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#ABUdigital 2022 looks at change and the digital future

#ABU digital, the ABU’s premier digital media show, has focused on how the world is being transformed before people’s eyes and what the digital future holds.

Day two of the show, held virtually on 15-16 June, featured two tracks with a total of 11 speakers from several countries. The first track, The Connected Audiences, looked at how media-makers are using data to better connect with audiences and to what extent data-driven content and personalisation are the future.

In a keynote, Timandra Harkness, a broadcaster, presenter, author and data expert, said the 21st century was the century of 9 billion different media channels, on for every person on Earth.

Everyone expected their own unique stream of content, curated by themselves, their human networks and data-driven algorithms. “This is the driving force – the idea that each of us is different,” she said.

The second track, New Waves of Disruptions, shone a light on how the digital world is being transformed and the new concepts to emerge, including the metaverse.

Payal Arora, digital anthropologist and author, gave a keynote on Next Billion Users, Next Billion Journalists? She looked at whether cheap mobile phones and data plans could give low-income communities in the developing world a voice not just as speakers but as authors and reporters.

Social media users could build credibility by showing their authentic self far more than large organisations, she said. Leisure, pleasure, joy and play were pathways to sustainable engagement.

#ABUdigital, hosted by Malaysian artist Nini Marini, featured 20 speakers from 11 countries and drew more than 150 participants each day.