Top Execs from CNN, Casper, Refinery29, Columbia Records, and eBay Join Digital Future Council

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Industry Think Tank Connecting Innovators Across Advertising, Marketing, and Emerging Technology Sectors

The Digital Future Council, a first-of-its-kind think tank formed with the mission of bridging the gap between the creative and technology industries, has announced a distinguished selection of founding members ahead of its official launch during Cannes Lions Festival in June.

Key executives on board include Kate Ward, Senior Vice President & Head of International at Refinery29; Jess Christie, Chief Brand Officer at Matches Fashion; Stacey Tang, Managing Director of Columbia Records UK; Chad Andrews, Global Solutions Leader for Advertising at IBM; Jeff Brooks, Chief Marketing Officer at Casper; Danielle Lauren, Head of Content Strategy and Innovation at CNN; Ray Soto, Director of Emerging Tech at USA TODAY; William Kim, CEO of All Saints; Swen Graham, SVP Creative & Global Marketing at Foursquare; Martin Adams, Founder & CEO of Codec.ai; Meltem Demirors, Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares; Simon Fox, CEO of Reach Plc; Jonathan Hunt, SVP of Digital Strategy at National Geographic; Neil Shah, Global Senior Brand Manager at Smirnoff; Gareth Jones, UK CMO at eBay; Charles Manning, CEO of Kochava; Gene Liebel, Founding Partner, Work & Co; Alice Lloyd George, Principal at RRE Ventures; and Ivo Georgiev, Co-founder of AdEx Network.

Kate Ward, Senior Vice President & Head of International at Refinery29, said “I’m honoured to be a founding member of Digital Future Council and to participate in these exciting and important discussions. It is vital that we come together as an industry to both reflect on our challenges and identify new opportunities as we look to a future fusing technology with creativity.”

The first Digital Future Council meeting will focus on blockchain technology, a topic chosen due to strong demand from creative communities. Through a series of town hall-style talks, roundtables, and dinners, founding members will explore how blockchain technology will impact audience interaction, distribution of content, and monetization. In addition to the role that blockchain plays in empowering consumers to understand the true value of their data, particularly as it pertains to advertising dollars.

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The initial programming schedule includes the following topics:

Creatives, are you ready for blockchain?

How can blockchain impact the relationship between creative and the consumer?

Can you use blockchain for social good?

Does the future of Copyright and licensing sit on the blockchain?

Is blockchain a fad or is it here to stay? And if so, what will it actually change?

Gareth Jones, UK CMO of eBay, said “It’s great to be a founding member of the Digital Future Council. I’m looking forward to engaging with a disparate group of cross-category brands, all unified by a recognition of the strategic importance of digital. I hope to learn a lot from peers and help shape thinking and industry response to a number of digital hot topics and headwinds and challenges.”

The Digital Future Council will host quarterly events across the globe, with each event centered around the impact of a different emerging technology. The goal of these events will be to ignite meaningful debates and conversations, formulate tangible advice, and promote best practices for the global marketing and advertising communities when integrating new technologies such as AI, Big Data, and blockchain.

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