Dutch Digital Day 2022
Finally, we’re back! After two years of online conferences, we were so happy to be able to go to Amsterdam for this year’s edition. Not only altogether, but with a bunch of new colleagues with which we enjoyed a cold beer, or a couple... But enough about us! The speakers were very interesting, delightful, and inspiring, so we wanted to share with you some of the highlights that really hit the spot.
Body Politics in Motion
"Those who dance move and those who move change. Everyone who dances sets the world around them in motion and expresses what moves them. Dancing together is a source of energy and release, pleasure and protest.” https://www.mu.nl/en/exhibitions/move-body-politics-in-motion
At Dutch Digital Day 2022, Bogomir Doringer expressed how vital body language can be to oneself or a group. The understanding between one another when people dance is sometimes, if not always, more potent than speech itself.
For his Artistic Research Ph., he focuses on the liberating power of the dancing body. What impressed me the most was how the research confirmed my personal view on how dancing is a physical language that is both vulnerable and extremely strong. Bogomir's research, showed us clips of people dancing in the club, as he had placed a birds-eye-view camera filming them. It was beautiful to see how the scene of a mosh pit could seem so dangerous outside of a club but actually harmonious inside it. People energized themselves to come together, forming ‘one body’ to hang on to each other to engage in the pit. It’s fascinating to see how in gay clubs' people are much closer together, while in ordinary clubs they are much more spread out. Every club scene has its unspoken scenario, that you can understand so clearly just by looking at the dancing bodies. Sometimes it can speak the non-verbal language of rhythm and emotion in times of radical changes and major crises. At other times, it’s a means to show joy, sadness, sensuality, silliness and so much more.
Bogomir also painfully illustrated how our society is so caught up with our ‘extended digital hand’- our phones. He speaks of how our black mirrors can create a barrier to what’s actually in front of us and disturb our experiences. It's as if we forgot we can just memorize the feeling with our own eyes, mind, hearing, smell, and touch.
For this reason, more clubs are nowadays placing stickers on cameras or even extending the rule to keep the phones in a locker before entering the club. This allows you to live in the moment and experience your dancing body, the music, and other people.
We've got to love the digital world, but sometimes it’s also important to remember that we can absorb our world without it, and love it as it is, just as we see it.
C A R E
"Brands must find a new balance between commercial and moral objectives.”
Because of the pandemic, nearly all employers have introduced flexible working. Remote working has made us realize that a lot of moral aspects of some of the companies we work in are not all so caring towards the planet and their employees after all. Do you realize how many people were cramped up in an office before? Were we working with sustainable brands or were just saying it? While some companies are already doing the best they can, others have realized they’re not doing enough.
Brand Strategist, Isabel Verstraete, introduced us to the CARE Principles and told us that “Companies tomorrow will be valued as much for their interaction with and impact on society as for their financial results. So, sure, your corporate social responsibility plan and your marketing purpose were a very good start and will differentiate you from your competitors. That is fine for now. However, it is not enough for tomorrow. To remain ahead of your competitors, you will need to make a profound shift in your manner of thinking and doing and in the way, you approach business. The C A R E Principles will help you make this shift at your own pace, in the right and unique mix that fits your company’s true nature and that feels honest and authentic.”
Collaboration, Agility, Reliability, and Empathy are what CARE stands for. Overall, Isabel demonstrates to us a range of rules we can set for ourselves as a brand, that can help us make better decisions with who we work with and how we treat each other.
Collaboration – Focus more on working together, internally and externally, to deal with the challenges the world will be facing in the future.
Agility – Learn to react faster, become more flexible, and adapt ourselves to the fast-changing world we have created.
Reliability – In a world where fake news travels faster than real news, it’s important to build a trustworthy brand. Show what you say you are, don’t just tell us.
Empathy – Show our compassionate side and that we truly understand the worries that people are facing as we head into the future.
For DotControl, this topic touched us as we’re always trying to improve the way we treat our employees, choose our clients, and how together we can contribute to a more positive future. Even though it’s still a work in progress, we’re striving for our best selves. Are you ready to embrace what you still don’t have and define the positive impact your company can make? We are.
Shopping with hyper-personalized inclusive models
Replacing human jobs for robots is a topic that is interesting and frightening at the same time. We see it in movies, news articles, and Instagram trends all the time. A robot that serves your food at a restaurant or a chatbot that helps you with your question on a shopping delivery. But what can robots do that humans can’t?
At Dutch Digital Day, Michael Musandu talked about hyper-personalized ethnically and body-size inclusive AI models for fashion e-commerce brands like Wehkamp and Stieglitz. He is the CEO and founder of Amsterdam-based Lalaland which generate these type of AI models. The company wants to create a more inclusive, personal, and sustainable shopping experience for fashion brands, retailers, and customers. As it turns out, Lalaland not only addresses the diversity and inclusion problem, helping brands to attract new customers, but it also reduces the return rate significantly, thereby reducing costs and environmental impact.
But are human models, photographers, and photo studios being replaced by this new technology? This was one of the first questions that popped up from the audience. Michael replied, “In the end, a fashion brand needs real faces and an image to influence their audience. This can be done by creating a campaign and using real models which have a fan base that they inspire.”. That will mean that only the bigger models/influencers would keep their job as a model. But is that the solution? From my perspective, the problem starts deeper. All these AI-generated models are based on the diversity within society, but why don’t we use these real people from society to model the clothes? Because these types of people are mostly not signed by modeling agencies.
If we want to sell to people, we need to find a way where technology and humans work together.