DiscoverTech To The Future with Francis Hellyer
Tech To The Future with Francis Hellyer
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Tech To The Future with Francis Hellyer

Author: Francis Hellyer

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Tech To The Future (formerly known as Metaverse) is a podcast hosted by Francis Hellyer that explores the frontiers of technology and innovation. With a focus on pushing towards a better future, Francis interviews a range of futurists, innovators, and entrepreneurs to discuss their ambitions and hopes for their respective industries. From climate and blockchain to cryptocurrency and decentralized finance, Tech To The Future covers a variety of fields, seeking out those who aren't afraid to push the boundaries of what's possible.At Tech To The Future, we believe that demystifying the possibilities of the digital future is key to paving the way for a greener, brighter, and more equitable world. Our podcast is based on the acclaimed short film of the same name, and we are committed to providing our listeners with the most engaging and thought-provoking content possible. Join us on a journey to tomorrow as we explore the frontiers of technology and innovation with the people who are shaping our world.
38 Episodes
Richard Cambridge is the co-founder and chief technology officer of WeAudition. Based in Hollywood, WeAudition is a video chat community that enables actors, coaches, agents, casting directors, and more to connect with each other around the globe. Richard built his career working in the TV and film industries, appearing in front of the camera in dramas such as “Hollyoaks” and “The IT Crowd,” as well as behind the camera winning multiple awards for his work. In this in-depth conversation, Richard delves into the journey of founding WeAudition and how it works to embrace technology by making self-tapes the standard way of auditioning; discusses his work in medical VR and pioneering ‘New Reality,' a cutting-edge 360 short film; and shares the possibilities he sees for the metaverse to further transform the ways we can audition - including teleportation and virtual reality auditions!
Andrew Hawken is CEO and co-founder of Mesmerise. Andrew spent 10 years as a current affairs journalist for the BBC; he was drawn to the world of technology at the dawn of the internet revolution and decided to make the leap to join Microsoft in 1996. He was a pioneer of the early techniques of online journalism and helped build MSN as a portal in the UK. Later, he worked for Sky before co-founding Mesmerise in 2016. Mesmerise is a business-to-business Virtual Reality (VR) platform that provides unique and tailored VR products to solve business problems by building rich and immersive computer-generated worlds. The company creates and produces virtual ‘gatherings’, which can refer to conferences, multi-day events or company meetings in the metaverse. In this in-depth conversation, Andrew delves into the fundamental aspects of Mesmerise and how they differ from their competition, with a key focus on all members feeling a “co-presence”; discusses their first-ever VR Morningstar Investment Conference, which welcomed hundreds of attendees worldwide to watch live talks and try out immersive role-plays designed to appeal to investors and financial advisors; and shares his advice for businesses wanting to establish their brands in the new virtual world.
Miriam Feiler is the founder of MAX Volume, a content company that produces both virtual and physical creative works to offer a global community for small business owners and entrepreneurs building their future in the Metaverse. Miriam is the host of ‘The Metaverse with Miz,’ podcast which is inspired by her own experiences from her NFT project, ‘New Day Tomorrow.’ She is also the founder of ‘Women in the Metaverse,’ a community project to map the Web 3.0 and the Metaverse ecosystem to celebrate women creators, founders, investors, and evangelists.In this in-depth conversation, Miriam takes us back to the inspiration behind founding MAX Volume, with an aim to bring others on what she describes as “the journey of the metaverse;” she talks us through her podcast, providing short and snappy lessons on all aspects of the metaverse, highlighting the importance of education within the industry; and shares what it’s like being a woman in the space, and how she hopes it will become more gender-balanced in the future.
In this episode, Francis is joined by Mark Kovic, British singer-songwriter, producer, and founder of Kovic Productions. Mark's debut album 'Running Underwater' reached over 40 million online streams and his single 'Drown' was featured in EA games’ FIFA franchise, joining the top 50 viral Spotify charts. After receiving a shoutout from Dolly Parton, he now works alongside her at CTK Enterprises and is also the founder of his own music agency, Kovic Productions. In this in-depth conversation, Mark shares his experience working alongside Dolly Parton, being part of the ‘Dollyverse,’ discussing how performing in metaverse allows fans to have a more intimate experience with the artist. He then delves into NFTs, explaining how he creates one NFT for every song he releases which then act as a golden ticket for life, where the holder will always have free access to his shows and exclusive new projects and content.
In this episode, Francis is joined by Anthony Batt, co-founder of Wevr and former founder and chief executive of BUZZmedia. In 2004 Anthony founded BUZZmedia, which created and purchased forty-five acclaimed internet media brands such as Buzznet SPIN, Just Jared, and Celebuzz. Anthony then co-founded Wevr, a leading interactive software company that produces top-of-the-range virtual worlds, pushing the technological and artificial boundaries. Their first original production, ‘TheBlu,’ is an award-winning immersive experience recognized as one of the most iconic VR titles to date. In this in-depth conversation, Anthony recalls founding Buzzmedia and Buzznet, reflecting on how they started what is now known as an “internet influencer,” launching early social media stars like Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, and Jeffree Star. He delves into the transition to co-founding Wevr, sharing the inspiration behind their ocean experience ‘TheBlu;’ and creating the well-known Harry Potter experiences ‘Wizards take Flight’ and ‘Chaos at Hogwarts.'
In this episode, Francis is joined by Thomas Winsor, founder and chief executive of The Round, the world’s first platform for live entertainment in augmented reality. The Round app facilitates premium, live, and holographic performances, which allow artists, creatives, and performers to virtually enter locations worldwide for a shared and intimate experience with their audiences. In this in-depth conversation, Thomas reflects on what inspired him to enter the world of live entertainment in the metaverse, with accessibility playing a vital role, and the pandemic securing the need for business. He delves into The Round and their recent project with EE and Liam Payne for his performance at the BAFTAs, and shares his predictions for augmented reality in the future, with an expansion of holographic entertainment.
In this episode, Francis is joined by innovator and investor Kenan Saleh. While still a student at the University of Pennsylvania, he co-founded Halo Car, allowing rideshare drivers to earn extra income through digital advertising. After less than a year, the company was acquired by Lyft, where Kenan now runs the advertising division as head of product, and was also listed on Forbes 30 Under 30. In this in-depth conversation, Kenan reflects on how his passion for “building great products'' sparked his interest in digital technology; delves into Halo Cars and how the tech behind their digital hyper-targeted ads actually works; and shares his thoughts on No Code Tech, and how it has changed the tech industry by showing how companies can grow and scale without launching a single line of code. 
In this episode, Francis talks with the “women of NASA,” Sarah Milkovich, Trina Ray, and Kim Steadman. Sarah leads science operations for the Mars 2020 Rover at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Rover is investigating the possibility of past life on Mars and preserving biosignatures within accessible geological materials; Trina is an astronomer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a 33-year veteran of space missions; and Kim is a system engineer for the Mars 2020 Rover and the operations lead for the SHERLOC instrument. Together, they recall their individual journey’s into the industry, and delve into their current mission; discuss the development of technology in space travel, and give their predictions for the future; and share anecdotes from their time in the industry, giving us an insight into their favourite moments.
Suzanne Borders is co-founder and chief executive of BadVR. Founded in 2018, it is the world’s first immersive data visualisation and analytics platform that uses pioneering AR and VR technology to quite literally allow people to “step inside their data.” Prior to BadVR, Suzanne led product and UX design at 2D data analytics companies, and is a recipient of Magic Leap’s Independent Creator’s Program grant and a grant from the National Science Foundation. In this in-depth conversation, Suzanne delves into her background in psychology and how this interplays with AR and VR; reflects on the inspiration behind founding BadVR, and how it works; and shares her predictions for the next fifteen years, explaining why she believes everyone must have equal access and opportunity to the world's data sets.
Allison Ferenci is the co-founder and CEO of Camera IQ, the world's first augmented reality platform for camera marketing. Working with top brands such as Nestle EA and Atlantic Records the company quickly and easily creates augmented reality experiences for various social platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. In this in-depth conversation, Allison gives listeners insight into how she considers augmented reality as a gateway to the metaverse; discusses the use of the camera for AR, XR and expression; and gives her advice on how brands can adapt their marketing strategies in the metaverse.
Sandra Helou is head of metaverse and NFTs at Zilliq, a Singapore-based blockchain company which aims to solve scalability issues, by using sharding technology for rapid transaction processing. She is responsible for ensuring that Zilliqa’s use of NFTs includes minting and trading them in an energy-efficient way. Sandra also heads up the company’s journey towards the metaverse and navigating which route Web 3.0 might take. In this in-depth conversation, Sandra gives listeners an insight into some of the complexities of her role, such as working to bridge the gap between the physical and digital world; describes the future of the metaverse as a space where ‘everyone belongs and connects;’ and describes ‘Metapolis,’ their highly immersive XR metaverse platform and the role Zilliqa will play in this emerging space.
Dov and Sam Falic are co-founders of BlockBar, the world’s first direct-to-consumer NFT marketplace for wines and spirits. BlockBar connects consumers and collectors with stockists, offering buyers the opportunity to trade NFTs in return for unique drinks products from global brands like Glenfiddich, Hennessy and PATRÓN. In this in-depth conversation, Sam and Dov reflect on the journey to founding BlockBar, and the mission to use NFTs to solve problems in the industry; discuss how they’re bridging the generational barrier by educating both Gen Z and boomers in different areas; and share their plans to expand further by focusing on better educating consumers.
Tom Ffiske is editor of Immersive Wire. Founded in 2016, the website aims to keep subscribers in-the-know about the latest developments in VR, AR and the metaverse. Tom is passionate about keeping a pulse on innovation and helping professionals interested in immersive tech to reach new heights. In this in-depth conversation, Tom discusses his latest book “The Metaverse: A Professional Guide,” and how we can work and expand our skill sets in the metaverse; explores whether there's a negative side to it’s creation; and shares what the future holds for VR and AR, and how it will change the way we consume the world around us. 
Michael López-Alegría is chief astronaut for Axiom Space and commander of the Ax-1 mission. He joined NASA in 1992, and is a four-time astronaut holding NASA records for the most “spacewalks” and a cumulative extravehicular activity time of 67 hours 40 minutes. In this in-depth conversation, Michael reflects on the “overwhelming sensation” of his first acceleration and landing in space; discusses the Ax-1 mission this year, where he will become the first person to ever command an all-private crew to the International Space Station; and shares his predictions for the future.
Vincent Buyssens is a creative digital strategist. Based in Antwerp, his digital consultancy agency Voidwalker helps brands navigate the communities, content and currencies that make up our internet society including the Metaverse and Web3, with a passion to make them more tangible for all. He also teaches courses on internet culture and the creator economy at Thomas More University. In this in-depth conversation, Vincent discusses the mission of Voidwalker, and why it's crucial to help the people, organisations and communities that are not so internet-native, claim their place in it; shares what the Metaverse means to him and the main possibilities it will bring, as more people value their digital lives over their physical lives; and gives his predictions for the next 10-15 years in technology, as it allows “more ways of connection and communication between people.”
Apurva Shah is the founder and chief executive of Duality Robotics. Prior to this, he was head of creative technology and design systems at Capital One, and visual effects supervisor and member of the technical brain trust at Pixar. He is also an Adjunct Professor in emerging technology at the California College of the Arts, and an advisor for the non-profit ‘Kids and Art.’ In this in-depth conversation, Apurva reflects on the founding journey and mission of Duality Robotics, using the metaverse to solve real world problems; reflects on his time working for Pixar, with film credits including Ratatouille, Shrek, Finding Nemo and Toy Story 3; and gives his predictions for future trends, sharing why he believes the line between virtual and physical will “blur.”
Jimmy Chan is the co-founder and chief executive of Oly Sport, the NFT blockchain-based horse racing platform. Prior to starting Oly Sport, Jimmy was CEO of Odyssey3D, a company which grew to be in the top 1% globally within the virtual reality real estate space, and is a recipient of Canada’s ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ award. In this in-depth conversation, Jimmy discusses the mission of Oly Sport, and how it allows players to buy, breed, and race virtual horses so gamers can “race-to-earn” within its Metaverse; reflects on his previous role at Odyssey3D, the company which brought the 3D virtual reality experience to Toronto; and shares why he believes we need to look to the future of technology as an opportunity to “connect our thinking into a unified way of understanding the world.”
Today, I’m joined by Marc Palatucci, senior foresight associate at the Future Today Institute. Marc has served on the World Health Organization’s Learning Strategy Advisory Group, and is a senior deputy to the World Economic Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of Media, Entertainment and Culture. He also co-leads the MBA course in strategic foresight at the New York University Stern School of Business and serves as editor-at-large for Office Magazine. In this in-depth conversation, Marc shares his view on where tech is heading, with a particular focus on how smart eyewear will take us from “hands on to heads up;” discusses his work at the Future Today Institute, preparing clients for their future by making connections, not predictions; and dives into diminishing reality, and what being able to “minimise your surroundings” will mean for our daily lives.
Hrish Lotlikar is co-founder and CEO of SuperWorld. Founded in 2017, the digital world enables users to buy, sell, collect, and curate over 64 billion unique plots of virtual land. The platform is mapped over the entire surface of the globe, allowing users to purchase from any place on earth. Prior to SuperWorld, Hrish co-founded Rogue Initiative Studios, and was also the founding managing partner of the early-stage VC fund Eastlabs. In this in-depth conversation, Hrish reflects on his background and journey into the AR and VR space; discusses how Superworld “personalizes the real world,” and it’s mission to enhance and empower societies; and shares the latest on his recent project in Barbados using Superworld as a “gateway to the metaverse.”
Katharina Gehra is co-founder and chief executive of Immutable Insight. Founded in 2018, the advisory uses scientific analysis to advise and service companies in the blockchain and crypto industries. Appointed to the role in 2019, she manages the first BaFin registered crypto hedge fund in Germany ‘Blockchainfonds,’ and hosts the  ‘Block52’ podcast. In this in-depth conversation, Katharina reflects on starting out in the blockchain space, and how this led to her nomination to help guide the former Bundestag; discusses her thoughts on the future of blockchain, why she believes it will “change everything in the future;” and shares her work at Immutable Insight – how they apply real time analytics to help the industry make more informed decisions. 
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