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This week: AI-driven custom concealer, Emerging Youth: UAE, Web Summit 2023, Global Citizen and Kendrick Lamar bring major concerts to Africa, Global Wellness Summit 2023, and persistent burnout: the stats.

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17 November 2023

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Wavepaths, photography by Mathias de Lattre


Dcypher, UK

1. Dcypher launches AI-driven custom concealer for all skin tones

UK – Cosmetics brand Dcypher has launched the world’s first AI-driven colour match technology and customisable concealer for all skin tones.

Dcypher uses AI-video scanning software to accurately measure each customer’s skin tone and create a unique skin tone tag. This tag is then translated into a ‘mixed to measure’ solution, creating a personalised product that perfectly conceals blemishes, dark circles and hyper-pigmentation.

After processing, colour tags are stored in an online database for repeat ordering. Colour shades can also be tweaked darker or lighter depending on the customer’s personal preference, or to match fluctuating skin tone following a holiday, for instance. The concealer follows the brand’s debut colour-matched foundation, which was launched in 2021.

The AI technology and made-to-order production system allow Dcypher to offer the perfect shade for every customer, reducing cosmetics waste and positioning itself as the first truly inclusive make-up brand.

As explored in our AI Optimism market report, technology works best and lasts when it makes consumers feel good; for many consumers, this will be the first time a product truly matches their skin. Dcypher is setting new inclusivity and sustainability standards for make-up brands.

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Photography by Cottonbro Studio, Russia

2. Emerging Youth: UAE

According to a 2021 report by the Emirates Youth Council (EYC), an independent council that serves as an advisory body to the Prime Minister’s Cabinet, while the past 50 years of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were built with natural resources and oil, the next 50 will be built by the most important part of its human capital: its youth.

The same Council states that nearly half of the country’s citizens are aged between 15 and 35. The UAE’s Gen Z, much like their counterparts across the globe, are the most digitally literate generation and have a lasting impact on the country’s consumer behaviours – influencing various sectors and challenging long-standing norms within Emirati society.

The smartphone penetration rate in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is the highest in the GCC sub-region, with countries such as the UAE exceeding 96% in 2023. The majority of the population in the MENA region also access the internet through their mobile devices (source: Statista).

This digital dominance is reshaping retail, with ventures like HyperSpace in Dubai and Riyadh, which designs elaborate parks that feature a mix of digital and physical entertainment, including gaming, in shopping malls – an attraction for young and digitally savvy consumers who will turn to immersive experiences and enjoy online shopping simultaneously.

Read more on LS:N Global.

Web Summit Lisbon 2023, Portugal

3. Web Summit 2023 Daily Recap: Podcasts, influencers and digital legacy

Portugal – Some 70,236 attendees from 153 countries gathered in Lisbon for the launch of the world’s largest tech conference on 14 November 2023. The day was packed with talks, introductions to start-ups, and panellists sharing insights on everything from AI and influencers to podcasts and journalism.

According to Dino Sofos, not every brand can successfully launch a podcast. The CEO of Persephonica highlighted how celebrity or mainstream status alone isn’t enough to ensure a good podcast, emphasising uniqueness. The former BBC journalist and current Dua Lipa: At Your Service podcast co-founder advised anyone seeking to create podcasts to consider the business opportunity – citing a 25% rise in US podcast advertising since 2021. Revenue streams exist beyond ads, such as sponsored social media content or live shows generating thousands of ticket sales. Sofos emphasised the sizeable podcast audience (40–42% of the UK and the US) but stressed the need for a PR and video strategy to stand out amid the saturated podcast market.

Influencers were undoubtedly Web Summit’s rock stars as they stepped on stage to discuss their career and the future of the creator economy. Twenty-one-year-old American TikToker Loren Gray (54m followers) questioned creators’ legacy and digital footprint: ‘It would be impossible for me to leave social media because I have had that direct contact with my community since I started in 2016 at 13. My whole childhood is archived on the internet.’

Elsewhere, Camila Coutinho, the self-defined Brazilian grandma of blogging – she started in the 2000s – addressed the necessity for agility to exist beyond virality. ‘Things last way less than they used to. We must create more and split our time between doing things we know will work and trying new things.’ As explored in The Rise of the Expert Influencer, consumers’ needs have changed, and, as Gray explained, ‘shoving a product to a creator and expecting results’ is no longer a reality.

4. Global Citizen and Kendrick Lamar bring major concerts to Africa

Africa – Move Afrika: A Global Citizen Experience, a new initiative that aims to establish an international touring circuit across Africa, will be launched with a concert in Rwanda on 6 December 2023, headlined by rapper Kendrick Lamar.

Alongside performances by Lamar and other regional artists, Move Afrika: Rwanda will feature an advocacy campaign urging world leaders to take action on issues affecting Africa.

‘Hopefully, this will send a message to the entire industry that not only is there a huge, huge opportunity on the continent for them to engage with and embrace, but ultimately, that this is something that is necessary considering where we’re going as a society and as humanity,’ Kweku Mandela, Global Citizen’s chief vision officer, told The Associated Press.

Read more on LS:N Global.

Kendrick Lamar. Photography by Greg Noire

5. Global Wellness Summit 2023: Wellness' Growing Influence

In light of recent events and mounting concerns about instability in the Middle East region, the Global Wellness Summit’s 17th annual event was moved from Doha, Qatar, to its original host city, Miami, Florida.

At this year’s summit, a significant highlight was the introduction of a new report by the Global Wellness Institute team, which estimated the value of the wellness economy and its 11 key sectors, including mental wellness, personal care and beauty, and wellness tourism. The summit’s primary focus, however, was on the expansion of wellness sub-categories, notably in the realms of sports tourism, wellness music and women’s health.

The agenda featured renowned figures like American producer Timbaland and Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, as well as a diverse line-up of speakers, covering a range of engaging topics and discussions, such as: how wellbeing is infiltrating the celebrity scene; AI's role in the music industry; developments in sense-hacking; and a concept which could be considered as Bleisure 3.0, as we witness a new generation of professional athletes combining business travel with family wellness.

Photography by Alexander Suhorucov, UAE

6. Stat: Working women report persistent burnout at higher rates than men

US – A new survey by global analytics and advisory firm Gallup suggests women are increasingly experiencing job-related burnout.

In a study of more than 18,000 US workers published in October 2023, Gallup found that 33% of women are almost always burned out, while just a quarter of men feel the same. Women are also significantly more likely to say better personal wellbeing is very important when considering a next job (69%) than men (58%).

Recent social media trends of ‘quiet quitting’ and ‘lazy girl jobs’ have identified a general rejection of hustle culture, particularly by Gen Z women, but Gallup’s research suggests burnout plays a bigger part than so-called ‘laziness’.

Our Work States Futures macrotrend report explored how the great resignation was really more of a great re-evaluation. Women, in particular, are continually trying to rewrite work culture to work for them.

7. LS:N Global Quarterly Update

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