Last week we attended the annual European Media Management Association (EMMA) conference this week in Ghent, Belgium and did one of the keynotes of a pre-conference and a speech on co-working spaces during the main conference.
Our project directly looks at topic of the conference theme – Media Clusters. It is a new field that has directly developed from Industry Cluster research. It draws together – for example – media economics, cultural analysis, and studies relating to power structures and knowledge exchange networks. In our project we use media clusters framework to investigate the position of public service media, its partnership systems and cultural processes as a part of a wider media ecology.
The presentation on the coworking spaces of Boston US and London UK underlined the importance of community to amplify knowledge exchange, and this is being commodified (a good social structure attracts more startups who hire more desk space). Successful coworking spaces are rapidly being franchised to other cities internationally.
Ghent was a great city to host the conference as it has an extremely walkable city centre. The people of Ghent have been ruled by the Spanish, the French, and the Austrians at various times. It is situated at the confluence of two rivers. This, together with the canals built to access the Sea, creates a feeling of peace and tranquillity. There were – however – many groups of tourists from all over the world who come to see the medieval buildings and the Castle of the Count.
The EMMA conference drew together international scholars who presented on topics ranging from media trust, public interest to policy and change management. The organisers, Tim Raats (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and Tom Evens (Ghent University) took us on a canal and river trip. The Gala Dinner took place in a lovely restaurant next to the canal. During that night EMMA President – Ulrike Rohn announced the host of next year’s conference.
We are extremely happy that our application to host EMMA 2018 at the University of Warsaw in June 2018 was accepted. This means that the Faculty of Journalism, Information and Book Studies will host around 100 participants specialised in media management in June next year with the support of London South Bank University. This also means that the findings from our project will be presented as a pre-conference day within the post-industrial Praga District in an old warehouse building. To suit the proposed theme of the conference which will look at data-driven platforms and media management the activities will use ‘un-conference’ approaches.
We very much look forward to all the events in Warsaw in 2018.