The Digital Future Council made its public debut on June 18, 2018, at the 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. With founding members from such organizations as IBM, Vice, CNN, Lego and Warner Bros., the council was formed as an informational intermediary to find common ground between creative and technological industries.
The Digital Future Council will be introducing a fresh batch of founding members with its official launch. These names include Meltem Demirors, CSO of CoinShares; Charles Manning, CEO of Kochava; Chad Andrews, global solutions leader at IBM; CNN’s Head of Content and Strategy Danielle Lauren and VP of Digital Strategy and Revenue Robert Bradley; Swen Graham, SVP of global marketing at Foursquare; and James Poulter, Head of Emerging Platforms at The LEGO Group.
During the festival, the council is hosting roundtables, dinners and town hall discussions on blockchain technology and how it may fit into legacy industries, particularly in the media and creative sectors. These talks will particularly emphasize the role blockchain technology could play in reimagining digital advertising models and consumer-controlled data, and they will challenge those from without the industry to envision how the technology could positively impact brand-consumer relations.
“The Digital Future Council was established to provide a forum for media, advertising and technology leaders to convene and communicate openly about areas of their businesses that could be enhanced by emerging technology,” David Wachsman, founder and CEO of the Wachsman blockchain PR company, told Bitcoin Magazine. “The Digital Future Council gives Wachsman a platform to have eye-opening conversations about how blockchain can transform businesses, specifically in media and advertising, as the proliferation of digital advertising, rising adoption of technology, and shifting consumer habits are changing the business of advertising.”
A blockchain-focused public relations company and one of the founding members of the council, Wachsman is positioned, along with other crypto industry representatives like Po.et, Gifto and CoinShares, to offer tutelage and guidance to council members who are less acquainted with blockchain’s relevance with their respective industries.
“Through the dozens of blockchain companies our firm has worked with to date, we’ve seen firsthand what works and what doesn’t and I hope that I can relay some of these learnings to the members of the council so that these legacy companies can truly understand blockchain’s potential impact, in a way that is tailored and specific to their businesses,” Wachsman said.
“For example, blockchain can address prevalent issues and challenges related to data management. Privacy and security concerns are major issues in the creative industries, especially with recent developments such as GDPR, and with blockchain, consumer data can be stored privately and securely. Blockchain can also help advertisers more effectively target and engage with consumers.”
As a media company with ties to the tech, Wachsman will likely act as an arbiter between the tech-oriented and the creative personalities that the Digital Future Council hosts. Others, like IBM, will look to offer the perspective of tech industry veterans who are learning the landscape of a new front.
“Because IBM took an early lead in investing in blockchain and launching an enterprise blockchain platform, we are approached almost daily by new companies exploring how the technology can improve or create new value,” IBM’s Global Solutions Leader Chad Andrews told Bitcoin Magazine. “Our primary interest is in reforming the media-buying supply chain, which is rife with inefficiencies … Blockchain's ability to remove frictions and build trust is tailor made to close the distance between advertising buyers and sellers, and to hold intermediaries (particularly in Digital) to new standards of openness.”
Like Wachsman, Andrews expects that the most important categories of use cases will include advertising, rights and royalties, and content exchange. “Founding members are walking the walk in each of these [sectors], spanning creatives, technology innovators, thought leaders and great business minds from brands, media companies, agencies, artists, consultants, platforms and, to our delight, a few technology and services companies.”
Beyond Cannes, the Digital Future Council plans to host quarterly events around the world. These events will hone in on the value and impact of emerging technologies for established enterprises, and they will feature debates and discussions like those at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on topics like blockchain technology, AI and Big Data.
This is the Digital Future Council’s vision, but as Chad Andrews said to Bitcoin Magazine, “Vision is one thing. Execution is another.”
Wachsman reiterated this sentiment in his own interview. The council’s introduction at Cannes, he hopes, will set the conversational stage for concrete developments in the future.
“The first meeting is kicking off with blockchain based on demand from everyone participating and I think these initial meetings will debunk some myths and plant some seeds about ways that businesses can more effectively utilize bleeding edge technologies such as blockchain,” he said.
“In the long term, we want to turn these conversations into tangible action. We hope to set a precedent for how the creative community and technology industries can better work together, create meaningful and sustainable business relationships.”
Down the road, this includes “[publishing] educational papers that summarize the DFC’s quarterly meetings so that we can share the insights gathered with the wider industry and enable the masses to benefit from this knowledge,” Wachsman revealed.
To learn more about the Digital Future Council and the founding players involved, visit the consortium’s website.