There are some exciting times ahead for NexTECHnow – the start-up outreach program for Publicis Media. We’ve been a global capability (Business Transformation) since the summer, and the past 2 weeks have shown us continuing to go through hyper growth. This means growing laterally – across the Publicis media brands such as Zenith, Optimedia Blue 449, Starcom – and globally – across new countries. We even have a new logo and website. (Yes, for those of you keeping track… this is our third logo iteration).
On the 3rd of November, NextTECHnow launched in Singapore:
- CampaignAsia covers the launch
- The Drum on Publicis Media matchmaking
- Our Client Visa embraces the start-up landscape
And today – the 10th of November – we officially launched NextTECHnow @Zenith here in the UK.
It’s always been my dream to speak at a TED conference. Second to that is actually getting to attend one… and this year, that dream came true at TEDxBrigton on October 28th 2016. The theme for this event was ‘We Can Be Heros’: a celebration of impact.
My top 2 talks were:
- Rory Sutherland – Rory is a change maker at Ogilvy. He gives fascinating talks on marketing, human psychology, and choice. This time he focused on the paradox of choice and wealth because we now live in an era where wealth doesn’t always come from having more products and services, but from having a better way to choose between different options. Read more about it here.
- Sarah Giblin – Sarah was a commuter with a problem: with the backpack behind her, she constantly felt threatened by the people around her. After deliberating the design of backpacks, she realized… that maybe… just maybe, backpacks were designed the wrong way around! So, Sarah set out to design and manufacture a backpack that includes the zipper against the users back, rather than being exposed to the rest of the world. RIUT stands for Revolution In User-Thinking because she believes that as consumers, we all have the ability to solve the pain points we experience on a daily basis.
Other interesting speakers that grabbed my attention:
- Beau Jessup – a 17-year old British Girl that has named over 250,000 Chinese Babies through her ‘Special Name’ website.
- Dave Perrins – A man who saw felt males were not properly trained to become fathers, so he created ‘The Dad Course’ (a relaxed environment meet-up to help first-time dads prepare for fatherhood and become more engaged, more confident and healthier fathers.
- Cat Fletcher – Cat gained national recognition when she sourced the materials for the University of Brighton’s award-winning Waste House, a two-story building constructed almost entirely of re-used waste materials.
I bought some quinces this week because they’re now in season. My grandfather also grows the fruit in Bulgaria – but his are way more delicious and juicy than the ones I found in the UK supermarkets. Discussing the topic with him today, here are some interesting facts about growing quinces:
- You plant the seed and the tree begins producing fruit after two years.
- The plant very much looks like an apple tree.
- The fruit starts to bud in May and they’re ready for picking in October (through to November).
- They can be stored in cool environments and thus, can last through the winter as a supply of fresh produce.
Also – I did not know that Black Radishes exist! My grandfather casually mentioned that he picked some up from his fields… and so I discovered a new variant of a well-known vegetable!
I love learning about the seasonality / production of fruits and vegetables because living in a big city can disconnect you from understanding where your food is coming from… and agriculture still is a basic building block for life.
I should probably start by saying… I’m not a vegan (despite having been to two vegan festivals in different countries in October!) I do have a few close friends/flatmates that adhere to that lifestyle and I’m quite health-conscious and sustainability-minded. But my favourite thing about the vegan community is their innovative and inventive spirit. Plenty of small business owners I met today said, “no one was meeting my needs, so I decided to make it for myself and others.” Who knew you could make blue cheese from cashew nuts? Or filling tacos using jack fruit?
Here are my top discoveries from today’s adventure:
1 . Black Seaweed Pearls (aka Vegan Beluga Caviar) from Cavia.
3. Organic Chufa de Valencia Tiger Nuts from The Tigernut Company . What on earth is a tiger nut? That was my question as well! It’s not actually a nut, it’s a small root vegetable, grown in a field and harvested in pretty much the same way as a potato. Known in Spain as the ‘Chufa, it’s a super little tuber, nutrient dense and packed with superfood qualities.
4. Soap Nuts by Living Naturally. It’s the 100% natural hypoallergenic alternative to laundry detergent. Clothes also come out soft and fresh, so no need for scent boosters or fabric softeners!
And for the branding – I’ve added:
5. Pepo Papa Pumpkin Seed Oil. This product screams ‘OCTOBER!’ and Autumn. A Hungarian-founded company just starting to get distribution in the UK.
We’ve seen an evolution of the ‘alarm clock’ in the last decade. The most popular are the gradual wake-up light alarm clocks, which slowly illuminates in the morning to wake up the body in a natural way that imitates the sun rising. Health claims would suggest it’s a much better way for your mind and body to start the day. And now, with smart lightbulbs… it’s even possible for your room to wake you up from an alarm set on your phone (without any additional alarm clock in your room).
Sound as a morning sense is out, and in come the other four bodily senses. But besides light, a young french inventor also came up with a genius way to wake people up…. with croissants and coffee (well the SMELL of them that is). Even crazier – you can wake up to the smell of money!
With little capsules of smell, it reminds me of the Nespresso design. I am so tempted to try this out for pure fun and enjoyment, but it does come with a $100 price tag. Still – I love the idea and can’t wait to see how they grow as a business !
Je suis à Paris pour un long week-end. J’adore l’Eurostar – chaque fois que je le prends… j’ai l’impression que Europe est très proche à Londres et facile d’accès. Hier, je suis allé à une conférence végétalien parce que mon amie est vegan. Tu peux lire l’interview avec l’organisatrice du salon VeggieWorld Paris ici.
La chose qui m’a intéressée était qu’il y avait tant de «choses vegan» qui n’a pas la nourriture – vêtements, sacs, chaussures, soins de la peau, les sociétés, etc. Et les produits étaient vraiment créatif set utilisent des ingrédients naturels d’une manière innovante. À mon avis, les quatre meilleures marques étaient :
- The Dutch Weed Burger – Leur hamburger a une galette faite avec des algues, du pain avec chlorelle, et une sauce avec de la laitue de mer. Comme prévu… il est plus vert que d’habitude.
- Wheaty – Une gamme originale de produits végétaliens à base de Seitan alliant texture et saveur. Tous leurs produits sont bios, sans huile de palme et riches en protéines végétales.
- Matt & Nat – ils ont des sacs en cuir faux qui sont extrêmement chic.
- Fils De Pomme – J’ADORE leur image de marque. La bouteille de cidre est tellement bien conçue et ils se ventent comme un produit en bonne santé plutôt que un produit vegan.
Ce week-end en France est comme un rêve … maintenant je sors au marché pour le pain aux céréales! Je veux vivre dans cette ville encore une fois…