We kick start our series of inspirations with the tricky state economically we're in which has had a knock on effect for society, we then look to the innovation experience from the powers 5G and end back on our culturally tricky state with some force for good stories. We begin with where all good agencies start, the wizards of the strategy department... (over to you Johnny!...)
Not to be glum, but it’s hard to be too excited about anything what with the looming mess of Brexit and society’s increasing political polarisation and all. Rather than wallowing, though, I’ll take that as my inspiration and focus on some people who are trying to tackle the root causes of the mess we’re in by elevating the level of public debate: ChangeAView and Kialo.
ChangeAView, which has grown in six years from a Scottish 17-year-old’s reddit post into a Google-funded nonprofit startup, encourages posters to put forward a view to be challenged. Members of the community can then argue against that position with moderators on hand to stop things degenerating into a slanging match. The original poster can dish out ‘deltas’ to particularly persuasive respondents, which act as a kind of social currency on the platform. Anyone can give ‘shine’ to a post in which they have an interest, which enables hot topics to be ranked. The platform really does maintain the feel of a reddit board, with currently-active discussions ranging from the expected hot-button topics (‘Fetuses and embryos are alive and deserve personhood’) to the more lighthearted (‘Quentin Tarantino's new film 'Once Upon A Time in Hollywood' is not a let down’). On visiting there is the impression that there is an active and dedicated community growing up (unsurprising as the original reddit board had around 700k users at its peak), and there are plans to extend the debating platform into spaces such as schools and universities to facilitate the expression and exchange of ideas there.
Kialo is similar in concept - somebody posits an initial thesis, but then users can respond in either agreement or disagreement. The neat feature here is the ability to visualise discussions as nested groups of fors and againsts, which can be weighted according to impact. This means that at the highest level it’s simple to see where the consensus lies - for or against - but it’s also easy to dig right into the detail behind the arguments by opening up a series of nested tree diagrams. This sounds complex on paper but is remarkably intuitive in practice. The ability to publish the initial thesis to only a select group of users gives Kialo an edge when it comes to rolling out to organisations: It’s easy to see how this would work extremely well for a class debate, for example, or even within a work team when developing a point of view.
Of course they both have limitations. ChangeAView maintains an adversarial (in the legal sense) system of argument which can lead to persuasive posters winning out over objectivity and facts; and when not engaged with honestly (i.e. with an open mind), posts can sometimes resemble the ‘change my mind’ meme. Kialo, on the other hand, can end up giving false balance to unequal arguments in a similar way to the news media and lacks impartial fact-checking or moderation.
They both rely on an honest open-mindedness and willingness to change one’s opinions. But what if they are infiltrated by dishonest people with an agenda to push? How can they engage with people who would rather demonise an ‘other’ than try to understand them? And what happens when a consensus can’t be reached? It’s perhaps unfair to expect these platforms to answer these questions: They might not single-handedly fix the internet, but they’ll certainly make it a nicer place for the rest of us to talk about it.
- Jonathan Stafford, Strategy Director, Tribal Worldwide London
The Power of 5G
With 5G rollout already started across London, it’s high time we look at how 5G will affect the experience with technology, and what it might mean once wireless connections are reaching 1Gbit+ download speeds (for reference, that’s 6500 times faster than 4G https://5g.co.uk/guides/how-fast-is-5g/ )
Media rich experience
One of key features of the technology is low latency, cutting it just to 1ms, compared to 4G's 50ms (https://www.qualcomm.com/news/onq/2019/05/13/how-5g-low-latency-improves-your-mobile-experiences )This coupled with huge bandwidth increase can have potential for next generation of experiences beyond the likes of Google's soon to be launched game streaming service Stadia, with potential of peer-to-peer streaming platforms, leveraging low latency and high bandwidth.
Environment experience design
Our experience with our surrounding IoT devices will be evolve into ambient computing, as virtually real time communication between devices, and low power consumption of 5G technology for designed to also work with products that do not need a constant connection with will create an opportunity to deliver a more reliable seamless connectivity with sensors, devices and technologies such as ML becoming more ubiquitous.
- Peter Bircak, User Experience Designer, Tribal Worldwide London
Evolution of Food Banks
With politics at a heightened state of austerity and Brexit on the horizon, some organisations are taking community outreach in their stride. The wonderful support teams from food banks int he UK look to tackle the roots of poverty for many living in Britain. (https://www.ft.com/content/dd7efb70-c595-11e9-a8e9-296ca66511c9). The food bank encourage garden volunteering with improves self-worth and value for those in very disheartening situations. For many Britons food banks have become a way of living and with the growing trend of home-grown food this is a chance for a fresh outlook.
This approach offers a quiet space for reflection which can benefit mental and physical health for individuals, it allows a moment for wellbeing and mindfulness. John McCorry food bank CEO sees this as a chance for people to move beyond the food bank with a sense of resilience. This also comes at a time when people are still getting use to changes to the adoption of universal credit as a means to living. (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/nov/18/flaws-universal-credit-system-vulnerable-people-penniless-citizens-advice-study)
On the notion of social justice, a timely project has also launched this month. We look inwardly at a piece a nimble team of Tribalites have pulled together. A few words from the lead Creative on the project Emma Harris -
Four months ago we were given the opportunity to take part in Omnicom’s LGBTQI+ charity initiative 🌈Open Pride.
Briefed to join forces with a local LGBTQI+ charity and offer them our services pro bono, we reached out to UKLGIG (UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group) – a charity who support LGBTQI+ people through the UK asylum system. They asked us to help them shine a light on the particular disadvantages & dangers that LGBTQI+ asylum seekers face in UK detention centres, in a way that would specifically grab the attention of those willing to act on their behalf, while also campaigning for a 28-day time limit on immigration detention (the UK is the only country in Europe to not have a time limit – yeah, what the actual fuh).
We took this challenge, ran & ran & ran with it, and #LendYourVoice was born.