McKinsey & Company Uses AI-Powered Intelligence to Deliver Customer-Centric Experiences with CustomerOne

CustomerOne extends the power of AI-powered decision-making, using its proven, comprehensive approach to help organizations drive up to 20% revenue growth

NEW YORK and LONDON, Oct. 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, marketing and sales teams have to connect with their consumers and buyers in entirely new ways. But disjointed data, complex tech stacks, and siloed work practices can derail those efforts.

That’s why McKinsey & Company is extending the power of CustomerOne’s proven, comprehensive approach. By driving personalization at scale, sales growth, and enabling data-driven pricing, organizations in any industry can achieve 10-20% revenue growth.

Powered by QuantumBlack, AI by McKinsey, CustomerOne uses a Hybrid intelligence approach, combining human understanding with machine and AI intelligence, to reveal customer insights, identify opportunities for growth, and deliver lasting impact at speed. It also delivers agile operating models and builds capabilities to transform critical insights into customer action.

Surface Actionable Insights with End-to-End Growth Transformations
Customer preferences, demands, and dynamics are rapidly shifting. For organizations with siloed functions and complex technology stacks, it is challenging to stay in lock step with their customers. The data boom, as well as the proliferation and convergence of sales channels, makes this challenge even harder. To capture the right moments across every channel, identify new growth horizons, and capture long-term value, these organizations need an end-to-end approach that aligns technology with deep expertise.

CustomerOne seamlessly integrates strategy, technology, AI-powered growth capabilities, and implementation accelerators. It drives top-line growth, creates long-term customer value, and helps marketing and sales teams achieve higher returns by optimizing efficiency and effectiveness across the entire sales funnel.

“We have seen a lot of seismic shifts in the way consumers and buyers are changing,” said Kelsey Robinson, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company. “They have tremendous power. The ability for marketing and sales teams to succeed in this new world hinges on what they do with the incredible amounts of consumer-permissioned data to get closer to the customer, personalize experiences, and create ‘ignite’ moments.”

CustomerOne’s expanded set of domain capabilities includes: 

  • Personalization and Customer Value Management: Drives personalization at scale by integrating unified customer data, machine learning algorithms, and analytics, so marketers can derive the right insights and act on them. Outperforming companies achieve 40% more of their revenue from personalization than their peers.
  • Sales Growth: AI-powered capabilities enable sales teams to win new customers, increase customer retention, and drive loyalty. Companies that do this well drive 10-20% revenue growth.
  • B2B Pricing: Helps organizations analyze complex market dynamics, including customer willingness to pay, customer and product segmentation, and contract performance. CustomerOne uses the outputs to dynamically manage pricing and performance, and achieve above-market improvements. Companies that use data-driven pricing achieve 2-7% return on sales by expanding their margins.

“Successful change extends across the commercial organization. From the strategic decision on where and how to grow, to the insights that inform each customer interaction, most organizations struggle when it comes to putting the right talent, expertise, capabilities, and technology into one comprehensive approach to drive change. The extension of CustomerOne brings our capabilities together as one to drive faster end-to-end transformations for our clients across industries,” said Stuart Schardin, Partner at McKinsey & Company.

“Even in the best of times, growth is not easy. In fact, 25% of companies don’t grow at all,” said Jeff Hart, Partner, McKinsey & Company. “At the core of what we do is to help our clients across industries meet this moment with a proven, technology-enabled approach that makes it easier to consume insights and recommendations, and quickly unlock new growth opportunities. For example, a logistics company using this approach was able to expand its margins by 44%, while a chemical company achieved 2% return on sales in a matter of six weeks.”

To learn more about CustomerOne, click here.

About McKinsey Growth, Marketing & Sales
The mission of the McKinsey Growth, Marketing & Sales Practice is to help leaders of both consumer and business-to-business clients create Growth That Matters through meaningful transformations and marketing-driven profit. The practice helps our clients set their strategic direction, develop their marketing and sales capabilities, and connect their organization to realize the full potential of today’s omnichannel opportunities. Clients benefit from McKinsey’s experience in core areas of marketing, B2B and B2C pricing, customer experience, and sales and channel management.

For further information please contact:

US: Digennaro Communications
MaryLiz Ghanem – EL

Ruth Jones / Becca Ross
+44 208 0872843

LeddarTech Adopts an Automotive Software Business Model to Support ADAS and AD Solutions

The Globe and Mail Announces That LeddarTech Has Been Selected as One of Canada’s Top Growing Companies

LeddarTech®, a global leader in providing the most flexible, robust, and accurate ADAS and AD sensing technology, is pleased to announce its recognition among Canada’s Top Growing Companies for 2022 by the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business, where LeddarTech ranked 280 out of 430 eligible companies.

QUEBEC, Oct. 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — LeddarTech®, a global leader in providing the most flexible, robust and accurate ADAS and AD sensing technology, is pleased to announce it is adopting a business strategy that translates to greater financial and team resources dedicated to an automotive software business model.

For over a decade, LeddarTech has been at the forefront of developing sensing technology that has served the mobility, on-road and off-road markets worldwide. For several years, the company has invested heavily in developing a one-of-a-kind raw data sensor fusion and perception solution. This solution has received multiple awards and the attention of major global automotive Tier 1s and OEMs.

LeddarTech’s fusion and perception software solution, LeddarVision™, is a high-performance, scalable, sensor-agnostic and auto-grade solution that delivers highly accurate 3D environmental models. In addition, LeddarVision supports all SAE autonomy levels by applying AI and computer vision algorithms to fuse raw data from sensors employed in L2-L5 applications. LeddarTech’s use of raw data fusion detects very small obstacles on the road with better detection rates and fewer false alarms than legacy “object fusion” solutions. In addition, unclassified obstacles are also detected, providing an additional layer of safety to the vehicle.

“I am excited to announce the next stage of LeddarTech’s evolution as a leader in automotive software for ADAS and AD applications. “stated Mr. Charles Boulanger, CEO of LeddarTech. “We initiated our foray into automotive software several years ago, and our development has led to a unique award-winning solution that is highly regarded by an industry struggling to solve the challenges of accelerating the large-scale adoption of greater autonomy.” Mr. Boulanger continued, “The conclusions of market analysts and customers clearly support that we are in a unique position with a software solution that OEMs need to enhance ADAS and AD performance.” Mr. Boulanger stated, “The market’s need for a sensor fusion and perception solution that can be easily integrated and includes all the benefits of LeddarVision has never been greater, and our use of raw data fusion makes our offering even more attractive to customers.” Mr. Boulanger concluded, “The LeddarTech team is excited and eager to move ahead on our path and have dedicated ourselves and our technical efforts to the ambitious yet attainable goal of being the most adopted sensor fusion and perception software solution in the market.”

About LeddarTech
Founded in 2007, LeddarTech is an automotive ADAS and AD software company that offers comprehensive end-to-end raw data fusion and perception solutions enabling customers to solve critical challenges across the entire value chain.

LeddarTech’s automotive-grade software technology, LeddarVision™, is a flexible, robust, cost-effective, sensor-agnostic solution that delivers highly accurate 3D environmental models. In addition, this scalable software supports all SAE autonomy levels by applying AI and computer vision algorithms to fuse raw data from sensors employed in L2-L5 applications. LeddarTech’s use of raw data fusion detects very small obstacles on the road with better detection rates and fewer false alarms than legacy “object fusion” solutions. In addition, unclassified obstacles are also detected, providing an additional layer of safety to the vehicle.

LeddarTech is responsible for several innovations in cutting-edge automotive and mobility applications, with over 140 patents granted or applied for, enhancing ADAS and autonomous driving capabilities.

Additional information about LeddarTech is accessible at and on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and YouTube.

LeddarTech Has Been Selected as One of Canada’s Top Growing Companies

Daniel Aitken, Vice-President, Global Marketing, Communications and Investor Relations, LeddarTech Inc.
Tel.: + 1-418-653-9000 ext. 232

Investor relations contact:

Leddar, LeddarTech, LeddarSteer, LeddarEngine, LeddarVision, LeddarSP, LeddarCore, LeddarEcho, VAYADrive, VayaVision, XLRator and related logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of LeddarTech Inc. and its subsidiaries. All other brands, product names and marks are or may be trademarks or registered trademarks used to identify products or services of their respective owners.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Global Fishing Watch welcomes partnership with Papua New Guinea to share vessel tracking data

Momentum builds as a second nation in the Pacific makes critical decision to make fishing activity data accessible and transparent

BANGKOK, Thailand, Oct. 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In a newly established partnership with Global Fishing Watch, Papua New Guinea has committed to sharing vessel tracking data from its Fishing Industry Association on the organization’s public map. Through this agreement, the Pacific island country is taking action to enhance the monitoring of fishing vessels operating in their waters and increase the transparency of its seafood supply chain.

A memorandum of understanding outlining the partnership was signed between Global Fishing Watch and the National Fisheries Authority on Oct. 11, 2022 at the 17th Infofish World Tuna Trade Conference and Exhibition in Bangkok. The agreement was reviewed and endorsed by all members of the Fishing Industry Association and is a testament to Papua New Guinea’s commitment to increasing accountability across the fishing sector and their desire to effectively manage fisheries and marine resources for sustainable and equitable benefits.

The newly available vessel monitoring system data will complement the already-existing automatic identification system, or AIS, data that appears on Global Fishing Watch’s map. This additional layer of information will help strengthen vessel compliance and aid in the sustainable use of marine resources, and highlights industry’s appreciation for the role transparency plays in building trust with their customers.

“We welcome this new partnership with Papua New Guinea and commend their leadership in fisheries transparency,” said Tony Long, chief executive officer of Global Fishing Watch“We see incredible value in the relationship that the National Fisheries Authority has with the Fishing Industry Association, demonstrating the importance of effective government and industry partnerships in advancing good governance and promoting a positive compliance environment.”

“Our tuna fishery is one of the largest in the western and central Pacific Ocean and represents a key source of protein for more than 9 million people in Papua New Guinea,” said Justin Ilakini of the National Fisheries Authority“Taking care of our tuna stocks is a priority, and with support from Global Fishing Watch’s monitoring technology, we can strengthen enforcement, contribute to regional collaboration to eliminate illegal fishing and also demonstrate our commitment to promoting food security and the blue economy.”  

All of the association’s 50 vessels that are currently authorized to operate within Papua New Guinea’s exclusive economic zone—an area that covers an estimated 2.4 million sq. kilometers and home to some of the most productive tuna fisheries in the world—will soon be visible on Global Fishing Watch’s map.

“Transparency across all aspects of the tuna fisheries is crucial to ensuring that the fish we eat is caught legally, ethically and sustainably,” said Sylvester Barth Pokajam, chairman of Papua New Guinea’s Fishing Industry Association“Our members want to know they are doing the right thing when it comes to responsible tuna sourcing, and by making fishing activities visible on the Global Fishing Watch map, they can help demonstrate compliance and add real value to their fishing operations.”

“We are engaging with key stakeholders that can strengthen our Responsible Sourcing Policy initiative,” said Marcelo Hidalgo, sustainability and corporate social responsibility director of Papua New Guinea’s Fishing Industry Association“We believe this new partnership with Global Fishing Watch to share our vessel tracking data is integral in building trust with commercial partners and nongovernmental organizations, representing another milestone in our transparency policy to support members and demonstrate responsible sourcing in Papua New Guinea.” 

Papua New Guinea joins the Republic of the Marshall Islands as the second nation in the Pacific to commit to making their vessel tracking data publicly available via Global Fishing Watch’s map. This promotes and builds on regional efforts to make fisheries data more transparent and accessible, helping inform decision makers and enhance vessel monitoring efforts across the region. As a member of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency and one of eight Parties to the Nauru Agreement, Papua New Guinea recognizes the importance of collaboration and regional solidarity to secure sustainable fisheries and tackle illegal fishing.

In addition to sharing their vessel monitoring data, the Fishing Industry Association has also agreed to support the work that Global Fishing Watch is undertaking more widely in the region to explore how vessel information can be used to develop risk models that aim to address forced labor across the fishing industry.

This important decision supports the global momentum in efforts to make fisheries data more accessible as Papua New Guinea joins a growing number of countries dedicated to transparency across fisheries, including: Norway, Benin, The Republic of the Marshall Islands, Belize, Costa Rica, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, Panama and Peru.

With continued support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Global Fishing Watch is working globally to support countries seeking to bolster monitoring of their fishing fleets and share their vessel monitoring data through the innovative technologies that Global Fishing Watch makes available.




The Fishing Industry Association of Papua New Guinea drives domestic fisheries industrialisation to create and enable the maximum long term economic benefit from the sustainable use of our fishery resources. A registered association with the Investment Promotion Authority of Papua New Guinea, it facilitates and encourages the promotion of fishing and associated industries throughout the country and elsewhere.

Global Fishing Watch is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing ocean governance through increased transparency of human activity at sea. By creating and publicly sharing map visualizations, data and analysis tools, we aim to enable scientific research and transform the way our ocean is managed. We believe human activity at sea should be public knowledge in order to safeguard the global ocean for the common good of all. 

The National Fisheries Authority of Papua New Guinea is a semi-commercial statutory authority established and operating under the Fisheries Management Act 1998, and related regulations. They are mandated to regulate, manage and sustainably develop fisheries and marine resources in Papua New Guinea. They are also the lead implementing agency for the Papua New Guinea Fisheries Strategic Plan 2021-2030 which sets out the vision to “Create an internationally competitive and sustainable sector and fishing industry characterised by resilient and commercial inclusive socioeconomic growth providing food security.” To learn more about their mandated functions or business units, please visit


Kimberly Vosburgh
Global Fishing Watch

Philips Ambient Experience solution at Children’s Medical Center Dallas helps calm young patients with behavioral health issues, winning multiple design awards

October 11, 2022

  • Philips receives Center for Health Design ‘Touchstone Award’ for exemplary use of evidence-based design in Ambient Experience solutions that help the emergency department at Children’s Medical Center Dallas improve care for pediatric patients with behavioral health issues
  • Behavioral health solution recognized by three other awards and an honorable mention in the last year as an outstanding example of Philips’ ability to improve the patient and staff experience in the pursuit of better healthcare delivery

Amsterdam, the Netherlands – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, today announced that it has received a coveted gold-level  ‘Touchstone Award’ from the Center for Health Design* for the Ambient Experience behavioral health rooms it co-developed with Children’s Medical Center Dallas (Dallas, TX, U.S.) and social solutions software company Recornect (Eindhoven, the Netherlands). This unique behavioral health experience solution, which humanizes mental health care delivery in the hospital’s emergency department (ED), combines a resilient touchscreen interface, lighting, sound, video projection and therapeutic content to de-escalate patient behaviors that impact patient and staff safety. By allowing staff to connect with patients in new and interactive ways, it also helps deliver therapy more quickly.

“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen an increase in the amount of young people feeling extremely sad about their lives. Instead of sitting in an emergency room for days with nothing to do, which can worsen their condition, Philips’ solution now gives them the chance to really make it their own space. In addition, our staff are now even more comfortable interacting with patients, regardless of the patient’s age or condition,” said Geneva Burnap, Senior Director, Emergency Services at Children’s Health.

“Coming from the Center for Health Design, an organization founded on the vision of creating healthcare facilities that promote healthier environments for patients and staff, today’s Touchstone Award has a very special meaning for Philips,” said Sean Carney, Chief Design Officer at Philips. “Using our human-centered design approach we are able to help improve the patient and staff experience, calm behavioral health patients so they can be treated better and more quickly, ultimately improving outcomes and reducing the cost of care.”

Today’s Touchstone award follows a range of other awards received by Philips for its behavioral health room solution. These include an ‘DEA 2022 Gold Award -Medical & Health’ from the Industrial Designers Society of America, an ‘Innovation by Design Award 2022’ from Fast Company, and a winner ‘Health & Wellness Award’ from Core77. In March 2022, the solution also received an honorable mention in Fast Company’s ‘World Changing Ideas 2022’ list.

In addition to Children’s Medical Center Dallas, Ambient Experience behavioral health rooms have also recently been installed in the emergency department of Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health (Oklahoma City, OK, U.S.).

Human-focused innovation
Co-development of the Ambient Experience behavioral health rooms for Children’s Medical Center Dallas was led by Philips Experience Design, a dedicated group within Philips that works collaboratively with clinicians, patients, and consumers to pinpoint issues, define opportunities, translate insights, and co-create solutions that improve the patient and staff experience. The group combines multiple specialists in the design of spaces, software, services, and multimedia content in order to create human-focused innovations that offer hospital patients and staff an engaging and pleasant experience. Their work can be applied to virtually any hospital setting – from radiology rooms, cath labs, and ORs, to preparation and recovery areas, reception areas and waiting rooms.

This human-focused design approach focuses on fulfilling four interlinked objectives – providing patients with the physical and emotional comfort they need; supporting staff-patient contact and communication; actively involving patients in their care; and optimizing working environments and departmental efficiency. Reducing patient anxiety by providing physical and emotional support enables better patient-staff communication, leading to improved patient cooperation, satisfaction, and loyalty. Actively involving patients in their care leads to a greater sense of empowerment and better therapy compliance. Operational efficiency improvements free up time for clinicians to focus on their patients, potentially leading to more personalized care and better patient outcomes. All these benefits combine to enhance the staff and patient experience, helping improve patient satisfaction scores, reduce staff burn-out, and increase staff retention.

For more information on Philips Ambient Experience behavioral health rooms at Children’s Medical Center Dallas, watch the webinar.

* The gold-level Touchstone Award for the Philips Ambient Experience room solution at Children’s Medical Center Dallas was presented on October 10, 2022, during the Healthcare Design Conference + Expo, in San Antonio, TX, U.S.

For further information, please contact:

Joost Maltha
Philips Global Press Office
Tel: +31 6 10 55 8116

About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and well-being, and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum – from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2021 sales of EUR 17.2 billion and employs approximately 79,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at


Cellebrite to Release Third Quarter 2022 Financial Results on November 17, 2022

PETAH TIKVAH, Israel and TYSONS CORNER, Va., Oct. 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Cellebrite (NASDAQ: CLBT) (the “Company”), a global leader in Digital Intelligence (DI) solutions for the public and private sectors, today announced that it will report its third quarter 2022 financial results before market open on Thursday, November 17, 2022.

On that day, management will host a conference call and webcast to discuss the Company’s financial results at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Telephone participants are advised to register in advance at:

Upon registration, participants will receive a confirmation email detailing how to join the conference call, including the dial-in number and a unique registrant ID.

The live conference call will be webcast in listen-only mode at:

The webcast will remain available after the call at:

About Cellebrite

Cellebrite’s (NASDAQ: CLBT) mission is to enable its customers to protect and save lives, accelerate justice, and preserve privacy in communities around the world. We are a global leader in Digital Intelligence solutions for the public and private sectors, empowering organizations in mastering the complexities of legally sanctioned digital investigations by streamlining intelligence processes. Trusted by thousands of leading agencies and companies worldwide, Cellebrite’s Digital Intelligence platform and solutions transform how customers collect, review, analyze and manage data in legally sanctioned investigations. To learn more visit us at www.cellebrite.com, or follow us on Twitter at @Cellebrite.

Caution Regarding Forward Looking Statements

This document includes “forward looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of words such as “forecast,” “intend,” “seek,” “target,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “continue,” “expect,” “estimate,” “may,” “plan,” “outlook,” “future” and “project” and other similar expressions that predict, project or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. Such forward looking statements include estimated financial information. Such forward looking statements with respect to revenues, earnings, performance, strategies, prospects, and other aspects of the business of Cellebrite are based on current expectations that are subject to risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those indicated by such forward looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to: Cellebrite’s ability to develop technologically advanced solutions and successfully integrate with the software solutions used by customers; acceptance of solutions by customers; errors, failures, defects or bugs in solutions; a failure to maintain sales and marketing personnel productivity or hire, integrate and retain additional sales and marketing personnel; the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic; the impact of competition on pricing and on Cellebrite’s market share; sub-optimal results from products due to misuse by customers; Cellebrite’s failure to maintain and enhance its reputation and brand; inaccuracy of the estimates of Cellebrite’s market opportunity and forecasts of market growth; changes to packaging and licensing models that adversely affect the ability to attract or retain customers; failure to manage future growth effectively; failure to introduce new solutions and add-ons; issues in the use of artificial intelligence resulting in reputational harm or liability; the need for additional capital to support the growth of Cellebrite’s business; a failure to maintain the security of operations and the integrity of software solutions; the impact of government budgeting cycles and appropriations, early termination, audits, investigations, sanctions and penalties; a decline in government budgets, changes in spending or budgetary priorities, or delays in contract awards; a failure to adequately obtain, maintain, protect and enforce Cellebrite’s intellectual property or infringement of the intellectual property rights of others; perceptions or court or regulatory decisions that Cellebrite’s solutions violate privacy rights; the use of solutions by customers in a way that is, or that is perceived to be, incompatible with human rights; failure to comply with laws regarding privacy, data protection and security, technology protection, sanctions, export controls and other matters; and other factors, risks and uncertainties set forth in the sections titled “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” in our Annual Report on form 20-F filed with the SEC on March 29, 2022 and in other documents filed by Cellebrite with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), which are available free of charge at You are cautioned not to place undue reliance upon any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made, in this communication or elsewhere. Cellebrite undertakes no obligation to update its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, should circumstances change, except as otherwise required by securities and other applicable laws.

Investor Relations

Victor Cooper
Public Relations and Corporate Communications Director
+1 404 804 5910

J/70 World Championship – Yacht Club de Monaco

J/70 World Championship – Yacht Club de Monaco

The boats will be sailing as one fleet with the Open (professionals), One Pro (only one professional aboard) and Corinthian (amateur) categories racing on the same course.

MONACO, Oct. 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In a few days, 90 international teams from 23 nations will be descending on the Principality for the J/70 World Championship being organised for the first time by Yacht Club de Monaco. The event – scheduled for October 14 to 22 –  is being held in partnership with the Monegasque Sailing Federation, FxPro, Xerjoff and technical sports clothing brand Slam which is supplying garments for all crew members on the podium, as it has been doing for the Primo Cup for over 30 years. Monaco can hence expect to find 400 experienced sailors roaming the quays, including YCM’s Vice-President and founder of Team Malizia, Pierre Casiraghi who will be sailing alongside Jean-Baptiste Bernaz, current ILCA 7 World Champion: “It’s always an honour to host such prestigious regattas in Monaco. For me it’s a real pleasure but also a challenge to compete with the best and represent my Club”. Among the 90 crews are World Champions in this class, such as Luis Bugallo, Marshall King, Ian Wilson, Peter Duncan, Jud Smith and Paul Ward. Alongside are stars on the European scene set to put up a fight with the likes of Italian Luca Domenici, the Dane José María Torcida Seghers and British sailor Jonathan Calascione. Most teams comprise well-known professionals, men like Pietro Sibello in charge of the mainsail on the Italian Challenger Luna Rossa at the last America’s Cup. Anglo-Saxons will be out in force with a dozen American boats and no fewer than seven British teams. Nine Monaco teams complete the fleet, including favourites Ludovico Fassitelli (Junda), bronze medallist at the last European Championship in the Corinthian (amateur) category and Loïc Pompée (Sailing Racing Team), 5th in the 2021 European Championship. Pierrik Devic (Leonteq), Stefano Roberti (Piccinina), Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio (G-Spot), Ferdinando Matteo Scandolera (Irruenza) and Cesare Gabasio (TinnJ70) will be flying the flag high, as will Anne Rodelato and her crew on Pink Wave, the Principality’s only all-female team at the event. All are members of Yacht Club de Monaco and the Monaco J/70 Class Association and earned their places in the Worlds at the qualifiers during the last Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series (2021/2022). No doubt they will be pulling out every stop to win at home. Note also that the boats will be sailing as one fleet with the Open (professionals), One Pro (only one professional aboard) and Corinthian (amateur) categories racing on the same course.

For more information:

LaPresse SpA Communication and Press Office Director
Barbara Sanicola

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

The photo is also available at Newscom,, and via AP PhotoExpress.

aespa and artist Blake Kathryn create first-of-its-kind NFT collection

connecting dotts and INVNT.ATOM™ bring artists together for a Limited Edition NFT Drop and Auction, Available Exclusively through Sotheby’s Metaverse

Singapore, Oct. 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — aespa, the massively popular and future forward female K-Pop group from SM Entertainment, which includes four real members as well as their respective online avatars, is joining forces with visual artist and NFT queen Blake Kathryn, to launch an exclusive NFT collection. The collection marks the world’s first collaboration between a K-pop group and a global NFT artist and will be available from Thursday, October 13, 5pm EST to Friday, October 21, 11am EST through Sotheby’s Metaverse. This collaboration was jointly facilitated by connecting dotts, an APAC/U.S. strategy agency connecting brands, consumers, talent and content creators and INVNT.ATOM™ , a global innovative brand experience agency at the forefront of the digital frontier.

Each piece of artwork in the æ girls NFT collection incorporates the personality, elements and signature identity of each band member and their avatars; perfectly combined with surreal futurist aesthetics of Blake Kathryn’s work, creating the ultimate collaboration between the artists. The ambience used is specially composed for this collection by SM Entertainment.

The æ girls NFT collection includes a 3-part series:

  • MY Pass – Open edition NFT, an access key for any fan and collector. Each MY Pass comes with a free NFT from a collection of 16 different works that are specially personalized and prepared by each member of aespa.
  • Altars – A total of 32 Special and Limited Editions, four (4) fine art executions of each aespa member created in editions of eight (8). Each digital artwork embodies their iconography, aespa metaverse world, KWANGYA aesthetics, and includes utilities such as a GLB file, and a personalized recording by each aespa member talking about the collaborative artwork. Edition 01 of each Altars series will go to the highest bidder and also include a signed autograph print by the members and Blake Kathryn.
  • Dreamspace – Super exclusive single edition 1:1 artwork that is an environmental reflection of each aespa member. This artwork offers the ultimate fan experience that includes a GLB file, a video recording of aespa and Blake Kathryn talking about the artwork, a virtual meet-and-greet with Blake Kathryn, and an all expenses paid meet-and-greet with aespa in Seoul at their concert along with a physical print signed by each aespa member + Blake Kathryn.

The æ girls collection will be open to all buyers and bidders, with each series available between a 48 hour time period throughout the week-long auction. Bidding can be done via credit card, not just cryptocurrency. MY Pass and Limited Edition NFTs will be available at a fixed rate. Sotheby’s, the world’s premier destination for art and luxury, will host a preview exhibition of all the digital artwork in Hong Kong alongside highlights from Sotheby’s Fall 2022 sales series, including Modern & Contemporary Art from October 2nd – 9th, followed by an exhibition in Sotheby’s galleries in New York from October 13th – 20th.

“From the beginning, aespa has been a very future forward group, embracing technology and the metaverse with creativity and as a core part of their identity, and their fans have responded enthusiastically. This æ girls collection, beautifully created in collaboration with Blake Kathryn, one of the most prominent female artists working in Web3, further extends, cultivates and expands aespa’s web3 community, ” said SM Entertainment.

“It was a pleasure to collaborate with aespa on this first-of-its-kind NFT collection,” said Blake Kathryn. “This release is an authentic reflection of Karina, Winter, Giselle and Ningning and captures the unique essence and qualities of each of these powerful women. My hope is that it reflects female artists pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, blurring the lines between real and virtual to create a new kind of fandom.”

“The adaptability of NFTs has opened up many new avenues for communities of collectors and fans to connect with their favorite artists and musicians. This collaboration between aespa and the artist Blake Kathryn represents the best of how digital art and NFTs can bring together physical and virtual worlds to present fans with a special experience that is only possible with NFTs, and we are thrilled to offer this sale at Sotheby’s Metaverse,” said Michael Bouhanna, Sotheby’s Head of NFTs and Digital Art.

“There is no more powerful cultural force than K-pop at the moment,” said Rita Magnus, Managing Director of connecting dotts. “The æ girls collection will introduce this passionate fandom to the world of Web3, giving fans an entirely new way to connect with their favorite band. Bridging these worlds together with talent like aespa and Blake has been a remarkable first.”

Elvin Tan, Managing Director INVNT.ATOM, said, “We’re incredibly proud that INVNT.ATOM has led the strategy, creative, design, content, artist and auction house management, as well as the marketing campaign execution. This collaboration puts storytelling front and center; extending the world of art and music from the physical to new realities – an exciting new frontier for all fans. We believe this is the perfect introduction for K-Pop fans to enter Web3, the metaverse and beyond.”

DOWNLOAD Media Kit including Images, Videos, and more

About aespa

aespa is SM Entertainment’s fierce new all-female foursome, who, in an unprecedented debut move surpassed 100 million views on their debut video, “Black Mamba,” (the record fastest for any debut K-Pop video in YouTube history). They debuted atop charts in 95 countries upon launch, most notably Billboard Global Excl. US at No. 100 within just 3 days of being accounted for, marking the highest ranking of any K-pop female group’s debut song. The femme powerhouse of KARINA, WINTER, GISELLE and NINGNING also include their avatars— a story-telling concept that drew those 100 million views to a single video in 51 days.

Combine “ae” (avatar and experience) + “aspect”, and you get aespa, moving in between reality and virtual reality, with the avatars representing their counterparts. Each avatar, called “ae,” are created from each member’s personal data in a virtual world and can be “rekalled” into the real world. aespa, in ethos and function, represents something different.

Their recent debut EP, “Savage” entered at no. 20 on the Billboard 200 chart, the highest ranking ever for a K-pop girl group’s debut on the U.S. album chart. The six-track EP, led by the title track “Savage,” also ranked at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Selling Album chart, rounding off a remarkable fortnight which also saw “Savage” hit No.1 on iTunes’ Top Albums chart in 20 countries upon release. Leaning into their individuality, they are unapologetically confident (with a stake in sci-fi world) and have industry insiders eager to wager that they will be the girl group to watch in 2022. Beyond praise from Forbes, Teen Vogue, Rolling Stone, Flaunt, and more, TIME touted them among “The Next Generation Leaders, Class of 2022” and Forbes Asia recognized them in their “30 Under 30” list for 2022. They have been named global ambassadors for both Chopard and Givenchy. Most recently named as Apple Music’s Global Up Next

artist artist for June 2022, the quartet recently released the single “Life’s Too Short” and EP, ”Girls” – The 2nd Mini Album via Warner Records.

About SM Entertainment

SM Entertainment Co., Ltd. is Korea’s largest entertainment company founded in 1995 by producer Soo-Man Lee, widely known as the “Founder of K-pop.” The company has developed and popularized numerous K-pop stars with huge global fandoms and is known for having led the global K-pop phenomenon of “Hallyu,” also known as the “Korean Wave.” Representative of the entertainment industry in Asia, the company operates its own comprehensive entertainment business including artist development, record label services, talent agency services, music production, music publishing, event management, and concert production.

About Blake Kathryn

Blake Kathryn is a Los Angeles based 3d artist with a surreal futurist aesthetic. Her work fuses vibrant palettes with ethereal undertones. Inspired by the opulent dreams of tomorrow alongside a love for retro-futurism she infuses her work with unfamiliar nostalgia. She has collaborated with aespa, Fendi, Jimmy Choo, Paris Hilton, Lil Nas X & more.

About Sotheby’s

Established in 1744, Sotheby’s is the world’s premier destination for art and luxury. Sotheby’s promotes access to and ownership of exceptional art and luxury objects through auctions and buy-now channels including private sales, e-commerce, and retail. Our trusted global marketplace is supported by an industry-leading technology platform and a network of specialists spanning 40 countries and 70 categories which include Contemporary Art, Modern and Impressionist Art, Old Masters, Chinese Works of Art, Jewelry, Watches, Wine and Spirits, and Design, as well as collectible cars and real estate. Sotheby’s believes in the transformative power of art and culture and is committed to making our industries more inclusive, sustainable, and collaborative.

About connecting dotts

connecting dotts is a fully integrated group of entertainment experts, storytellers and strategic partners who connect the dots in the entertainment world between brands, consumers, talents and content creators. Headquartered in Singapore with teams in South Korea and USA, we collaborate and push the envelope with innovative, creative and original ideas for multi-dimensional projects varying from content exhibitions, pop culture expo, brand engagement to NFT collaborations ready for Web3.0. For more information, visit.


INVNT.ATOM, part of [INVNT GROUP] THE GLOBAL BRANDSTORY PROJECT, is a innovation and brand experience agency devoted to helping global brands chart a course, navigate, activate, and create new opportunities at the digital frontier of Web3. Based in Singapore, the collective of strategists, marketers, creators, programmers, matchmakers, and thought leaders, turn strategies into stories and stories into experiences that engage communities on the global stage. For more information about INVNT.ATOM, visit:


[INVNT GROUP] was established in 2020, as an evolution of the founding global live brand storytelling agency INVNT in 2008, with a vision to provide consistent, meaningful, well-articulated BrandStory across all platforms. With offices in New York, Sydney, London, Singapore, Dubai, San Francisco, Stockholm, Detroit, and Washington D.C.; headed by President and CEO, Scott Cullather, [INVNT GROUP], THE GLOBAL BRANDSTORY PROJECT represents a growing portfolio of complementary disciplines designed to help forward-thinking organizations everywhere, impact the audiences that matter, anywhere. The GROUP consists of modern brand strategy firm, Folk Hero; creative-led culture consultancy, Meaning; production studio & creative agency, HEVĒ; events for colleges and universities, INVNT Higher Ed; digital innovation division, INVNT.ATOM; creative multimedia experience studio, Hypnogram; and the original live brand storytelling agency, INVNT. For more information visit


Lindsay Colker
Elevate Communications

INVNT.ATOM Inquiries:
Anna O'Young

[INVNT GROUP] Inquiries:
Jhonathan Mendez de Leon

Laos put on edge by two recent brutal killings of Chinese nationals

The grisly killings of two Chinese nationals, whose bodies were found stuffed into bags and floating in rivers within two weeks of each other, have put residents of Laos on edge.


No connection between the two killings has been confirmed, but authorities say both may have been involved in business deals gone sour, sources in Laos told Radio Free Asia.


On Sept. 15, villagers from Vientiane Province’s Phon Hong district found a body floating near a dam that was identified as belonging to Chinese businessman Yang Youhai, 37, who had operated an iron bar manufacturer. The body was found in a plastic bag with his hands and feet bound, a police official said.


“They are still investigating and the cause is unknown,” a police official from Vientiane’s Naxaythong district told RFA’s Lao Service. “There is no closed-circuit camera at the location where they dumped the body. They don’t know where it came from, what direction. They know only that this body is of the person from the iron bar company.”


Yang was a “big boss” at his company, and had come to Laos three months prior, another police official from the capital said. The body was cremated in Vientiane, and some of the bones are to be sent to China for further investigation. The suspected motive is a business-related conflict, the second police official said.


Dismembered body


Two weeks later, Thai police on Sept. 29 discovered a suitcase floating in the Mekong River containing the dismembered body of Viphaphone Kongsy, 36, chairwoman of the Lao VIP investment company. A dual citizen of Laos and China, the woman also went by the name Lì Jūn Vp. She had been missing since Sept. 10.


The Lao Ministry of Public Security set up a special committee to investigate, but hasn’t released any statements or information about evidence.


An official from the rescue team in Thailand’s That Phnom district, where the body was found, told RFA he went to pick up the body bag and found evidence that suggested murder.


“Her face was beaten by something strong like an iron bar,” he said. “The right side of her stomach has been torn out. She might have been beaten hard with an iron bar before she died.”


A couple days later, residents in Vientiane spotted what turned out to be her car floating in the Mekong River.


Her decomposing body parts are being kept at the Nakhon Phanom hospital in Thailand, a Thai police official said. “They have to test her relatives’ DNA before they can return her body to Laos,” the official said.


The two killings are the latest in a string of similar incidents involving Chinese nationals engaged in business in Laos, where China has invested heavily in infrastructure and manufacturing projects.


‘Very Afraid’


With the news of each case, the Lao public has grown ever more fearful, sources told RFA, sparking fears of growing lawlessness.


“News of the murder is making villagers very afraid. They want local officials, police and soldiers to patrol all the time, and the villagers want to take part to be the eyes and ears helping them as well,” said a villager from Phon Hong, where Yang’s body was found. Soldiers patrol the dam where the body was found 24 hours a day, he said.


“This was a murder with the intent to kill this guy without mercy,” a police official said, asking not to be identified.  “There have been killings in many provinces in Laos in the past mostly from drug trafficking and drug trades or robbery and stealing, conflict in the family, or among friends, but not as harsh as this one.”


Reports of such killings have increased in recent years of growing resentment in Laos over Chinese business presence in the country, over Chinese casinos and special economic zones which have been linked to human trafficking and crime.


Viphaphone’s investigation should be handled in a transparent way to ease the fears of the people, a Lao source who has been following the case told RFA. “They should announce what they know to the public, what’s going on, right now,” he said.


Another Lao source who is following the case said that it was likely a business-related killing. “Based on observation, this case of murder looks like it stems from business conflict. But the police have not revealed anything yet,” the second source said. “We never dreamed that anything like this would happen in Laos.”


A former Lao government official with knowledge of cases like these also believes the deaths are a result of business conflicts, “perhaps with Laotian, Vietnamese or Chinese who invested money and had a conflict with her and lost,” he said.


A Lao expert on criminal law declined to express an opinion on the case or speculate on its outcome. “But I believe that related sectors must urgently solve this case because it is a horrible case for the public to think about,” the expert said.


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