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Now in its twelfth year, Class 46 is dedicated to European trade mark law and practice. This weblog is written by a team of enthusiasts who want to spread the word and share their thoughts with others.

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Anthonia Ghalamkarizadeh
Birgit Clark
Blog Administrator
Christian Tenkhoff
Fidel Porcuna
Gino Van Roeyen
Markku Tuominen
Niamh Hall
Nikos Prentoulis
Stefan Schröter
Tomasz Rychlicki
Yvonne Onomor
FRIDAY, 28 JUNE 2019
Have you booked the Annual Conference yet?

Today (28 June) is the last day for MARQUES members to take advantage of the Early Bird Discount for the 33rd Annual Conference, which takes place in Dublin from 17 to 20 September. As part of a series of posts previewing the Annual Conference, today we have an interview with keynote speaker Jan Willem Velthuijsen.

Full details about the Annual Conference, including a link to the Early Bird Discount, are available here. Class 46 also posted an interview with Conference Chair Gregor Vos last month.

Introducing Jan Willem Velthuijsen

This year’s keynote speaker Jan Willem Velthuijsen (pictured right) is Chief Economist at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Netherlands. He says his job is to look at “things that are relevant for us and exciting for our clients”. An economist and econometrician, he has worked at PwC for 20 years, having previously been a full-time professor. “I like solving real-life problems … looking at trends that are real, measurable and concrete,” he says.

In particular, he focuses on five trends that PwC has identified as changing the way we do business and live:

  1. Rapid urbanisation
  2. Climate change and resource scarcity
  3. Shift in global economic power
  4. Demographic and social change
  5. Technological breakthroughs

"I try to look into the dimensions of those trends and make them concrete to come up with interesting solutions to their problems,” says Jan Willem, who adds that these megatrends are by definition things that “have been going on for a while and will continue going on for a while”. Other trends, such as populism and degradation of trust, influence the megatrends on shorter time scales.

In his Annual Conference speech, Jan Willem will discuss in particular how these megatrends will affect brands, business and the law.

How will business change?

Asked how business will be different in 10 years’ time, he makes three predictions: first, “We will have 20 new Googles that we don’t know yet, two-thirds being not American or European but from Asia or even Africa”; second, data will play a much bigger role in business and will result in more personalised transactions; and, third, globalisation will continue: “It’s the genie that will not go back in the bottle.”

He acknowledges that the megatrends, particularly the rise of technology, cause fear in many people, especially those who are worried about their jobs, saying: “The fear is exaggerated. But we do need to take that fear seriously and address it.”

He adds that, like most economists he knows, he is an optimist: “My vision is there will be people whose job will be taken away by new technology, but the largest shift will be that our jobs will be made easier: technology will augment productivity and will create a huge number of new jobs.”

For those working in the legal and marketing sectors, he predicts, some work will undoubtedly be automated. But he says: “That opens up the opportunity for you to spend time on things that you are good at, and a computer isn’t, such as making judgments about complex questions and addressing clients’ fears. It’s far too expensive to program a machine to do those things. It gives you more opportunity to be of value.”

Jan Willem will be speaking in Part 1 of the Annual Conference, “Change Is All Around – Is Your Brand Ready?” at 09.30 on Wednesday 18 September.

Look out for more posts about the Annual Conference soon!

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 10.28
Tags: Annual Conference, Dublin, Jan Willem Velthuijsen, PwC,
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MARQUES does not guarantee the accuracy of the information in this blog. The views are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of MARQUES. Seek professional advice before action on any information included here.

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