Live from X Media Lab KR8V Sydney 2013 Session 4 #KR8Vsydney @naimark, Ross Harley, @hoho101


I decided to sit back and enjoy the arts-related presentations that followed on from lunch, so sorry for not posting any thoughts on those four presentations.

The first presentation after the afternoon tea break was from Michael Naimark (@naimark), whose presentation on The Google Glass Controversy took the audience on a rapid ride through the history of interactive technology. He focused specifically on how wearable technology will further accelerate the growth in creation of online data, as the barriers to its creation will fall dramatically.

He also talked about how a failure in communication led to the world believing that Google’s StreetView cars killed a donkey in Botswana. Failure to learn lessons in communication may lead to similar controversies at the company rolls out Google Glass.

The next presentation was from College of Fine Arts dean Prof Ross Harley whose discussion of how the STEM concept needs to be augmented with an ‘A’ and turned into STEAM again raised the question of what can artists do – his answer being ‘anything’.

Ars Electronica Future Lab director Horst Hortner (@hoho101) who told the story of the Future Lab as well as showing  a project which will use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to create illuminated images in the sky, including a Starfleet logo in the night skies over London.


Live from X Media Lab KR8V Sydney 2013 Session 2 #KR8Vsydney @Agraylin Wayne Borg @galvinsd & @adamgood

KR8VThe first speaker for the session session at #KR8Vsydney was Alvin Wang Graylin (@Agraylin), the co-founder of China’s Number 1 mobile search and advertising company myinfo. He started by playing a video for his company which actually used the tune from the Dumb Ways to Die campaign, which was interesting to show how that one piece of creative content has worked its way around the world in many different forms. Alvin talked about his career as an entrepreneur, from starting his first computer service business in college with his roommates in 1990 to working at IBM in various roles. Much of his talk focused on the issues that entrepreneurs face in building belief and raising capital, and the struggles they will experience along the way.

Alvin was followed by the chief operating officer of Abu Dhabi-based twofour54, Wayne Borg, who talked about the creative revolution that is sweeping the Arab world as a result of digital technology. He talked about how Saudi Arabia is now the number one market for mobile YouTube downloads, as young people use it as a means to create and express themselves, and how citizen journalism is now a phenomenon in Egypt. 360 million people now live in the Middle East and North Africa, and 55 percent are under the age of 25, while smartphone and mobile penetration is now at 230 percent across the region, creating huge opportunities to develop content.  Borg spoke of how creative and media industries are now one of the key investment areas for the Abu Dhabi government, and his own organisations has been put in place to help develop a talent pool in that sector.

The third speaker was Protein One founder, Galvin Scott Davis (@galvinsd), creator of the Number 1 lifestyle app, business app and kids game on the iPhone in Australia, who talked about the value of asking the question ‘why not?’. His latest app is Dandelion, which grew out of a children’s story that he created and evolved into a digital app.

The final speaker for the session was Adam Good, director of digital media and content at Telstra Media, who talked about creative leadership. He talked about how many companies are simply not planning for changes to come, and hence may not exist by the time 2020 rolls around. He encouraged the audience to listen more to find new opportunities that will work.

Live from X Media Lab KR8V Sydney 2013 #KR8Vsydney @kthread @doktorZ @dirtgirlworld @domknight

KR8VI’m currently sitting in the audience of X Media Lab’s KR8V Creative Leadership Edition at the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Sydney, and will be taking notes throughout the day, some of which I hope to post here.

The first speaker for the day was former BBC and Al Jazeera digital producer Kristen Taylor (@kthread). Her presentation on storytelling and community management talked about the nature of knowledge, and posited that the Internet runs on kindness, which is what gives the network the ability to heal itself.

The second presentation was delivered by Professor Martin Zimper (@doktorZ) , director of Cast/Audiovisual Media at the Zurich University of Art, who demonstrated that the rules of storytelling set out by Aristotle thousands of years ago still hold true today.

“We need old craft for new media,” he said. “Writing is a technique, writing is a craft … and even if we look to Hollywood it is old European knowledge that they use.”

His thesis – that a lot of successful online videos show people exceeding thresholds.

The third presentation of the first session was from dirtgirlworld creator and Interactive Emmy Award winner Cate McQuillen (@dirtgirlworld). McQuillen talked about the creation of relevant and creative children’s entertainment, and her mission to influence a generation to understand the need to love and look after the world.

“We believe that little things and little people can make a big difference,” she said, adding her team has had great success in encouraging kids to learn about recycling and composting. Dirtgirl often makes live appearances now, and a dirtgirl album was nominated for an ARIA Award.

The final speaker for the session was Dom Knight, radio broadcaster and writer for The Chaser, who talked about storytelling models, and specifically the Hero’s Journey and its various elements. While ideas are constantly rehashed due to their tendency to work, and the elements can be modified through changing settings and situations, creating interesting characters and dialogue, and through observation. And of course the newest variation is media. He also talked about how truly great storytellers can break the rules entirely, as George RR Martin has done with Game of Thrones, or Quentin Tarantino with Pulp Fiction.