The inaugural day of Newconomics 2023 in Lisbon saw a tapestry of innovative ideas, blending the latest in technology with a strong emphasis on mental health, inclusivity, and the burgeoning world of Web3.

Leaders and pioneers across various sectors provided deep insights into how the digital landscape shapes society and business’s future. Here’s a more detailed look into some of the day’s most enlightening discussions.

Mental Health Meets AI

A key theme at the intersection of mental health and technology was initiated by the introduction of the Mentor360 app by tech entrepreneur Richard Bassett. This innovative app underscores the escalating role of technology in supporting mental health. Paul Jenkinson from Whitespace extended this discussion, posing a thought-provoking question about the potential roles of AI:

“ChatGPT is not a clinical psychologist, but can we train it to do so?”

This inquiry into AI’s capabilities in replicating or even augmenting human-like support in mental health opens a new avenue of tech-human synergy.

Leadership and Human Value

In a powerful reminder of the human aspect of leadership, Jason Fox of SAS highlighted the integral role of empathy and trust:

“Whether you like it or not, as a leader or an entrepreneur, your biggest asset is your people…and you have to invest in them, have empathy and trust them and be loyal.“

His words resonate in a world where technology often overshadows human interactions, underscoring the importance of human connection in the digital age.

The Transformative Role of AI

Paul Jenkinson and Richard Basset both emphasized the transformative power of AI in creating personalized experiences.

Jenkinson’s statement, “AI has the power to create personalized experiences, learn and improve. It has transformational power,” was complemented by Basset’s focus on AI’s role in making clinical support more accessible, moving towards a future where help is available at one’s fingertips.

Empowering Women in Web3

Lauren Ingram of Women of Web3 passionately advocated for the need for more female leadership in the Web3 space.

Her call to “de-risk careers in web3” for women and to provide compelling reasons for their long-term involvement in this sector sheds light on the gender gap in the tech industry. Similarly, Ericka Wykes-Sneyd from Adidas Studio Web3 highlighted the critical need for inclusivity in this emerging field.

Web3 Adoption: Improving Lives

Tim Haldorsson of Lunar Strategy brought a user-centric perspective to Web3 adoption, emphasizing that its widespread acceptance hinges on its ability to enhance the lives of everyday people.

In contrast, Sara Hall from Walkers addressed the international aspect, pointing out that regulatory uncertainties are a significant barrier to global Web3 progression.

Rethinking Fandom in the Web3 Era

The evolving nature of fan communities in the Web3 era was eloquently discussed by James Kirkham and Maxime Sebti. Kirkham’s insights into the changing dynamics of fandom post-pandemic and the potential of Web3 to foster closer connections between fans and their idols offer a glimpse into a more interactive future.

How can DeFi be democratised to help communities shape their future?
Stephen Allen, Benedetto Biondi, Nicolai Reinbold, and Maxime Sebti discuss how DeFi can be democratized.

Sebti echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the importance of simple, genuine interactions as the foundation for future monetization strategies.

The Future of Advertising with AI

Chris Evenden from AI-powered advertising platform Ryff touched upon a revolutionary concept in advertising, where AI’s ability to create new opportunities from scratch could redefine the industry.

This innovative approach could herald a new targeted and effective advertising strategy era.


SwissBorg CEO Cyrus Fazel took the stage to explain how SwissBorg has become a meta exchange (MEX), combining the best parts of centralized and decentralized exchanges, such as fiat on and off-ramps and self-custody. Fazel also noted that SwissBorg has surpassed 700,000 users trading crypto across 17 fiat currencies.

Cyrus Fazel, SwissBorg
SwissBorg CEO Cyrus Fazel explains the differences between the crypto market cycles over the past 8 years.

Engagement and Loyalty in Web3

Sebastien Borget’s impressive statistic about user engagement in The Sandbox and Phillip Weiling’s insights on loyalty programs in Web3 illustrated the growing importance of user engagement and brand loyalty in the digital landscape.

These insights offer valuable lessons for businesses looking to thrive in the Web3 ecosystem. Borget emphasized the amount of time users spend on Sandbox:

“Users spend 62 minutes/day in The Sandbox, that’s not a number you’ll easily find on social media”

Bridging the Gap: Web2 in a Web3 World

Sam Weeks from Google Cloud rounded off the day with practical advice for traditional web2 companies looking to find their place in the Web3 world. Weeks said:

“The best way we can help you right now is the Google for Startups program for Web3.”

The emphasis on Google’s initiatives for startups in Web3 highlights the tech giant’s commitment to fostering a bridge between the established and emerging digital worlds.

Sam Weeks of Google
Sam Weeks of Google gives advice for traditional web3 companies looking to enter web3.

The first day of Newconomics 2023 has set a precedent for thought-provoking discussions, blending human-centric leadership, technological advancement, and the inclusive future of Web3. The event continues to be a beacon for those at the forefront of digital transformation.

Disclaimer: CryptoSlate is a media and advertising partner of Newconomics.

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