What a week – the sun has been out in force, and we’ve been taking our usual hot desking rather more literally than usual, and opted for the roof terrace. It’s officially the week of our independence party, celebrating one year since we struck out as a fully independent shop with a special book of ads created by the best indie creative agencies in town – hopefully everyone enjoyed themselves last night!

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Do we need to remake the internet? This short video from VR pioneer Jaron Lanier slams the free, ad-supported nature of the internet as one that is starting to cause great harm to humanity.  He paints a fairly dark picture of the world, but makes some undoubtedly valid points about lessons we’re all learning on privacy in a digital world.

China is taking the retail market by storm with a  creation of live, interactive shopping event over the internet. China is the largest e-commerce market in the world but with the cultural differences and censorship it makes it difficult to foreign brands to build a presence in the country. ShopShops help facilitate this gap by enabling Chinese consumers to buy US products for a price they are willing to pay for it.

Paisley, a German fashion brand have transformed a simple discount into a strong message about female empowerment and the disparity gender pay gap by launching their own currency. FEM notes are worth 21% more than the Euro, reflecting the current gender pay gap in Germany. The physical notes have been beautifully designed with several iconic female figures who have helped pave the way for equal gender rights.

Could this be the first meme? This copy of the University of Iowa’s satirical magazine The Judge from 1921 suggests that meme culture began a lot earlier than we first thought. Though what 1921 would think of the rise of Yodelling Kid remains to be seen…

Big clothing brands such as Zara have recently come under fire for cultural appropriation. Out of respect for the original creators, is there a need for clothing brands to credit the cultures that have inspired their pieces? The magazine Beau Monde – a fashion magazine with 100% original Romanian content – has created ‘Bihor Couture’, a line of clothing designed by craftspeople in Romania to draw attention to this issue.

This short video by Raphael Arar, a researcher in artificial intelligence, is an interesting look at the topical issue of how we balance man and machine. He suggests art may be a way to bridge the gap. What does this mean for our future interaction with AI and are we able to teach computers to make sense of our emotions?