(SWE) The World Summit on Media for Children and Youth 2010 last week was amazing—Karlstad, Sweden lived up to its happy sunny name and the people I met were simply incredible.
The overall organisation, venue, wifi, hotels, food, entertainment etc. was superb. My two “Social Media For All” sessions were well attended and received some lovely feedback.
As for the content of the conference itself, well the programme promised more than it delivered I’m afraid.
Speaking to the many delegates there seemed a consensus of opinion on the lack of energy and dynamism from the session speakers plus an over-emphasis on traditional media models/practices. The last summit in Africa also had hundreds of young people (compared to about 30/40 at this one).
So for what it’s worth here’s my five top tips/suggestions for the organisers of the next World Summit in Bali, 2013 :
decide between youth participation or a youth presence : it’s hard to create legitimate youth participation at such a professional-focussed event, therefore, making the decision either way is better than trying to serve two masters (remember, a teachers conference is not less due to no student involvement but separating the young participants from the main event is not participation). The youth who were involved were fantastic though and I was lucky enough to help them out with their website, Global Youth Media Council, check it out plus their final presentation to the conference
fold social media into the event : like streaming the sessions (using Ustream or CoverItLive, update the Facebook page or Twitter presence regularly to offer insights and ongoing commentary, create a Twitter list of people attending the conference (like I did), go public with the hashtag more than a week before the event (reread the tweets from the #wskarlstad2010), upload the presentations to SlideShare etc
book speakers on their talent not titles : my major gripe with most conferences this one. It’s a constant juggle for organisers to land high-profile speakers and ensuring the audience will not be treated to a head-down-read-from-the-script session (maybe introduce the Pecha Kucha style format into some of the sessions)
multi-media it up : mix in every medium going to reflect the current media landscape; TV, film, radio, print, web, social media, gaming, geo-location, music, crowd sourcing/funding, performances, open source, mobile, unconferences etc.
book me as a main stage speaker : cheeky I know but valid nonetheless. Seriously, if you want someone to offer energy, fun and insightful discourse on the current mediascape then I guarantee I’ll deliver (or your money back)!
All of the above given with respect, no expectation and a smile.
Thanks again to this years conference organisers for the opportunity to participate—it was great!
Here’s some stuff I created from the conference :
Upon reflection, a better question would’ve been ‘what have you learned at the summit?’ and to ask that it at the end.
My bit also got featured in the conference newsletter (which was produced everyday reporting on the previous days sessions) :
Related post : 6th World Summit Part One
9 thoughts on “6th World Summit Part Two”
Thank you for a good summary with wise reflections on the Summit. I also must say that I thought your masterclass session was awsome and gave me a great many tools to use in my profession:-) I work both as a teacher and am the person in charge of cinema viewings for school children age 3-19 in the city of Helsingborg, Sweden.
You are inspiring!
thanks for that Summit summary and your recommendations; I agree! I think the summit was a great event, but some of the sessions could be more interactive (especially with all the available media , but could also be just conversing with the audience or having a debate etc.)
I arrived towards the end of the week, so didn’t get much of an opportunity to listen to many presentations or participate widely.
From the perspective of a speaker, I think that dividing the audience between concurrent sessions led to attendance for some of those sessions being a bit sparse. Also, it would be nice if there was a central repository of slide decks. Other than that, I don’t really have any criticisms – it was a good venue, interesting speakers were lined up, and I really enjoyed meeting and getting to know others in attendance – all of whom are doing interesting things.
I would have loved to make it to one of your sessions DK, and hopefully will next time round.
I totally agree with your suggestions. I would like to highligh that I would have loved to meet and hear the children who participated in the projects that were presented (when students are creating movie or animation etc), it would bring another dimension to the presentation.
I attended some presentations that were very dynamic and interactive but in general I expected more “communication skill” and interactivity from the speakers.
Nevetheless for an outsider like me – the marine biologist- it was a great experience. I learn a lot and get really insipred by some people. I created a real network of “media” people and hope to join in Bali!
Couldn’t agree with you more DK. My biggest frustration was that there were so few people at my session — but it wasn’t surprising, there were 13 other panels/speakers at the same time. Many choices are good, but there needs to be a bit of balance. I think 4-5 choices in any given hour would have sufficed.
Also, for a conference on Media, the use of multimedia and social media was seriously limited. But isn’t that how it often goes?
Loved the unconference sessions and the chance to meet so many fascinating people!
Agree, DK. I would hope that in future there are more young producers of media (in every area of media, from all different countries), they could really bring a broader perspective and some great experiences. I also think there should be more linkage between the youth and adult Summit participants. I would have liked to see youth leading sessions, youth engaging and interacting with the adult participants during the different sessions, rather than having a separate side event for the youth. The participating youth were great and had fabulous ideas, but they were isolated from the rest of the conference due to the way the program was designed.
I also dig your point on more social media. Much could be learned from how conferences like TED are set up. I know TED is like the be-all, end-all of conferences and probably has an enormous budget, but simple things like uploading presentations, live streaming with opportunity for people to send in questions, etc. would not be too difficult to do. There could also have been a more dynamic use of the Summit’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Thanks for writing this up.
I agree as well. It was overall a fantastic experience and I came back reinvigorated and excited about future collaborations, and possibilities. And in many ways the coming together of everyone and the chance to share ideas and projects that are not necessarily presented is just as important that was is sanctioned in the conference. That said – I would love to see no segregation between the presentations by youth and by adults – having all the youth stuff in another building was unfortunate, and seemed to diminish their importance. And as Geraldine mentions, to have the children present to talk about their own work.
I would have liked more hands on workshops, and round-table conversations. I am not a huge fan of large divisions between audience and presenter.
On the content level, I was surprised at how little emergent media, virtual world stuff their was and in general more progressive approaches to student driven learning.
Dk, your presentation was great, and I have already been sharing many of the tools you introduced.
I hope to not only attend the next summit, but to present as well!
So what next? How do we take some of the great ideas and synergies that were present (and move on those that weren’t) and activate them? Any ideas out there?
Hey guys – REALLY appreciate the comments / support / kind words.
Lynn’s last comment poses the teasing question – “what’s next”?
Well my aim is to get on the organising committee/foundation board for the next summit. Have already planted the seed with one of the Foundation members plus just emailed the Chair asking how do I get involved… I might be coming back to all of you kind folks to provide some support and character references to make that happen maybe ;-)
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