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Our PACE event series gives us the opportunity to hear from those at the forefront of digital, and for them to share their insights and experience with a highly engaged audience of their peers. The series takes a look at the intersection of marketing, technology and media, with past events covering topics such as the future of content, data, privacy, marketing automation and AI, with speakers joining us from Amazon, Oracle, Sage, Zone (Congnizant), Dell, Culture Trip, and more. They’re an opportunity to hear thought provoking ideas and always inspire a lively discussion.

The next instalment of PACE: 2020 Vision, on Thursday 14th November at Ace, Shoreditch, is set to be no different. We’ll be taking a look at the emerging trends and technologies set to disrupt our industry in the coming year ahead and beyond. With this in mind, we’ve taken the opportunity to get to know the awesome speakers we have joining us on the day, and gain a bit of insight into how they see the future of digital shaping up.

Next in the series of PACE Talks, is James Poulter, Founder & CEO at Vixen Labs, Europe’s leading voice consultancy. We are really looking forward to hearing James’ thoughts on the future, with a sneaking suspicion he’ll be touching on voice and the opportunities it represents. We can’t wait to hear what he has to say (pun intended).

1. What emerging trend or technology are you most excited about heading into 2020?

Hearables and In Car Voice Assistance – we spend a massive amount of down time in our cars and walking the streets and the addition of Alexa and Google Assistant to those moments is rife with opportunity to be capitalised on. From navigation, to contextual advertising to just being able to dictate content via our voices in a hands free way.

2. What’s your thoughts on brand purpose?

Every brand has a purpose whether they know it or not. The key is making sure you know why you’re in the game – and then make sure everyone else does too.

3. What does your ideal client look like?

Ambitious, challenging, collaborative. I imagine Bear Grylls would make a great client.

4. Are we more or less connected than 50 years ago? And thoughts?

We have more opportunity for connection than ever, and despite the loneliness epidemic which is not to be discounted we are for sure more connected that we’ve ever been. The challenge for the next generation is how we ensure that what we define as “connection” is truly authentic and understood. Access to one another’s inner thoughts and emotions, constant dialogue about how we are feeling – this seems to be the hallmark of our age. We may come to see that this doesn’t necessarily make us more connected. We have an empathy deficit because our constant outpouring of emotion and our staging of it for all to see can cloud our ability to truly relate to one another. We need to find more empathetic ways of connecting.

5. What does the future of work look like to you?

The joy of being a futurist is in part that there are many futures waiting to be explored. There’s a future where we leave the EU, the pound tanks, immigration stalls and we lose 10% of GDP. There’s also a future where we become more connected than ever, where we find a disaggregated protocol backed by government and industry that allows us to sync up our medical, social and creative data in a privacy conscious way that keeps us safe and makes lives better.

And there’s a future where Alexa becomes sentient and has Jeff Bezos thrown off the board of Amazon for indebted servitude.

6. If you could introduce one law tomorrow – what would it be?

Regulate the big tech companies to put digital wellbeing at the heart of what they build.

7. Delete Facebook – yes/no?

Uninstall from your phone yes, delete – no.

8. Favorite meme of 2019?

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson and lady with red coat sitting on bench

9. In one word, how would you sum up the value that Vixen Labs offer?

Empathy.

10. Favourite SciFi movie?

Minority Report – for being scarily accurate.

A huge thank you to James for sharing his thoughts with us. We look forward to hearing more from him at PACE 2020 Vision on 14th November.