would have never imagined meeting. From that event, I managed to connect with Timothy Armoo and ended up doing my first interview with him. So, that would definitely be my highlight!

What are you looking forward to over the next six months? 
We have a lot of very exciting things we are planning to do this year at hundo, one being the launch of our TikTok channel, also we will be speaking at some really cool external events, and we are currently planning to launch a BIG hundo event at the end of the year! I also have a few of my own projects I will be running which I am very excited to start…So, everyone should keep an eye out and watch hundo’s space!!!

What has been your biggest achievement over the past year! 
My biggest achievement would have to be my personal growth. When I look back to the person I was when I first started at hundo, I wouldn’t have ever thought I would have learned, achieved, and grown so much. My job at hundo has helped me to be confident and push myself beyond my comfort zone in ways I didn’t think it would.

It’s been a crazy year for me with lots of ‘can I do this? Am I good enough?’ alongside moments of doubting myself, not feeling confident, and wanting to hide away. But all these feelings were because I was scared to push myself and believe I am capable of achieving my goals and more. 

My first year at hundo has proven to me that when you have a few people around you who believe in you and trust you, then you can do anything because even if you aren’t sure of how to do it, they will be there to support you! Big shout-out to Esther and Mark for everything!

You can keep up to date with all of the hundo happenings over on Nadiyah's LinkedIn

Meet the metaversers: Jon Radoff 
Catagory: metaverse
The Beamable CEO on feeding curiosity within web3
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Jon Radoff is an author, entrepreneur and game tech expert taking his company Beamable straight into the metaverse. Find out about how he’s utilising his wealth of gaming development experience to build within web3 and his views on the highly anticipated future of tech!

Tell us a little bit about your work at Beamable. How did the company come about? 
I've discovered that my purpose in life is to amplify creativity across the world. In the past, that meant helping non-technical creators publish to the web at my company Eprise. More recently, I got to help some of the largest fictional universes - Star Trek and Game of Thrones - launch games for millions of players.

While working on these games, I started seeing some of the same problems and opportunities that existed on the web: an explosion of creators, a desire to make it far less technical and "direct from imagination" to the screen. I realised that I could fulfil my purpose and multiply everyone's creativity by equipping them with a platform that lets them build live, online game experiences. 

With your valuable insight, how is web3 likely to change the gaming space? 
There's a tremendous amount of centralised power over distribution, infrastructure and marketing. That power translates into high rents and constrained options for creators. It's already extremely hard to make a successful game, but when you add those factors it makes it that much harder to build a sustainable business. The ambition of those of us building for web3 is to move more of the power back to the sort of decentralised infrastructure and open platforms that the web was originally built on.

The challenge is that the fragmentation of decentralised technology and open systems results in much greater technical complexity. But if we can solve the user experience and systems integration problems in elegant and simple ways, then it will be highly disruptive: far more of the financial rewards go back to the game makers, and whole new categories of games - including those that were not financially viable in the past - will get made by smaller teams.

What are you most excited about within the metaverse? 
When we talk about the metaverse, it's the new wave of experiences that people will be having - and are already having - that most excite me. That's more interesting than trying to declare specific feature sets or technology requirements.

The new wave of online experiences draws upon things like live music, social activities, theatre, self-expression, entertainment, travel and education. These experiences are informed by games and are usually built on top of game technology. But they aren't really games. They're something new. They're bringing people together through the shared joy of artistry, of community, of live interaction. They're digitising and dematerialising existing experiences, while also transforming and amplifying our connection to art and to each other. 

What has been a career highlight for you?  
Being able to create and launch a game built on Star Trek was like the realisation of a childhood dream. The biggest challenge was capturing Gene Roddenberry's vision and making a game that incorporated the type of storytelling I think he'd have appreciated. I'm proud of what we accomplished with Star Trek Timelines.

If I can bring a bit of the creative energy that made Star Trek Timelines possible to millions of other game makers, I think I'll have changed the world for the better.

If you could share one bit of advice about all things  metaverse and web3 what would it be?  
Be curious. I see a lot of cynicism out there, and curiosity is a scarce resource. Web3 and the metaverse are enabling whole new types of experiences and communities, and this is going to evolve into forms way beyond 'stuff we already have, but with crypto'. Yes, there are large technology and user experience challenges to solve, but we humans are great at that type of problem-solving. Let's learn the ways each one of us can participate, create and help.

Can you tell us about any exciting projects that you're currently working on? 
I'm most excited by our customers at Beamable. Over the last year, we've seen a huge influx of developers trying our platform. This is a business that requires patience because we get involved at the earliest stage of a game's development - and then we need to accompany our developers through that journey. Each game has been a learning experience for us. I've been able to watch as some of these games go from idea to soft-launch. And now some of them are going global. What could be more exciting than seeing our customers become successful while fulfilling my purpose of amplifying creativity throughout the world?

4 key takeaways from Imagen Insights' 2022 Gen Z report 
Catagory: advice
Discover a reframing of the Gen Z narrative with Imagen Insights' 2022 trend predictions 
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Despite everything going on in the world, 2021 was a triumphant year for young people. Gen Z took the driving seat when it came to content creation, leading fashion trends and they were even the biggest consumers. With 2022, comes a new year, with new predictions. Gen Z insight specialists Imagen Insights hit us with their fresh 2022 trend prediction report, and here at hundo, we’ve handpicked some of the biggest predictions for the year ahead. So buckle-up, Gen Z are leading the way in 2022 and beyond.

Gen Z are optimistic about 2022 
Imagen reported that 68% of Gen Z are feeling optimistic about the year ahead! And rightly so, new years always bring in new opportunities and are only aided by optimism. 

And need more media representation
Whilst 68% of Gen Z are excited about the year ahead, the same figure is attributed to those who do not feel that current media represents them. Media representation is a big deal for Gen Z, so if you’re a media outlet, you should be pushing diversity, inclusion and representation to the forefront of your to-do list or risk losing a valuable Gen Z audience. Alongside a desire for increased media representation, this generation are also learning the importance of stepping away from their phones and taking a break from online media consumption. 

They want multiple careers! 
Sticking to one dusty career for their whole life is not what Gen Z dreams of. In fact, Gen Z want to reshape the way they work to facilitate career hopping. 64% expressed the need to try out different careers, and we couldn’t agree more! Both hard and soft skills are transferable to multiple professions, so why not try more than one out for size? 

Their priorities are changing
Gen Z are more likely to ditch the material purchases of 2021, and spend their time and money on building experiences and memories. Changing priorities and the continued impact of the pandemic means they will make life choices optimistically but cautiously. Security in areas such as relationships, employment and finance are all things that will become an increasing focal point for this increasingly influential generation.

Find out more about Imagen's 2022 trend prediction report.

Words: Grace Goslin

Meet hundo's brand new TikTok host: DJ Krystal Lake
Catagory: interviews
Get to know hundo's TikTok host, video editor and superstar DJ Krystal Lake
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It is our pleasure to introduce to you hundo’s exceptional TikTok host, DJ Krystal Lake. When she’s not making funny and informative videos for her own mass of TikTok followers she’s an incredible DJ and we now have the pleasure of having Krystal on board with hundo for the launch of our very own TikTok channel! Find out below how Krystal got into video editing, DJing and how it’s going virtually hanging out with hundo’s fave creatives.  

How did you begin working in video? 
I’ve always had a camera in my hand. I’d make these really bad home movies when I was a little kid. I thought I was the next Tim Burton…at age 8.   

You've taken on the role of hosting and editing hundo's TikTok which launches next week, what has the process been like so far? 
Amazing, I’ve met so many great creators that inspire me and I can’t wait to share all of their stories!

Tell us a little bit about starting your own TikTok account, and why it's important for you to teach your followers things that they wouldn't have got taught in school? 
I wanted to create something that I wished I had as a kid. A lot of things that I was taught were either a lie or a one-sided story. I want people to understand themselves and the world and discover the power of digging deeper into the stories you were taught.

When you're not making TikTok's you're a superstar DJ! Tell us a little bit about this! 
DJing feels like a superpower, I can literally change the vibe of a room just by choosing a song and how to mix it. I just wrapped up a 3-month world tour with Ashnikko, which was amazing and full-on so now I get to chill and DJ in my living room.

What has been a personal career highlight for you so far? 
Landing two 30 under 30 awards in the same week. It feels like I’m living a dream, sometimes I forget how many people are seeing my videos, and I’m happy it’s making a change in their life. 

Have you got any exciting projects in the pipeline for 2022? 
I’ll be doing a few amazing things with GayTimes which will be dropping all throughout 2022. Keep an eye out for that!

If you could give your younger self one bit of career advice what would it be? 
Young Krystal, I know you’re trying to “fit in,” but that's not going to make you happy. Love those things that make you different and instead of trying to fit in, try to be you.

What's your favourite thing about what you do? 
The messages I get from my followers. A lot are younger kids that tell me how my videos helped them love themselves from loving their skin colour to finding the power in being a girl, to learning how to be a better ally. 

Follow hundo on TikTok!

And check out Krystal's TikTok and Instagram here

WTF is the metaverse!?
Catagory: metaverse
All you need to know about the almighty metaverse 
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Here at hundo HQ, we’re setting ourselves up to be well and truly within the metaverse. So it makes sense to explain exactly what the hell it is! So grab a notepad: here’s exactly what you need to know…

The definition of the metaverse
There are thousands of ways you can describe the metaverse, but our Technical Co-Founder Scott Bryne-Fraser puts it perfectly! He says: "The definition of the metaverse is evolving all the time. For me, the metaverse represents a new decentralised paradigm for the web. A version of the web run and governed by its citizens. Imagine Ready Player One, with a system of connected worlds that aren't owned by one single organisation or group." 

Scott’s knowledge of the metaverse is quite frankly outstanding (so check out our feature with him here to see what else he has to say!) 

What on earth is an NFT? 
The metaverse and NFTs are two phrases that often go hand in hand. But what exactly is an NFT, or rather Non Fungible Token? 

NFTs are essentially, in their rawest form, anything digital that can be sold on the blockchain – from digital pieces of art to fashion. You might have seen in the headlines that even artist Grimes is making her own NFT’s. There are a lot of predictions that some NFTs could become collectable pieces, influencing a whole new area of digital art collection (exciting!). But put simply, they are anything digital that can be sold or traded on the blockchain. 

Where do I learn about NFT’ and the metaverse? 
There’s this little (well massive) platform called Discord that hosts most of the conversation surrounding the metaverse and NFTs. You can join different channels and hop in on the discord discourse, or just sit and observe! There are also some people who have taken to Twitter and TikTok to share their findings. There’s also an amazing podcast by Cathy Hackl that we would encourage you to dive into.

How can I get involved? 
hundo is jumping into the metaverse, and you will have to keep your eyes peeled for now to see how you can get involved with that. There really isn’t any one way in which you can ‘join the metaverse’. You could learn how to make your own NFT to sell on the blockchain, you could create a gaming platform that exists only in VR or cyberspace. The possibilities are endless! The metaverse is a new concept, and what makes it so exciting is that there are so many limitless directions that it could take. 

Words: Grace Goslin

First ever metaverse Fashion Week to launch in March 
Catagory: metaverse
Everything you need to know about the new fashion week happening in the metaverse
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In recent months we’ve seen Nike buy a virtual shoe company specialising in fashion footwear NFT’s, we’ve seen Balenciaga announce a digital move into virtual fashion, and Dolce and Gabbana’s NFT collection has sold for 5.7 million dollars, and now, we have news of a metaverse fashion week! A move into virtual fashion is happening in a big way. There’s no need to travel to Paris, London or Milan, find out everything you need to know about the metaverse’s first fashion week below.  

The big event is scheduled for March 2022, and metaverse platform hosts, Decentraland have boasted a full four days of catwalk shows, talks, pop-up shops and after-parties!  Users will also be encouraged to attend as their own avatars, and purchase virtual outfits for the occasion! So don’t worry, if you want a new get up, you’ll be able to do so. 

Big fashion houses have already made it clear that they are gearing up for virtual fashion in the metaverse, and many of them have already been making and selling NFT clothing.  We expect that more details of the fashion week line-up will be announced soon after Decentraland tweeted out for ‘designers, brands and fashionistas.’

We can’t wait to see exactly how this one of a kind fashion x metaverse event pans out, and see how the fashion world will continue to approach and adapt within the metaverse!

Words: Grace Goslin

Meet HR DataHub’s co-founder: Alexa Grellet 
Catagory: interviews
Alexa Grellet on becoming a co-founder, the importance of D&I and why she loves her incredible team
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Alexa had only been working at HR DataHub for six months when the founder invited her to share in his journey and join as a co-founder of the company. We sat down with Alexa to chat about her journey so far, how companies can better use data to overcome their issues and her hopes for HR DataHub’s future. 

Tell us about your work with HR DataHub? 
We are an HR intelligence platform, so we bring data to people’s lives so that they can make really good decisions when they are trying to manage people. The company came about because my co-founder, David, spent his entire career working in HR and managing huge groups, and trying to do cool things but he never had the information that he needed to understand what people are doing, how much are they paying people, what initiatives are they doing that are making a difference…Turns out it’s really hard to find this kind of info.

If you work in marketing, you can literally go online and in two mins, you can see how your website is doing compared to other people etc. However, when you’re trying to manage people you have no idea, and so it’s hard to be fair, competitive, diverse - all this good stuff, if you have no clue from outside what you already know. So he decided that he could use technology to do this way more efficiently, and smarter. The market changes all the time, so a report once a year is not going to cut it if you’re trying to be agile or innovative so that’s how the company started. The response has been incredible! People are like ‘yes, I need this information. I need to know how to attract Gen Z talent!' You always need more knowledge to be good at your job, and we offer that! 

There’s been a particular focus on D&I over the past few years, how do you think companies can do better in championing D&I? 
I think there are two things. Firstly, they should align what they are doing to what they say their intentions are, intentions on their own don’t do anything. And secondly, I would say baby steps are the way to go. Sometimes organisations feel a bit weird about being perceived as not doing enough, so they put out statements like ‘I’m going to do all these super ambitious things’ but they fall short of that all the time because they are coming from way back. What they are saying is they want to revolutionise this and that, but it’s important to start small. Figure out where your biggest problems are, and start there. My perspective is that the more data you have, the more likely you are to know what your problem is, otherwise it’s just going to be subjective. Are people getting stuck in roles for a long time without promotion? Do your employee engagement scores suck? Or, are you not hiring in a way that is inclusive, diverse, new and different? Be better informed, and do work on your internal culture. 

HR DataHub Team

What’s your favourite part of your job? 
My team, hands down! I genuinely love the people I work with, I think they are amazing. We work hard to show that we care for each other on a holistic level. I care about your work, the challenges you’re having, the person you are, what you’re doing in your personal life, and I think that brings the team to life. That’s the best part of my job. 

What would you consider to be your biggest career highlight? 
When I became a co-founder at HR DataHub, that was a highlight! I didn’t start that way. The company existed way before me, and I came in as an employee. I kind of treated the company as if it was my own from the start, and applied myself and I am really proud of that. Six months later, the founder asked me to be his co-founder, that was a huge thing for me. There is nothing more validating than someone saying ‘you’ve had such an impact on the company, that I want to share this with you’ which is huge! He literally gave away part of his company to me, and I felt really proud of that. 

What are your hopes for the future of the company? 
I hope that we make a difference. I hope that we will look back, even in a year, and the people that started working with us today, actually use data to make decisions about how they manage people, that’s what I want. Beyond all the operational stuff, I want everyone who trusts us now, when we are really little, and we are trying to do great things, to look back and say ‘that was cool, I’m glad that I’m a part of that!’ 

Words: Grace Goslin

hundo has joined HR DataHub and a coalition of world-class experts to address the data gap in D&I. The D&I Index will allow employers to compare their D&I data to others in their sector, and use the data to suggest meaningful steps on how to improve their diversity at all levels. Read all about it here.

Meet the metaversers: Piper ZY 
Catagory: metaverse
AR whiz Piper ZY tells all about the creative side of AR, the metaverse and channelling all things futuristic 
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Piper ZY is an AR trailblazer. From creating nail extensions that turn into cosmopolitan cities to rings that transform into a race track, Piper uses each day to create the most daring futuristic AR creations in fashion. We chat to Piper about the future of metaverse art, gaining significant traction on TikTok, and creating her very own 100-day art challenge for the latest installation of our Meet The Metaversers series.

How did you begin working in AR?
I started making AR in 2015 for small concept art and music video projects. I was editing futuristic outfits and accessories on myself and my friends when I realised that I wanted to animate elements of my outfits. In the years since then, the technology has expanded and I started publishing filters for Instagram last year. 

How would you describe your creative practice? 
I always imagine a world that is slightly different from reality and more expressive - like an alternate timeline - and I want to create it. I focus on the concept and moment in that distant world first and then work to bring my concept into reality.

What software do you use to create AR? 
I use Spark AR and Adobe Suite for many AR projects. If music or 3D art is needed, I occasionally use other software, but for AR filters I mainly use those two.

How do you think the metaverse will change the way people make and consume art? 
The coming decades are extremely exciting for creators and developers; we are the necessary architects of the virtual world. I hope the genesis of the metaverse means artistic concepts and voices of artists can be valued more than they currently are in traditional business settings. There will be a heavier focus on experiencing art, even in advertising. This will require more abstract skills from creators, and I imagine a lot of people's unique voices and visions will be valuable in these developing spaces in new ways.

What does a day-to-day look like for you? 
I try to create something everyday. I've been working on commissions and branded projects recently, as well as my own projects. I have a background in corporate marketing, so I enjoy switching between the avant-garde personal work and tailored brand work. It's two different modes with an overlapping skillset. For clients, I view their goal as my goal too and that excites me about their projects. 

Talk us through your 100-day art challenge!  
I started the 100-day art challenge for myself to post consistently with some structure on TikTok. When I started, I was focused on competitions and other AR projects and just wanted to post consistently on the side to make sure I was using as much time as I could be using to create and put out concepts. I thought it would gain traction slowly, but I was amazed and honoured to get so many eyeballs on my work just 12 days into the challenge.

What has been your favourite piece of work you've created to date? 
My favourite piece within AR so far has been an abstract AR gown, an effect which plays my original music. I wanted to conceptualise a music video into an abstract garment – which I believe is coming in the metaverse. I believe the concept of what constitutes a garment is about to be challenged in a big way, and I want to innovate in that space.

Do you have any exciting projects in the pipeline?  
I have some futuristic concepts coming up which I hope will spark discussion as to how AR can be used in advertising and daily life. I just finished a makeup palette concept with plants growing out of each shade, and I want to continue pushing the limits of advertising with AR.

You have a presence on TikTok, talking about your AR and creative work. What has the response been like?
Comments on TikTok are sensational and cover a wide range of reactions. I get a lot of people who have never seen AR art outside of face filters, asking what it was and if it was real, and how to view it. I have loved replying to those comments and engaging them. In a way, it feels like a time capsule, and it's so exciting to introduce what I see as a big part of the future to people in real-time.

AR and all things within the metaverse are a fairly new phenomenon in tech. What advice would you give to any creatives looking to start a career in these areas? 
A lot of traditional skills can be applied to a virtual world. Whatever niche someone creates now can be translated to AR and VR in some way, with some trial and error. I hope the metaverse can be a reflection of our real life, enhanced by our imagination. I think doing this means getting as many people in as many industries involved as possible. Over the next decade, I expect careers and opportunities to open up that are totally unheard of now.

Be sure to follow piper on Instagram here!

Words: Grace Goslin

Duro Oye: ‘1,100 people later, we are still changing lives and putting young people on the right path’ 
Catagory: interviews
Duro Oye on how one impactful documentary film led him to found his own youth empowerment company
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Young people are undoubtedly the future, and this notion is something that Duro Oye was aware of from as early as 2012. After premiering his documentary film that followed two rival gangs, he realised that he wanted to do more than film-making, he wanted his work to have a significant impact on young people’s lives. After numerous unreturned calls from charities, he decided to take matters firmly into his own hands and started 2020 Change. Now eight years since its formation, 2020 Change is still educating and supporting young people to realise and act on their own potential. Check out what Duro had to say about 2020 Change, why carving a space for young people in a corporate world benefits businesses, and why his hope for the future is to pass on the baton!  

Tell me a little bit about 2020 Change? 
It came off the back of a documentary film I made back in 2012. That film was about following two rival gang members, three from each side, from Peckham and Brixton, and documenting their change and understanding how difficult it was for them to turn their lives around and transition into employment, or start a business, just because of their background and no one wanted to give them a chance. That made me realise that because of my support system, family and network I recognised that I was a lot more privileged and that made me think to myself that I was in a position to help. We all came up in the same way, but we made different choices. I wanted to make a film, and give the documentary to leading charities that worked with young people like the men in the documentary. We had the premiere at the Odeon in Leicester Square, and we invited them all along and they loved watching the film, and gave us a standing ovation.

In the end, we had a Q&A where they asked ‘so what’s next?’ I told them what the plan was, and they said ‘we would love to support you. Shortly after that, nothing happened, no one followed up or returned my calls, and I made a promise to the young men that if they were authentic about their stories that it would change lives. So I ended up spending all the money I had on the film, and I decided I needed to make something of this, and then I started the organisation and did it myself. That was eight-plus years ago, and we are still here 1,100 young people later, still changing lives and putting young people on the right path. 

How do you think companies, organisations and businesses can do more to support young people? 
Companies, employers and corporations need to be more open to welcoming young people into their spaces. When we started, a lot of young people were intimidated by the corporate space. Intimidated by suits and briefcases. They felt that everyone who worked in the city had to look a particular way, or go to a particular school and be interested in particular hobbies. In some areas of the city that’s still the case, but what we found was a handful of employers who are willing to do things differently! Like welcoming us into their space, meeting and engaging with our young people and understanding their journeys and understanding that they can add value to their business. And because of that, allowing them to add to their business and reap the rewards from that. Because of the success that we are seeing that is forward-thinking in that sense, more companies are open to this idea. What we always say to big businesses, particularly consumer brands, is that young people are the next generation of people who have given up or lost hope in the education and political system. However, there is still hope for corporations and brands. There’s a small window before they lose hope in them too! They need to step up and do what’s right. Of our young people, 70-80 percent of people on our programmes have side hustles, so no one is trying to work a 9-5 and employers need to be accommodating to that too. The dynamics are changing, and it’s those employers that are forward-thinking that are going to reap the rewards of the next generation. 

What was the best bit of career advice you’ve ever been given? 
I don’t think I've ever received good career advice if I’m being completely honest. In secondary school teachers just looked at my grades, and saw that I was predicted to score high and pigeonholed me and said ‘you’re good at art, you’re good at drama, you’re creative, go into graphic design' and that was it. There’s so much more there that I wasn’t even aware of. All of those things helped me to become who I am. All those skills that I developed and still use until this day, and being a lone founder, I was able to do a lot of the creative side as well as the business side so I am grateful for my journey, and the decisions that I made early on that have moulded and shaped me into the person I am today. 

What piece of career advice would you give to your younger self? 
Be open, don’t box yourself in! You have so many different talents and skills, and although you can’t use all of those skills at the same time, use what you can to get to where you need to get to - recognise opportunities everywhere. 

What’s your favourite part of your job? 
Seeing young lives change. That’s partly during the sessions that we deliver when a young person recognises that their future is in their own hands. The penny drops for different people at different times but being able to experience that penny drop and that lightbulb moment is the most fulfilling thing about what we do at 2020 Change. Then you get to see them graduate, and you see their faces as they celebrate with friends and family and there’s a sense of accomplishment. It’s the moment they realise that their past is their past, and their future can be a lot more exciting than their past. The moment that clicks for a young person, that’s the moment a young person becomes unstoppable! 

What are your hopes for the future? 
I hope that we continue to grow and impact lives. My personal hope for the organisation is to eventually be able to step down as CEO and pass the baton to someone who has risen through the ranks, through the programme and the alumni network, who is ready, willing and able to take the organisation to the next level. 

Check out 2020 Change here! 

Words: Grace Goslin

Meet the metaversers: Rachel Herauf 
Catagory: metaverse
She shares her thoughts on pioneering metaverse training, her best career advice and more
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Outlier Ventures have been helping startups to accelerate their learning within the metaverse since 2014 (that’s right, way before most of us even knew what an NFT or web3 was!). We caught up with Outlier’s Senior Program Manager, Rachel, to find out exactly what her hopes are for the future of the metaverse, why it’s essential to develop decentralised tech within the metaverse space, and why she’s excited that Outlier Ventures are on the right side of this development.

Tell us a little bit about your role at Outlier Ventures? 
I work with startups & founders. I’m the Senior Program Manager for the Outlier Ventures accelerator program, Base Camp. I work with teams from recruitment, planning and structuring, through to program exit. My job is to make sure the program runs smoothly and that the founders have access to all the resources they need – SMEs, workshops, mentors, research, etc. I really enjoy what I do. I get to work with a world-class team of people to support world-class founders through all aspects of their businesses. The role also gives me a lot of exposure to new things happening in web3, so I feel like I’m constantly learning and growing.

Over at Outlier you've focused on the Open Metaverse since 2014. How does it feel to know that the metaverse and web3 are expanding at such a rapid rate? 

It feels good to be working for a company that is on the right side of this development. We’ve always invested in teams and projects that are actively contributing to making technology more decentralised, open and accessible. I think there’s currently a big gap between web2 companies using the metaverse as a buzzword, while still maintaining control of your identity, data, assets and web3 businesses that are truly building towards user sovereignty. But there’s been an accelerated growth in the blockchain and web3 space in the last few years especially. I remain optimistic that as the world changes and as more people are empowered to build the world they want to see instead of following old, tired systems that only benefit the few, this will continue to expand and develop in the right direction.

What are your hopes for the future of the metaverse?  
I have high hopes. As much as the space has grown in the last few years (or more depending on who you talk to), there’s a lot of room for improvement. Mainly in terms of people building in the space. For the metaverse to truly be accessible & open, there needs to be more diversity & inclusion for underrepresented communities – women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+. This is starting to change, but it’s still somewhat at the stage where you need to have a Bored Ape to be considered “worthy” of being a thought leader. This is unfortunately not a small undertaking but the more Outlier Ventures, as an investor, can help to support and bring these founders into the space, the better. On a more personal level, I have hope that at some point in the near future, people will no longer be shocked to learn what I do for a living.

What is one tip you would give to businesses operating in the metaverse? 
Don’t get distracted by the hype. Keep building your business the way you want and make sure you’re working with the people that are going to add value. There’s a lot of noise in the space right now – lots of capital and lots of people wanting to get involved, maybe not all for the right reasons. Especially for early-stage businesses, it’s okay to wait for the right investors & partners who will support & guide you to achieve your goals.  

What does a day-to-day look like for you?  
Depends if I’m running a program or not. But I spend a lot of time talking to people - with the founders, my internal team, our in-house experts, and externally, mentors, new founders & potential partners. Then, I focus on actually doing things - facilitating intros for the teams, connecting people, chasing people for things, trying to “herd cats”, problem-solving, and ultimately, attempting to stay a couple of steps ahead of what people need.

Before working for Outlier, what was your career experience?  
My career experience prior to Outlier was more traditional – especially for where I grew up. I worked in Supply Chain Management for a professional consulting services firm in the Oil & Gas sector for almost 5 years back in Canada. It was a good starter job and taught me some valuable skills but ultimately was not what I wanted my career to be. I wanted something a bit more challenging and rewarding so I moved to London to do an MBA program with the intent of working in finance once I graduated. I quickly realised that I preferred the strategy and operations side of business and started at Outlier Ventures as a Program Associate back in February 2020 for the second ever Base Camp program.

If you could give your younger self one bit of career advice what would it be?  
Listen to your gut. The times I’ve chosen to ignore that feeling have not served me well - when I’ve stayed in a job I didn’t like for too long because I worried about starting over at “my age” (I was 24). Or when I’ve made excuses for bad coworkers or clients and the times I’ve listened to that feeling have been when I finally left the job to go back to school and when I started a short term position in a completely new industry after an MBA. This turned into the amazing career I have now. 

Meet the creators: HAM the Illustrator
Catagory: interviews
Illustrator, producer and creative director HAM gives hundo an insight into his varied artistic practice
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HAM the Illustrator is a creative who can't be boxed in with one distinct practice. Instead, contrary to what his moniker might suggest, HAM is several things: from a creative director to illustrator and music producer HAM’s talents are spread throughout many sectors of the creative industries. He’s even produced and written and illustrated an award-winning trap-opera adventure story in collaboration with The Royal Opera House. See what else HAM has to say about his incredible and varied career below! 

How would you describe your creative practice?
In short, I’m a multi-disciplinary artist, creative director and music producer based in London. I originally began my practice as a simple graphic designer making logos for various small UK and African based businesses before moving into cover art for various musicians and record labels. Today I'd say I've spent the majority of my career working as a freelance commercial artist for many notable clients including Nike, Adidas, Warner Music, Atlantic Records, MTV, Highsnobiety, JOAT Music Group, and many others.

With that being said I’m probably best known for my project ‘Munkination’ which is an award-winning Afro-futuristic Trap-Opera adventure story I initially created when I was 15 years old and have been building in partnership with the Royal Opera House, Visualise and Think FIlm over the last 3 years. The project is centred around humanity and the present climate change crisis, following a fictional neo-primitive tribe on a mission to send a message back in time to save the planet.

How did you get into illustration?
You know the funny thing is I don't actually remember a time in my life without illustration, I’ve drawn almost every day for as long as I could hold a pen. As a child I’d always wanted to be able to make a living off my drawings but growing up in Africa doing anything creative or illustration focused seemed like an absolute pipe-dream so instead began doing freelance graphic design and logo work whilst doing a degree in Architecture at the University of Newcastle. It wasn’t until a couple of years after graduation that I’d won a scholarship to train in Los Angeles as a music producer and somehow found myself in a studio with a popular music producer out there who’d seen me hunched over at the back of the studio one evening sketching away. Surprised by my drawing abilities, he asked whether I’d be willing to create his artwork for his next release and thus began my first experience working as a cover artist which after years of grinding, networking and diversifying my illustration abilities eventually lead me to where I am today. Of course, there’s a lot more to it but that’s really where it all began professionally.

Are you working on any exciting projects at the moment?
With 2022 right around the corner there are so many exciting things happening at the moment. Over the last month, I’ve been getting involved in some really exciting new projects in the Metaverse and Web 3.0 space but unfortunately can’t really share much about them due to NDA’s and all that good stuff. With that being said though there is one which I’m by far the most excited about and that is of course Munkination.

What is your favourite thing about working in the creative industry? 
That no two days are the same. As an immigrant, I think we are incredibly privileged to be able to live in a country with so many opportunities for young creatives to grow, network and develop their creative practices. I love exploring the diversity in opportunities this city has to offer, from networking, to brand collaborations and everything in between, the creative industry here truly allows us the chances to grow and develop our business, marketing and creative skills simultaneously.

What would you consider to be a career highlight? 
Honestly, I’ve had a few incredible highlights throughout my career thus far so this is a really tough question to answer but one particularly notable highlight would be when Munkination first won the Royal Opera House’s Immersive Development Award and I was invited to participate in the CPH: LABS programme in Copenhagen. During that trip, we were required to partner with a creative technologist and attend an 8-day accelerator programme along with around 8 other teams from all over the world who’d been developing projects in the immersive technology, documentary and social impact space. During that time I learnt so much about immersive technologies specifically Augmented and Virtual Reality as well as the art of impact storytelling which all together completely shattered anything I’d ever thought about or even realised prior to that moment.

How would you describe your work?
My work reflects the intersections between multimedia storytelling and social impact and on a surface level, I'd say I’m a multidisciplinary creative who creates a bunch of cool things for various brands, record labels and companies around the world but on a slightly deeper level than that I care about the planet and the power creative arts can have on social impact so over the last 3 years I’ve grown obsessed with exploring the art of immersive storytelling across different platforms, be it illustration, creative direction, music production, Web 3.0, VR/AR and everything in between.

What bit of advice would you give to anyone starting out in illustration?
The biggest advice I have is to never allow anyone to dictate what you can or cannot do as a young creative. Throughout my career I’ve been continuously told to focus on just one pathway and drop the rest and whilst that is seemingly good advice and probably would have led to much quicker short term results it would have never served me in the long run. Contrary to popular opinions I think young creatives should never be afraid to explore and learn new things. I feel most comfortable, creative and productive when I don’t feel limited and can learn from and explore different skillsets and mediums. Whilst I could have never anticipated this at the beginning of my career I believe my diversity in skillsets is the exact virtue that has led to the successes I have today.

You can check out HAM on socials below: 


Meet the metaversers: Alex Smeele 
Catagory: metaverse
The Non Fungible Labs CEO shares his views on web3 and NFTs
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Non Fungible Labs are a fairly young company but are well equipped and respected within metaverse realm. Non-Fungible Labs started in Auckland, New Zealand at the beginning of 2021, and now they are some of the leading experts in NFTs, focusing on how they can be applied in the real world. Put simply, Non Fungible Labs are a creative studio, pioneering and championing all things NFT and digital-related. As part of our 'meet the metaverses series' we found out what Alex Smeele, CEO of Non Fungible Labs had to say on the topic of web3 and NFTs.

What was your career experience before you started Non Fungible Labs? 
I've had a very diverse career background, I guess you could call me a jack-of-all-trades. While studying a Bachelor of Business and Information Management I worked in one of NZ's top restaurants before transitioning into a Project Management role at a tech startup. But all my spare time was focused on music, DJing and throwing events. After two years in Project Management, I decided to leave New Zealand to travel the world, and four months later I ended up in London where I worked my way from a temp waiting gig to right-hand man of international philanthropist Michael Watt ONZM within 6 months. From there I spent the next four years as his International Development Manager, running a range of projects around the world in music, events, tech, entertainment, and humanitarian projects, spending a large amount of time on the front lines of the refugee crisis in Greece and Lebanon from 2015-2018. I then moved on to help project manage one of the largest nightclub redevelopments in London's history, before starting as Director of Operations at, a startup creative agency and venture studio focused on system change and building ethical businesses. In January of 2021 I was forced to leave my life in London behind and come back to New Zealand due to a family emergency, which fortuitously led me to where I am today!

What does a day-to-day look like for you? 
The last four months since Non-Fungible Labs really took off with the success of FLUF World has also coincided with a lockdown here in NZ, so my days have been pretty repetitive to be honest! I'm usually up by 8, shower, quick exercise and meditate. From 9am - 12pm I'm usually in high-level meetings before a lunch break (I don't usually eat breakfast). From 1pm-7pm it's usually a 50/50 split between meetings and task-based work, then a break for dinner and a bit of a break before I jump back into work from 9pm-1am. It's not exactly the healthiest balance, but with the rate we're growing and the rate this industry moves it's necessary to stay ahead of the pack. We're now getting to a point where the company has grown so much that I'm delegating more and more, so I will be reclaiming more of my life to exercise, read, and spend time with friends. And now that the borders are re-opening, there'll definitely be a few big trips coming up!

If you could give your younger self one bit of career advice what would it be? 
Trust the process. Things won't always work out how you expect, but if you keep working hard, no matter what you're doing, people will notice and appreciate it. You're never entitled to anything more than what you have, so do the work and stay humble. And don't forget to smile!

How would you best describe an NFT in one sentence? 
A method for proving ownership of a digital asset, whether it be a piece of art, rights to a hit song, a festival ticket, an AI brain, or your metaverse avatar!

What are your predictions and hopes for the future of the company? 
We're at the dawning of a new age as we begin to see widespread adoption of web3 technology into everyday life. I believe in the coming years, blockchain and NFTs will impact almost every single industry in the world, whether people realise it or not. My hopes are that Non-Fungible Labs will be able to position itself as a global leader in this incredibly exciting industry and to help lay the foundations of the next iteration of the internet with a heavy focus on ethics, diversity, and inclusion. We need to learn from the mistakes of the past as we build these new worlds, but also ensure we don't neglect our current world in the process. So in short, I hope we can help build new and exciting worlds which empower everyone to embrace their creativity, while also ensuring we leave the real world in a better condition than we received it.

You can check out Non-Fungible Labs here

Words: Grace Goslin

Meet the Metaversers: Kelly Vero 
Catagory: metaverse
Get to know the co-founder of NFT Consult
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Kelly Vero could be considered a metaverse pioneer. Working in development for most of her professional life, her current work as the co-founder of NFT consult is paving the way for a truly metaversal future. Find out  what she thinks about the future of the metaverse, upcoming projects and more in our  Meet the Metaversers series! 

How long have you been working within the metaverse? 
I've been working in games for 30 years, so things that seemed otherworldly back then, we might definitely call metaversal today. My actual work in the real metaverse of today takes me back to 2011 where I designed one of the first fully franchised worlds in games: from comic books to toys and everything in between. I've been adapting and producing for the metaverse for over a decade. More recently I was the first person to define NFT (non-fungible token) as a standard for use across verticals rather than just focusing on ERC-20 standards. Why? Because everyone has the right to own an NFT and everyone has the right to make their own NFTs. Standards aren't centralised, they're open to everyone who wants to blueprint their product before it evolves. 

What do you think are the main ways the metaverse and web 3.0 will change our futures? 
As with web2 and www, it was a brave new world. Web3 gives us a great opportunity for ownership. Where web2 was owned by the tech bros and gigantic corporations, we have a great opportunity to find out what the future of work, business and life means to us, and own that piece of real estate, however it manifests. Some folks will run towards commerce, where others will develop something for the power of good. Web2 never really allowed us to have those choices and we were monetised as data. In web3 data is a currency and that currency comes from a user-generated environment that is decentralised and that we control. 

Are there any exciting projects you can tell us about? 
I'm working on some lovely metaverse projects in 2022: these involve established brands who are looking to maximise that user generation in an environment that feels safe, or at least safer than physical linearity. I also work really closely with the fashion industry to help them to realise their electric dreams. I help loads of businesses to transform themselves, digitally of course, into a sustainable future.

If you could give anyone one bit of metaverse-related advice what would it be? 
Don't make your metaverse about you, egos are not a priority in 2022. The only way to build a metaverse that we all want to live in is to make your community the architects of your vision. 

Tell us about your experience in development - what were you up to before working within the metaverse? 
Well, I left school and spent some time working in the hospitality and music industry. With the latter,  I designed events before interviewing for a really low-down-the-food chain game design position. We might call them interns today. I already knew how to code, and more importantly, I was passionate about design, story and worlds. From 1992 onwards I've been predominantly obsessed with making games and helping businesses in and out of the game and technology space to make sense of what the future can do for business. More recently, my experiences in blockchain, NFT, digital fashion, meta events and ed-tech have been a very big mood.

What is your favourite part of your job? 
People. And it always has been! I'm not here to make sweeping changes to how we do life, that's up to the length and breadth of industries with way more firepower than me. I'm more interested in you, what you're doing, how I can help you and why being in the metaverse is one of the most important things you'll make happen in yours, mine and everyone's life.

Words: Grace Goslin

Meet the creators: Albz Made It 
Catagory: interviews
Discover the illustrators inspirations and work highlights
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Albert, aka Albz Made It, creates striking digital illustrations inspired by Black Joy and culture, hip hop and anime. Find out what Albert had to say when we racked his brain about his creative practice, fave pieces of work and navigating the creative industries. Oh, and being a part of the coveted Converse All-Stars program! Check out the interview below. 

How would you describe your creative practice?   
I would describe my creative practice as versatile. I’m mainly a digital illustrator who is trying to hone in on their skills, but I've also experimented with 2D and 3D animation, collaging/photo montaging, photobombing, and designing Instagram filters using Spark AR Photography. I've also dipped a toe into music production for my Youngstarz animation; the list goes on and on. I’ve also started looking into sampling t-shirts and prints to see my art in the physical format as well as the digital. Art is limitless! 

Do you have a favourite piece of work to date?   
This is a tough one, as I have quite a few pieces that I really like. One of them is the Youngstarz animation I’ve produced for my Final Major Project for my Masters which is a unique story about life in East London in the early 2000s, paying homage to the grime and garage MCs who amplified the Black British Culture we have today. Another would be Brown Eyes, a piece of work I produced that was influenced by the song Brown Eyes by Kano. I was proud of the details I added to the background and how I felt in the zone. There’s also Spike Spiegel but my favourite work to date would be Kwarateen 10k which is my take on a fellow artist Kwarateen’s character as a way to celebrate her reaching 10,000 followers on Instagram.

What themes do you explore in your work?   
I look into Black Joy, hip hop, Black culture and 90s anime. I grew up listening to hip hop, grime, garage, R&B as a child and felt like there weren’t many cartoons that represented that sort of era apart from the Boondocks (an amazing show). I try to emulate those influences into my work, especially with the expressive fashion from the early 2000s. I also like the aesthetics of 90s anime, with the vibrant colours, the contrasting shadows, the expressions on the characters' faces, all the way to their eyes. Furthermore, with Black Joy, I just want people to feel happy when they work, not all art should be serious all the time, sometimes you've got to let it be nothing but vibes!

How do you think young creatives can be better supported?   
Companies need to offer junior and entry-level roles for creatives who have just recently graduated from university or are looking for a way to get their foot in the door. Creatives shouldn’t have to suffer, especially because if it wasn't for us, there would be no music, art galleries, music, TV shows, entertainment, the list goes on. Imagine the whole world being nothing but a corporate rat race! Not only that, but also offer training to help the new employees gain new skills.

What was your route into the creative industries?   
I can’t lie, I’m winging this. I had no idea I would see myself as a creative. I only figured out that I wanted to be an illustrator and work as a character designer/animator/concept artist in summer 2020. Being an artist was not planned at all.

I used to play basketball for my school teams back in primary and secondary school until I moved from Nottingham back to London in Year 9 and there wasn’t a basketball team at the school I went to, everyone was more into football. I even wanted to be a train driver when I was younger and even explored acting. My skills and passion for art started when I started sketching out Simpsons characters in primary school because I loved the show and everyone was impressed by that. In secondary school, everyone showed love to my art in my art and graphics class.

I did well at art and graphics in my GCSE’s and A-Levels so thought I might as well continue on that path for uni, and that’s pretty much how it all happened. I ended up choosing the illustration pathway at uni, and invested in a Wacom tablet with student finance and then two years later in my Master’s degree, I was gifted with an iPad Pro and learnt to Procreate that way. I've also been just growing my portfolio on Instagram too - I had no idea art would bring so many people together as I’m a Black artist who creates art from Black influences, and had no idea that people would appreciate my art like that.

Do you have a personal career highlight?   
Being approached by Converse to be part of their All-Stars community and member for sure! The maddest part was that they liked an image of me before they found out I was an artist and wanted to support me. I was absolutely spun! I have also partnered up with Avila Diana, a greeting cards business with representation being the focal point, selling greeting cards to customers worldwide.

If you could give your younger self one bit of advice what would it be? 
Everything that has happened, has got me to where I am today and I’m grateful for that. I wouldn’t be a better person and know better if I didn’t take the I's, as everything happens for a reason.

Check out Albert's work here! 

Wave Wahines: the surf club championing women and girls in sport
Catagory: interviews
Yvette Curtis, founder of Wave Wahines on starting her own surf club and creating a community 
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Meet Yvette, the brain behind the surf-school come community, Wave Wahines. Yvette spear-headed the company back in 2016 when her daughter wanted to learn to surf, but she felt priced out and as if the sessions weren’t right for her daughter. Wave Wahines combatted these ideas, as well as encouraged the nurturing of women and girls in sport. Find out what Yvette had to say below. 

Tell us a little bit about Wave Wahines, what made you want to start it? 
I started Wave Wahines back in 2016 as a result of my then 12-year-old daughter wanting to learn to surf, but myself as a single parent not being able to financially support that as lessons can range from £35 per session upwards. We did look locally for surf clubs that may be suitable, but they were all very boy heavy and didn’t supply equipment so made it really hard to just give it a try. I spoke with one of the local surf schools and our now head coach, Karma Worthington, and Wave Wahines was born. 

How do you run your programs? 
Our regular surf club sessions run weekly from February to November and then we go indoors over the winter to ensure the club doesn’t stop totally over the winter. We operate from a local surf school, Surf South West, which is such a community-led school that we are so grateful for their continued support. Our surf therapy programs are delivered from the same venue but my trauma-informed coaches.

What is the most rewarding part of running Wave Wahines? 
It has to be watching some of our younger members have so much fun, making new friendships as they take on a new sport and grow in their confidence and resilience without even realising it! They take up space and they are proud to do it! I’m so proud to enable that. 

If you could give your younger self one bit of career advice what would it be? 
You are worth it and yes you do deserve to be there!

What does a typical day in life look like? 
For the surf club, the days are pretty mixed, always there is the constant search for funding and sponsorship, especially to run our social impact programs. There are always days of writing blogs and looking at new and exciting activities to do over the winter. The actual club sessions are always so fun and giggle-filled with some waves thrown in for good measure. Our ethos has always been about fun, inclusion and community – I’m proud we continue to live by those words.

What are your hopes for the future of the business? 
Where to begin, I have so many! I obviously would love to see our club continuing to grow and providing affordable and non-competitive entry into surfing, perhaps even providing a development squad. In order for our social impact programs around diversity and gendered violence to continue and grow, we are looking for funding all the time to secure these programs as we know the impact they have had so far and the impact they can have in the future.

One of my pipe dreams would be to see Wave Wahines become a blueprint for ‘how to increase female participation and grow into a community of Wave Wahine Satellite surf clubs built on the power that comes with community.

Check out Wave Wahines here! 

Words: Grace Goslin

Imagen's Jay Richards on empowering Gen Z
Catagory: interviews
The Imagen Insights co-founder on why diversity of thought is essential
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Imagen Insights gives brands valuable feedback from their thriving community of over 14,000 Gen Zers. Imagen are firm believers that Gen Z are not just valuable consumers, but thinkers and problem solvers that should be empowered! We caught up with Jay ahead of his guest appearance at hundo's SXSW Panel on Gen Z, Metaverse and the Future of Work to find out more about his journey so far.

Jay, tell us about how you and co-founder Cat started Imagen Insights? 
Cat and I started Imagen Insights after walking together, pretty much all around London, just bouncing ideas off of each other. We had similar interests and the same drive and passions for wanting to give back to, and empower, young people. I had initially started an incubator where I helped students fund business ideas and a few months later, after being invited to speak at Facebook, I was contacted by the National Football League (NFL) who wanted to work with me to use my network with university and secondary school students to help them with marketing. I knew we would need something great to equip us for this scale of the project and as a result, my co-founder Cat Agostinho and I started Imagen Insights! 

What was your career experience pre-Imagen? 
When I was in secondary school, I was pretty good at being bad. I was always getting into trouble and leading others astray. Nonetheless, my business head and flair for entrepreneurship were encouraging. At one point, my mum actually told me I should pursue a career in sales because I liked talking. I did just that and started out selling security systems door-to-door following getting my business studies degree.

Why do you think that Gen Z is valuable to the business world? 
Brands have the power and ability to shape society and culture like governments only wish they could. Gen Z is so valuable because their insights can really help those brands devise their marketing strategies, campaigns, product developments and so much more! Gen Z are digital natives, activists, tastemakers, entrepreneurs and co-creators and their opinions count. It is vital to make sure brands are ahead of the curve and driving trends when targeting this demographic, as their purchasing power is set to increase to a monumental 4.4 trillion dollars by 2030. 

Are there any Gen Z related trends that you would predict for the near future? 
There are a few trends I see right around the corner. Many Gen Z people have been living at home because the pandemic has meant they haven’t been able to move out. This means their spending power has increased, 2022 will see a massive jump in spending from Gen Z. They will be the first to begin international travelling once the pandemic begins to slow, research we conducted recently found that they want to travel to at least three places abroad in the new year. And on the topic of experiences, I also predict Gen Z will be the largest demographic of event-goers globally…many of them have never experienced an over 18's/ 21's event before, as they were too young before the pandemic started! 

What does a day to day look like for you? 
In short, varied! And that’s just the way I like it. I make sure I either go to the gym or start my day doing jiu-jitsu as that sets me up nicely for success. Then I'll typically be in with my team in our co-working space bouncing ideas off of one another. Most days I'll have a few meetings - I love getting out and about meeting people and chatting to new and existing clients. Quite often I might go to a networking event in the evening and we’re quite often invited to speak on panels or at events. I love the variety.

What's your favourite part of your job? 
The unknown. It might sound strange but that is what excites me most (and keeps me awake sometimes). I just love being able to be excited about what is around the next corner as opposed to being nervous about what the future holds for me, for our business, and for our growth. We’ve grown so quickly in such a short space of time and I’m proud of that. Also people, I’m definitely a people person and I get a kick out of watching people grow, working with amazing talent and essentially providing tons of young people with opportunities. 

How can other companies do better to champion young people's opinions? 
It’s about having them in the room, listening to their voices and ensuring they come from all walks of life and backgrounds. Diversity of thought is essential in ensuring that organisations are representative of society. And pay them, I'm such a big advocate of this, if you’re partnering with a young person or asking them for insights make sure you’re giving them something back too!

Jay will be speaking at our SXSW panel: Gen Z, Metaverse and the Future of Work in March 2022. You can find out about the panel and SXSW here! 

Words: Grace Goslin

Meet the metaversers: CoinBurp’s CEO Peter Wood 
Catagory: metaverse
CoinBurp co-founder Peter Wood on NFTs, starting out in crypto, and the future of the metaverse 
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Our new metaverse series shines a light on some of the key players and trailblazers operating within web3.0 and uncharted NFT territory.  

If you haven't already heard of CoinBurp, you will soon! This crypto company are doing some wild things on the blockchain, and they're even teaming up with the biggest gaming development platforms,Sandbox. We spoke with CoinBurp’s co-founder and CEO Peter Wood about the future of the metaverse, what he’s learned in his 7-year professional crypto career, and  why he's spending most of his time on Discord...

How did you start CoinBurp? 
I first got into crypto in 2014 when I was working at Bedfordshire University. There’s this process in the creation of bitcoin called mining, and you used to be able to get these devices that you plug into your PC and it whirs away and makes a massive racket, but it’s purposefully built to mine bitcoin. Someone brought one into the office, and I said ‘what the hell is that noise?’ because it’s a massive fan. He told me that it mined bitcoin, and I said ‘what is bitcoin!?’ 

That then sent me down a rabbit hole. I did my research, I read a whitepaper on bitcoin and was just really interested in it, and supported the nature of why it existed - decentralised currency is a cool thing. I then realised I could have a business where I bought bitcoin at wholesale, a bit like going to Costco. So I did that, bought wholesale, sold to retail and made a percent or two on each transaction, and I kept doing it and it snowballed! My balance started getting bigger, so I hired some developers in different countries and that was my beginning in 2014. It’s been a long journey, and a lot has happened between then and now. 

What were the key things that happened to get you to where you are now? 
My background in IT is all about automation. Understanding what processes humans do, that could be done better by robots and code.

On the website I used to do my brokering on, I realised that a lot of people trade manually. As a customer, you might say ‘I want to buy £100 worth of bitcoin’ so I would say, let me check your address, ID etc. all manually. The problem with that is, firstly you need to be on a PC, furthermore, I’m prone to mistakes, and can only work 10 hours a day. But robots can fix a lot of these problems. So we can build software to automatically check your ID and your address, and then we can give you the bank details in an automated way. Then when you send us the cash to pay for the bitcoin, you can then write code to double-check the money has arrived before giving someone the bitcoin. So if you can build this all in one solution, you’ve built something that runs 24/7, and never makes a mistake. This is where I saw a gap in the market. No one was doing it! That was my high-level concept; I scaled it and made a decent amount of money in 2017, and then decided to start CoinBurp, which was my second crypto business. 

What does day-to-day life look like? 
At the moment I spend a lot of my time on Discord. I know that back when I was younger and gaming, I would have spent all my days in Discord. A lot of projects, especially crypto ones, exist there and get a lot of engagement. Usually, that happens on the way to work, as well as reading emails. By the time I get into work I have tons of meetings back to back, pop to the gym to relax over lunch, and then back to more meetings. There’s so much stuff we are doing now! We are juggling three businesses, and building a new NFT play to earn game. 

What are your hopes for the future of CoinBurp? 
We are betting big on NFTs. I’m starting to see some traits that I began to see back in 2014. Back then 1 in 10 people had heard of bitcoin. Fast forward to 2021 and nearly everyone has heard of cryptocurrency. However, we are back in this place where we are at the start of this journey with NFTs. There’s a sector called ‘Game Fi’ for game finance, play to earn games, and that’s our direction. It’s fun to play games all day, and hopefully make a bit of money while we are doing it! 

If you could give yourself one bit of career advice what would it be? 
Understand that you can’t do everything. Understand your strengths and weaknesses and learn to delegate more to other people who are stronger in your weak areas. You can’t do everything. 

What is your favourite thing about your job? 
I love that we are playing a major part in the future of cryptocurrency as a whole, and instrumental in what I believe is a hugely interesting sector in NFTs. There’s no rule book; we are writing the rules in the company and that’s the most exciting part. It’s like figuring out a puzzle for the first time. 

Words: Grace Goslin

Meet the creators: Holly de Looze
Catagory: interviews
Photographer Holly de Looze talks hundo through her creative practice 
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Holly de Looze’s photos are poignant windows into both the natural and domestic worlds, and her own place within them. We chat with Holly about her growing practice, favourite parts of capturing the world around her, and creative inspirations. 

Tell me a little bit about your photography? How would you describe your style? 
I would describe my photography as fine art photography. I use photography as a way of documenting landscapes and the domestic, but also as a way of exploring and understanding my role and placement within these environments. People have described my style of photography as ‘playful’, which I really like. More recently, my personal work is made up of various self-portraits, something that I never considered shooting until a year or two ago, but I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. I also shoot a lot collaboratively with artists and musicians, translating my photographic style into a format that documents their work

What's your favourite part of being a photographer? 
I don’t know where to start! I love taking photos! I really enjoy being able to work with other artists and to be a part of each other’s creative processes. Having the ability to encapsulate someone’s product or portrait for them and show them makes me really happy. I like being able to provide documentation of something that we are both proud of. In terms of personal work, the ability I have to express myself through photography has got to be the most exciting part for me. The older I get and the more I shoot, the more creative I feel, and to be able to communicate that through a photograph is so exciting to me. I hate having my photo taken by other people, but when I take self-portraits, I don’t feel the same shyness and awkwardness. 

Photos of Willa Hilfreich’s jewellery collaboration with Van Gogh Museum

What inspires you? 
I find inspiration comes to me very sporadically, there’s no set place I can go to find it. Often surrounding myself with others who are also creatively motivated helps me, not just photographers but artists, musicians, writers. I recently watched a documentary called ‘Finding Vivian Miaer’, which has definitely inspired me to take my camera out and about with me a lot more, instead of just taking it to pre-organised shoots. I have a pile of photography books in my room that I return to occasionally, but I would have to say mainly being out in nature. When I was younger I never found nature particularly thought-provoking, but over time I have learnt to appreciate more natural environments. 

What are your creative hopes for the future? 
I want to shoot more for myself! I am in the process of putting together a small photography and poetry book, so hopefully creating more personal work like that. A solo exhibition is the dream but I think that would be in the far future. I’m aiming to keep working with other artists and musicians for now,  making contacts with people and small brands in London, hopefully shooting with these people multiple times and building up a working relationship. I’m thinking up a long term self portrait project at the moment, based on a painting of a woman I saw in the National Gallery, so I’m hoping that will keep me busy for a while!

Diptych 1&2

Is there a piece of work that you are particularly proud of/ a career highlight? 
I am particularly proud of the black and white diptych of me and my friend hugging. I took this photo the day after valentine’s day, she drove me to the top of a huge hill that I had said i wanted to take photos on. I hadn’t seen her for over a year before that, and to capture the experience of the feeling of touch and being held felt so meaningful to me. I also think that the intentions of my work have evolved and developed since, it’s like I was trying to communicate something and I didn’t know how to until I took those photos. 

Self portrait 1&2

What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Your work doesn’t have to have a big profound meaning, or have to be political or controversial or even brand new, just make what makes you happy. I make art for the process of creating art now, and it’s way more fun. Also don’t compare your work to others, learn to appreciate other people's art and in turn you will learn to appreciate your own. 

You can check out Holly's work here! 

Words: Grace Goslin

Meet Ipshita Kumar: co-founder of Lemonade Social
Catagory: metaverse
Lemonade’s co-founder on the metaverse, web3, and new tech collaboration 
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From an offline events company to metaverse trailblazers, whilst successful in every iteration of its existence, there is no doubt that Lemonade has had the definition of a post-pandemic glow up. We chatted with the company’s co-founder Ipshita Kumar, about launching into web 3, a typical day to day working in new tech, and collaborating with Outlier, Basecamp and soon hundo! 

Tell me a little bit about the company. 
We are a web3 based events platform that harmonises all collaboration and monetization tools for creators and community builders. Lemonade is reimagining how creators create, collaborate, monetize and own their data in the metaverse. 

Lots of people only know the story about Lemonade post pandemic but we go way back when we started out as an offline events platform and creators can host experiences in Lemonade Stands i.e. verified locations. First Lemonade Stand was my living room in Barcelona, which I was sharing with my co-founders KC, Jakob and Chris. In 3 months we went from 1 Lemonade Stand to 20 Lemonade Stands in Barcelona, New York, New Delhi and London with creators hosting gigs and making 40% more money than they would have at a bar/restaurant. 

 However, with COVID our team pivoted to an immersive virtual events platform where our web app became the main Lemonade stand for creators all over the world. Our creators and community grew by 11 times and blurred all lines of the time difference when it came to online events, inbound requests to become a verified creator and NGOs reaching out to host social engaging e-fundraisers!  

 While going virtual completely switched our product focus, our ethos remained the same: Creator Empowerment. So we continued building a web product that makes creating, collaborating and monetizing experiences super seamless.  And today we are building #1 creator marketplace for the metaverse! 

What was your career experience before becoming a co-founder? 
Academically I studied hospitality and tourism,so kickstarted my career in B2B events marketing for some of the most luxurious hotels in the world like Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, Renaissance Barcelona, Ritz Carlton Barcelona to name a few. Worked on a few exciting events and openings with Gordon Ramsay, Khloe Kardashian, Victoria’s Secret, Barcelona Football Club and more! Very soon I was no longer motivated by the slow environment and was looking for something fast paced - super super fast paced. So I joined Hosco, a hospitality recruitment startup heading in New Business for North Europe!  

Can you tell us a little bit about the work you do with Outlier and Basecamp? 
When you think of accelerating in the metaverse, you think of no one except Outlier! They are the leading accelerator with one of the best teams that I have worked with thus far. Being at Outlier helps us bridge the knowledge gap that we need to be ready for our journey into the metaverse. We are excited to be a part of the cohort at Basecamp & it is our pleasure to partner with Outlier on their annual event: Diffusion as the technology and audience engagement partner. 

What is a personal career highlight?  
I believe the period I am in right now is the best part of my career. The last 6 months accelerating knowledge and performance in all things metaverse/ web3 has been so exciting! For someone who comes from a non - tech background (especially hospitality) to grow into a role within tech and now the web3 space is going to be my career highlight for a very long time! This is such an exciting time! 

What piece of career advice would you give your younger self? 
I would give 2 pieces of advice to my younger self. Firstly, never limit yourself to one line of work/industry: If an opportunity presents itself, take a leap of faith and try it! If you think you can’t successfully launch a tech startup because you don't have a background in tech - think again! Believe in your strengths and surround yourself with colleagues who compensate for your knowledge shortcomings - and together you can build anything! 

Have a personal advisory board:  I wish I did this early on! When I say personal advisory board - I don’t mean suited up Monday morning meetings. Find yourself a group of mentors, advisors, past employers, counsellors to whom you can go to for work and personal related challenges. Make sure you change this circle of people dynamically with every new role you take on in your career. 

Getting valuable advice from professionals is priceless and it always comes in handy. In 2022, there are several unbiased (free) resources like that allow you to find mentors in your field of interest. Speak to them - get new perspectives into your life!  Find people who know the things you don’t know, or people who may think differently about the things you think you have mastered, and ask for their feedback

Hundo are collaborating with Lemonade for the launch of CareerCon22, how are you feeling about the collab? 
By 2030, 85% of today's college students will have jobs that don't currently exist. The future of work and income is exciting! I'm very bullish on what is being built with hundo and here at Lemonade are extremely excited to be a part of the journey.

Find out more about Careercon22 here! 

Rachelle Cox on queer working-class storytelling, acting, art and more! 
Catagory: interviews
Actor and storyteller Rachelle Cox on finding inspiration in the natural world and why we need a more accessible creative landscape
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Rachelle Cox is a storyteller, actor and artist. Taking inspiration from the natural world and fantasy realms, Rachelle tells stories that focus on identity, queerness and neurodiversity. We caught up with Rachelle to chat about their creative practice and how a more accessible future in the creative industries needs to be facilitated. 

Tell us a little bit about your work? 
I like to refer to my work as storytelling. I’m captivated by fantasy and dreaminess, so I try to include an element of otherworldly-ness in everything I create. I mainly play around with performance, photography, video and visual arts; dissecting my identity and highlighting working-class, neuro-queer narratives where I can. I also freelance as an actor and model, trying to be the small fat representation I wish I had when I was younger.

You’re vocal about having ADHD, and its positives, as well as its common misconceptions. If you could bust one myth about ADHD what would it be? 
My biggest pet peeve is the myth that neurodiverse people are lazy. We have issues with our executive functioning, which means we tend to lack dopamine and motivation. We get overwhelmed easily and it may take us longer to process information and activities. No one’s worth should be based on productivity, but that’s exactly what capitalism forces us to believe in order to uphold the system. It is ableist and wrong to assume everyone has the same threshold or pace. Not everyone can meet neurotypical standards, and shouldn’t be expected to. I always like to dream of a reality where people are allowed to take life at their own pace - without judgement or repercussions from others - but until people start being gentler and more open with themselves, we are lightyears away from this reality. 

What makes you feel most creative? 
Being in nature really inspires me. It gives me perspective on how insignificant so many of the things that keep me up at night are. I usually feel most creative deep at night, while processing my own thoughts and feelings. I think there’s an innate desire to pour all of our emotions and vulnerabilities into something tangible, even if you never share it with the world. Just to let it all out. I always feel so much lighter after pouring myself into a piece of work. Being around friends also makes me feel so deeply in-tuned with my creativity, especially when collaborating. My friends inspire me in ways I will never be able to put into words, I love them all so much. Their presence is always tender and playful. Even without intending too, we’re always creating queer dreaminess when we’re together.  

What has been a career highlight of yours so far? 
I honestly find it difficult to answer this question, because it’s not just a single moment. The fact that I am alive and here today, living in my dream city and being able to do what I love - that is my career highlight. Before moving to London, I was a shell of a human being. I had no hope for the future; I didn’t even know if I had one. As a child I was full of passion for performing; all I wanted to do was to act and create. I remember that dream came crashing down when I realised how inaccessible the industry is, for working-class people, but also for plus-size people looking for any role other than the comedic relief, or the one with low self-esteem. I never in my life would have thought that by 23 I’d be out of my small countryside village and signed to an acting agency. I’m so grateful for every single day that I get to wake up, create art and be surrounded by people that I love.

Rachelle's work

What are your hopes for the future? 
My hope is that the creative industries become more accessible for neurodiverse, queer, working- class, fat and BIPOC individuals. There is still such a long way to go for any of these industries to be accessible to anyone other than rich, white men. It breaks my heart to think of how many passionate people are bursting with creativity and innovation, but are never given the opportunity to put it to use. We all have stories to tell and our voices are so important. The gatekeeping of these industries has ruined authentic storytelling and creativity, and nothing will change unless we all acknowledge the issues and work on ways to make progress in terms of accessibility.

What’s your favourite way to work? 
My ADHD makes me very excitable - almost puppy-like - and I love channelling that energy into projects. I’m a pretty sociable person, like every Gemini, so collaboration is a dream to me. The spontaneity of working with people is so thrilling, I love the unpredictability of it all. You never know what’s gonna happen. It teaches you to let go of perfectionism and release any expectations you had, and instead, trust in the process and in yourselves. I like to believe it teaches you a lot about yourself and those you’re working with. It allows vulnerabilities to arise and to be processed; art can truly be an entry point to healing. 

You can follow Rachelle here! 

Words:Grace Goslin

How to help Gen Z thrive at work
Catagory: advice
The world of work is changing. The ‘9 to 5’ is no longer considered the norm and the next generation desires more from work than just a steady paycheque. 
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We see roles advertised offering a variety of benefits from free food to gym memberships. But what does Gen Z want from work?

Work-Life Balance
According to Forbes, 47% of younger workers reported that working from home full time has harmed their mental wellbeing. Being new to work, Gen Z won’t have had as many opportunities to meet colleagues in person and build work relationships. However, only 12% of workers want to be in the office full time according to a survey from Slack, so a hybrid solution could be the future for the workplace.

Additionally, over three-quarters of Gen Z said it is vital for their employer to promote their wellbeing (source: Peldon Rose). This could be as simple as letting someone take the morning off to go to a doctor’s appointment without feeling pressured to make up the time once they get back or taking the time to notice each member of the team in their achievements and recognising it.

When it comes to their careers, it’s clear that Gen Z values mentorship and progression opportunities highly. Gen Z wants to progress and feel like they are part of a team. Give your Gen Z colleagues the message that you want to hear from them and what they have to say. They’ll want to feel welcome and there’s no easier way than letting their ideas be heard.

Gen Z is the future. They are the people that will make your business a success so, if they’re putting in all this work at such a benefit for their employer, it’s only natural that they would want sufficient benefits too! However, you may be surprised to know that their benefit requests are fairly small in the grand scheme of things.

36% of Gen Z admit that the workplace perks on offer are one of the most important deciding factors on whether to accept a new job or not and they are also more likely to prefer smaller perks that they can enjoy on a more frequent basis. The top three workplace perks for Gen Z are a day’s annual leave on your birthday (86%), followed by free coffee and hot drinks (85%), and flexi-hours (83%) (source: Incentive and Motivation).

Inclusive and Diverse Workplaces
83% of Gen Z candidates said that a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is important when choosing an employer (source: Hiring Monster).
Countless research has shown how beneficial it is to have diverse teams within an organisation. Companies with ethnically diverse executive teams were 33% more likely to outperform their peers (source: McKinsey Study). They have also been shown to be more creative, able to reach a wider set of customers, and report an increase in profitability for the company.

Ethical Business
If you haven’t heard about climate change in the past year, where have you been?!

There’s no denying that climate change is an incredibly important issue that we, as a planet, need to address and help with in any way we can. Gen Z is very environmentally concerned as they will be the ones that will face far more problems if solutions are not found.

Employers need to set out their environmental promises and practices as Gen Z wants to know that who they work for, and the work they do for them is going towards a better world. Sourcing Journal found that 94% of Gen Z believe that companies should play a role in addressing social and environmental issues such as:

  • Using some profits to put back into the planet
  • Using renewable energy sources
  • Supporting charities

Regardless of your generation, starting a new role anywhere is often quite daunting. For Gen Z, not only will this be a new role, but it may even be their first job too. So take the time to provide the support,