Research in Sweden, Trip 1, Day 4: Kulturkraft Syd, MEDEA and Media Evolution

Our fourth day was loaded with three interviews, the first starting at 9 a.m. forcing us to get up early. With eyes still half-closed but with alert minds and our notebooks – both anaolgue and digital – packed with questions, we set out for meeting Robert Karlsson project manager of Kulturkraft Syd, a project that offers competence development to professionals and organizations within the area of performing arts, music, film, television, radio and interactive media. The program was launched in 2010 in Malmö and is half financed by the Swedish government (ministry of labour) and half by the European Social Fund. Its efforts are aimed at all professionals and organizations within the named branches, no matter if they have a permanent employment at one of the institutions, work for a company or as freelance artists.

At Kulturkraft Syd

At Kulturkraft Syd

Kulturkraft Syd offers activities for all kinds of professions; artistic as well as administrative and technical staff. This offer comprises free of charge courses, workshops, seminars, lectures, meetings, network meetings following a flexible activity plan based on concrete, real and current needs and wishes from the community. In all this, Kulturkraft Syd puts the emphasis on developing both the artistic skills as well as the more business-oriented entrepreneurial knowledge. This, along with the openness to employees as well as freelancers and their flexible activity plan makes Kulturkraft Syd really interesting and innovative and numbers show that the users think so, too:

Since its start, the project has arranged 450 to 500 different activities with over 7.000 participants in total (KK Syd and Väst together) = 3.000 to 3.500 individuals taking part in at least one activity. Also, the program scheme has proven to be so successful that there will be a Kulturkraft Stockholm set up in addition to Malmö and Göteborg (KK Väst) in the course of 2013.

Besides the core activities of competence development, Robert Karlsson would like to have more resources (time, money, people) for gathering/using/spreading the knowledge that arises during the activities and make it accessible to more people than right now, instead of just fulfilling his tasks (“Be there, see what is happening.”) We wish him and his team all success for the future!

(For more information visit: http://kulturkraftsyd.se/hem/)

 

Our next stop was MEDEA, the design led research centre for collaborative media at Malmö högskola in a former submarine construction hall in the Western harbour of Malmö. Our contact person for the meeting was Karin Johansson-Mex, the Director, who guided us around the lab where a workshop was just talking place, then sat down with us over warm tea with milk and loads of new information.

Inside MEDEA (with Karin Johansson-Mex)

Inside MEDEA (with Karin Johansson-Mex)

MEDEA was founded in January 2009 to find new models of cooperation between the university and companies. It disposes of a budget of 18 Mio. SEK (from the university and EU research and structural funds) and employs around 20 people today. Its huge network counts more than 500 people and about 150 companies. In 2011, 200 people and 80 companies participated in cooperation projects with MEDEA.

Their work is built on co-production where academic researchers work together with other actors outside the university: companies, organizations, institutions and individuals. Researchers act as intermediates between students and the industry. MEDEA develops products (to the prototype stage), services and productions as well as theories in the field of collaborative media, conduct research projects, host residency programs for artists and entrepreneurs and organise conferences. The main focus is on new communities, new audiences and new forms of expression.

All of MEDEA’s activities centre around the three fields 1) the internet of things (Living Lab The Factory), 2) sustainability (Living Lab The Neighbourhood), 3) Culture (Living Lab The Stage).

(For more information visit: http://medea.mah.se/)

 

The last stop of the day again led us to the Media Evolution City. This house really begins to feel like a second home now! … :) Here we met Emma Estborn, Media Evolution‘s portfolio manager, who had a bad cold but still took the time to answer all our questions. Thank you for that and get well soon!

Media Evoluion was initiated and appointed to be Sweden’s Media Cluster by the City of Malmö and the Region Skåne and is operative since 2009. It functions as a member based organisation that endeavours to strengthen innovation and growth in Southern Sweden’s media sectors through projects and events within the five different areas of

  • business development
  • games and learning
  • venues
  • business intelligence
  • innovation and development

The house – the Media Evolution City – a building of 7.500 square metres, located next door to Svenska TV and in close vicinity to Minc and Medea in the Western harbour district, was opend in March 2012 after a long and intensive discussion with the future users about what they needed and wished for in a house that they would work in. Today, it is the place „where the media industries meet for innovation and growth“.

The ground floor is open for all and equiped with numerous flexible work places as well as some smaller offices for small firms and directly rented out by Media Evoluion, whereas the upper floors are reserved for more established companies who rent from the house owner, with Media Evolution always having a saying in the selection process.

Open work space inside Media Evolution City

Open work space inside Media Evolution City

Open phone and work spaces at Media Evolution City

Open phone and work spaces at Media Evolution City

Closed phone boxes at Media Evolution City

Closed phone boxes at Media Evolution City

The underlying belief of it all is that Media is developed best and most broadly when both large and small players from different media sectors, academia and the public sector meet, cooperate and learn from each other. Media Evolution is the driving force that ensures that such meetings take place, by gathering southern Sweden’s media ventures together under one roof, and driving their related developments forward. There is, by design, a strong involvement of the members, since all of Media Evolution’s activities are commissioned by the members and sectors, who in turn benefit from everything Media Evolution’s learns during the process.

During our interview, Emma noted that she observed society and the media being in the middle of a paradigm shift: the traditional structures don’t work anymore and transparency is required constantly and on all levels. She added that in her opinion, the digital media industries could actually be a driving force for changing the world, because in this sector, change is already happening and now “the other industries are getting curious”. The next step for Media Evolution is to implement the change and be effective on the business and actor level. We wish good luck with that!

(For more information visit: http://www.mediaevolution.se/)

 

 


 

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