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A bunch of young people that’s decidedly making shit happen took over the Barcelona Design Museum for the first ever Internet Age Media weekend, and the above is a cherry-picked assemblage of their soundbites. The weekend was crammed full of innovative, creative and curious makers and do-ers from all over the globe. That means Creative Social was there too, and here are some my favourite things.
We’re ditching the sales pitch. If something has become clear as crystal on a bright and sunny day, it’s that the creative and tech communities make stuff the world needs, not stuff it can ‘bring to market’ for the sake of it. Where a few years ago an event like IAM2015 would have been full of ‘look at this pretty and utterly useless shit’, today everyone is going ‘look at all this amazing useful stuff that people need and will make the world less mean’. This is really cool.
Print is love because by making a print magazine or book, you can gauge how much people love you. Or, no wait, how much people are willing to spend on your content if it comes on pretty paper you can smell and feel. We learned this from Kai Brach of Offscreen Mag, Alex Bec of It’s Nice That and Ed Macovaz of Ableton.
Print mags can exist without fugly ads thanks to some innovative thinking, so we learned from Offscreen mag’s Kai Brach. He put it quite simply: you can be in my amazing magazine that reaches so many thousands of your potential customers, but I decide how it’s going to look. As a result, the middle section of the magazine has a series of black and white advertisements that are elegantly designed and appealing rather than intrusive. The concept is taking off, because the game-changing Intern mag – ever battling for the underdog – has taken up the concept as well.
Moscow is coming thanks to Liya Safina and a bunch of minted Russian blokes who set up Strelka. It’s a free (!!!) urban studies institute that encourages curiosity and cross-pollination of creative disciplines. They have a rather famous bar too, and that’s where the young, skint and able get to rub shoulders with the rich and willing. Za vashe zdorovye! (That means ‘cheers’. Tssssk , your Russian needs work.) (Yeah, I looked it up.)
We are bored, hard to surprise and untrusting . That is, if born roughly between 1980-1999, i.e. GenY or The Millennials. This generation is also The Present and The Future, so everyone else, pay attention: GenY isn’t just bored and as The Guardian keeps reminding us worse off than our parents – GenY spends more money than any preceding generation. They/we are Super Consumers. This we learned from Vice Spain’s Andres Reymondes. He said Vice prioritises GenY’s lack of trust in established institutions and that’s why Vice News and all members of the Vice media emporium resonate with Millennials. As a GenY millennial I can only say: true, dat.
We are spoiled, impatient commitmentphobes with an intrinsic need for purpose. Or at least, the Millennials who started the Pop Up Agency (London) out of Hyper Island (Stockholm) described themselves as such, and as a remedy to their generational maladies decided to challenge themselves and the established creative industry by solving briefs in 48 hours. The mini-doc on how they solved 15 briefs in 15 weeks in 15 cities is ace and it’s here.
Stuff’s no good on your ownsies, and your ideas aren’t either. Collaboration is a theme we celebrate, because sharing is caring and everything is better when you do it together. The Pop Up Agency based their methodology on it: they use good old paper, pens and post its during ideation because it’s full-on distraction free creative thinking that allows for no laptop-centric isolation. Just about every speaker, Creative Social’s James Kirk included, talked about stuff being better when you do it together as well. Let’s do a group hug.
Al-Jazeera is hosting hackathons. Since they got booted out of Egypt by Mubarak during the revolution, Al-Jazeera has cottoned on to the reality that bringing news to citizens can’t be done the way it used to. Morad Rayyan, the news channel’s head of innovation and research, flew in from Doha to introduce Canvas, a new platform for creative experimentation with tech, design and everything we need to make sure we can share the journalism that matters, even if the powers that be don’t agree.
The rise of the creative intern (?) Alec Hudson is not only very funny, he’s giving a voice to the underrepresented with Intern Mag. He used the internet to fund a print mag, and a beautiful one with a unique perspective at that. The message is clear: Intern mag exists to empower a generation, because we can’t let the media landscape be shaped for us by people who don’t represent us. Viva la Intern Revolution.
Horses. Chocolate. What? Digital is killing print, murder we scream. But did photography kill painting? Did escalators kill stairs? Did the TV kill the radio? Or as Offscreen Mag’s Kai Brach puts it: in the same way the car has made the horse a creature of leisure, digital has made print like fancy chocolate. Yum yum, megabytes.
Connect. The. Dots. Pip Jamieson is living off tins of tuna on a narrowboat behind London’s King’s Cross while she devotes her every waking moment to letting the creative industry find the best creatives (that’s you too) because all she wants is for the best talent to get the best jobs. So if you haven’t yet, join The Dots.
Links to more amazing things at #IAM2015
An article on 30 Weeks – a project that might change the world. Thanks to Hyper Island’s Sveinung Skaalnes.
HOW many Os? Booooooom. Thanks to Jeff Hamada.
From digital mag to video channel: Nowness keeps amazing us. Thanks to Anne Bourgeois-Vignon
Creative Social would love to thank Andres Colmenares and Lucy Rojas for making #IAM2015 absolutely epic.
***Disclaimer: if I haven’t mentioned you here, I still think you’re lovely. I had to kill some darlings. That, and I missed a few talks on Saturday because I needed a catnap. Writers need sleep too, soz. XOXO***