Beyond with Ipshita Kumar, VP of Brand Innovations at Hype

In honour of the 13th Annual Lovie Awards and our relaunch, we’re kicking off Beyond, an op-ed series on the cultural values shaping digital creativity in Europe.

Throughout the season, we’ll feature leaders and innovators who are tapped into the pulse of the Internet to share their thoughts on the global impact of Europe’s digital evolution.

Our second edition is with Ipshita Kumar, VP of Brand Innovation at Hype Partners and a member of our judging body, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). She explored how critical it is to foster a sense of community online at this pivotal moment for the Internet.

By Ipshita Kumar

I think what we are seeing now in every corner of digital creativity is the marriage between connectivity, inclusivity and community. By that, I mean that the digital world has evolved in order to allow a never before seen network of connectivity that lets us create bonds and relationships which transcend just geography.

But the next stage of that development is really about bringing inclusivity values and community values into that network in a way which can shape the future of the digital world. The beauty of the internet and sometimes its downfall is that you can be whoever you want and explore whatever you want. In the past, people who had niche interests could rarely locate a fellow enthusiast, let alone a community of like-minded people. Now it’s easier than ever, and with that comes the inclusivity and equality that we want to see reflected in our lived world.

Irrespective of your race, sex or gender, there are safe communities and spaces on the internet that allow people to interact in the knowledge that they can be whoever they want, and that is something we are seeing championed on a political and social stage now. But it all started on the internet.

I work predominantly in the Web3 space, and the whole arena was built on those foundations I’ve mentioned. The culture of Web3 is community-driven, and it’s centred around transparency and inclusivity. It’s the next iteration of the internet that allowed these principles to become established in Web2, and the new technology is allowing that to happen on a more engaging and ‘real’ level. So I wouldn’t even say that these values are shaping my industry because the industry was built on them.

Web3 is also allowing people to really interrogate what identity means to them. Online we aren’t constrained by borders, and the global economy is so well established that borders seem more and more arbitrary by the day. In most walks of life, I’m still only really perceived as ‘an Indian woman’, but in Web3, I am perceived by the things I’m interested in and the communities I’m part of.

So I think that the cultural shift in digital creativity is echoed by the cultural shift we are seeing happen on all levels of European society. And it’s a shift that can only really be a force for good in the future.

Ipshita Kumar is the VP of Brand Innovations at Hype Partners, Co-Founder of Lemonade Social, and a judge for The Lovie Awards.

If you’re working on digital projects with local and global impact, enter your work in our brand new Beyond Categories! An open-format merit, Beyond Categories are dedicated to recognising European digital projects with the potential to impact global society positively.

Enter your work across Art & Heritage, Urbanism & Cities, Connectivity, Education, Community, Health & Well-being, Climate & Sustainability, Business and Technology.