• Category Archives Conference
  • The National Lottery is Funding Projects – Lottery Revenue Going in the Right Direction

    It is often the subject of debate whether gambling is good and whether it should be allowed. The same goes for lotteries. People keep spending money on and on, without ever getting anything back. Some even spend time online, looking for various promo codes, such as this MI lottery promo offer, to help their betting adventure.

    Now, that can be either a bad or good thing, depending on the lottery and the country/state. Almost all lotteries use their revenue for philanthropic purposes, funding things here and there. The UK National Lottery is not different in that regard, and is helping fund a plethora of projects.

    The National Lottery Heritage Fund

    This fund is here to help the UK remember its heritage. It sounds corny, but that is what they are doing, funding projects up to five million pounds, to help preserve the UK’s heritage. This translates to various creative projects, buildings, landscape modification, cultural festivals and meetings, enhancing transportation and representing different cultures, storing their memories and traditions. Overcoming isolation is one of their latest projects. Various communities engaged in helping people overcome social isolation, whether by helping them engage in activities, or by organizing a Loneliness Awareness Week. These are interesting projects which can definitely help people overcome some of their anxieties.

    The National Lottery Community Fund

    This fund is a bit more community-focused. This translates to projects which deal with communities and the things necessary to improve them. They communicate with people from their local communities and help them with funding. Locals usually know what is necessary for their community to thrive or at least, progress. The Community Fund does work all over the United Kingdom, and is not exclusive to England, as some would likely assume. They are divided into five portfolios, covering Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and the entire UK. Each portfolio gets its own amount of money, which is then distributed accordingly into wherever it is most necessary.

    The National Lottery Distribution Fund

    The main operator, Camelot, is not responsible for funding projects, but rather, the National Lottery Distribution Fund is. It has twelve distributors, out of which, the two are mentioned above. The funds are distributed in the following way, 40% for health, education, charitable and environment projects, 20% for sports, arts and heritage, each. Each of the distributors cover specific areas, some with more specialization than others.

    These are some of the ways that the National Lottery is used to help fund various projects in the UK. The twelve distributors are responsible for handling the funding revenue appropriately, thus directly helping the communities that need it. Culture, sports, art, health, education and environment projects are the main beneficiaries of said funding.

  • Digital Art Trends in Online Games

    Digital art and graphics trends have come a long way when it comes to online games compared to the old days of pixelated characters and low graphics, especially since game companies invest more in powerful graphic processes to breathe life into their new releases.

    Influenced by culture, technology, fashion, media, and more, online games have evolved and have become more graphically intense over the years. The same has happened with online casino games, and gamblers can now enjoy enhanced graphics when taking their gambling game online. Sugarhouse Casino, for instance, offers a plethora of games, ranging from
    Terminator 2 to the hugely popular Jurassic Park.

    When creating online games, designers try to keep up with the latest visual technologies and follow the current digital art trends, some of which we try to list below.

    The first graphics trend we have noticed in online games is the flat design, also known as Material Design. This kind of design is influenced by minimalism and gives objects a neat colorful look. It also uses subtle gradients, combined with negative space and bold typography, and it’s very popular because it allows for fast loading times. A well-known game in which we can see an example of flat design is the award-winning indie game Monument Valley.

    Though some consider this design style fake or inauthentic, the use of skeuomorphic textures is still quite popular in web design. For those not familiar with the term, skeuomorphism is a style that makes digital items as similar as possible to their real-world counterparts, both in appearance and use.

    And even if many see it as outdated, its wooden textures and stitched ribbons are seen quite often in the user interface of online games. 1-2 Switch is a good example if you want to see how skeuomorphism is employed in interesting ways, with motion-based controls used in gameplay to reinterpret real-world tasks as multiplayer games.

    Moreover, game developers currently tend to create games in which characters are very similar to real humans, and in order to bring virtual characters to life, they use performance capture technology. This process involves recording the movement of objects and people and then including it in video games. Basically, the technology digitally records human movements and the recorded data is mapped on a digital model in 3D software. As a result, the digital object or character will act just as the real life counterpart.

    On the other hand, when it comes to static environments, the current trend is to use real-time global illumination which models how light is reflected off a surface onto other surfaces.

    As for future trends, digital artists believe that games will move towards more unrealistic universes, with utopic-based alternate worlds, hyper-sensorial experiences and dystopian visions, going beyond the idea of realism into the imagination realm.

  • The 2018 Aarhus Festival has been announced

    If you love art and entertainment, you will have a blast at the Aarhus festival. This event takes place annually and for 10 days, it fills the city with laughter and joy. Aarhus is located in Denmark and hosts about half a million tourists during festival days. It’s no secret this country is quite expensive, which is why you should think about ways to supplement your income so that you can afford the trip.

    If you like and know enough about sports to bet on games, here’s a Mobile Voucher Code. Sports betting can be an unconventional way to earn some extra cash or a horrible thing to do for those who can’t keep their gambling thrills in check. Now, let’s find out more about the 2018 Aarhus festival.


    The programme for the 2018 edition is yet to be announced but we do know when it will take place. You are invited to Aarhus to enjoy the festival between August 31st and September 9th, 2018.

    Aarhus is the second largest city in Denmark, being a frontrunner for the use of wind energy. In fact, the entire festival is powered 100% by this type of renewable energy source, thus making it the first WindMade cultural event in the entire world.

    The theme is, as the organizers call it, “bridging.” The executive director describes it as connectivity, correlation that enables people to develop trust in one another. The theme was set back in 2017 and was meant for the first time in the festival’s tradition to cover 3 years. So, 2018 is the second time we’ll see projects about “bridging” on a small and a large scale.

    The festival takes place in several locations across Aarhus, both public places like parks and indoor venues such as galleries and theatres. Many events, especially the ones held outdoors, are free, while others are not. For example, last year, the ticket to see a theatre show within the festival had a price of 30 Danish Krone, the equivalent of 3.5 British pounds.

    2017 Programme

    If you have never been to this festival before, it’s only natural to want to know more before scheduling it in your limited vacation days. Since it’s going to be a while until the new programme will be released, you can only look at last year’s edition. The theme will not change, so the 2017 programme will give you a fair idea of what to expect.

    The festival began with a public exhibition of architecture that can “move” (hence the name of Architecture Moves) us as human beings. Another interesting activity was the transformation of Vesterbro Square, a main traffic node for the city into an oasis of peace and relaxation.

    There was a huge scaffold shaped like a staircase that led to a garden on top. From there, a waterfall dropped to the street to contrast with the noise of the passing cars. This was a statement for green city development.

    There were also music events. For example, Mølleparken was turned into a huge stage where local talents performed for several days. The concerts were very diverse, starting from Royal Academy music to hip hop and of course, rock songs.

    Other modern themes were presented through art exhibitions. For example, there was one called Future Feminism. They basically displayed 13 big pink marble plates, each inscribed with a statement that was meant to strengthen collective female consciousness.

    Another modern art representation was the photography exhibition of Mayumi Hosokura from Japan and AdeY from the UK. Their photos depicted naked models, both male and female. Their faces were often hidden in an attempt to emphasise the body, regardless of its gender.  



    Companies that are looking to keep up to date with the latest trends in technology and get well equipped for the future cannot miss the NEXT Conference, an event dedicated to people who want to get involved in shaping the digital transformation and where around 1,500 industry visionaries will inspire and inform them about the newest technologies that shape our lives.

    And talking about keeping up with the latest trends, here is something for sports fans who wish to up their gambling game. Today we can’t say ‘technology’ without thinking of something connected to the internet, or something that happens online, and the sports world also follows this trend in a way through online betting and tries to get fans involved through amazing offers and bonuses, like the Pinnacle vip code 2018.

    In the past decade, there has been a lot of talk about the digital transformation of companies through important business changes. But what is digital transformation? A basic definition of digital transformation would be the thorough rethinking of how companies use technology and digital products to create new revenue streams or new business models.

    In order to accomplish these changes, companies need to think ahead of time and always keep up with the novelties in terms of technological advancements. So without further ado, here are the top trends in digital transformation at the moment.

    Internet of Things (IoT) – The IoT is a giant network of connected devices or ‘things’. Almost everything you can think of from cellphones, to appliances, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and even components of machines can be connected to the internet with an on/off switch.

    With around 8.4 billion connected devices in the world, we would say that IoT’s presence in our lives is pretty important. And given that more devices with Wi-Fi capabilities and in-built sensors are being created, that number is expected to skyrocket in the next years.  Actually, analyst firm Gartner estimates that there will be over 26 billion connected devices by 2020.

    This will result in a flood of data coming from all these connected devices, so companies are now working on advanced analytics systems to manage and process that data.

    Which leads us to the next trends in digital transformation – analytics and faster networks.  The analytics systems of the near future will be centered on AI and machine learning and will mainly be aimed at deciphering the reams of data that will be recorded in order to create actionable insights out of it.

    Competition is fierce in the business world, so companies will want access to information in real time, if possible, which entails the need for faster processing of large amounts of data, more intelligent ways to search for information, and faster methods of evaluating data and determining its relevance – hence the need to build 5G networks as soon as possible, along with the development of edge computing systems to replace central servers.

    Last but not least, more AI applications are increasing their popularity among companies that want to grow in areas as marketing, analytics, customer service and robotics.


    Keynote by Matteo Sardi, Head of Communication at Ferrari

    Matteo Sardi is Head of Communication at Ferrari, which holds one of the strongest brands worldwide. At NEXT he shares his grains of communication gold.

    Sardi pinpoints the importance of making a great first impression on digital media. Social media, such as Facebook, has gradually been a great way to release product news and communicate with customers. Sardi points out how picking the right media is a basis before communicating with customers.

    Make people talk
    After choosing the appropriate social media, Sardi recommends an accurate media strategy, where first impression will matter for a long time. Posting exciting and relevant stories that will get in circulation throughout the web will appeal to the customers’ curiosity and keep the story hot and boiling for a long time.

    Involvement both online and offline
    Keeping a story alive and kicking is not only a matter of online activity. Creating real life events and contests are a way of linking the digital medias with offline engagement. Ferrari has engaged their fans by opening a contest, where the participants had to design their own Ferrari online through the car manufacturer’s website in order to take part in the contest and potentially win favorable prizes.

    Listen to your fans
    Sardi wraps up his talk by mentioning “social listening”. Brands have to listen to their customers and fans in order to engage in social media – without listening and acting on positive and negative comments online from their followers, a company will not be able to fully act on the behalf of the social media rules. A failure which can make a brand loose its credibility.

    Ferrari sure knows how to act wisely on social media – without spending a penny!


    Keynote by Tom Uglow, creative director for Google and Youtube in Europe

    Tom Uglow is the creative director for Google and Youtube in Europe. He talks about the importance of trying, even if you fail: It has never been possible to succesfully pull something off 100 pct.. Rather, making mistakes is a part of the process – often you don’t know what the answer is, so you have to explore. And often it goes wrong.

    Tom Uglow works in the creative labs of Google and Youtube. He puts an emphasis on “lab”: They are exploring and making experiments. In short, his job is to think like a user and make sophisticated tools. Making (beautiful) mistakes is a part of the process.

    One example is the Androidify app. The app allows you to make yourself into a android avatar. Google didn’t really know what to do with it and just sat on it for a while. Then, at a mobile conference, they decided to release. It was an instantaneous success and everybody at the conference loved it. These kinds of beautiful mistakes are natural parts of the creative lab.

    Tom Uglow compares innovation with children’s’ play: It often looks like fun and play. In companies, the innovation process is a lot similar: If you’re not having fun, it’s impossible to generate excitement for your project.

    Often, internet phenomenon just sort of happen: Charlie Sheen became an overnight internet meme with his bewildering “Winning”-song. He got 1 mil. followers on Twitter 24 hours after he created an account. The Charlie Sheen effect shows that information is an uncontrollable wave – no one is in charge and everyone can chime in with their own representation.

    Tom Uglow thinks the future of digital is really physical. Actual things are nice: Augmented reality is awkward. He lists 7 ideas that are not that hard to imagine in the future:

    1) Eye-tracking as targeting: Relevant content is being loaded when the user is moving his eyes around the web page.

    2) Function-led display advertising: HTML5 makes banner advertisements into user-oriented microsites. The best ads will actually be useful to the user.

    3) Ad network loyalty programs: Ads become more personal and limited.

    4) User-led advertainment: Ads become stories that can unfold at the users’ pace.

    5) User-focused microdonations systems: Even small donations like 1 USD can become substantial if it is easy to donate and a lot of people do it.

    6) Data streams will be personal: Your gadgets will provide you with automated information like your pulse, temperature, location, blood sugar etc: Instead of looking up the information, the information comes to you.

    7) Geo-location/time-based arts: Arts using mobile participation and iterative dramas. Theatres using NCF and GPS.


    Keynote by Mark Bünger, Research Director of LUX

    Mark Bünger is the Research Director of LUX. Besides researching green buildings and alternative energy, Bünger is into biochemistry.

    In fact he is so much into biochemistry that he wants to convince the participants at NEXT about it.  By teaming people together two on two, the participants are ought to look each other in the eyes, touch each other’s cheeks – and thereby experiencing their own natural biochemical reactions; racing heartbeat, laughter, cheeks turning red. Biochemistry ignites your visual communication and pushes you out of your comfort zone!

    Copy/paste your genes
    Bünger thinks we can learn a lot from a software developer’s way of thinking. When a software developer builds a program, he copies and pastes pieces of code from one end of the program to another. That’s exactly what we can do with our genes – copy/paste genes in between each other to regenerate body parts.

    Biochemistry can make the blind see again
    The mindset of software developers will also let human beings discover how body parts are constructed and developed. By trying to make a bug grow multiple eyes – and failing the project – scientists discovered how an eye is build and developed. A quite interesting discovery for blind people, as the scientist might figure out how to grow new eyes for sightless human beings.

    Biochemistry is not a beautiful mistake
    Mark Bünger argues that biochemistry is not a beautiful mistake. Biochemistry – unlike for example the discovery of the microwave oven – is a simple process of trying again and again until coming up with reliable answers.


    Keynote by Matthias Hollwich, Architect / co-founder HWKN

    Matthias Hollwich, co-founder of architecture firm HWKN and architecture community Architizer, talks about the news ways of designing a house – architects using crowd-sourcing.

    Matthias starts out passing around three photo boards around and invites the audience to draw and infuse their ideas on top of the existing architecture: New Aging, Rising Sea Levels and Fun Sustainability.

    Matthias Hollwich wants to make the most dangerous nursing home of the planet: A nursing home where residents would rather go home to their communities, creating social life.

    Matthias Hollwich is one of the key persons behind BOOM – a bold new community. BOOM is about making a vivacious and engaging retiring home covering a whole neighbourhood. BOOM was commissioned by a group of investors who originally wanted Architizer to design the community. Instead, Hollwich says, Architizer wanted to kickstart the project. Hollwich was very specific in choosing the architect firms for the task: They should be curious, willing to collaborate and most importantly, never have done anything related to aging. Ten different architecture companies were handpicked for the task.

    Architecture is usually a very one-sided process where one architecture company is responsible for the whole product: It is expensive and the company is sitting in an ivory tower, hard to approach in the first place. Also, the most prestigious projects tend to be used only once, making architecture a very costly business model. In fact, only 5 pct. of homes in the US are designed by architects.

    The BOOM project makes architecture a process with no hierarchy, where ideas are being generated within the people. Every step of the process is visible for the public, allowing them to give the architects input. This gives the residents first hand insight and a feeling of ownership.

    So instead of making architecture a completely crowdsourced task like Architizer tried – no doubt an impossible feat – concepts like BOOM allows the architects to be in the driving seat, while they tap into the vast of crowd-generated knowledge.


    Keynote by Ted Howes, Fmr IDEO Global Lead, Energy Domain

    On a daily occurrence Ted Howes leads IDEO’s Energy Domain. At this year’s NEXT conference Howes enters the stage to talk about sustainability.

    He covers the theme Beautiful Mistakes with different examples from his long career. Howes points at the energy company PG&E as an example of a beautiful mistake.

    Wireless technology blinded PG&E
    PG&E saw an opportunity in embedding wireless technology to interact with their electric meters. Amazed by the new technological prospects, PG&E started replacing all of their older technologies with the new wireless ones. Soon their customers became concerned – were these new wireless connections actual harmful to people’s health?

    Criticism was pouring over PG&E. Angry customers protested against the wireless technologies, but feeling overheard and forced to accept the replacement.

    Listen to your customers
    As a result, PG&E had to switch back to the old technology once again to satisfy their customers – a really expensive and troublesome learning. PG&E did however learn how much listening to customers is worth. Ted Howes points at the importance of letting users lead and play an active role in embedding new products – otherwise it is difficult, if not infeasible, to convince customers to embrace new technology in their everyday life.  Even though PG&E’s attempt to embed wireless technology turned out a mistake, the energy company has learned a lesson.


    Keynote by Alfons Cornella, Infonomia

    First speaker of the day is Alfons Cornella. He is the founder and president of Infonomia. He emphasizes that everything in the future will be based on just two letters: ‘Co’.

    Old disciplines like sports, music, and science have always been based on collaborations. This tendency is just rising – for example, the CERN-project in Switzerland is a huge collaboration between uncountable scientists all over the world. In scientific articles, the names of authors take up fifteen pages alone.

    Co-branding, co-products, and co-markets are also becoming more popular for companies. The collaborations allow the company to combine their specialities and expand their knowledge banks. Alfons Cornella thinks coping with a more complex world requires more collaboration.

    Infonomia founded co-society in order to accommodate to this market. co-society is a network of companies that collaborate in order to strengthen their own company.

    However, co-society did run into some problems: Not surprisingly, humans and companies, are selfish. In order to overcome this selfishness and make the collaboration a reality, co-society put an emphasis on trust, tools, and techniques. The tools include a shared platform for the companies. An example – a furniture company is connected to a shoes company. Two companies who wouldn’t normally have anything in common. However, by comparing the customer base of both companies, the companies realised that they have a lively and engaged young customer base, making this a common ground for the companies.

    In short, the most important task of co-society is to find common grounds for the companies. Collaborating companies will entail more positive synergy between the companies.

    The only difference between a mistake and a success is one thing: Time. A mistake now might be a success in the future – a beautiful mistake!