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Judges Spotlight March 10, 2022

“This Goes Beyond the Blockchain.” 5 Questions with Webby Executive Judge Matt Klein, Reddit

A few questions with Matt Klein, Trends & Partner Strategy Lead at Reddit, and new Executive Member of IADAS, who will be lending his expertise to reviewing this year's Webby Awards entries!

Last week Executive members of The Webby Awards judging body, the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, have started judging for the 26th Annual Webby Awards. This final review determines this year’s nominees, so we wanted to shine a light on the jurors who make it all possible by highlighting a few Executive Webby Judges. Meet Matt Klein, Trends & Partner Strategy Lead at Reddit, where he analyzes what’s bubbling beneath the surface of culture to help Reddit’s partners make sense of change.

For those who don’t know, tell us a little about your background.

I’m Klein! I’m a Cultural Theorist and Strategist and currently the Trends Lead at Reddit. I analyze what’s bubbling beneath the surface of culture to help partners make sense of change. I’ve spent my entire career in marketing, and over the years have recognized how culture must play a critical role in all business decisions. Getting to identify, explain and then strategize around social shifts is an incredible gig.

What particular expertise are you bringing to the Academy?

As a trained-futurist and trend forecaster I help organizations see threats and opportunities. Change is a constant. Being able to decipher these signals and drivers of emerging behaviors and then act upon them is invaluable to any organization.

What emerging trend or technology are you most excited about in your field of work?

I’ve been thinking a lot about Distributed Trust. This goes beyond the blockchain. There’s been a swell in the reliance upon the hive mind as the collective is helping one another. From determining which product to wash your face with from a photo you shared, to how to be a better partner in a relationship. Evolving past institutional and micro influencer trust and now to one another is a fascinating and thrilling shift.

Change is a constant. Being able to decipher these signals and drivers of emerging behaviors and then act upon them is invaluable to any organization.”
— Matt Klein Trends & Partner Strategy Lead, Reddit

What are you most looking forward to about reviewing this year’s Webby Awards entries?

There’s a lot to be anxious about today. But reviewing this year’s Webby Awards entries provides some much needed optimism. If there’s one thing we don’t have a shortage of is creativity. Reviewing entry after entry provides needed hope.

What piece of creative work on the Internet has recently inspired you, and why? 

I loved Nickelodeon’s video with Steve for Blue’s Clues 25th Anniversary. Nostalgia is in vogue, but finding a way to weave together sentimentality, honesty and self-care—and on brand no less—felt incredibly refreshing. It’s exactly what the people needed.

 

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