Business is coming back to life. And just as sports fixtures and music festivals are coming back in real life, so too are business events. Next week is all about MADFest, the two-day festival of media and creativity, which will be conducted as a ‘socially distanced’ but ‘in the flesh’ event that is also broadcast to a wider audience, virtually.
This year, the guys at MADFest are dedicating a whole stage to the topic of attention. Thursday 8th July will see the launch of ATTENTION//FEST, hosted by Lumen.
The event promises to be genuinely exciting, with a controversial range of authors, academics, brands and publishers all vying for your attention. Will Page, once Chief Economist at Spotify and now bestselling author, will be talking about how the Attention Economy influenced his new book, Tarzan Economics. Shazia Ginai, of Neuro Insight, will be talking about the relationship between attention and cognition in marketing. And Joanne Leong, of Dentsu, will be giving us an exclusive peak into the latest findings from the US leg of the Dentsu Attention Economy Project.
In a mischievous bit of scheduling, the organisers have juxtaposed Ian Edwards from Facebook and Prof. Tommaso Valletti, from Imperial College London. Prof. Valletti is one of the principal architects of GDPR and was the Chief Competition Economist for Margarethe Vestager, the European Information Commissioner. He has been a vocal and strenuous critic of the ‘attention oligopoly’ of Facebook and Google. It will be interesting to hear what he thinks about Facebook’s approach to the economics of attention.
ATTENTION//FEST is a physical manifestation of the growing interest in the topic of attention. The recent publications from The Attention Council (which we contributed to) and the creation of the inter-disciplinary Attention Studies unit at King’s College, London (which we are part of) show that we are only at the start of our journey.