7+ Theses: Response from the Policy Forum

Based on the report by Mary Hooker of GESCI.

The seven theses on youth entrepreneurship that have emerged from GESCI-AKE Creative Media Venture have been featured in this blog in two posts: One describing the findings; another highlighting some expert reflections on the theses

The theses were also discussed at the AKE-GESCI 2017 Policy Forum on the 29th of March, 2017. The purpose was to converse about the critical link between skills development/ learning, innovation, entrepreneurship and enterprise development and how a supportive policy environment is a requirement for national digitally-driven skills development. The Forum included demos, expert discussions, as well as an intensive teamwork – workshop session on based on the seven theses. In addition, an eight thesis was added to the list, that of employment and active job creation.

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This post is a summary of the essential policy suggestions emerging from the workshop and reflecting the theses.  Those insights highlight that, in fact, two theses seem to be the core foundations that define other aspects essential to youth entrepreneurship. Those are flexibility and collaboration.

For instance, it was noted that training needs to transform from a “course format” to an ongoing support that is flexible and responds to the growth and needs of the young entrepreneurs. It was also noted that the Hub needs to be an agile space, transforming as a response to different needs of the student, members, industry, and technology changes.

As for collaboration, it is important to note that the multi-stakeholder Forum was found highly relevant to one’s industry and work by almost every participant. The attendees of the Forum highlighted several forms of support to young entrepreneurs  that they would find beneficial for their company or industry, ranging from internships and mentorships to providing case studies and sponsorships. This is perhaps one of the most clear indicators that the GESCI-AKE model is working: It is approaching training the way that resonates with the ultimate “end-user”: Potential employers and clients.

Theses 1 & 2: Flexible Education & Context

Contextual, flexible approach to learning was made concrete by several practical suggestions. Perhaps the most tangible one the concept of project-based, problem- or opportunity-focused targeted projects as learning environments. But what should the opportunities or challenges to be solved be? For this, collaboration between sectors and stakeholders is a must so that the opportunities and problems can truly reflect reality. But what is needed even more fundamentally is a mindset change and advocacy for alternative educational-biz oriented models. Peer-to-peer learning, problem-solving, internships and mentorships need both financial as well as ideological support.

Theses 3 & 4: Digital and Physical Space and Entrepreneurship

Curriculum geared towards, and informed by ,the needs of the market mean that education includes life skills, interdisciplinary education, as well as access to digital tools. But only consultation and learning from policy, industry, research and practitioner chains can inform investment in ICT and new models and spaces for capacity building and training: Is the space reflecting what is happening in the industry? It is hard to imagine that any hub or organization could independently be able to create such a space, so, again, education and Business regulatory frameworks oriented towards start-ups key.

Theses 5 & 6: Collaboration and Finding a Niche

Collaboration is a science and an art form. Very few teams work creatively and smoothly without specific frameworks. Hence, education for youth entrepreneurship needs to include models of collaboration, projects,  and processes (including innovation ideas, prototyping, marketing, mentoring, partnerships etc.). In order for this to be “mainstreamed”,  new policies supporting upscaling and disseminating working models of edu-biz capacity building models (like the AKE model and its niche focus on Cultural and Creative Media industry) must be set in place.

Theses 7 & 8: Continuous Support, Employment & Job Creation

The shift  from “once-off-training” to continuous support systems for youth training and retraining outreach via models and labs linked to industry sectors needs leaders, leadership, in order to happen. One option suggested is a “value chain” of training, envisioned in the policy form as follows:

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Tools for Animators: Pixar in a Box

Two weeks ago we shared some free tools, developed by NPR, to solve sound design challenges.

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Here’s another free tool, by Pixar. Much of the content may be basic to some, but those learning more about animation right now might enjoy this tool! (And who doesn’t want to get inspired in storytelling…):

There are few organizations in the world that can claim more expertise when it comes to storytelling than Pixar. The Disney-owned animation studio is known for its ability to consistently create world-class movies with gripping narrative alongside stunning visuals. – TechCrunch

Topics include:

 

In the News: Week of 13 February

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Big launches happening!

And…

Sound Designers! Check out this new free online training tool to address problems!

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NPR has created this tool to sharpen your audio skills!

It addresses three areas:

Recording problems

These issues occur while recording in a studio or gathering audio in the field.

Editing problems

These issues pop up at your desk, cutting the piece together.

Mixing problems

These issues occur while putting the finishes touches on a piece.

 

Let us know what you think below!

In the News: The Week of 30 January

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Let’s start 2017 with a series of outlooks and updates!

Is Tanzania Poised to Be Mecca of Content Creation?

Nigeria: Entertainment Industry Thrives Amidst Recession

South Africa: The South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) is looking for its next cohort of outstanding young scholars interested in creative industry research

Digital technology and the music recording industry in Kenya

Digital Music Industry Trends from Around the World

 

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS: RELEASING MUSIC (MEDIA) ON A TIGHT BUDGET

The interesting people from Lander (Professional Mastering for Music Creators) have a very interesting blog and news letter with good resources and professional tips. Joe Kapela (Thanks Joe!) suggests AKE participants check this rather nice reflection by Scott Parsons on the types of things that should be ready before releasing new music, specially when you are doing “self production” or when you have limited resources.

Check out: 6 Questions Every Musician Should Ask Before Releasing New Music

This sound also very relevant advice to other type of media productions done in AKE. If you apply some of this suggestions let us know what you learned from them.

Live Blog: Round Table and Solution Design Workshop, 31 August 2016

Place: Golden Tulip Hotel, Nairobi.

#CreativeMedia

Welcoming words by Victor Omondi: The Programme!

“Thank you all participants — the different stakeholders. We are in the process creating an pan-African model that will respond to the challenges of our field! Already at this stage, we work with policy makers and the industry, as well as international consultants and other stakeholders. Our mission is to tell African stories!” #Creativemedia

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Introduction to GESCI & AKE: Jerome Morrissey

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“This is an important day for us! An introduction to this programme for all our guests/and partners. GESCI was originally established based on the recommendation of the UN ICT task force. We work in 16 African countries:

  • Incorporation of ICTs to enhance education — involves many aspects. Models, scaling.
  • Funding: foundations, development funds (GESCI-AKE is funded by Finland, and Sweden).
  • This is a small project for us but a very important one: we are creating new curricula, a model! (Most organizations, internationally, are too slow to adapt changes in the workplace, in the industry…)
  • We are developing a model, researching it (Living Lab), AND we want to influence policy, share our experience with policy-makers.
  • CONTINUUM: from digital skills to business-industry skills to job creation!

Reflection:

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Mary Hooker: Living Lab – AKE 2016 Research Framework and Model

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Research design fro AKE 2016 LL

Mary: “Living Lab Research as the intervention to the process, not merely as a scholarly work.”

  • Bringing everyone on board – to make research actually to make something!
  • This is especially important in education – we need products! It needs to respond to the marketplace, the rapid changes in the workplace.
  • It is EXACTLY WHAT IS IN THIS ROOM: talent, business, educators coming together! Skills meet biz, and this is not a simple task to translate in education.
  • We are documenting this process to create a model!
  • 3 phases of the model — we are in the 2nd phase testing the products (if not, what should be changed? Feedback from the biz world!):

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  • We are documenting the model and will be sharing it: nationally and internationally!
  • Platforms  – this is about how we learn and share! No more silos!
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Example from the tutor reflections (shown as a slide)

More information about the research results of the first stage and next steps, please see this blog post: RESEARCH UPDATE.

Reflections from the audiences:

  • We are trying to redefine the marketplace.
  • Talent is the key.
  • Are there opportunities to grow into photography, film etc. other fields; as well as to high school context? – Jerome: Due to the time constraints it is not possible; also we would talk about different clusters, streams. But we would love to!
  • Mary: We develop models for others to use, do not necessarily implement!
  • Jerome: We want to root the model in Kenya but will also spread it; we will collaborate with the African Union, as of next May, so we have a great avenue to distribute the model. This is a process. It’s constantly changing.”

Setting the context: Showcase Animation, Music & Games products

Guests go around the space to check what the creator-participants are showcasing. The space is divided in 3 areas, each one with prototypes and products developed in AKE so far.

Mary reminds the visitors: “We are engaging in criticality. Guests: tell us what is working and what is not!

  • What do you think of these products?
  • What one or two changes would make these of commercial value?
  • Can you suggest ideas/ areas for turning these into products/ services that can find markets?
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The environment today at the round table and solution design workshop is of engagement, support and interest

The GESCI team in Nairobi has developed a  tool to capture ideas from the participants in the round table. The main aim is to recruit the help of visitors today, and capture ideas that will help all the projects move forward into viable ventures by 2016.

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Form for documenting ideas, tips and feedback from round table participants

The environment in the room is active and everybody is looking at the projects. There has been positive critique and many elements have been raised to help participant move up with their projects.

Some of the suggestions include

Practical tips: For example how it is possible to work on the key notes of the music, so they are not just flat and that the music can communicate?

Organizing work: e.g. feedback on how to ensure productions have clear roles and responsibilities like a director, a script writer and lead animator so that outcomes (like the Sponsor Series Video story) flow seamlessly.

Relevance and communication: Products should communicate their relevance by addressing issues that affect everyday life.  Messages need to be kept clear and an idea of the target audience should be framed on time. This is key for important for artistic purposes  and to ensure market success.

Back to basics: Well tested principles for storytelling and visualization should not be underestimated.

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Interviewing Soire Dickson (AKE participant) on his experiences during the round table

Soire Dickson, one of the participants in the AKE animation line, talked briefly with us on the many insights they have been gathering in this event. He was very positive with the AKA model of learning where industry experts, GESCI Staff and their tutors have challenged them to create animation that suits the Kenyan scene.

Mary asks the audience “What stood up”?:

  • Value entertainment! Produced by team work.
  • Creativity and innovation on current topics.
  • Role of humor.
  • Storytelling
  • Tensions between content vs technique that need to be resolved
  • What could be and should be “African touch”?
  • Quality needs to be continuously developed to reach industry standards. We are not there yet.
  • Team work
  • I which ways the products are valuable? How to support more participants to think as entrepreneurs?
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Some feedback for AKE. See more also at @Gesci or @Gesci2 #Creativemedia

Ideation: Generating Ideas by “scrumming”

Mary made a small introduction to the SCRUM approach that -with some adaptations- will be used in this session to generate concrete ideas and tasks for each theme to move forward. (Scrum meetings will also be at the core of the AKE second phase so this is good rehearsal for all participants :))

WHAT: In a scrum meeting (also called a sprint) the product owners gather together with the scrum team, share the results achieved so far, evaluate them and steer the project into a new direction for the next sprint. In the round table we did a version that included this elements:

Brainstorming –> Concept Mapping –> Voting –> Concept Pitching –>

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Brainstorming for music products

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Mapping and clustering the ideas

After brainstorming and concept mapping what concrete steps should the team do?

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Scrum ideas sprint – format for developing AKE products in the round table

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Concrete tasks, work to do for the next months here at AKE

 

NOW IT IS LUNCH BREAK 🙂

Reporting from the workshop sessions, by Shylor Mwanje

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Shylor Mwanje

An example: Music section — radio market analysis — what kind of music being played, involvement of the audience in music video production, involvement in social media marketing, touring as a relatively new opportunity.

Mary Hooker: “Networking and collaborative networks are the key. We can’t realize them alone. Results we be digitized and shared (also in this blog 🙂 ”

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Feedback via social media! We will put out a question and please give us feedback on Facebook, Twitter, or below as a comment to this blog!

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Guest Speaker: Ogwang Omuga Oongo

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 9.28.13 AM“Do you know the Superman? What’s the company that owns Whatsapp?

How do we grow the Sponsa (a GESCI-AKE creative project) into such a big success? Who owns Sponsa?

KNOWLEDGE is proprietary! We are handling proprietary information and talent and we need to organize. We don’t have structuralization. We need to copyright to protect us.

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BUT: Intellectual property does not only protect but also opens opportunities — investments, other products!

You need to know what is copywriteable. You can’t afford to assume, you need to know.

There are different forms of intellectual property: copyrights, trademarks, patents… 

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Knowledge and information form the economy but they take different forms. We are going to school but we are building companies.

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Your ideas will open doors for you. We can think into the future, 10 years ahead. So let’s begin that way, seeing intellectual property as proprietary.

 

Victor Omondi’s closing remarks:

This is not the end of our interactions and collaborations. This project ends in the beginning of December but that’s the beginning of the model.

We will share the report with everyone. And we will build on this network.

THANK YOU!