Zürich - 18.08.2019 On the 21st of August the first edition of the D:PULSE conference show took place in Zurich, Switzerland. The conference describes itself as a “boutique conference with sustainable impact”, and has its spirit and its genius from the two co-founders of the large annual DMEXCO conference in Cologne, Germany. However, D:PULSE is entering a different event path and is doing something new that other events aren’t - it is taking a completely new position when it comes to equality. For the first launch, D:PULSE teamed up with tech startup Ceretai to analyze the gender diversity of the one-day conference show.
“It’s really nice to see that a conference takes responsibility for self-monitoring their content”, says Matilda Kong, CEO and co-founder of Ceretai. “Everyone is talking about sustainability, and diversity and equality are definitely components in our communal sustainability efforts. Awareness of this is finally starting to spread and D:PULSE is setting a great example.”
The attitude of the marketing, tech and sustainability focused conference and its Executive Partner Christian Muche is that it goes without saying that equality and diversity should be on the sustainability agenda. “We have a responsibility as organizers and business network to not just take the easy road, but ask the uncomfortable questions about what we are actually portraying to conference visitors, to the entire industry, and to the rest of the world”, Muche says. In some way, that might indicate that the conference’s slogan “it’s about context, not content” is not entirely true - D:PULSE does, indeed, focus on its own content when it comes to gender diversity. “We have been very active in finding great female speakers to D:PULSE, and making sure we give them just as much space as men. This all happens behind the scenes and we are not setting nor shouting out any fake milestones - it just needs to be done.”
So what, then, did Ceretai’s analysis show? First of all, 45% of the appearances on the main stage were made by women - a good number for any conference. This included everyone on stage: moderators, panelists and keynote speakers. However, only five out of 18 sessions had female majority, compared to ten with male majority and three with equal amount men and women. And if you dig deeper into the data more valuable insights start to show: female speaking time during the day only amounted to 27.5%, and while women were overrepresented as moderators, they were greatly underrepresented as speakers and so-called Thought Leaders.
“This just shows that we as organizers have to do better, in collaboration with the participating brands”, Muche says. ”Even though we think we are nearly equal, the data suggests otherwise. This was an aha moment for us, and I encourage other organizers to take some time for serious self-examination. Do we really know what it looks like or do we just think we do? I also encourage companies to follow our call and send more female leaders to the stages.”
So how would one go about to take Muche’s advice? One way is of course to make use of the technology available within the young but growing industry called diversity tech. This industry is focused on using technology to support us in making sustainable, unbiased and non-discriminating decisions, and to neutralize the unconscious biases that we carry. But how does it work? Matilda Kong explains: “We use machine learning algorithms to automatically identify men and women in video and audio files. This allows us to get real statistics instead of relying on our gut feeling, which is unfortunately often wrong. We can apply our technology on any video or audio file; a news show, a cinema movie, a recording of a meeting or a conference; and soon we will also be able to generate other diversity-related data such as how we portray different people, measured by which roles they have and who gets to talk about what.”
In summary, the D:PULSE conference series is demonstrating a true and sustainable effort to work with innovation and a will to pioneer the conference industry. According to Christian Muche, this is the first step towards setting the standard for diversity in conferences all over Europe and worldwide.
D:PULSE is the global business conference network with sustainable impact. The new format is organized by Excitare AG from dmexco founders Frank Schneider and Christian Muche, who develops innovative event concepts for the digital industry.
D:PULSE is aimed at top decision-makers, visionaries and game changers in the fields of Digital Marketing & Communications, Technology & Innovation as well as Business & Strategy. In unconventional formats and under the slogan "CONNECT / EXPERIENCE / LEARN", D:PULSE inspires collaboration, lead generation, experience exchange, knowledge transfer and inspiration. The dominating and equally groundbreaking focus of the global series of events is the consumer’s perspective in a digitized world. The motto "It's about context, not content" illustrates a decisive added value of D:PULSE and picks up on a strong industry need: the consistent interpretation and foresight of digital changes with all their interplay. Instead of common platitudes and already well-known statements, the really relevant and highly topical issues like social and corporate sustainability, responsibility and social impact as well as a consistent customer perspective are in the forefront. The two initiators attach great importance to the explanatory connections and predictable consequences of the current trends and developments and less to familiar keywords. The D:PULSE brand, which has been known since 2017 as an annual eponymous event, reinvents itself completely, addresses additional target groups and expands worldwide.
The D:PULSE Zurich on August 21, 2019 is the kickoff event of the network. Further stops follow in Vienna, Tokyo and Berlin.
Further information on the D:PULSE Zurich can be found at www.dpulse.ch
All details about the global business conference network D:PULSE are available at www.dpulse.global
Ceretai offers automated measuring and monitoring of media content from a diversity perspective. Through the use of machine learning algorithms, diversity data is extracted fast and with a high accuracy, giving companies producing or providing video and audio a better understanding of their content. By knowing their own content they are given the opportunity to map how diversity affects their KPIs, to reach a broader audience, and to meet the diversity demands of the younger generations. Ceretai is pioneering in the field of Diversity Tech, filling the ever-increasing need for corporates to work with values and sustainability.
Ceretai is currently working with big media companies in Germany and Sweden by providing them with data on how they portray men and women on screen by measuring how much they speak and what roles they have. Diversity data enables the companies to adapt their content to the future and meet the legal and societal demands of an inclusive and diverse media industry.
Further information about Ceretai and their offers can be found at www.ceretai.com.
Get in touch:
Christian Muche, Executive Partner and co-founder, D:PULSE: firstname.lastname@example.org
Matilda Kong, CEO and co-founder, Ceretai: email@example.com