Category Archives: LS:N Global live

TED: We’ve drunk the Kool-Aid

20 : 06 : 2013

By Lucie Greene

There have been whispers among more cynical types that TED has reached a tipping point – that its global success has undermined its insider cool. But after visiting TEDx Houses of Parliament here in London last week, frankly I don’t care. Yes, I have officially drunk the Kool-Aid, and I wasn’t even at the big official TED event in Edinburgh.

We live in a relatively agnostic society and sometimes that inherent day-to-day cynicism can be draining. That is why it was so refreshing to go to such an inspiring, interesting, illuminating (what other words beginning with ‘i’ can I stick in here?) event. I came away genuinely inspired by people and their ability to do things, challenge and create.

The beauty of TED for me is the sense of curation. Speaker-led industry conferences have become sponsor-driven, the speeches are often self-serving, and the focus and insights are few and far between. How nice then, to go to something where each speech was 10 minutes long and, as a rule, not too branded. Brands did creep in here and there, but the aim – and the endeavour – of the whole day was to educate and inspire.

Democracy was the starting point for each speaker, but this worked in several different angles – the main overarching theme was digital technology and social networks in our lives as a force for good or evil.

These were the highlights:

Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum, addressed the idea of future technologies making current cultural stalwarts in our society defunct – and used the move from Kodak to Instagram and digital photography as an example. He also spoke about the Third Revolution with 3D Printing. He said that we cannot stop the future happening, but we must understand where it is going. 3D printing, he pointed out, if widely adopted in the home, poses a host of environmental, legal and ethical issues, and asked: ‘Should it be regulated by the government?’

Jamal Edwards, founder of SBTV, the YouTube tv channel, was also very impressive. He highlighted the pervasive role of YouTube and its global reach, arguing that maybe the next politicians will be found on the medium. YouTube is, he said, democratic, international, without borders and intimate – you can’t hide. People have to like you and rate you, and you are instantly answerable to your fans. Jamal is 22 and has amassed 150m YouTube views since 2006.

Jack Andraka was incredible. An American 15-year old from Maryland, he had invented a paper strip, costing just three cents, to detect the early stages of cancer. What started as a small science project turned into a product that won him the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award. Andraka took to the stage, complete with teen blemishes and a set of braces, and told the audience how he did it with complete humility – before raising the issue of online medical journal subscription costs. These, which are now even testing the budgets of American institutions such as Harvard, were holding back innovation in medicine, he said, adding that access to medical information should be more democratic.

There were performances and music too. Spoken word artist Suli Breaks performed a piece that said human nature was stopping true democracy. Democracy already exists in nature and the animal kingdom – it is us humans who can’t achieve it.

Jeremy Silver, founder of entertainment and digital company Semetric, explored the issue of intellectual property, taking the simple journey of an American spiritualist from The Staple Singers to The Rolling Stones to The Verve. He showed how each referenced the other, talking about who were paid song rights – and it turns out that The Rolling Stones were the top beneficiaries.

Tomas Rawlings, design and production director at Auroch Digital and its acclaimed news gaming project GameTheNews.net, talked about gaming and hacking as a way to implement democracy. In lead games, he said, many hackers had started staging their own virtual protests to events or features they don’t like. Now some games are installing virtual governments, with representatives answerable to the players and fans about how they are run. Games, he said, were like new democracies.

Beeban Kidron, OBE, and director of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and future feature-length documentary In Real Life, offered the most dystopian vision of social media and social networks. In Real Life is an exploration of how social networks are affecting the way in which young people relate, behave and evolve. Kidron argued that teenagers now exist in a mediated, fragmented state of constant meaningless communication. She said it had affected how they relate and that adults – by allowing these companies to have such a pervasive role in young people’s lives – had brought about something that they did not fully understand. She pointed out that, from an early age, young people would create a digital footprint or complex information, which brands are using. In other words, by being on Facebook all the time, teenagers are essentially working for Mark Zuckerberg for free.

Going live: The presentation’s the thing

13 : 05 : 2013

By Peter Firth

The taxi rides are the worst. London ebbs past as you pensively wait in the back seat to arrive. At the venue you meet the organisers, set up and do your best to disguise the inner turmoil. The time for last-minute additions and note-scribbling has passed. All there is to do is take a quick slurp of tea and conduct a quick mental battening down of the hatches. Then you stand up.

‘Hi everyone, thanks for coming. I’m Peter Firth…’

As the newest member of the presentations team, I am trying my hand at in-house Trend Briefings, brand workshops and student presentations, and I’ve even been let on stage at the Tate Tanks. Since joining the editorial team at LS:N Global in 2011, I have written stories that have ranged from 150-word bulletins to 3,000-word macrotrend features, and covered topics from connected animals to insect dining. Now I get to share the ideas I write about every day with people in a live setting. It’s nerve-wracking, exhausting and terrific fun.

Meanwhile, the presentation has started. The clicker seems to be working and the audience looks expectant. The wobble in your voice goes unnoticed and people start nodding as you speak. So far, so good…

To learn more about how LS:N Global delivers bespoke and off-the-shelf presentations to clients internationally, emailDom Rodgers or call +44 (0) 20 7186 0102.

What happened at STRANGE DAYS : LS:N Global Trend Briefing Spring/Summer 2013 : London

08 : 04 : 2013

Video editor: James Maiki
Music: Joe Ashworth

Click here to watch the short clip we produced to capture our seminal Trend Briefing event for Spring/Summer 2013. Hear what attendees from Marks & Spencer, Innocent, It’s Nice That and more thought of the day.

To get in early and book your place for our Autumn/Winter 2013 trend Briefing in October, click here.

David Bowie is

21 : 03 : 2013

This week LS:N Global visual editor, Jo Tulej battled against the media scrum at the V&A Museum to see the preview of the David Bowie is exhibition.

The first international retrospective of the career of David Bowie traces Bowie’s first steps towards his musical career, setting the scene during his adolescent years and the performers who influenced him. It then moves on to portray his amazing music, film and theatre career.

When you enter the exhibition you are given a pair of headphones that you wear throughout. Walking around you are stimulated with songs, voiceovers and clips that fade in and out to match whatever you happen to be looking at, like magic.

Every stage of Bowie’s life in the show is curated in a highly creative way, each totally different from the next. From letterbox peepholes, to giant stadium-type projections and a multitude of jazzy outfits in between, you can’t help but get swept away in the stardust of it all.

The exhibition is a moving and inspiring depiction of one of the greatest pop stars of all time. The design by 59 Productions and Real Studios with support from Gucci and Sennheiser is a thoughtful, imaginative tribute to the visionary Bowie. We’re just hoping they release more tickets soon!

David Bowie is

This week LS:N Global visual editor, Jo Tulej battled against the media scrum at the V&A Museum to see the preview of the David Bowie is exhibition.

The first international retrospective of the career of David Bowie traces Bowie’s first steps towards his musical career, setting the scene during his adolescent years and the performers who influenced him. It then moves on to portray his amazing music, film and theatre career.

When you enter the exhibition you are given a pair of headphones that you wear throughout. Walking around you are stimulated with songs, voiceovers and clips that fade in and out to match whatever you happen to be looking at, like magic.

Every stage of Bowie’s life in the show is curated in a highly creative way, each totally different from the next. From letterbox peepholes, to giant stadium-type projections and a multitude of jazzy outfits in between, you can’t help but get swept away in the stardust of it all.

The exhibition is a moving and inspiring depiction of one of the greatest pop stars of all time. The design by 59 Productions and Real Studios with support from Gucci and Sennheiser is a thoughtful, imaginative tribute to the visionary Bowie. We’re just hoping they release more tickets soon!