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Collision 2022: learnings you won’t want to miss

Collision, North America’s fastest-growing tech event, brings together the who’s who of not only tech, but also culture, business and beyond – because let’s face it, tech is just about everywhere.

…And Fox Agency were at the centre of it all. As tech lovers, nothing makes us happier than being on the pulse when it comes to the latest global innovations, especially those that change the way B2B businesses operate. This blog shares our biggest takeaways from the epic event, held in Toronto, where we mingled amongst over 35,000 attendees (including some of the biggest names in our industry).

 

Crypto-current

Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs, kicked off Collision with a summary of the current state of NFT play. With much misconception surrounding blockchain transactions, Roham assures: “Every asset that’s relevant to everybody else will be on blockchain eventually. It’s not niche – it’s about making everything that we rely on accessible.” Roham was joined by co-founder and president of Blockchain, Nicolas Cary. Together, they discussed how the internet will become the greatest and most powerful economy – and why the core of Web3 is open source. Likewise Iris Nevins, CEO at Umba Daima, argues that by educating disadvantaged communities on blockchain and NFTs, we can rebalance the power in our economy.

Interesting Innovation

Collision provided an exceptional sounding board for innovation, with a huge focus on PITCH: the startup battle. This competition brings together early-stage startups in a series of on-stage battles to win investors over. It was fascinating to see just how many innovations are at the cusp of being readily-available on the market – including colour changing nail polish powered by tech, and open-source banking set to change the way we share our income. This year’s winner? Dot – Mind Unlocked, a headset and mobile app that reads brainwaves and uses powerful AI technology to personalise therapy courses according to the wearers needs.

Not all presenters were at such an early stage of investment. For example Boston Dynamics, an advanced engineering and robotics design company, introduced Spot – the latest in their series of agile robots. Already on the market, Spot automates routine inspections with the ability to collect limitless data. Spot was a huge talking point at Collision and made multiple appearances throughout the event alongside Boston Dynamics CEO Robert Playter, who spoke on the future of next-generation robotics.

 

Sustainability challenges

Companies are being held far more accountable than ever before for their environmental impact, and this is driving openness and transparency across many sectors. On the planet:tech stage, experts put their heads together, sharing answers to the growing crisis in food supplies, rising temperatures and carbon pollution. Magi Richani, co-founder and CEO of Nobell Foods, and Justin Kolbeck, co-founder and CEO of Wildtype, discuss how innovation in food and tech can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss, with a grave reminder: “we act as if we have infinite resources, but we live on a finite planet”.

 

The internet: friend or foe?

The cybersecurity conversation came up multiple times throughout Collision, as a subtle reminder that where innovation begins, security must follow. From the impact of a hybrid workplace to the underestimated damage potential of cyberwars – there was a renewed focus on keeping the internet safe.

Renate Nyborg, CEO at Tinder, and Simone S. Oliver, global EIC at Refinery29, shared how safety is prioritised on the dating app. “We want every single person to be verified.” Tinder requests for verification in the moment, asking you to copy poses. The app also uses ML and AI to intelligently response to inappropriate language.

Storytelling done right

The age of misinformation is upon us, and news outlets are in steep competition with the fast-paced world of social media. Is a lack of quality, local journalism to blame? Wikipedia’s founder Jiimmy Wales argues so. Alongside the constant pressure to be online 24/7, news outlets are expected to continue delivering valuable news. But, as Nicole Carroll, EIC at USA Today explains, “I’d rather be second than wrong”. Likewise Matthew Kaminski, EIC at Politico, argues that a journalist’s only agenda should be sharing the truth.

The need for compelling storytelling spills into marketing too, as businesses seek to make deeper connections to their audience. Andy Goldberg, CMO of NY Mets explains: “Understand what your brand DNA is, and harness this for storytelling.”