M+E Connections

M&E Journal: Innovation Remix

“Innovate or die, and there’s no innovation if you operate out of fear of the new or untested,” writes Bob Iger, former CEO of The Walt Disney Co. in his recently published book, “The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company.”

Myriad examples of this are touted across the internet, such as Tower Records, Blockbuster, Nokia, and Myspace. Innovation is essential, but how do you get started? Where do creativity and new ideas come from?

Kirby Ferguson, a Canadian filmmaker, writer and speaker, said he believes that innovation and creativity come from remixing ideas we’ve been exposed to before. In his 2012 TED talk at TED Global he explained: “… ‘The Grey Album’ is a remix.

It is new media created from old media.

It was made using these three techniques: copy, transform and combine. It’s how you remix. You take existing songs, you chop them up, you transform the pieces, you combine them back together again, and you’ve got a new song, but that new song is clearly comprised of old songs.

“But I think these aren’t just the components of remixing. I think these are the basic elements of all creativity. I think everything is a remix, and I think this is a better way to conceive of creativity.”

Related to this school of thought, David Cope, an American author, composer, and scientist, developed Experiments in Musical Intelligence (EMI), AI software to which a user can upload music for the system to decompose, analyze, look for patterns and reconstruct in new ways, without copying anything exactly as it was in the original compositions. He used EMI originally to overcome writer’s block through experimentation with music and patterns to inspire new compositions.

Slalom is playing out this notion about where creativity and innovation stem from at its Innovation Lab in New York, which launched Oct. 28.

The lab is 5G-capable to enable clients to test run use cases on a 5G network and experience the difference.

At the lab, guests can tour scenes staged to illuminate the possibilities of human and machine relationships, total automation, and digital twins and explore multimedia and enterprise innovation concepts using audio, video, projection technology as well as industrial and commercial technologies.

Facilitators aim to get visitors thinking about how the technologies on display, such as cameras, sensors, augmented and virtual reality headsets, robots, tablets, and holograms are changing human interactions and expectations and what it means for an industry or organization.

The lab offers tours of innovation at play around New York City, lab tours and workshops to help lead- ers visiting the lab with structuring ideas, prioritizing roadmaps, understanding the customer experience of the future, establishing alignment and more.

Some lab guests visit with a specific idea they are percolating — a new product, a desire to break into a new market or segment, new partnerships being considered, or a new capability they need to bring to bear.

Others foresee looming disruption or changing customer expectations that necessitate change and innovation, but they’re not sure how or where to get started or lack the innovation culture needed to pivot or grow into new areas.

Everyone comes with a thirst for inspiration and a desire to build and shape a better future.

The Innovation Lab gives visitors absolute freedom to innovate, discover and challenge convention.

Through Slalom’s technology-agnostic approach built on a fundamental understanding of human behavior, visitors will push boundaries, break out of constrained thought patterns, and explore the questions, themes and technology that will shape the future of business and culture.

Technology has always been the backbone of the media and entertainment industry, from the cable, telecom and satellite systems that deliver content to homes across the U.S., to streaming media delivered via IP-enabled services like Netflix, to the cameras that capture content, and the software used to edit, process, and distribute media — the industry thrives on technology.

Exponential advancements in technology have continually accelerated the rate of change in the media and entertainment industry. In turn, it’s possible to graph and visualize how companies in the media ecosystem have emerged and grown faster over time aided by technology.

And, just as they mature and cement well-established processes and ways of working, new emerging technologies and nimble startup competitors necessitate change for survival, making the media and entertainment industry a poster child for innovation.

Many are focused on the awesome growth of social online gaming and virtual live events spurred by the pandemic. But what most people aren’t thinking about widely yet is how many industries beyond media and entertainment discovered the power of video during the pandemic and are dabbling with the core competencies of the media and entertainment industry to maximize the value and utility of the video content they are creating.

Over the next decade, industries including education, healthcare, retail, and others will embrace video as a convenient, expedient, and more engaging platform for sharing ideas and connecting with consumers and other organizations.

Furthermore, they will learn the lasting value of some of their video content and may even seek to monetize or exchange value for their video content.

New media platforms and brands will come to fruition, and new partnerships will be forged across industries. The opportunity exists for media and communications companies to extend their capabilities and expertise to enable other industries bringing content to market.

For leaders interested in bridging into new industries, or even just better engaging consumers in their core products and services, exposure to a collection of new technologies and an understanding of how they will affect human interactions and expectations in a variety of industries can help leaders better relate to the needs of viewers and the businesses seeking to engage them.

The Slalom Innovation Lab offers a space equipped with inspiration, facilitators, and tools to imagine the possibilities, put structure to new ideas, and experiment.

** By Erika Nolting Young, Senior Principal, Slalom Strategy **


Click here to download the complete .PDF version of this article
Click here to download the entire Winter 2021 M&E Journal