Design Mind frogcast: Voices from Cannes: Day 2

Guests: Andreas Markdalen, Global Chief Creative Officer at frog, Sarah Kiefer, Chief Marketing Officer at Pitch, Ahmed Daoud, Executive Director of Innovation for the Royal Commission for Al-‘Ula and Laurence Parkes, Vice President in frog London

On this episode, we’re continuing our special summer mini-series recorded live from the Cannes Lions 2023 International Festival of Creativity. frog was an official partner of the event, where we hosted a cabana along the famed croisette. What ensued was four days of programming that included on-stage panels from our sunny beachside terrace and interviews with expert guests from leading brands in our on-site recording studio. In these series, we bring some of these conversations to you.

Day Two in the frog Cabana, we explored the theme of ‘Creativity in the Machine Era.” Find out what our experts have to say about the evolution of human creativity alongside new tools like generative AI, Web3 principles, the metaverse and experiences driven by immersive tech like augmented and virtual reality.

Listen to the podcast episode and read the full transcripts below. You can also find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotifyand anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Episode Transcript:

Design Mind frogcast
Bonus Episode: Voices from Cannes: Creativity in the Machine Era with Pitch and the Royal Commission for Al-‘Ula

Guests: Andreas Markdalen, Global Chief Creative Officer at frog, Sarah Kiefer, Chief Marketing Officer at Pitch, Ahmed Daoud, Executive Director of Innovation for the Royal Commission for Al-‘Ula and Laurence Parkes, Vice President in frog London

[00:09] Elizabeth Wood: Welcome to the Design Mind frogcast. Each episode, we go behind the scenes to meet the people designing what’s next in the world of products, services and experiences, both here at frog and far, far outside the pond. I’m Elizabeth Wood.

[00:24] Elizabeth Wood: Today on our show, we’re continuing our special summer mini-series recorded live from the Cannes Lions 2023 International Festival of Creativity. frog was an official partner of the event, where we hosted a cabana along the famed croisette. What ensued was four days of programming that included on-stage panels from our sunny beachside terrace and interviews with expert guests from leading brands in our on-site recording studio. In this four-part series, we’re going day-by-day, sharing these interviews with you. As mentioned in our first episode, which you should really dig into if you haven’t already, you might hear a bit of background chatter from a very active cabana, or even an air conditioning unit as June is hot in the south of France. But, it all adds to the ambiance. So let’s jump in. 

[01:11] Elizabeth Wood: Day Two in the frog Cabana, we explored the theme of ‘Creativity in the Machine Era.” The day was hosted by frog’s Global Chief Creative Officer and previous Design Mind frogcast guest Andreas Markdalen. Featuring voices from Adobe, Forrester, Pitch, the Royal Commission for Al-‘Ula and brand new research from the Capgemini Research Institute, the day explored the evolution of human creativity alongside new tools like generative AI, Web3 principles, the metaverse and experiences driven by immersive tech like augmented and virtual reality. Here’s Andreas to explain.

[01:47] Andreas Markdalen: Hi, my name is Andreas Markdalen. I’m the Global Chief Creative Officer of frog, part of Capgemini invent. This was really the first time that we showed up at the Cannes Lions festival. We had a really interesting week full of great conversations, lots of inspiration, being able to connect to the global creative community, showcasing the frog brand, telling our story as challengers in this space and really—arguably most important—to start to connect with our clients and some of our partners around some of the key topics that we see defining the creative discourse around the work today.

[02:26] Andreas Markdalen: What I think is important to remember when we speak about the machine era is that this isn’t an entirely new narrative that we’re talking about. What we’ve seen over the last year with the introduction of LLMS, large language models, is a completely new engine to drive exponential speed and growth in this space. And that is new. But the narrative around human machine interactions and machine-assisted creative processes has been part of the discourse over the last couple of decades. And at frog that has led us to think about futures where democratization or automation or augmentation of human creativity is a natural ingredient in the way we think about the future of the creative process.

[03:11] Andreas Markdalen: What I thought was really interesting in the in the conversations throughout the day with our panelists was speaking to that topic. But also, understanding right now in that full spectrum, from automation to augmentation, what are the features in the near to mid to long term, that might be just table stakes—basically, the simple features that are likely augmented or added through or refined through artificial intelligence—versus what are the bigger moonshot features that will truly change the way we perceive a tool, or a process or a methodology? And I think that’s where the most interesting conversations are going right now: understanding the full spectrum between incremental change versus more disruptive, overarching change. Businesses out there right now are trying to understand where they can place their bets, how they can future proof their organizations, and generally how they can start exploring these new technologies. And that’s really where we wanted to start our discussion with our panelists.

[04:13] Andreas Markdalen: Regardless of what types of technologies come into the space, disrupting an industry or disrupting a business or an organization, it all comes back to your purpose and your values as a brand. Understanding what kind of role you’re trying to fill towards your customers, and who you want to be in the world with your brand. That is the place where the starting point should be for all conversations. And then understanding how AI–generative AI or creative AI–can be used as a point of leverage to drive that purpose or drive those values forward. It should never start with the technology itself.

[04:50] Andreas Markdalen: I want to say a special thanks to the panelists that joined me on stage: Alvaro Del Pozo from Adobe, Jay Pattisall from Forrester, Sarah Kiefer from Pitch, Ahmed Daoud from the Royal Commission for Al-‘Ula. And special thanks to Sarah and Ahmed for joining on the podcast today.

[05:10] Elizabeth Wood: The first panel of the day, moderated by Andreas, was called “Data Wars & Future-Forward Storytelling at Scale,” all about the new, tech-enabled paradigms for products, brand communications and personalized, customer experiences. Alongside leads from Adobe and Forrester, Sarah Kiefer, Chief Marketing Officer of the presentation software startup Pitch, discussed what’s revolutionary about new technologies like AI and what’s quickly becoming table stakes. We got the chance to sit down with Sarah one-on-one to hear more about what makes a good presentation and how Pitch is incorporating AI into their business strategies. Here’s Sarah now.

[05:52] Sarah Kiefer: Storytelling is how we all understand the world. It’s also how we remember things. It’s how we create those mental structures that make it easy for us to access things when we’re making decisions. That’s why, for brands, it’s so important to have a story so people can easily call to mind your product, your service, whatever it is you’re offering, right? That’s what you’re trying to achieve when you’re giving a presentation. It’s to give someone a story that makes them feel understood, gets them excited about whatever it is that you’re proposing. I think most people default to what they’ve done before, right? Change is really, really hard. And stories are really a powerful way to get people to change their behavior and make them feel more comfortable about that. Whether that’s choosing a new advertising agency to work with or, you know, standing in the supermarket aisle and going for a different brand of toothpaste. That story, the way that you can contextualize that decision, will make the difference of what they choose to go with.

[06:51] Sarah Kiefer: I guess if there’s ever been a theme in my career, it’s about the business of storytelling. And arguably presentations are the way that people tell stories at work. Behind every major decision that gets made, every new client that gets won, every deal that goes through, there’s a presentation that got you there. But most people don’t look forward to putting together presentations. And a lot of people don’t even think of it as a kind of creative storytelling endeavor. And what really excited me about Pitch was that they’re taking this kind of staid medium, and this technology that really hasn’t changed since the 90s, and are dragging it kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Making it something that’s easy and accessible, but also possible to create something that’s interactive, and wow, and just brings more joy into those day-to-day parts of your work life when you’re putting together slides.

[07:43] Sarah Kiefer: My number one thing would be if the presentation is all about you, you’re doing it wrong. One of the things we think about a lot at Pitch is that yeah, our users are our customers, the people who are actually editing and creating the presentation. But we’ve also got another customer which is the people who will consume the presentation—the audience for the presentation in the end. And I think we’ve all been there when someone is pitching us something and all they do is talk uninterruptedly for 20 minutes about the company and you’re like, “Great, okay, great. I know loads about the company, but you haven’t listened to me or shown that you empathize with where I’m at and what I’m trying to achieve in my business.” So that would be probably my number one bugbear is where the presentation isn’t addressing that and creating dialogue with the audience, but it’s rather just all about the person or the company that’s presenting.

[08:33] Sarah Kiefer: I think there’s just been such a whirlwind of conversation about generative AI. it’s easy to kind of get lost in that and either talk very theoretically about things that probably are somewhere in the future. Or, on the other hand, they rush to release features that maybe aren’t differentiated. And we felt really strongly we wanted to avoid either of those situations and build in public, but with the north star of this has to be something that delivers incredible value for our users, and also doesn’t result in there just being more bad presentations out there. What we learned through our explorations is that we still believe really strongly that it’s the combination of generative AI and humans together that result in the best output. So it’s crucial that the AI functionality also includes editing functionality, so that the user and the people who are collaborating on the deck can tweak it afterwards—to make it distinctive and to make it theirs. Maybe in the future, we’ll get to the point where you’ll just be able to enter a prompt and it will generate an entire deck for you. But right now, we don’t see that as possible because actually, decks are complicated things. It’s a combination of images, text, structure, layout, voiceover. And as yet, the AI isn’t there to combine all of those things in a distinctive way.

[10:01] Sarah Kiefer: We’re pursuing two parts of AI simultaneously. Number one is where can we integrate what we think are going to be increasingly table stakes features? So, text editing, AI-generated images, things like that. We think that those are soon going to be as common as the ability to have italic and bold font, for example, or spellcheck. On the other hand, longer term, we’re thinking a lot about how we can differentiate our AI features. Since Pitch was founded, we’ve learned a huge amount about how people create presentations, what our users and our target audience want. And so we’re prioritizing longer term bets in AI that can serve those needs and kind of use that data to help our users create something that’s really going to stand out. I think it’s AI plus human still very much. We don’t see a world where the deck is generated from beginning to end by AI yet.

[10:56] Sarah Kiefer: I would say that there are some companies out there who are developing AI-powered products that are essentially just magic tricks. You enter a prompt or whatever it might be and you deliver something that’s really cool, but then you actually can’t use it. When all of these things started to come out, I was really excited about how we might be able to use them. And particularly with the images, you’re like, “Oh, great, that looks great. I just need to tweak these two tiny…and then it’s like, oh.” Again, it comes back to the real power, which is the AI plus the human. The technology companies that will win are the ones that also think about how you layer on that editing experience so that it’s also super intuitive and useful.

[11:31] Sarah Kiefer: I think the other strategic consideration is, how do you work with LLMs? You know, Pitch is still a startup. And we are not going to have the power to tell the LLM, “Oh, no, we want you to do it like that.” If they change something tomorrow, we could build a feature that’s dependent on one of the LLMs, and then they change something, and it stops working, right? So you’ve got to think about where the dependencies are. And for us, it’s really important that we start to partner up with some of the LLMs to explore the specific use cases for us, and how we can use our data, rather than being too dependent on some of these now very large companies.

[12:11] Sarah Kiefer: We set up a special kind of AI team who are dedicated to thinking about our more long-term investments in AI, our partnerships with LLMs, things like that. Whereas we’ve integrated more of the table stakes features or ways that we might be able to use AI to accelerate roadmap items that we were going to develop anyway. That sits within the product teams that are responsible for those kinds of shorter term deliverables. Also thinking about, how do you structure your team? And also explain what you’re doing with AI to your team in a way? Because I think everybody’s feeling a little bit confused and stressed about what’s happening with AI. And so I think just going back to those fundamentals of, how do we deliver value for our customers? Are we structured in a way that we can deliver this? Where’s our data? How can we use our data to feed into our LLMs and other data models? You know, not getting so stressed about the short-term that you don’t take the time to think about those fundamentals within your business.

'Banking on Invisibility' explores the next generation of financial services.
Download NowCTA Button Arrow

[13:13] Elizabeth Wood: Now, Sarah also shared that Pitch offers a template gallery to make short work of presentations like, say, trends reporting from discussion at Cannes Lions that you can check out at Pitch.com. Next up, you’re going to hear a conversation between frog Vice President Laurence Parkes, based in the London studio, and Ahmed Daoud, Executive Director of Innovation for the Royal Commission for Al-‘Ula. Ahmed joined us on stage in the frog Cabana to talk about journeying into the metaverse, and how RCU is using immersive technology to drive tourism and conservation to the region’s world heritage sites. Afterwards, he sat down to talk about what it takes to create change in any organization and the role of science fiction in inspiring real-life innovation. Here’s Laurence and Ahmed now.

[14:01] Ahmed Daoud: I’m Ahmed Daoud, and I head up innovation for the Royal Commission of Al-‘Ula (RCU), which is the entity responsible for stewardship in the development of Al-‘Ula County and Northwestern Saudi Arabia.

[14:13] Laurence Parkes: And I’m Laurence Parkes. I’m VP in frog London working with Ahmed on all of the innovation work that we’re doing with the Royal Commission of Al-‘Ula. Firstly, Ahmed, thank you so much. We’ve just come out of an amazing talk that you’ve had with Andreas, our Chief Creative Officer, talking about the journey that we’ve been on into the metaverse specifically. I’d love to spend a moment to delve deeper into some of the themes that came out in that conversation—to ask some follow up questions that I had as you were talking with Andreas, and reveal in depth some of the challenges and the way that we’ve collectively gotten over those challenges to deliver the work that we’ve done and the work that we will be delivering and launching in the close future.

[14:54] Laurence Parkes: I wanted to pick up on one of the things you talked about towards the end of the interview, actually, around psychological safety. You were very eloquent on the point of how important it was for teams to have that psychological safety to take risks to drive innovation. My follow up question really is how do you enable psychological safety with teams that are essential to help you deliver innovation in the wider organization that you might not be leading yourself? You talked very eloquently about how to bring people on the journey and make sure that people are educated. Obviously, we have been trying very hard to enable that in the wider organization. But that psychological safety is important for others who you need to bring on the journey. How do you propose that others who might be listening in, who are facing similar challenges in their organizations, learn from our experiences?

[15:42] Ahmed Daoud: In my opinion, the responsibility and accountability falls with everyone who has at least one direct report because you play an outsized role in that person’s overall well being and by extension, the well being of their family. So being a boss or a manager that is only optimizing for bottom line, only optimizing for results—meaning that you’re designing for unhappy employees, and designing for low retention—in the long run is going to be detrimental to your bottom line. If the people that report to you are happier, they’re able to go back home to then, as a consequence, happier families. They are coming back the next morning happier people, and so on and so forth. So you’re becoming a critical component in the cycle of well being that, in my opinion, may even eclipse a lot of the other HR work and trainings that get done around the well being of employees. There have been studies that have been done that show the number one factor for employee satisfaction is psychological safety—knowing that my job does not hinge on one mistake, that my ideas will not be invalidated, and that my thoughts and person will be respected and valued.

[17:04] Laurence Parkes: I actually would suggest that the philosophy that you apply to your team, you also apply to us in frog. (laughter) No, seriously. I think that psychological safety between client and agency is fundamental, too. I mean, we can come to you with early, ill-formed thoughts and say, “Hey, we think there’s something in this, what do you reckon?” And whenever we’ve done that, we’ve got really, I mean, exactly the right response from you, which is like, “Well, so it might be great. Let’s keep exploring.” Which is sort of all you need, all you want to hear because I understand that you trust that we’ll only bring stuff to you that we really think is worth thinking about. But we don’t have to spend weeks making sure it’s perfectly finished in order to share it with you.

[17:43] Ahmed Daoud: And I think, I mean, I have to also be honest about the fact that from my perspective, it’s actually in my best interest, right? Especially in innovation, you don’t want to take the risk of missing out on what could potentially be the best idea. If people don’t feel open to sharing a wide pipeline of ideas, you may miss the one idea that could completely revolutionize your business.

[18:07] Laurence Parkes: Yeah. And I agree. And actually, that was gonna be one of my other questions. You mentioned in the interview, earlier innovation is about having a wider cone of exploring what your options might be. The traditional, well-established, trusted options are here, but actually, innovation is about, you know, widening it. You mentioned just then one way in which you can widen those options, which is psychological safety for everyone—agencies included. What are the other ways in which you ensure that that cone is widened? That you’re exploring those wider opportunities however nascent they might be?

[18:41] Ahmed Daoud: One of the ways which may seem really subtle is to continue to reinforce and reiterate the idea that myself and my team could walk away right now, and there will be no negative impact to the business today. However, in six months, we may be less competitive, and in two years, we may be irrelevant. So we have very low to no operational accountability for today’s business as in today, right. And we have an outsized responsibility and accountability towards the future of the business, whether we’re talking, you know, one or two quarters horizon, or one or two years horizon. That creates a distinction and the separation in the scope or lens at which you’re looking at the current business. So this also ensures that you’re not going to be stepping on the toes as innovation should be a transversal function as it is at RCU. Our leaders, our core businesses, are on their own very innovative. To innovate alongside them is not trivial because they are really great at what they do to the best of what they do. However, the main distinction is not that they are less creative, or less intelligent or less capable. In fact, they have deep subject matter expertise and their specific businesses that we completely lack. We are experts in none of their core businesses.

[20:08] Ahmed Daoud: Our superpower is the ability to be removed from day-to-day operational constraints, and explore what’s happening at the periphery, to understand trends and bring that to the organization. We just recently launched a quarterly trends report. It’s curated for our organization, for our business units, for our business leaders. We launched internally a technology trends dashboard. So we have a technology trends dashboard to explore what are the technologies and trends curated by our business units for us that would have the highest potential impact. But we also have a trends publication focused on socio economic trends that are affecting our businesses. So these are the kinds of things that we’re able to do by having that clear understanding within ourselves as a function, within the broader organization and also to the rest of the organization that we are the scout function.

[21:00] Ahmed Daoud: I think the term innovation comes with a lot of baggage. When you say I am the innovator or I am the person heading innovation, there’s a lot of ways that could be interpreted, and very few of them positive, right? Because it could signal to other people that you believe you are competent in ways that they are not. You may be signaling to other people that I will do a better job at identifying opportunities in your business than you would, right? this is something actually we’ve been actively doing: it’s removing the word innovation from a lot of our communication and keeping it to an absolute minimum. So we’ve edited out entire documents that we were going to publish and reports and took out the word innovation and replaced it with what is the actual value? Because it’s no secret that one of the biggest problems of innovation is that in a lot of places it’s fluff. So if you think about it as a scout function, as the function exploring potential new verticals, then it fits in better within the broader organization, and you’re able to drive more impact.

[21:59] Laurence Parkes: Yeah, so picking up on that. It’s about, I guess, how far into the future you are looking. Let’s talk about regenerative futures. So obviously, something that that we talked about in frog, about being a core reason for us being actually, and the thing that gets us out of bed in the morning, is to help create regenerative futures—to identify ways in which we can ensure that industry doesn’t destroy the planet but enhances the planet. That’s a fascinating area in the context of Al-‘Ula. Would you mind talking about that and how you bring sort of sustainability into the mix of innovation?

[22:36] Ahmed Daoud: First of all, I really love that. And I think it’s really important to think about how we can create futures that do not discard but rather recreate what has been destroyed by innovation previously, right? How can we regenerate our planet? And even further than that, thinking about sustainability being a bare minimum expectation, that instead of just sustaining what we have: how can we regenerate towards a better future? Instead of decoupling the value chains between economic growth and opportunity and the well-being of the planet, how can we reverse the coupling to where creating more opportunity, creating more wealth, creating more growth has a positive impact on the planet? And this is perfectly aligned with our views in Al-‘Ula. You know, the founding components of our master plans is regeneration of the region. So we are regenerating the oases that were very green, lush oases that were part of the reason why Al-‘Ula was such an important confluence of cultures. Why the Ottoman Trade Routes, the Spice Route, the Silk Route, the Roman Empire, all centered around there. It is because of these beautiful lush oases that allowed nature and man to coexist in harmony and in a symbiotic relationship. Over time, these have been neglected and have corroded, and we are working actively to regenerate them through the activity of the tourism.

[24:00] Ahmed Daoud: So we are actually putting this into practice where the economic growth, the opportunities that we’re creating for the locals of Al-‘Ula for the county, are directly having a positive impact on regenerating the natural environment. We’re working on the Dark Sky certification to ensure that we don’t have light pollution that disrupts the natural species of flora and fauna. And we’re working on the reintroduction, rewilding and conservation of the critically endangered Arabian leopard.

[24:26] Ahmed Daoud: We also take this further into how we think about innovation. Sustainability needs to be thought of holistically. So when we think about purely ecological sustainability, or environmental sustainability, and resource sustainability, a really easy approach is to say, “Well, there are crops such as palm trees that use a lot of water that we should no longer plot.” But that is not sustainable from a cultural, societal, economic perspective, because we have generations of people there, that their family, their history, their identity revolves around being date farms. So how can we use innovation and technology to allow them to continue that same industry, that economic sustainability, in ways that are also environmentally sustainable, right? That’s the opportunity that innovation provides. How can we do things better in a way that is sustainable and regenerative. And we are currently actively working on four different agritech pilots through the innovation pilot program to actually realize that vision.

[25:27] Laurence Parkes: Let’s talk a little bit about that mix of history and future. We haven’t talked about this in detail as to certainly not for a long time, but how much inspiration we might get from science fiction in this area, right? Well, one of my favorite series is Dune by Frank Herbert, which is redolent of the history, but obviously all is very much science fiction. How much do you and your partners use science fiction as a tool to imagine a future or be inspired?

[25:55] Ahmed Daoud: In the course of developing our detailed innovation strategy that we’ve been working on for some time and activating now, we actually did look at science fiction quite a bit to say, how can we imagine the futures, the potential paths of the future, that we would need to backcast from to build an innovation strategy? That is resilient? That accounts for these possible future scenarios? So in innovation management, exploration of potential futures, based on science fiction lore is something that’s actually a really powerful tool. When we’re, you know, talking about back casting, when you look at the science fiction greats like HG Wells, and how a lot of what they wrote about ended up as fantastical science fiction at the time ended up being actual reality. It’s actually hard to tell which influenced which, right? Is it the fact that he wrote about it that made this reality manifest? Did that have some effect? Or did science fiction really predict our future? And regardless of the answer, it’s really, I think, naive to ignore the importance of science fiction in imagining a future, even when we talk about historical heritage destinations such as ours.

[27:11] Laurence Parkes: Yeah, I’m flipping from science fiction to another, I guess, cultural reference. You mentioned Indiana Jones in the interview, in the ability for technology to overlay content onto what exists there to help enhance people’s imagination about what they are seeing and what existed there before. Obviously, we have plans for how we might use this specifically around the old town in Al-‘Ula. Do you care to talk a little bit more about that and where we could take that?

[27:41] Ahmed Daoud: Actually, this is still along the narrative of how do we use technology of the future right to recreate the past. And I think there’s a very beautiful and elegant dialogue that happens there at the intersection of man and machine when you’re able to use these technologies to seamlessly create immersive experiences that transport people. That’s why so many people love historical dramas. They’re this fantastical vignette into a time in the life that is past, into things that are no longer accessible absent, you know, the dream of time travel. So how can we allow people to travel through time and in our founding master plan for Al-‘Ula is called the ‘Journey Through Time.’ Because the narrative that is seamlessly flowing from thousands of years to present day across one master narrative. We really live and breathe this journey through time master plan, and if we’re able to further that vision, both of the ‘Journey Through Time’ and also the vision of the living museum that we have through technology, through innovation, in a way that is elegant and does not water down the destination. We believe, and we’ve explored this in our work together, this is very possible. I think we bring something very interesting to the table. I’m very excited to see what materializes out of that.

[29:01] Laurence Parkes: It is very exciting. So I’m going to end on one challenge, I guess. We’ve obviously done some stuff recently in metaversal experiences, or immersive experiences—don’t want to use the term metaverse quite as much because it’s obviously yet to exist. Obviously, we mentioned in the interview, the hype cycle and how as the metaverse as a thing sort of drops off, generative AI is kicking off and getting into the frothy stage, as Andreas mentioned. For those who are being cynical about, I guess, the metaverse, what would your response be to them? Around the fact that the work that we’ve done so far has had its time or was was there because of hype? And we’ve moved on? So I mean, we’ve talked a lot the metaverse in that a particular aspect to it is gaming and what the value of gaming, etc. is relevant to help those people who are cynics kind of see the light, I guess.

[29:53] Ahmed Daoud: I mean, the metaverse and generative AI and all these things may be new. But human behavior is not new. Nor are typical market patterns. So when we look at this, and we see the cynics on the metaverse, all you have to point to is the same exact conversations happening in social media a decade ago or more. So there was the same hype cycle there that was, “Let’s throw everything against a wall and see what sticks.” That led to a fervor of activity on social media platforms. So many of them emerged that we no longer think of today. And the ones that had use cases that added value stuck around and became billion, multibillion dollar businesses today. So I think that’s a really, really important recent history lesson that metaverse cynics should look at because we are seeing the exact same patterns. This is no different than what’s happened before. With almost every single new technology platform that allows for content creation, you have a lot of useless use cases or non-use cases. And that leads to a very high volume of activity. And then the market begins to reject things that don’t make sense. We’ve seen this with the metaverse fashion week going from—what was it?—260,000 visitors to 26 I think. You know, a 90% drop, because given the choice between a real fashion show and a metaverse fashion show, no one wants to go to the pixelated metaverse fashion show. But if you’re able to build experiences that add value, that tell stories, that you can’t otherwise easily tell in the real world, you are more likely going to be one of the use cases or the platforms that ends up being successful and becoming the next billion dollar business. So that’s my answer.

[31:39] Laurence Parkes: Very good. Great place to end. Thank you so much, Ahmed, for the ongoing work that we’re doing together, for you joining us here in Cannes being on the stage and continuing the conversation with me over the last half an hour. Thanks very much.

[31:49] Ahmed Daoud: Wonderful. It’s been a pleasure. Thank you.

[31:55] Elizabeth Wood: That’s our show. The Design Mind frogcast was brought to you by frog, a leading global creative consultancy that is part of Capgemini Invent. Check today’s show notes for transcripts and more from our conversation. You’ll also find a link to the new research report on generative AI from the Capgemini Research Institute.

[32:12] Elizabeth Wood: We really want to thank our guests Andreas Markdalen, Global Chief Creative Officer at frog, Sarah Kiefer, Chief Marketing Officer at Pitch, Ahmed Daoud, Executive Director of Innovation for the Royal Commission for Al-‘Ula and Laurence Parkes, Vice President in frog London. Stay tuned for more from our series live from Cannes Lions 2023, as well as our regularly scheduled programming of stories from and conversations with expert guests from across frog, our partner organizations, and friends from brands we love around the world.

[32:44] Elizabeth Wood: We also want to thank you, dear listener. If you like what you heard, tell your friends. Rate and review to help others find us on Apple Podcasts and  Spotify . And be sure to follow us wherever you listen to podcasts. Find lots more to think about from our global frog team at frog.co/designmind. That’s frog.co. Follow frog on Twitter at @frogdesign and @frog_design on Instagram. And if you have any thoughts about the show, we’d love to hear from you. Reach out at frog.co/contact. Thanks for listening. Now go make your mark. 

Andreas Markdalen
Global Chief Creative Officer, frog
Andreas Markdalen
Andreas Markdalen
Global Chief Creative Officer, frog

Andreas Markdalen is the award-winning Global Chief Creative Officer of frog. For 20+ years, Andreas has been leading and forming relationships with the leading global consumer and enterprise brands across industries/domains; shaping new capabilities, building new ventures and leading teams to make end-to-end innovation real. In the CCO role, Andreas provides guidance and support to account and industry-focused teams within the Capgemini Group, leads the positioning and brand strategy for frog in the market, while socializing the values of human-centric, empathy-driven, outcomes-oriented design processes to drive culture and community within and outside of the organization.

He is a visiting lecturer at MIT School of Economics (Boston), Unversidad EAFIT (Medellin), University of Texas (Austin), Politechnico di Milano and SUPSI (Lugano). Speaking engagements include Interaction19 (Seattle), Helsinki Design Days 2019, Creative Mornings (Milan), Experience Fighters (Madrid) and Design 4 India (Bangalore).

Elizabeth Wood
Host, Design Mind frogcast & Editorial Director, frog Global Marketing
Elizabeth Wood
Elizabeth Wood
Host, Design Mind frogcast & Editorial Director, frog Global Marketing

Elizabeth tells design stories for frog. She first joined the New York studio in 2011, working on multidisciplinary teams to design award-winning products and services. Today, Elizabeth works out of the London studio on the global frog marketing team, leading editorial content.

She has written and edited hundreds of articles about design and technology, and has given talks on the role of content in a weird, digital world. Her work has been published in The Content Strategist, UNDO-Ordinary magazine and the book Alone Together: Tales of Sisterhood and Solitude in Latin America (Bogotá International Press).

Previously, Elizabeth was Communications Manager for UN OCHA’s Centre for Humanitarian Data in The Hague. She is a graduate of the Master’s Programme for Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Cookies settings were saved successfully!