Authenticity may seem like an overwrought buzzword at this point, but the sentiment rings true for what our readers are looking for.
Keeping that in mind, Fast Company Middle East has launched FC Roundtable, an industry roundtable of prominent voices who assemble for a frank discussion on various industries’ future, including healthcare, creativity, education, and technology.
The first edition on June 6 will discuss the Creator Economy – the economy empowering people to monetize their content, goods, and services online by leveraging their creativity, talents, and passions.
Big and small businesses alike are harnessing digital technologies to invent new products, platforms, and even virtual worlds, enabling engagement with a larger array of physical and digital experiences than ever before.
New creative tools and platforms allow people of every skill and experience level to express and share their ideas and creativity with global audiences.
With the creative and cultural industries significantly contributing to the region’s economy, prominent voices of the creative economy, producers, and policymakers will discuss the future of this industry.
Are emerging technologies and innovative platforms revolutionizing the creative industry? Is it enabling creators to explore new forms of artistic expression, immersive experiences, and personalized content delivery? How are creators harnessing this, and what more needs to be done? What are the trends to watch out for?
TikTok being a significant player in the sector, Shant Oknayan, Head of Global Business Solutions, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Africa & Central Asia, and Kinda Ibrahim, General Manager of Operations and Marketing, Middle East, Turkey, Africa and Pakistan, will join the roundtable to discuss how the platform is building and rolling out products that meet the needs of the whole creator ecosystem.
“At a time when the creator economy in the Middle East is booming, it is critical to support that momentum and unlock the industry’s full potential through a frank exchange of ideas and best practices,” said Oknayan. “TikTok is at the heart of the region’s creative ecosystem, built on authentic and trusted connections between creators, businesses, and community members, and this forum, organized in collaboration with Fast Company Middle East, marks a significant milestone in bringing together regional stakeholders to spur creativity and innovation in the industry.”
Oknayan and Ibrahim will be joined by creators and industry experts, including Yara Aziz, the popular content creator who has built a strong following across multiple social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, and Ahmed ALNasheet, the celebrated music artist and TV presenter.
On being part of the panel, Aziz, who is known for producing highly relatable and entertaining content that captures everyday life — from girl hacks to engaging storytelling, says, “As someone who has worked with large brands and consulted with them, I have observed that some creators do not fully realize the potential of this field and treat it as a hobby rather than a serious career.”
“It’s important to recognize that being a creator or influencer can be a full-time job, and success in this field requires high professionalism and dedication. When working with brands, being proactive, responsive, and reliable is crucial,” adds Aziz. “To be successful in the creator economy, it’s essential to have a clear strategy and plan for content creation, distribution, and monetization. Creators should be aware of their target audience, their niche, and the value they bring to their followers and clients.”
Explaining why discussion on the creator economy is important, ALNasheet said: “Because I see it as the future, with the industry’s growth, many creators are searching for answers and to hear a voice that will guide them in their journey. Talking about the creator economy and growing this sector with information, events, regulations, discussion, and the content will help this field grow. It will help the new generation of creators to be better.”
The roundtable would be hosted at The Theatre of Digital Art, an immersive art space that offers an experience different from a traditional gallery.
Although it is unclear what the creator economy will look like in the future, where predictions about a functional Web3 system have ranged from hyper-localized patronage networks to creators having their own micro social media platforms, this edition of the roundtable aims to take an insightful look into the creative industry.
The roundtable is open for a select audience to attend and engage with the speakers. Register now.