Top Executives from CNN, Casper, Refinery29, Columbia Records UK, eBay, and more Join ‘Digital Future Council’ Launching June 18

digital future council

The Digital Future Council, a first-of-its-kind think tank formed with the mission of bridging the gap between the creative and technology industries, has announced a distinguished selection of founding members ahead of its official launch during Cannes Lions Festival June 18-21. Key executives on board include: Kate Ward, Senior Vice President & Head of International at Refinery29; Jess Christie, Chief Brand Officer at Matches Fashion; Stacey Tang, Managing Director of Columbia Records UK; Chad Andrews, Global Solutions Leader for Advertising at IBM; Jeff Brooks, Chief Marketing Officer at Casper; Danielle Lauren, Head of Content Strategy and Innovation at CNN; Ray Soto, Director of Emerging Tech at USA TODAY; William Kim, CEO of All Saints; Swen Graham, SVP Creative & Global Marketing at Foursquare; Martin Adams, Founder & CEO of; Meltem Demirors, Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares; Simon Fox, CEO of Reach Plc; Jonathan Hunt, SVP of Digital Strategy at National Geographic; Neil Shah, Global Senior Brand Manager at Smirnoff; Gareth Jones, UK CMO at eBay; Charles Manning, CEO of Kochava; Gene Liebel, Founding Partner, Work & Co; Alive Lloyd George, Principal at RRE Ventures; and Ivo Georgiev, Co-founder of AdEx.

Kate Ward, Senior Vice President & Head of International at Refinery29, said “I’m honoured to be a founding member of Digital Future Council and to participate in these exciting and important discussions. It is vital that we come together as an industry to both reflect on our challenges and identify new opportunities as we look to a future fusing technology with creativity.”

The first Digital Future Council meeting will focus on blockchain technology, a topic chosen due to strong demand from creative communities. Through a series of town hall-style talks, roundtables, and dinners, founding members will explore how blockchain technology will impact audience interaction, distribution of content, and monetization. In addition to the role that blockchain plays in empowering consumers to understand the true value of their data, particularly as it pertains to advertising dollars. The initial programming schedule announced today includes the following topics:

  • Creatives, are you ready for blockchain?

  • How can blockchain impact the relationship between creative and the consumer?

  • Can you use blockchain for social good?

  • Does the future of Copyright and licensing sit on the blockchain?

  • Is blockchain a fad or is it here to stay? And if so, what will it actually change?

Gareth Jones, UK CMO of eBay, said “It’s great to be a founding member of the Digital Future Council. I’m looking forward to engaging with a disparate group of cross-category brands, all unified by a recognition of the strategic importance of digital. I hope to learn a lot from peers and help shape thinking and industry response to a number of digital hot topics and headwinds and challenges.”

Today’s news comes on the heels of the initial announcement of the Digital Future Council and founding members across marketing, advertising, media, and blockchain including: Jason Jercinovic, Global Head of Marketing Innovation at Havas Media; Mark Adams, Vice President of Innovation at VICE Media; Cory Haik, Publisher at Mic; Sheel Shah, Executive Director at Hearst Digital Media; James Poulter, Head of Emerging Platforms and Partnerships at The LEGO Group; Danni Murray, Vice President – Media, Digital and Marketing Partnerships at Warner Bros. Entertainment; Martin Schönberger, Vice President, Partner Development at Sony Music Entertainment; Rob Dembitz, Former Global Head of Innovation at Cannes Lions; Kate Cox, VP, CMO at GoDaddy EMEA; Tom Graham, Founder of TLDR; James Tabor, CEO of MEDIA Protocol; Kayla Sanders, Founder of; and David Wachsman, Founder and CEO of Wachsman, among others.

The Digital Future Council will host quarterly events across the globe, with each event centered around the impact of a different emerging technology. The goal of these events will be to ignite meaningful debates and conversations, formulate tangible advice, and promote best practices for the global marketing and advertising communities when integrating new technologies such as AI, Big Data, and blockchain.

For more information about the Digital Future Council and how to apply to become a member, please visit

About Digital Future Council:
The Digital Future Council is a first-of-its-kind think tank built on the mission of bridging the gap between the media and technology industries. Led by the best and brightest across media, marketing, advertising, and technology, The Digital Future Council will ignite meaningful conversations in order to assist creative industries with integrating bleeding edge technology into their businesses. The Digital Future Council hosts quarterly events across the globe, with each event centered around the impact of a different emerging technology, from AI to blockchain. Founding members of the Digital Future Group include top executives from Warner Bros. Entertainment, Havas Media, GoDaddy, The LEGO Group, VICE Media, and other influential thought leaders. For more information and to inquire about becoming a member, visit