Most Contagious is the acclaimed year-end event staged by Contagious. It makes sense of the most important trends in marketing, technology and consumer culture from the past year and analyses what impact these ideas will have on the immediate future for brands and agencies.
The event includes a full-day conference programme, with talks from Contagious as well as expert guest speakers, panel debates and discussions. There’s also a startup award competition and an exhibition to showcase disruptive ideas, innovative new technologies and the makers behind them.
For 2017 sponsorship enquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Contagious equips companies across the globe to achieve the top 1% of marketing creativity through our research platform, consultancy, quarterly magazine and live events.
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‘One of the most interesting and inspiring conferences I have ever attended.’
Kay Etherington, Global Senior Manager, Marketing Excellence, Bayer Healthcare
‘A genuinely wicked show.’
Nils Leonard, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, Grey London
‘Most Contagious was one of the better events I’ve attended over the past couple of years. Fantastic job to everyone involved!’
Dennis Maloney, Chief Digital Officer, Domino’s
‘The breadth of topics and calibre of speaker is outstanding. One of the best events of its type out there.’
Stacy Lee, Key Account Executive, Wella Brands, P&G
‘My first Most Contagious and I can safely say that Contagious events are the only ones I look forward to attending!’
Nick Geoghegan, Strategy Director, eatbigfish
This year’s speakers included:
Felicia Williams /
Felicia Williams is an internationally known technologist, artist, blogger and public speaker with 18 years of experience working in virtual and augmented reality, fashion, interaction, and visual design. Currently, she is a Principal Creative Director at Microsoft, heading up design vision for her UK based studio, working on one of the most exciting platforms in the mixed reality space, Microsoft’s HoloLens. Having joined the HoloLens team early in its inception, Felicia plays a key role in developing and shaping the platform and experiences that users enjoy today.
Prior to her work in the HoloLens, from 2005 to 2011, Felicia was producing, creative directing and marketing video games for MTV Networks in NYC, Ubisoft in Montreal and Kinect for Xbox in Seattle. In academia, Felicia holds a BFA from Cornell University in New York. During her studies, her work bridged the gap between traditional art mediums and emerging technology, experimenting in the fields of virtual reality and digital worlds.
Within the space of fashion and travel, Felicia distills her talent for story-telling and living-fearlessly into a platform of her own making. In 2013, she created the sleek lifestyle and travel brand, Black Hound, a place for artisans and makers to share their stories and goods and to connect with others. A frequent source of inspiration in both the tech and fashion space, she is frequently taped for inclusions in international publications and brands around the world, including featurettes for Nordstrom, Refinery 29 and Net-A-Porter Magazine.
Felicia Williams /
Richard Garnham /
Richard is a passionate thought-leader in digital, innovative technology within market research. He has over five years’ experience working across multiple agencies in expanding their portfolio and thinking with experimental technology from virtual reality to artificial intelligence. In his spare time, when not testing out the latest technology, he is testing how far he can push his body – from cycling to Paris in 24 hours to running over mountains.
Bas Korsten /
J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam
Bas Korsten is J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam’s Executive Creative Director and one of the agency’s managing partners, whose ambition and commitment to creativity has turned this local network office into one of the Netherlands’ most talked about and awarded agencies. J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam was voted agency of the year 2016 for the Netherlands; and with its ground breaking, double Grand Prix-winning campaign The Next Rembrandt, the agency also became the most awarded Dutch agency in Cannes 2016 by a long stretch, leaving behind the likes of Wieden + Kennedy, 180 Amsterdam and 72andSunny.
Bas originally graduated as Engineer in Logistic Management in 1992 and received a Business degree from the University of Nijmegen (Netherlands) in 1994. Quickly realizing the error of his ways, Bas followed his heart and moved into advertising by landing an internship at HVR Advertising agency in The Hague in 1996.
By 1997 he had moved up to junior copywriter at Result DDB and within two years he had become Creative Director and Board Member of DDB Amsterdam. Under his creative leadership DDB Amsterdam was voted ‘Agency of the Year’ in 1999, 2001 and 2003.
He left DDB at the end of 2004 to start his own agency Selmore, together with partner Michael Jansen and three other founders. After growing Selmore succesfully, Bas left in 2008 to found creative hotshop Nothing.
In 2011 he was asked to join J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam as Creative Director, by 2012 he became Executive Creative Director, holding creative and strategic end responsibility on all clients.
Bas has won 28 Cannes Lions amongst which 2 Grand Prix (Creative Data and Cyber), an Innovation Lion, 3 Gold, 6 Silver and 4 Bronze Lions in 2016 for The Next Rembrandt project for ING Bank. He has won 2 D&AD Pencils, 21 Dutch ADCN Lamps, 19 Eurobest Awards, 8 Effies, the Epica Grand Prix for ElaN Languages in 2015 and numerous other national and international advertising awards. He’s judged at Cannes and The New York Festivals.
Bas is married and a father to four, plus an avid football player, coach and fan – especially of his brother Willem, who played for the English Premier League sides Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur.
Emmanuel Flores /
J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam
Emmanuel Flores is J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam’s Innovation Director who led the innovation, data and technology on double Grand Prix winning project ‘The Next Rembrandt’. Currently he’s charged with innovating the traditional agency model by introducing Agile and Lean productivity methodologies into an advertising context.
Emmanuel is a certified Scrum Master with a formal education in Digital Arts. Most of his career has taken place at the intersection of design and technology: first as an interaction designer and software developer, then leading and mentoring multidisciplinary teams on digital-driven projects. In addition to his work in product development and advertising, he is currently a visiting professor of Interaction Design at the Tongji University in Shanghai.
A self-proclaimed newcomer to advertising, Emmanuel believes that the most meaningful innovations are the ones that endure, and that these do not solely come from technology, but also through improving the way people interact, work together and inspire each other. As such, his preferred way of working is to support teams to become efficient, empowered, self-sufficient and as such more creative. A proponent of Design Thinking, he is stimulated by translating fundamental business questions into concrete audience-centered solutions.
Despite being new to the industry, he has already been awarded 16 Cannes Lions, including two Grand Prix (for Cyber & Creative Data) and the Innovation Lion.
Emmanuel (37) is originally from Mexico City but has travelled widely and lived in China, Italy, Spain and currently the Netherlands. He speaks English, Italian, Dutch and Chinese as well as his native Spanish.
Lisa McKnight /
Lisa McKnight serves as Senior Vice President and Global General Manager for Mattel’s Barbie brand, a role she has held since 2016. In this role, McKnight leads a global team focused on brand strategy, product development and marketing execution for the iconic Barbie brand. McKnight has been instrumental in evolving the brand to make it more relevant and compelling to girls and parents around the world, leading to consistently improved retail sales and deeper consumer engagement.
Prior to her current role, McKnight served as Senior Vice President and Global Brand GM for Mattel’s Monster High and Ever After High brands, where she developed and led highly successful marketing, advertising and brand promotional activities. Under her leadership, the Monster High brand forged a breakthrough partnership with Lady Gaga’s Born this Way foundation, paving the way for numerous cross-promotional opportunities while delivering a positive message to girls everywhere.
Previously, as Senior Vice President of Mattel’s North America Division, McKnight managed the business and marketing strategies for for the entire Mattel brand portfolio in the United States, including such brands as Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends. McKnight held responsibility for pricing and retail channel strategies, media planning and buying, public relations, promotions and advertising for the market.
Since joining Mattel in 1998, McKnight has held a number of senior leadership roles with the company, including Vice President, Global Marketing for Barbie. In this role, she lead a highly-successful brand re-launch, tied to Barbie’s 50th anniversary. As a result of her efforts to improve the brand’s global positioning and cultural relevance, Barbie enjoyed four consecutive years of sales growth.
Earlier in her career, McKnight gained significant marketing and brand management experience with a number of leading global consumer brands. She held numerous positions with award-winning agencies including Grey Worldwide, Foote, Cone & Belding, Gardner Geary Cole & Young, where she represtented clients like Bank of America, Fairmont Hotels and Taco Bell. In addition, McKnight helped lead marketing strategy for Gap Inc., where she oversaw numerous campaigns including the Easy Fit Jeans campaign with the now-iconic LL Cool J spot, along with the highly-successful Khaki Swing and Easy Fit Jeans campaigns.
Lisa is a native Californian, and resides in Los Angeles with her husband Bill and their two daughters.
Rik Strubel /
AXE / LYNX
Rik is responsible for leading the global Axe / Lynx business across strategy, communication and innovations. With his team he is helping guys look, feel and smell more attractive across more than 90 countries, from the Americas to Asia.
Working at Unilever in different geographies since 2002, Rik is a true global marketing leader with experience across numerous Home- and Personal Care businesses.. Having worked on purpose-led brands like Dove (campaignforrealbeauty) or Domestos (DomestosforUnicef) in the past he is passionate about using brands and creativity as a means to improve societal issues.
Stephanie Feeney /
Stephanie heads up strategy and talent at 72andSunny Amsterdam, ensuring strategic rigor across all of the agency’s output, whilst also leading the charge for bringing the world’s most interesting, talented makers and doers to join the gang in Amsterdam.
She is passionate about brands’ responsibility to push and progress culture, and in her time at 72andSunny has developed progressive points of view for Axe, Google, Samsung, Carlsberg and Smirnoff.
Stephanie started her career at Amnesty International, and before moving to Amsterdam, called London home, where she lead the vision for brands like the BBC, Budweiser and Hovis. Originally from Louisiana, Stephanie can cook a mean gumbo.
Sean Ferguson /
Sean leads connected loyalty solutions in the On and Off Trade channels for Molson Coors.
Starting with the relaunch of the world famous Carling iPint App, which was recently evolved to “Carling Tap”. The product continues to foster loyalty and play an integral role in customer engagement for Carling’s recently announced Premier League sponsorship.
Sean’s mission is to enable Molson Coors to take control of the full consumer journey and building a better relationship directly with the consumer, which is a persistent challenge for FMCG brands that do not control the point of purchase. Beer Button is just another initiative that Sean has lead in this vein.
In addition to leading connected loyalty, Sean leads the plan to build the largest “In Venue” Digital Screen media network in the UK (Uplift Media) in a partnership with Sky, an initiative that is aimed at generating media spend in Pubs and Bars.
More recently, Sean has been working on defining the way Molson Coors brands execute their e Commerce strategies, with a view enabling Molson Coors to lead in this arena.
Craig Wills /
Hi Mum! Said Dad
Craig Wills is Managing Director and Co Founder at Hi Mum! Said Dad. He leads strategy within the agency.
Starting off in Australia and moving across to the UK in 2005, Craig has worked across markets and channels from ATL through to the mobile product and innovation space that he inhabits today.
Hi Mum! Said Dad has set out to be renown as the industry’s foremost mobile product and innovation company; Famous for delivering measurable impactful for brands through strategic insight, creativity and robust tech
Laure Murciano /
Laure is the Global Brand Manager at Max Factor (COTY), one of the world’s leading Colour Cosmetics brand. She has built her expertise in the Beauty category starting in Hair Care (L’Oreal Professionnel), Shave Care (Gillette), Skin Care (Olay) and Cosmetics (Max Factor) across various roles starting her career in creative agency and quickly moved to core marketing with local, regional & now global responsibilities.
Laure is definitely passionate about Beauty, as a hobbie as well as a business. She is eager to unleash new opportunities bringing new technicity & technologies to product launches, consumption & consumer behavior. At Max Factor, she is currently driving the go-to-market strategy globally, with the aim to grow the full Colour Cosmetics category.
Martin Reddy /
Martin is co-founder and CTO at PullString, Inc. where he leads the development of the company’s computer conversation, machine learning, and AI technologies. These have been used to produce chatbots for the new Call of Duty game, to power the audio conversations of Mattel’s Hello Barbie doll, and to help launch the new season of the Channel 4 series, Humans. Martin holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science, has published more than 40 peer-reviewed articles, authored 10 patents, and written two books: “API Design for C++” and “Level of Detail for 3D Graphics”. He spent five years in the Artificial Intelligence Center at SRI International working on 3D terrain visualization technology and then six years at Pixar where he led the development of the studio’s internal filmmaking software for films such as Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, and WALL-E. Martin was founder and CEO of Code Reddy Inc. where he managed various projects including improvements to the Second Life client for Linden Lab, an online 3D virtual world used by over 20 million people worldwide. Martin is a Senior Member of the IEEE and was also the hair model for Mr. Incredible.
Porter Gale /
Porter Gale is an internationally known author, public speaker and start-up advisor with over 20 years of experience working in marketing, advertising and independent filmmaking. Currently, she is the General Manager of the Marketing Vertical for Globality, a new company that’s working on opening up global trade to small and mid-sized businesses. She is also an advisor for WePay, Zozi, Hint Water, Accompany, TrueFacet, AirPR, UpLift, SenderGen and N3twork.
From 2007 to 2011, Porter was Vice President of Marketing at Virgin America. Prior to Virgin America, she also held the post of General Manager at Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners San Francisco. She was awarded the Changing The Game Award, by The Advertising Women of New York (AWNY), was on AdAge’s Digital Hotlist, iMedia Top 25-Digital Marketers and named a Digital Passionista by The Huffington Post.
In the independent film world, Porter produced or directed documentaries that aired on Lifetime, PBS, Channel 4/England and in film festivals around the globe. Porter’s film work has been honored by the Directors Guild of America, The Academy of Motion Pictures & Sciences and Filmmaker Magazine. She is also the author of Your Network is Your Net Worth, published by Atria Books. Porter has a BSBA from Boston University and a Masters in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University.
JR Little /
JR Little is an author and strategist with 15 years experience working in branding, creative and media. As Global Director of Strategy at Essence, JR helps define and deliver strategies for world-leading brands to thrive in the modern world. JR’s first book, ‘Listening Brands’, explores how data and social media have changed the rules of branding.
JR Little /
Laurence Blair /
Laurence Blair is the deputy editor of The World In 2017, The Economist‘s annual publication and platform offering predictions for the year ahead in global politics, business, techology, and culture. Now in its 31st outing, this year’s edition will see world leaders and commentators reflect on a host of powerful ideas about the future. A unique section in 2017 will feature 17 prominent millenials, drawn from different fields, looking ahead to what next year will bring: in sport, activism, technology, music, business and more.
Laurence is a journalist based in London. He has reported from across Europe and Latin America for outlets including The Economist, The Guardian, and the Financial Times, on topics ranging from politics and economics to narcotrafficking and guerrilla groups. Also an analyst for The Economist Intelligence Unit, he has been quoted and interviewed by Diario Financiero, Pulso, Brasil Observer, Radio Colombia, Radio France Internationale, the BBC, and the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, and addressed the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Latin America.
In January 2016, DREAMS OF THE SEA, his long-form report on Bolivia’s quest to regain ocean access, won the Bodley Head/Financial Times Essay Prize. Simon Schama, one of the judges, said that Laurence had “invented a completely new genre: magical journalism, at once fantastical and pragmatically droll.”
Laurence grew up in Weymouth, Dorset, and studied History at Oxford University before taking an MA in International Law and International Relations. He has previously worked as an English teacher in Russia and as a researcher for global analysis firm Oxford Analytica. You can follow him on Twitter @LABlair1492.
Ramona Liberoff /
Ramona has experience in her 20+ year career as a tech for good entrepreneur and long-time angel and social investor, committed to innovation and gender equity and access to finance. She previously led the global business between Unilever and Nielsen Innovation, where she also led Nielsen Europe’s CSR strategy and activities.
Bailey Kursar /
Bailey leads marketing at startup bank Monzo. Their team is building a current account designed for your smartphone, currently in Beta on iOS and Android. She’s spent the last 4 years in FinTech, working to improve the world of financial services using technology.
Bailey Kursar /
Matias Muchnick /
Patrick Stobbs /
Patrick is the co-founder of Jukedeck, a startup that has developed an artificially intelligent music composer – a system that writes original music completely on its own.Their technology allows video creators to make unique, personalised soundtracks at the touch of a button. Jukedeck won the TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Competition in December 2015, and a Cannes Lions gold award in June 2016. Their music has been used by the likes of Coca-Cola, Google and UKTV.
Patrick Stobbs /
Most Contagious tackled some of the biggest marketing trends of the year. These included:
The key events, themes and moments from the year that put the marketing world into context. From the world’s first AI hedge fund to the FBI requesting that Apple unlock a suspected terrorist’s iPhone, we’ll explore the events which unfolded in 2016.
Arguably the most important macro trend of the next decade, machine learning is increasingly underpinning businesses across a variety of sectors, including entertainment, retail and even food. We’ll be offering insights into how this new technology could impact the way that businesses are run and advertising is created.
THE NEXT REMBRANDT
In April, ING Bank unveiled a ‘new’ masterpiece by famed Dutch artist Rembrandt. The Next Rembrandt, created with J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam and Microsoft, is comprised of 168,263 painting fragments taken from the artist’s body of work and offers a mighty convincing facsimile of the real thing. The team used 3D scans of Rembrandt’s existing paintings, machine learning algorithms and a paint-based 3D printer to create the digitally-engineered painting.
Bas Korsten, J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam
Emmanuel Flores, J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam
The rapidly expanding nature of the online retail space means we have more options than ever before. Too much choice has always been overwhelming, but now the tension
has reached breaking point. Our purchasing options have never been greater and navigating the endless aisle has never been more daunting – if brands don’t do something to fix it, their customers might not buy anything at all. This potential setback exposes a new opportunity for brands to set themselves apart from their competition, by helping their customers navigate the overwhelming choice. We will explore how they can do this using technology ranging from one-click buy buttons to customer service chatbots.
CARLING BEER BUTTON
The Carling Beer Button uses Internet of Things technology to keep the beer brand visible in the decision-heavy world of online retail. Created with agency Hi Mum! Said Dad in London, the instant buy button gives customers the ability to add a six-pack of lager to their regular weekly online shop with just one click.
Sean Ferguson, Carling, Molson Coors
Craig Wills, Hi Mum! Said Dad
CONTAGIOUS BRAND OF THE YEAR: BARBIE
The SVP and general manager of Barbie, which has been a lightning rod for women’s issues, will share how is the brand is ensuring the doll’s relevance for millennial mothers.
Lisa McKnight, Barbie, Mattel Inc
Concerns around gender reached fever pitch in the advertising world this year with a number of high profile firings. Out in the real world, the US presidential race kept the subject at the top of the news agenda with one of the two people shortlisted to run the free world beset by sexual assault allegations, while the other faced discrimination based on her gender. Our diverse range of Most Contagious speakers will tackle what this topic means in 2016 for marketing and business. We’ll hear about how an accelerator called Spring is empowering girls in East Africa and South Africa. And finally, we’ll learn about how Axe and its agency 72+Sunny helped the personal care brand triple sales growth by championing a broader vision of masculinity.
Rik Strubel, Axe/Lynx, Unilever & Stephanie Feeney, 72andSunny
Ramona Liberoff, Spring
KEEPING IT REAL
Artificially enhanced environments can be used to create relevant, shareable, innovative marketing. We will cover the new creative possibilities that the fields of Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality have opened up this year as increased expertise, funding and adoption all make an impact.
Laure Murciano, Max Factor, Coty Inc
Richard Garnham, IPSOS
Felicia Williams, HoloLens, Microsoft
THE WORLD IN 2017
Donald Trump’s first year in the White House, a string of knife-edge elections in Europe, Africa and Asia, revolutionary anniversaries, new jobs (from bot-wranglers to virtual-fashion designers), topsy-turvy economic trends, the rise of personalised medicine and landmark milestones in business, technology and finance: 2017 will keep forecasters and pundits on their toes as never before. The World in 2017 magazine is The Economist’s view of the year ahead, with in-house journalists joined by leading politicians, experts, and public figures in outlining their predictions (and a few educated guesses) about what’s next for the planet.
Laurence Blair, The Economist
The way in which we interact with computers is on the verge of a revolution. Rather than having to learn how to engage with technology, we’re now communicating with machines as if they were people. We’ll chart how, this year, human language has become the new user interface and computers have become significantly better at understanding our words – the rise of the chatbots being the most obvious example of this shift. As we’ll demonstrate, this has implications for online search and digital retail experiences and has the potential to totally transform the way people communicate with brands.
Chloe Markowicz, Contagious
Martin Reddy, PullString
Globality’s general manager Porter Gale held a chat with delegates about her company’s online platform, which aims to connect clients with hidden-gem agencies and disrupt the traditional RFP process. Agency-of-record relationships are becoming rarer, replaced by project work. The pitch process is not fit for this environment, which is why Globality is using AI and human curation to reimagine the process. Can tech make the process more efficient and even help with the elusive search for good chemistry? Globality wants to find out when it launches in 2017.
To find out about sponsorship opportunities for the Most Contagious Breakout Session 2017, email: email@example.com
Contagious invites people, companies and products from the Wildfire section of Contagious Magazine and Contagious I/O to showcase their projects. The exhibition is a chance for delegates to get up close and hands on with need-to-know technologies, products and services that will reshape the future.
To find out about sponsorship opportunities for our 2017 exhibition, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our 2016 exhibitors included:
Engage Works /
Engage Works create cutting-edge experiences for some of the world’s leading brands. With offices in London and Dubai, this creative agency blends design, insights and technology to deliver brand-defining experiences, ground-breaking environments and future-proof strategies. From consultancy, design and software, to hardware integration and support – Engage enables their clients to communicate more effectively, while accelerating collaboration, sales, and new business.
Combining innovative thinking with unparalleled experience, Engage’s solutions transform, empower and excite. Engage will be showcasing three of their most talked-about solutions, representing up-coming marketing trends for now, and 2017: data visualisation and digital generative art; Marvin, the Nao Robot; and Microsoft Hololens.
Engage Works /
The Skinterface suit allows wearers to feel a variety of sensations in their bodies during a virtual reality experience, making it even more immersive. This could be feeling a gust of wind against their skin or reaching out and feeling the texture of a virtual object. Designed by a group of Royal College of Art graduates, the technology works by reacting to the vibrations in soundwaves.
Bitmap Banshees /
Bitmap Banshees is a techno-glitter VR thriller game installation created by the Department of New Realities at Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam. Set inside a future dystopian Amsterdam, a gang of biker banshees are out to get you. Cutting loose, you navigate through a psychedelic b-grade horror frogger nightmare.
Bitmap Banshees /
Tilt Brush /
Google’s Tilt Brush is a VR experience that takes users into a virtual studio where they can create 3D works of art. The app works with HTC’s Vive VR headset and hand controllers, enabling users to make virtual brush strokes. Different colours and brushes can be selected from a virtual toolbox, alongside other fun options such as painting with stars, light and fire. Users can take a photo of their work at any time and can share it as a VR experience or animated GIF. Google claims that the app has potential beyond art and could help designers and people working in fashion sketch out new ideas.
Tilt Brush /
MAPO is a personalised smart mask that can analyse your skin. Created by Paris-based beauty tech company Wired Beauty, the mask covers the top of your face, with sensors on both cheeks and the forehead. These sensors can measure the skin’s temperature and moisture level, and will gather enough data for analysis in just one minute. The app then uses this data to track the health of the person’s skin and gives recommendations for routines and products they should use. For example, if a user’s skin gets drier in winter, the mask would be able to pinpoint the time they should start moisturising more, or suggest a more intensive product to switch to.
The Next Rembrandt /
We’re delighted to have a real masterpiece in our exhibition this year, in the form of ING Bank’s The Next Rembrandt. More than 300 years after the Dutch artist’s death, technology has brought his artistry ‘back to life’ with this digitally engineered painting. The Next Rembrandt is comprised of 168,263 painting fragments taken from the artist’s body of work and was created by ING Bank with J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam and Microsoft.
The team used 3D scans of Rembrandt’s existing paintings, machine learning algorithms and a paint-based 3D printer to create the painting. The initiative scooped two Grand Prix’s at Cannes and has divided opinion across the advertising, tech and art world. Is it really ‘a horrible, tasteless, insensitive and soulless travesty of all that is creative in human nature’ as one Guardian article touted? Or is it a fascinating experiment, blurring the boundaries of science and art? Come have a look and decide for yourself.
The Next Rembrandt /
If you’ve been eyeing up your parents’ wrinkle patterns to get a glimpse into your own future, don’t bother – 75% of skin aging is due to changing environmental factors and lifestyle choices rather than genetics. That’s why French cosmetics startup Romy Paris has created Figure, an at-home beauty laboratory for ultra-personalised skincare. ‘It is unbelievable that a bottle of classic skincare does not respond to major changes,’ says Romy Paris co-founder Morgan Acas. ‘We want to follow our consumer everywhere to give the best recommendations for their skin.’
In the style of a Nespresso machine, Figure combines a basic serum with capsules containing different active ingredients with varying skincare benefits. An accompanying app creates a real-time beauty diagnostic and recommends a combination of capsules that will help keep it in optimum condition.
To set up the app, users answer a three-part beauty questionnaire about their skin type, lifestyle habits and beauty goals. The app measures changing environmental factors such as the weather, pollution levels and the temperature of the air. It also connects with healthcare apps to measure activity and sleep. All this data is combined to create a diagnosis. For example, if someone usually gets 10 hours sleep, but last night only got 8, the app knows they will be tired and will recommend the right formula accordingly.
Once the optimum ingredients have been determined, users insert the capsule and select either light or heavy cream. Figure mixes it all together and produces a 1ml application of the formula on a spatula.
Pure Human /
Tina Gorjanc’s Pure Human project uses Alexander McQueen’s DNA as the starting point for her fashion collection. The Central Saint Martins student’s range of leather clothes and accessories shows how genetic information could be extracted from someone’s hair and used to grow skin that mimics the original tissue. The collection’s actually made from pig skin, but highlights issues around the exploitation of genetic material.
Pure Human /
Air Ink /
Marcel Sydney in partnership with Graviky Labs for Tiger Beer
Tiger Beer worked with MIT Media Lab spin-off Graviky Labs and Marcel Sydney to turn air pollutants into ink for artists to use. The project saw over 150 litres of Air-Ink created by attaching a device to the exhaust pipes of cars, boats and cranes in India and Hong Kong – equivalent to 2500 hours’ worth of diesel car emissions.
Air Ink /
Marcel Sydney in partnership with Graviky Labs for Tiger Beer
Future Flora /
Our bodies are full of useful bacteria, but the chemicals in cleansing products wash away the good germs as well as the bad. This makes us more susceptible to infections, such as the common vaginal infection Candida.
To help women cultivate their own flora and balance the bacteria in their private parts, Central Saint Martin’s student Giulia Tomasello has created the Future Flora kit. This includes a jelly pad designed to be worn like a sanitary towel, on which good bacteria can be harvested.
Future Flora /
A new tailoring system allows clothes to be created virtually, without designers ever having to touch the fabric. The brain child of French designer Clement Balavoine, Neuro and its Daz3D software provides a simulated fitting-model based on 3D scans of real people. Designers can then use the program to create virtual photo shoots or alter a garment’s size, shape or fabric. The finished product can be 3D printed or laser cut.
London-based startup Vinaya creates beautiful wearable jewellery that is designed to minimise the distraction of smartphones. The necklaces, bracelets and rings vibrate to alert the wearer only when they receive an important call or notification. Users can customise the settings via an accompanying app.
Watermelon Sugar /
As we spend more time online, health and wellness will increasingly become about taking care of our digital selves. Visual artist and designer Pamm Hong presents her app Watermelon Sugar, which visualises a user’s browsing history as a digital organism.
Like a Tamagotchi for analytics, it paints an intimate picture of a user’s online consumption, mediating his or her relationship with data and technology. Hong’s Digital Wellness Lab enables visitors to diagnose their online habits and receive a prescription to improve their digital wellbeing. Hong’s varied practice is informed by technology, materiality and interactivity.
Watermelon Sugar /
Microsoft Surface Posture Scanner /
Microsoft’s Real Time Posture Scanner – developed with JMW, Stockholm – is an interactive billboard that uses Kinect technology to analyse people’s posture. The billboard was hosted in a busy business district of the Swedish capital, highlighting the fact that one in four Swedes carries too much on a daily basis, a problem that its lightweight Surface Pro 4 tablet and laptop could solve.
Microsoft Surface Posture Scanner /
Barbie Fashionista Dolls /
Barbie Fashionista Dolls /
Make A Computer /
Kano’s creative computing kits allow people to build a computer in a way that is as simple and fun as Lego. Once built, users can complete coding challenges, gain kudos in the community and share their own creations. The London-based company has sold over 100,000 versions of its kit in 86 countries.
The Not Company /
The Not Company
If you don’t like regular milk in your coffee, head over to The Not Company who will be treating guests to samples of their plant-based dairy alternatives. But there’s more to the Santiago-based startup than meets the eye, because the mastermind behind its food products is an algorithm. The team has created AI that analyses food to suggest plant combinations that will re-create certain flavours, including milk and mayonnaise.
Jukedeck Make is an AI music composer that allows users to create a unique track in a matter of seconds that fits the length and mood of their video.
The programme understands music theory and uses algorithms and machine learning to write new music note by note. The customer pays at point of download, saving valuable time and money in the editing phase and enabling brands to create content more quickly and effectively.
Come and meet the startup causing a stir in the finance industry with its new mobile-only bank. Monzo’s user-centric app allows customers to track what they are spending their money on, cancel a lost card with just a few swipes and it also sends useful notifications such as when a transaction has been declined.
Some of the best startups featured in Contagious magazine’s Small But Perfectly Formed section took to the stage throughout the day to pitch their business to the audience and compete for the SBPF award.
Our 2016 shortlisted companies:
London-based Monzo has created a mobile-only bank based around its customers’ needs rather than its own financial products. Within its mobile app, Monzo provides users with real-time spending tracking, budgeting help and the ability to cancel a lost or stolen card instantly, for example.
Using machine learning, Seattle-based ReplyYes sends its users product suggestions via SMS which can be purchased by just texting back ‘Yes’. Currently, the startup recommends comic books and vinyl, but will add further product types in the future.
The musical team at Jukedeck has developed an AI composer that can generate an original track in a matter of seconds. Users just specify the length and genre of the track that they desire. The London-based startup provides a great example of how computational creativity can be useful.
Currently, three billion people lack access to adequate housing. Sao Paulo-based Urban3D is looking to revolutionise the construction industry and put an end to global homelessness by creating new, low-cost materials and construction processes. For example, the materials can be 3D printed and have embedded RFID chips that allow the building to be tracked.
The Not Company
This Santiago-based startup is using artificial intelligence to develop plant-based dairy alternatives. It’s algorithm (which goes by the name of Giuseppe, by the way) analyses food on a molecular level to find and predict plant-based combinations that can be used to re-create flavours.
Copy in Amy or Andrew Ingram into an email, and they will take care of scheduling a meeting for you for a fraction of the cost of hiring a PA. The helpful duo are actually AI agents, created by New York-based startup x.ai.
NotCo’s co-founder, Matias Muchnick, picking up the award, alongside Essence’s global strategy director, JR Little (far left) and Contagious’ editor, Alex Jenkins (far right)