FIR Speakers and Speeches: iConsumerism panel discussion at Imperial College London

High Street

On June 19, 2013, FIR co-host Neville Hobson moderated “iConsumerism,” a panel discussion organized by Imperial College London, and the second of three networking and discussion events exploring the way digital innovations shape the world we live, work and create in.

Three foundational questions were at the heart of the discussion: Are brands adapting to a digital world? Does the High Street have a future? Do consumers even care?

The panel discussion highlighted the inevitable shift in consumer behaviour that has emerged in an increasingly digital marketplace. The panel exchanged views and predictions with the audience to explore how businesses can ensure survival in a rapidly changing world, avoid the ‘brand killing field’ littered with cynical marketing ploys and condescending campaigns, and how imagination is an essential ingredient of that survival.

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The panel discussion was video-recorded by Imperial College and is available on YouTube, and embedded below. The audio in this podcast is from the video recording.

About the Panellists

Luke Brynley-JonesLuke Brynley-Jones is a recognised authority on how social media is changing the world of business. Back in 2000, before Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or MySpace even existed, Luke was already working with global organisations, helping them to develop thriving online communities and blogs.

Co-founder of the UK’s first social media consultancy, Luke has spent the last 13 years advising brands such as Orange Business Services, The Telegraph Media Group and British Airways PLC, as well as start-ups and celebrities, on how to create sustainable online engagement. In 2008 Luke teamed up with ex-Dragon’s Den star Doug Richard to launch School for Startups and toured the UK teaching entrepreneurs how to succeed in their ventures. The following year he founded Our Social Times, now a thriving social media agency and blog.

Luke is a regular speaker at international conferences, contributes to industry publications, such as Econsultancy and The Wall, and provides a social media roundup for BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

Connect with Luke on Twitter: @lbrynleyjones.

Brandon ButterworthThere are very few people who can begin a blog with an opener as impressive as ‘When I put the BBC on the net’, but in 1997 Brandon Butterworth did just that. Quite literally the godfather of digital media at the BBC and ranked 27th in the Telegraph’s 50 Most Influential Britons in Technology, Brandon is to thank for the BBC’s first trailblazing steps online and has continued to promote the power of digital communications across the corporation ever since.

Brandon also pioneered streaming radio on the web and was personally backing up the entirety of the BBC website until 2003.

Now Chief Scientist of BBC Research and Development, Brandon is such a key figure in the history of the BBC’s technical infrastructure that he has a room named after him at the towers. Not many people can make that claim either.

Connect with Brandon on Twitter: @bbzaaa.

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This FIR Speakers and Speeches podcast is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information:

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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