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Pollen is a professional development platform for tech workers, by tech workers on July 28, 2023 at 10:33 am



Meet Pollen, a new French startup that wants to provide a better way to learn new skills. Instead of working with full-time teachers, Pollen invites business executives and top performers in the tech industry so that they can host a class with a small group of people.

Behind the scenes, Pollen was co-founded by Julie Ranty, the former managing director of Viva Technology, a popular tech conference that takes place every year in Paris, along with Olivier Xu and Vincent Huguet. And Huguet knows a thing or two about marketplaces as he’s the co-founder and co-CEO of Malt, a freelancer marketplace. He’s still very much focused on Malt but he contributes to Pollen in a non-operational role.

“I’m convinced that the best professional training courses today are given by people who aren’t trainers yet. They are working professionals and they are willing to share their secret sauce with you, their experience, their work methodology and highly actionable content – not just inspiring content, but actionable content for the next day,” Pollen CEO Julie Ranty told me.


And the reason why Pollen focuses on the tech industry is because it changes all the time. If you work for a tech company, chances are you are using — or thinking about using — generative AI in one way or another. Or you may be trying to implement a new, sophisticated sales method. Or you want to tweak your pricing and monetization strategy.

Pollen has already attracted 40 people working in the tech industry who are hosting classes on Pollen’s behalf. The typical course is a four-hour course followed by a lunch break so that you can share tips with other people in a laid-back atmosphere. It can also be an eight-hour all-day course with a lunch break.

The company also offers online classes, but most people prefer in-person courses. “With online classes, it isn’t an eight-hour Zoom tunnel, it’s two-hour blocks spread over two weeks. You get four times two hours over two weeks,” Ranty said.

A marketplace for professional development

There are four reasons why some tech workers accept to create courses for Pollen. First, Pollen takes care of all the pesky tasks that come with becoming an instructor.


“A solution like Pollen helps you develop your course and, on top of that, manages the whole admin, sales, marketing, customer relations side of things,” Ranty said. “It also teaches them – because we’ve developed a Pollen methodology with pedagogical experts – it also teaches them the fundamentals of how to share their expertise.”

The second and third reason why you would want to join Pollen’s group of trainers is that it can personally help you on a professional level as you appear as an expert in your field, and you get to meet other instructors and grow your network.

Finally, Pollen pays its trainers. “They’re paid to do this, but it’s definitely not the main reason why they choose to do it,” Ranty said.

Pollen is positioning itself as an upskilling platform for existing companies. It wants to convince HR managers that they should allocate some of their training budget toward Pollen courses.


In the coming months, the startup is going to apply for the Qualiopi certification, which means that it’s a serious professional development company that offers high-quality courses. The startup expects to be able to offer 300 different sessions in 2024 — overall, 3,000 people could attend a Pollen course in 2024.

​ Meet Pollen, a new French startup that wants to provide a better way to learn new skills. Instead of working with full-time teachers, Pollen invites business executives and top performers in the tech industry so that they can host a class with a small group of people. Behind the scenes, Pollen was co-founded by Julie 

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TikTok Sues US Gov’t



TikTok is suing the US government to stop the enforcement of a bill that seeks to force the app’s Chinese owner to sell the app or face a ban. The lawsuit argues that the bill violates constitutional protections of free speech and is an “unprecedented violation” of the First Amendment.

Visit of Shou Zi Chew, CEO of TikTok, to the European Commission


  • The bill, the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, was passed last month.
  • The lawsuit was filed in the US Circuit Court of Appeals for Washington, DC.
  • TikTok argues that the bill is a permanent, nationwide ban on a single speech platform and restricts free speech without sufficient reason.

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Government Response

  • The Department of Justice has not commented on the lawsuit.
  • A White House spokesperson directed a request for comment to the Justice Department.
  • John Moolenaar, chairman of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, stated that TikTok poses a grave risk to national security and the American people.

Legal Proceedings

  • The lawsuit is expected to add to an already lengthy timeline for a potential ban or sale of the app.
  • ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese owner, already had over a year to make a move, and legal proceedings will pause the timeline, meaning it could be years before a ban goes into effect.

TikTok’s Efforts

  • TikTok has made efforts to assure the public and US officials that it takes data security seriously.
  • In 2022, the company started “Project Texas,” a move meant to provide data security and transparency around the information the app collects about US users.


  • The lawsuit states that Congress has not offered any evidence suggesting that TikTok poses data security risks or foreign propaganda spread that could justify the law.
  • TikTok claims the law violates the right to due process under the Fifth Amendment and is an unconstitutional bill of attainder.

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Universal Music Group & TikTok Partner in New Licensing Agreement



In a monumental move, Universal Music Group (UMG) and TikTok have announced a pioneering licensing agreement that will transform the music landscape. This historic deal unites UMG’s vast music catalog with TikTok’s massive user base, unlocking unprecedented opportunities for artists, songwriters, and fans worldwide.

Visit of Shou Zi Chew, CEO of TikTok, to the European Commission

A New Era for Music Consumption and Monetization

The agreement marks a significant milestone in the UMG-TikTok relationship, allowing users to once again create videos featuring music from global superstars and emerging talent. The deal also paves the way for innovative monetization opportunities, with TikTok investing in artist-centric tools and campaigns to support UMG artists across genres and territories globally.
A Shared Commitment to Valuing Music and Creativity
Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG, and Shou Chew, CEO of TikTok, hailed the agreement as a “new chapter” in their partnership, built on a shared commitment to promoting the value of music, human artistry, and the welfare of the creative community.

Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG on the left of the photo.

Addressing Generative AI Concerns
The deal also tackles concerns around generative AI, with TikTok committing to work with UMG to ensure that AI development in the music industry protects human creativity and the economics that flow to artists and songwriters.
Deeper Connections and Responsible AI Development
Ole Obermann, TikTok’s Global Head of Music Business Development, emphasized that the agreement will “create deeper connections between artists, creators, and fans” and ensure that AI tools are developed responsibly to enable a new era of musical creativity and fan engagement.
Transformational Partnerships and Advancements
Michael Nash, Chief Digital Officer and EVP of UMG, welcomed the renewed relationship with TikTok, citing the potential for “transformational partnerships” and “significant advancements” in commercial and marketing opportunities, as well as protections for UMG’s industry-leading roster.
A Win for the Music Industry
This groundbreakingagreement is a major victory for the music industry, which has long sought to strike a balance between promoting artistic creativity and protecting the rights of artists and songwriters in the digital age. With UMG and TikTok working together, the possibilities for innovation and growth are endless, and fans can look forward to enjoying music from their favorite artists in new and exciting ways.
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House of Lords to Host Nigerian Innovators



Clean Cyclers, alongside Sustainability Unscripted and other sustainability partners, is gearing up to host the 3rd Edition of the Global Sustainability Summit in the United Kingdom. Scheduled for March 28 – 29, 2024, at the prestigious House of Lords in the Palace of Westminster, the summit aims to raise awareness, promote collaboration across disciplines, tackle global challenges with local solutions, and advocate for social equity.

Canon Otto, the organizer and founder of Clean Cyclers, emphasized the summit’s commitment to inclusivity, prioritizing climate action, environmental stewardship, and identifying policy pathways for sustainable development. Under the theme “Advancing Sustainability, a Journey Towards a Greener Future,” the summit will gather leading visionaries, experts, innovators, and change-makers from global corporations, organizations, and government agencies to brainstorm strategies for adopting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Sustainability Businessman Otton Canon

The summit will feature panel sessions addressing urgent topics such as climate action, circular economy, renewable energy revolution, sustainable cities, biodiversity conservation, green finance, sustainable agriculture, and climate justice. Additionally, it will recognize and celebrate companies, governments, organizations, and individuals demonstrating commitment to sustainability through practical initiatives and the realization of short-term objectives and long-term goals.

In a statement, the organizers highlighted the broad spectrum of sustainability practices, policies, and innovations aimed at mitigating climate change, conserving biodiversity, protecting natural resources, and promoting social equity. The theme “Advancing Sustainability” underscores the need for a shift from short-term exploitative approaches to long-term regenerative ones, reflecting humanity’s ability to learn, adapt, and innovate.


The summit aims to foster knowledge exchange, collaboration, and actionable solutions over two days of physical gathering at the House of Parliament in London. Participants will explore diverse perspectives, share knowledge, and work together to shape strategies that drive meaningful change and accelerate progress towards a sustainable future.

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