Tom De Ruyck is speaker at The Next Web conference

Tom De Ruyck, ForwaR&D Lab Consultant, is one of the speakers on The Next Web conference later this week in Amsterdam. He will be presenting in Pecha Kucha style:  ‘Together we build the future’. What’s it all about?
The world is transforming fast. One of the important drivers for this development is the ‘improved’ internet, with a wealth of information, communication and networking possibilities. It offers people new ways to share content in all kinds of formats and enables cooperation through different types of online platforms at blinding speed and low cost. Users have taken control over organizing content together. After all, the ‘Web 2.0’ (O’Really, 2005) hype has gained human relevance: as we have reached a point where everyone can have ‘a voice’. Sometimes this voice – enhanced through social media – becomes extremely powerful: consumers can make or break a brand or product and they are even able to force companies to withdraw or bring back specific products or services (Jaffe, 2007). This ‘power of the masses’ forces individuals, companies and communities to radicallychange the way they communicate, behave and live (Bentwood, 2007).
Understanding and making use of the mechanics and underlying drivers of this phenomenon is of ever growing importance. As A.G. Lafley, CEO & Chairman of P&G, put it: “Consumers are beginning in a very real sense to own our brands and participate. We need to begin to learn how to let go.” (Roberts, 2006). This shift opens a window of opportunities for smart companies who are willing to thoroughly listen to, and eventually co-create products and services with their consumers (Leadbeater, 2008). It is therefore mandatory that marketers and market researchers change the way they communicate, interact and engage with consumers and research participants. We believe that market researchers need to cede control and get more intimate with their participants and clients.
If you want more information on the full program of the conference, visit For more info on Toms presentation, contact him on

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