All the way from the USA!
During the spring semester of 2014 I was studying abroad in Arnhem (a long way from the small town upbringing of Mayer, Minnesota – USA) and working as a web developer for a student run media company (B302) when they invited me to go participate in this thing called Media Future Week (MFW). I was a bit skeptical at first, I didn’t know anything about the media industry and wouldn’t consider myself to be very creative; but everyone else who heard the news was super excited so I joined them in the excitement.
I’ll never forget the energy of everyone as we piled into the sound & vision room on day one. It was the first taste of a week that would end up having a great effect on me. The most memorable moment for me was delivering the first short presentation of our concept to the judges during the dragon’s den. I had always thought public speaking would be fun, and that I might not even be bad at it, but I hadn’t ever really done it outside of my classes, so to have my first opportunity be 4,000 miles away from home to a room full of strangers was incredible. The dragon’s den is a good example of what the week was all about for me, doing new things, with people I had never met, exploring outside of my comfort zone.
I really only have one regret from my time as a participant at MFW, and even that turned out to just be a lesson to learn from. I’m a software engineer, my mind is always in a state of dealing with literally only 2 options, true or false 1’s and 0’s, everything I do eventually gets dumbed down to one of those two possibilities. During MFW I was excited to bring my analytical way of thinking to the problem our case partner presented. Our team spent 4 days concepting a business model to use Angry Bytes existing technology to create an immersive experiences. In the early phases of ideation I was to critical of ideas that I didn’t think our specific team could build, but that wasn’t our assignment, our assignment was to imagine what the future could look like, and not be limited by resources or the technology available in that moment. Our team came together and came up with an awesome concept, but watching the final presentations I realized I kept us from really thinking outside the box and wish I would have let myself. I learned that I was the one limiting myself (and my team in this case) most. If I could give anyone heading to MFW only one piece of advice it would be to just go for it, for a week put yourself out there and go for it.
MFW such a positive impact on my mindset and early career, that in 2016 I reached out to the team to offer my help however they could use it. By this time I was already back in the states, after some back and forth we settled on me coming back over to be a video blogger for MFW 2016. Helping with the event and participating in it are two very different experiences. Both had me working with an incredibly talented team, long days filled with running around from event to event.
As a video blogger I worked very closely with Tari, Quinton, and Brian* to capture cool moments from the week. It was fun to interact with the students and share the incredible energy from the event with them. I also ended up working as a bit of a tech reporter, writing up summaries from the talks to share with people who weren’t lucky enough to be there.
Overall MFW was an incredible thing for me, and I’m so fortunate to have gotten to be a part of it twice, in two very different capacities. I wish I could have joined again this year, especially with how interesting the topic is this year.
Check out my vlogs at MFW last year!