Barcamp review: Building strong networks

Media Evolution is the Swedish media cluster, located in Malmö. As such, Media Evolution operates on at least three levels: the Media Evolution City (the meeting and event space, a coworking space and an office hotel), Media Evolution as member-based organization, the Conference (their annual conference). Media Evolution collaborates with a variety of stakeholders, ranging from their members to the region, from the media and creative industries to the construction business. Collaboration is their motto, and so the session hosted by Sten Selander, business developer at Media Evolution, focussed on the question „How to build networks that really have an impact?“

Strengths of networks are certainly that you can rely not only on one specific person but many, services and favours are exchanged in uncomplicated and unbureaucratic manners. The weaknesses however is that they might be instabile if built on only one or a few nodes and they tend to trigger many different expectations of which not all can be met.

Key features of networks:

  • trust
  • network platform (like infrastructure, set of rules)
  • value capture
  • influential power
  • image / identity
  • win-win situation
  • engagement
  • purpose

 

 

The host recommends to structure the network (even private ones) and to act more systematic within it.

In general one should always ask oneself, what are the tools, processes and situations? What has worked and why? Share it. What were good stories or results? Share it! And what were the mistakes and failures? Share it!

The session concluded that

  • Networks work but need to be maintained – that demands effort and communication. The group could not agree about the question if networks need one or a few strong leading figures or if they function by themselves, once established.
  • The value of being in a specific network has to be made clear, e.g. being the first to have a new information or the relevant news.
  • A good way of having contributors is showing them their value and their power: promote and help your networkers. Networks do not have owners but players. Things are moving very fast these days in the neworks, you need to be aware of that 

Further information

Media Evolution: www.mediaevolution.se

The Conference: http://mediaevolution.se/theconference/#!/

Nordic Game: http://nordicgame.com