THURSDAY 17 SEP 2015 4:40 PM


While communicators often talk about moving away from the word 'digital' as a defining term that separates it from other disciplines, the visible demand for information surrounding this area of expertise and its many possible applications remains apparent.

The second annual PreCommerce Summit, a W2O Group event which brings together industry leaders who specialise in digital communications, took place on Monday 14 at City Hall. In a packed room, delegates heard from a former senior analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the global head of corporate communications at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and a data scientist and software engineer at Altviz, to name a few.

A few speakers, and many of the delegates, were from the pharmaceutical industry, and collectively spoke about the ways that digital influences wellbeing. Dina Rey, head of digital group at Roche, said that digital innovation can be a struggle in pharma; a more traditional industry. Jessica Federer, the chief digital officer at Bayer, who spoke at the same event last year, returned to tell the room how the chemical and pharma company has been getting on with the digital transformation it began to implement a year ago.

Anita Yuen, global head of digital fundraising at Unicef gave an entirely different perspective on the ways that digital and social media can be used. She spoke about the ways in which Unicef uses digital to respond to emergency situations, such as the Ebola crisis. The immediacy of digital makes it the perfect medium for fast reactions to challenging circumstances.

Steven Overman, chief marketing officer at Eastman Kodak, gave an interesting perspective on the future of digital. He said how, currently, 64% of the world are not connected to the internet, “What will happen when everyone is connected?” He asked the audience. He added that connectivity creates conscience, he credits connectivity as the major cause for people caring so much more about social and environmental causes than they used to.

Overall, innovation was a key theme, particualrly in challenging sectors, and matters of data, security and privacy were also hot topics.


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