JET8’s Victor Zabrockis on the inaugural DEN Summit 2018 | ZUU Exclusive Interview
JET8 Foundation will be hosting the inaugural DEN Summit at the National Gallery on October 18. ZUU online had the opportunity to speak with foundation chairman Victor Zabrockis, learn more about him, JET8, and what we can expect at DEN Summit 2018.
Tell us a bit more about yourself, Victor.
I’ve always been excited by the blending of design, creativity, and technology. In the 90’s, I created innovative websites for the fashion industry in Brazil, but, having grown up in a country with such a disparity between rich and poor – I wanted to apply my passions to something more worthwhile.
Seeing the lack of opportunities in Brazil (and other countries I’ve worked in over the years) inspired me to find a way to use design and technology to empower people and make a difference.
JET8 co-founders Mike Allen and Joshua Thomson both witnessed the impact of economic disempowerment during their years living in South Africa and Southeast Asia, so when we got together the question we first asked was: “Can we build technology that can be accessible to everyone, no matter their circumstances?” And secondly, “How can they use this technology to improve their quality of life?”
What is JET8, exactly?
The influencer marketing landscape is set up so that it benefits only the most successful influencers, based on massive numbers of followers – regardless of whether these followers are genuine or not. These influencers are often paid fixed sums for insincere and often undisclosed product placement.
JET8, on the other hand, is powered by authentic user-generated content, allowing anyone to become a paid micro-influencer by earning from their social influence. Any of our Decentralized Engagement Networks (DENapps) will allow anyone, anywhere in the world to share branded content with stickers and frames, which earns them JETS – JET8’s in-app social currency. JETS allow users around the world to redeem products online or over-the-counter through 15,000 retail stores including 7-Eleven in the Philippines, CircleK in Indonesia, Shop&Go in Vietnam or Shoprite and Checkers in South Africa, besides many others.
JET8 enables an influencer ecosystem that builds communities of value. In a JET8 community, the user is completely in charge – of which brands they support, of their post creation, and also the sharing of their data. JET8’s system is democratic, accessible, and rewarding for everyone – not just major influencers.
Why are Decentralized Engagement Networks necessary?
Social media has been dominated by monolithic companies that control and own all the activity taking place on their platforms. Users provide value to the platforms in the form of content, are bombarded with unwanted advertising, and experience breaches in data privacy. These platforms monetize on users’ personal data, creative output, and social influence, whilst users earn nothing. Social media marketing has been functioning within this disempowering dynamic.
Decentralised engagement networks allow for a more equal distribution of value. Social media will continue to be based on relationships, but they can now travel even further, outside of the boundaries defined by individual platforms. Users won’t be held captive to advertising, they’ll be able to choose when and how they interact with brands. This will encourage more authentic relationships with fans and followers, which is a good thing because it means that brands aren’t wasting their money – they’re interacting with an audience they’re already assured want to hear from and engage with.
How is JET8 Foundation different from JET8 and what is the Foundation hoping to resolve/address?
With a focus on research and development, the JET8 Foundation supports the global adoption of decentralised engagement networks and was founded in 2018. The JET8 Foundation was birthed following the success of mobile engagement technology innovator and tokenised social engagement platform JET8, which was founded in 2015.
JET8 innovates social engagement technology with the purpose of enhancing accessibility to ensure that anyone, anywhere, has the ability to interact and earn from their social influence on a global stage. The social media apps available on the JET8 network support authentic and organic peer-to-peer communities, that connect people around their passion points and reward them for their creativity and engagement.
Based in Singapore, the JET8 Foundation’s mission is to pioneer user wealth creation and social impact through building communities of value.
What’s going to happen on Oct 18 during the Summit and what will JET8 Foundation be addressing?
DENSummit is a thought-provoking movement aiming to change the future of social media, the evolution of communities, and the values around them. Discussions revolve around the social impact of new technologies, and what can be done to empower the change-makers of the world.
Hosted by TASCHEN’s Head Editor Julius Wiedemann, five speakers will each present an 18-minute talk on the evolving shapes of communities — how they form, grow, and interact with new technologies as the years go by.
Guests of the Summit can look forward to: an impressive line-up of five world-class speakers, including TED Fellows and thought leaders; over 300 industry leaders and stakeholders will gather in Singapore to discuss evolving communities and the social impact of new technologies; exclusive art, photography and content exhibitions; and the chance to pick up your complimentary copy of the 2018 DEN Report, the Foundation’s collection of essays and contemplations about how we, as humanity, believe the past, present and future of our communities are connected in a common technology.
Tell me a bit more about the speakers who will be at the event and the role they contribute in JET8 Foundation
Some of our speakers are advisors to the JET8 Foundation, including leading global publishing firm TASCHEN’s Julius Wiedemann and two-time Olympic Gold medallist and humanitarian, Angela Hucles, whilst some of the others have come on board for the event. Each speaker is contributing a huge amount A their varied and unique perspectives and expertise are going to open up a global dialogue about the future we are building.
Olympic medallist for soccer and advocate for inclusivity Angela Hucles will give a talk entitled Tech Power for Introverts, which is about the importance of leadership in community; Cognitive anthropologist Dr. Robert Deutsch will get into human behaviour with his talk Helps and Hindrances in Creating Communities; Senta Slingerland will cover technology and social evolution with Gender Equality, at the Touch of a Button; Social entrepreneur and food-for-change activist David Hertz will be discussing positive social impact in A Global Social Gastronomic Movement Fostered by Local Communities; and rock art researcher Genevieve von Petzinger will put things in perspective with Social Networking Paleo-style- How Community and Communication Helped Us Survive the Ice Age.
If this has piqued your interest, you can register for DENSummit 2018 happening on Oct 18 here.