Web Summit 2023 Daily Recap: esports, mobile gaming and climate change
Portugal – The second day of the world’s largest tech conference on 15 November 2023 featured various talks and panels challenging the status quo in esports, gaming and audience retention.
The day started with climate activist and our Futures 100 awards nominee Sage Lenier taking over the centre stage for an eye-opening speech on the hypocrisy of the corporate world regarding sustainability. ‘Innovation is probably businesses’ favourite word. But innovation for the sake of what? Are you making the world a better place?’ wondered the 24-year-old founder of Sustainable and Just Future. Highlighting electronic waste and slave labour in cobalt mines in Congo generated by EVs, she said: ‘This pursuit of something less bad for the environment stops us from developing visionary ideas. It’s not enough to stop cutting, we have to restore entire eco-systems.’
Elsewhere, innovators in esports suggested the future of their industry is mobile gaming, thanks to a push from mobile-first consumers in the APAC and MENA regions. ‘Mobile platforms are now delivering console-level gaming experiences,’ said Don McGuire, chief marketing officer of Qualcomm, an American wireless tech specialist with patents critical to 5G and 4G. ‘Now you can game in Hawaii on 5G. You can have that next-level gaming experience on a device. The screen is smaller, but it’s still an immersive experience.’
The next step is for esports competitions to embrace mobile players. ‘We are trying to design an eco-system that is zero to hero,’ said Craig Levine, the co-CEO of leading esports company ESL FACEIT Group, which owns The Snapdragon Pro Series, known as the world's largest mobile esports competition. ‘We want everyone to compete and qualify through their device and then reach the finals. It’s no longer just esports professionals, we are giving this opportunity thanks to mobile to everyone worldwide. Five years ago, gaming was all PC or console, it’s changing so fast.’ As the number of players grows, viewership will also reach new highs. Levine says fans of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang watched over 10m hours of gaming at The Snapdragon Pro Series.
Head over to our Gaming topic for more insights on what’s next for the video games industry.
Given the rise of mobile gaming and its potential for growth in regions like APAC and MENA, making your website or e-store as mobile-friendly as possible is now a must to remain relevant – especially among young consumers
Smart Aid Kit uses AI to provide a vision for universal healthcare
UK – Design studios Map Project Office and Modem Works have partnered to develop a vision for universal healthcare, driven by generative artificial intelligence technology.
The Smart Aid Kit is a speculative series of medical devices that would enable individuals and communities, particularly those who are economically or geographically marginalised, to conduct basic triage.
Stored in a durable case and equipped with mini-solar panels, Smart Aid Kit includes an interface for initial consultations and four takes on traditional medical devices – a stethoscope, skin analyser, spirometer and ophthalmoscope – powered by an advanced medical language learning model (LLM).
When used, the devices transmit data back to the core unit housing the LLM, which can diagnose conditions and provide guidance on seeking further medical treatment.
As explored in the Homebeing section of our Home States Futures: Residential Retail macrotrend report, wearable devices and AI technologies are supercharging diagnosis from the comfort of the home. Smart Aid Kit could be the next step, bringing self-diagnosis to the communities who need it the most.
Health and wellness brands should take inspiration from Smart Aid Kit and begin to explore how AI can facilitate healthcare in the home and in marginalised communities, encouraging early diagnosis and preventative care
Telfar’s Gifted perk is raising the bar for consumer reward programmes
US – Fashion brand Telfar’s community-centric model is switching up the value of loyalty rewards with Gifted, a full-size shopping bag available with purchase.
Putting conventional rewards to shame – think free shipping or a 10% discount upon opting in to email communications – the Gifted activation will happen alongside Telfar’s next e-shop restock as a way to give back to its fans. How does it work?
For one day only (17 November) customers will be able to gift a bag to someone they love for free, upon purchasing one item. Telfar only asks that buyers submit a video explaining who they plan to give the free shopping bag to, and why, to prevent scammers.
‘It’s the people who make our ‘marketing’. It’s the people who made this phenomenon of call and response,’ reads the event page on Telfar’s website. ‘And it’s the people that are our only investors.’ The brand also hinted that more rewards are under way and that Gifted is the first of many rewards to come.
Read more on Telfar’s community-first retail strategy in our Brand Innovation Debrief.
Telfar’s strategy is a masterclass in fostering a strong consumer community. Take note of the brand’s laser focus on keeping fans engaged and satisfied – efforts like Gifted may not yield instant return on investment, but they are crucial for building lasting loyalty
Stat: Working women report persistent burnout at higher rates than men
US – A new survey by global analytics and advisory firm Gallup suggests women are increasingly experiencing job-related burnout.
In a study of more than 18,000 US workers published in October 2023, Gallup found that 33% of women are almost always burned out, while just a quarter of men feel the same. Women are also significantly more likely to say better personal wellbeing is very important when considering a next job (69%) than men (58%).
Recent social media trends of ‘quiet quitting’ and ‘lazy girl jobs’ have identified a general rejection of hustle culture, particularly by Gen Z women, but Gallup’s research suggests burnout plays a bigger part than so-called ‘laziness’.
Our Work States Futures macrotrend report explored how the great resignation was really more of a great re-evaluation. Women, in particular, are continually trying to rewrite work culture to work for them.
To retain your best employees, ensure managers are trained to spot early signs of burnout, create safe spaces for workers to offload about their workplace troubles and introduce stress-releasing after-work activities such as yoga or running clubs