We sat down with Vincent Miceli, President of Pavegen USA, to speak about the meteoric rise of Pavegen, and how they're aiming to marry saving the world with innovation in retail. Read on for more from one of our #YMS16 speakers:
We always like to start things off with who are you, what do you do, and why do you do it?
My name’s Vincent, I’m President of Pavegen US, and I’m responsible for spreading the word on Pavegen across our markets in the States.
Pavegen created the world’s first people-powered football pitch in 2014. Why is sustainable energy so important for businesses, and how does Pavegen aim to convince them if they think otherwise?
Corporations have a lot of influence over consumers and organisations and how they can contribute towards a global social cause. It’s particularly important for organisations to invest in sustainable initiatives given their large carbon footprints - Pavegen aim to show them how direct and engaging that process can be, through the simple action of a footstep.
Tell us more about Pavegen Live, the agency arm of the business. What has been your most memorable brand campaign, and why?
Pavegen Live is our experiential arm, focusing on temporary, interactive installations that emphasise Pavegen’s presence within the events sector. Clients have included Sunglass Hut, Ford Motor Company, Adidas, Coca-Cola and H&M. Our most memorable campaign was with Samsung in South Africa, as part of their #whatifican campaign. The 68-tile walkway, installed within Sandton City Mall, Johannesburg, harvests and stores energy from footfall, which is then donated to areas in Africa otherwise deprived of electricity.
Why do you think the physical-meets-digital trend is taking off in 2016? How has consumer reactions to new technology in the retail space changed?
Retail is a struggling sector, therefore in order for them to survive they need to evolve and progress. There’s an exponential growth in connected devices and the Internet of Things, connecting the physical store with the digital landscape is a must. At Pavegen, we connect the physical, digital and human. We call this the Internet of Beings, because it’s about things connected to people. Having a physical and digital store allows for a personal experience with the customer to add value as they shop.
Electricity-generating tiles aside, what are your predictions for how future tech will revolutionise retail?
Technology in retail will make the entire shopping experience more immersive, allowing for catered advertisement and personalised recommendations. Augmented reality is at the forefront of this technological change, alongside iBeacons and VR that can provide a seamless process between the digital transaction and the physical objects of purchase.
What does the next year look like for Pavegen? Any exciting new campaigns or projects we can look out for?
We’re shifting our focus from smaller experiential installations towards large-scale, permanent projects in the retail and transport sectors. We’re also working with Tribal Planet CEO/Founder Jeff Martin to introduce a digital currently scheme, where energy generated from footfall can be redeemed for exclusive experiences or donated towards social causes in deprived areas. Our new V3 tiles will be implemented near Oxford Street, London, and Dupont Circle, Washington DC - minutes away from the White House.