X|Media|Lab assists with industry development, business development, and access to expertise and finance across the creative and cultural industries.
X|Media|Lab is an event that takes place in selected industry hotspots around the world with specific focus on the emergent markets of China, India, the Middle East, and North and South Asia.
X|Media|Lab takes place over three days: the first day is a Professional Day Conference with General Admission (in other words, anyone can buy a ticket and go); followed by the two-day Lab which is for selected companies and participants only.
The Pro Day Conference is intended to:
- Give a wide audience access to each Lab's line-up of world class digital media practitioners
- Give the selected project teams ideas about what they can access from each Mentor once they get into the Lab.
X|Media|Lab’s Pro Day Conferences are usually sold out weeks in advance of the event.
X|Media|Lab is all about assisting companies in each location to increase the chances of achieving commercial success with their own creative industry ideas.
Each Lab event focuses on creativity and innovation, technology know-how, business thinking, and investment opportunities by linking the local companies to the world’s best creative industries people.
We focus on the emergent media markets: the “new media, new geographies” – the new centers that are re-configuring the power structures, and economics of the creative and cultural industries.
The ‘X’ in XMediaLab is the key to understanding what the Lab is all about:
‘X’ stands for "Cross Platform", and "Cross Disciplinary", of course.
But it also stands for "Cross Cultural". X|Media|Lab celebrates the genuinely international nature of our network of people and events.
‘X‘ indicates that the "intersections" of people, skills, and ideas are the cross-roads where original creativity takes place.
It symbolises that “X Marks the Spot” – where, as all map readers know, the hidden treasures are buried.
The character ‘X‘ clearly illustrates the “Critical Moment”, the “Crossing Over”, the time when some thing…becomes some thing else.
Finally, ‘X’ also stands for the "Unknown". If the future is merely the past programmed to happen over again, there would be no need for X|Media|Lab.
The Lab helps bring this un-known and un-formed future into being through the shared inspiration, creativity, and know-how of everyone who participates at each X|Media|Lab.
That’s why every Lab event, above all, is something joyful.
NO, every X|Media|Lab is different.
X|Media|Labs are staged in creative industry hotspots all around the world, and every Lab has a different theme and a changing set of Mentors.
X|Media|Lab is cross-disciplinary: so we deliberately make sure there is always a mix of traditional media people, along with a mix of experts in computer games, mobile content, animation, interactive TV, advertising, digital cinema, social media, and virtual worlds.
We are also proudly cross-cultural. You'll find people from all over the world in X|Media|Lab.
Participants at X|Media|Lab have included:
- Internationally renowned filmmaker Shekhar Kapur,the Director of ‘Shrek the Third’
- Raman Hui, the Founder of Flickr
- Stewart Butterfield, the Chairman of Reliance Entertainment
- India's largest media conglomerate from Google
- The Guardian
- The BBC
- Al Jazeera
- Lonely Planet
- Disney Internet Group
- Lucas Arts
- Intel's Digital Home Group
- The Australian Broadcasting Corporation
- The Director of Oprah’s digital media
- The CEO of China’s biggest animation company
- The Founder and President of Virgin Comics and Virgin Animation
- Schematic, 5-times Emmy Award winners from LA
- The CEO of the world's number one Bollywood portal Hungama.com
- Al Gore's Current TV
- The American Film Institute
- New York's Parson's New School of Design
- ICM, America's biggest talent agency
- The Beijing Film Academy
- Tsinghua University, China's No. 1 tertiary institution
- The CEO’s of China’s Virtual Economic Zone
- Nokia's Research Center from Finland and Beijing
- The British Council
- BBDO, The UK's biggest Advertising agency
- The Chairman of world leading games developers, Eidos and Codemasters
- USC Games Lab and many others.
What an embarrassment of riches! And what a genuine kaleidoscope of the world’s digital media industries.
No one does that like X|Media|Lab – we pioneered it!
Our job is to get the most outstanding set of people into the room.
After that, it's all up to you.
You'll find yourself amongst:
- Start-up's and creatives
- Media arts centers
- R&D institutions
- Big corporations looking for big ideas
- VC's looking to invest, government agencies
- Independent advisors
Not to forget the greatly successful mentors from all around the world, all contributing to the swirl of the uniquely valuable and personal experience of X|Media|Lab.
The core focus of the Lab however is, always, you and your idea.
The uniquely successful X|Media|Lab process is based on two core organizing principles:
- The "Open Space" facilitation process, whose creator Harrison Owen was motivated by his realization that the most valuable parts of all the conferences he attended was not the speakers presentations, but rather the coffee breaks! - X|Media|Lab is one long rolling series of coffee breaks.
- The logic of the Internet: self-selecting and self-organising. At any time during the Lab, each project team is talking to exactly who they want to talk to, about their own project idea.
No-one "manages" X|Media|Lab, it "happens".
Each project team selects who they want to talk to, when, about what, one-on-one.
That's why everyone loves the experience so much. It's all about everyone helping each other’s commercial media idea get to market.
Each Lab has a location, a theme, and a unique roster of International Mentors who are chosen for their outstanding creative skills, impeccable business networks, and/or their technological acumen.
Above all, the "Mentors" are chosen for their ability and willingness to help you!
The point of X|Media|Lab is to help you get your own digital media idea perfected, funded, and to succeed commercially.
The highest quality of X|Media|Lab Mentors is not to talk, but to listen and to respond.
"Project Teams" are usually independent companies, start-up's, people with a great idea, or teams of people inside organisations who are responsible for some new digital application or content they are working on.
After each theme, location, and roster of Mentors is announced, we have a "Call for Projects" issued through our partners: funding bodies, industry bodies, and event partners.
A month before each Lab, we announce the selected project teams.
They are selected according to three criteria:
- The ability of the Mentors to contribute significantly to the success of the project idea
- The likelihood of the project idea getting to market
- The quality of the nominated project team members.
Our rule of thumb is that we maintain a ratio of 1:1 between Mentors and project teams, so that at any time during the Lab a project team is working one-on-one with a Mentor of their choosing.
Absolutely. We wouldn't get the quality projects and people into the Lab otherwise.
We spent a small fortune on a plain language legal agreement that is accessible on every page of the website.
Principally, each participant agrees, by virtue of participation, that:
- Every participant recognises every other participant's prior and subsequent ownership of any IP that is presented in any form in the Lab
- Any communications that occur within the Lab are non-binding, non-obligatory, and non-proprietary.
- X|Media|Lab doesn't own anything, except our integrity.
Even though we receive exceptionally laudatory compliments from participants about every Lab we have run, it's also true that the most important things about X|Media|Lab actually happen after the event .
After the networks have been formed, the personal relationships have been made, and when everyone has gone back to their offices with their own impeccable set of friends made in the environment of the Lab.
Hence, we focus on making X|Media|Lab a meeting place of the highest-possible value people for all participants.
How you leverage the value of that network is up to you.
Secondly, X|Media|Lab is for people trying to get a real, commercial, creative industries idea to market.
We don't waste anyone's time – either International Mentors or project teams.
That's also why we usually run the Lab on weekends, in central locations, at iconic venues, in the world's media hotspots.
We find that people are more than happy to give up a weekend for such a valuable experience, and we recognize the serious value of their working time.
Lastly, all the participants at X|Media|Lab are real people with real jobs and real project ideas.
Our experience is that 3 days is the optimum use of your time.
If you have longer than that amount of time on your hands, you probably aren’t the right fit for X|Media|Lab.
We are most proud of two things:
- X|Media|Lab has created an original format in which these kinds of amazing people come into direct, genuine, and personal contact with local companies and institutions who are trying to get their idea to market.
- Most especially, we are proud that X|Media|Lab was the first digital media event in the world that insisted on:
- equality of different cultures – Mentors and projects from China, India, UK, Europe, Asia, Australia, Singapore, and North America have participated at every Lab
- mixing of different disciplines – games, mobile, animation, IPTV, Web 2.0, etc etc etc
- fusion of different expertise – between the creative, the technological, the commercial, and the academic.
Originality springs from understanding differences.
We are constantly looking for the right partners to extend the X|Media|Lab network, and we are always looking for the right set of partners. We are currently evaluating a number of new cities and new partners for 2012 and beyond.
Our best set of partners usually consists of: a strong industry association partner; a strong event context along with which we can run the Lab; and strong government support for proven industry development activities in the creative and cultural industries.
If you've got an idea – contact us.
Even though we've put a lot of thought and effort into perfecting the process and the network, it's simple to imitate. In fact, some simpletons already have.
But what cannot be imitated or authentically reproduce is the integrity and originality of the international network of events, places, people, and partners. This is the unique value of X|Media|Lab. Our proudest achievement.
By partnering with X|Media|Lab, you and your network get to participate in all the Lab's that we already run all around the world.
We have become convinced by the many projects graduating through X|Media|Lab that an associated Venture Fund would be a valuable service to X|Media|Lab companies.
We are currently conducting discussions to create a X|Media|Lab Ventures Fund.
Please stand-by for more information.
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