Open Media Innovation

Cook, Clare Elizabeth orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5063-6013 (2014) Open Media Innovation. Project Report. University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), University of Central Lancashire.

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Far from being highly creative and innovative, most of us are glorified sheep. We follow one another and, in most aspects of our lives, use things other people have created. As Leonard Read articulated in his 1958 essay I Pencil, no one knows how to make a pencil: you would need to know about mining, refining, shaping graphite, sourcing wood, delivering materials, logistics, health and safety, and metal engineering. The list goes on.

Yet we seem to be in the most innovative and creative periods of our lives. Everyday comes new apps, new inventions and new connections. So how can this be so?

This session was created as a direct response to our individual shortfalls. For it is not alone that we can create and innovate, but rather when talents are pooled. Can we understand media innovation processes and unpick them if we work together? Can we open our minds and share our skills in a way to make innovation possible? And can all this be done in a collaborative rapid fire environment across 48 hours?

The Medialab Session and Media Innovation Studio brought coders, business minds, entrepreneurs, students, journalism and media professionals from across Europe and America together for 48 hours. Using innovative brain storming and facilitation methods, and a series of workshops, we set out to build five media startups across one weekend. The teams pitched to a panel of expert Dragons to find a winning startup. The process was outputted live through multimedia and social media in order to make the ecosystem collaborative and open.

The event built on Medialab Sessions to date, allowing for findings that can feed into larger discussions around media business models online, and open media innovation processes, as a way to facilitate SME growth across a range of sectors. The UK Medialab Session built on three previous events. This groundwork allowed for the development of an innovation ecosystem, which could be accelerated by the dynamic business culture of the UK. The previous Playgrounds were in Nantes (30 participants, 4 teams, 2 new media launched see ), Paris (40 participants, 7 teams, 3 media launched see ) and Brussels (20 participants, 5 teams, 4 media launched).

What we found went deeper than the creation of a startup. The process shed new light on the process of media innovation, probing what open innovation means and what needs to happen to benefit the UK digital economy.

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