The mystical tale of MFW
/>Let me share with you a tale. A tale of a mystical realm known as the Media Future Week (MFW). A place beyond belief where everyone’s wildest dreams become reality. All thanks to the magic generally accepted by the names Technology and Innovation.
I find it hard to define what the MFW is exactly. It is an event, definitely. Is it a congress? Possibly but in a way that word seems, how shall I say it, too “grey suit” for it. It is much more colourful than that. I like to see it as an annual excellence event for media-related students. That more or less sums it up, it is not very catchy, though. The Media Future Week lasts for four days, full time. All 100 students attending, work their butts off for 12 hours a day and then go to their hotels. Some to sleep, some to drink in the hotel bar and some to quickly change before going into town.
Every year the MFW is organised on the Mediapark in Hilversum. All the plenary sessions take place in the cinema of the wonderful Institute of Sound and Vision. A museum but also the archive for the original film reels of every Dutch television program ever made. In this room great speakers from all over the world manage to inspire with stories targeting their own speciality. Next to the plenary sessions, the greater part of the time is scheduled in as co-creation time. All students get mixed up in multidisciplinary teams. Each team gets assigned a client with a very real problem. The team has four days to come up with possible, innovative solutions to this problem.
In the first two days frustration mainly rises within the team because various different brainstorm techniques are applied but every idea that occurs, ends up on the killed darlings memorial board. Pressure is almost tangible because on day two there is already a Dragon’s Den scheduled in. Every group has to pitch their current concept in three minutes for professionals. Some concepts will be completely run down by the dragons and some will be praised. Whichever one it is, chances are the concept will go out of the window anyway. Most teams get the feeling they are getting somewhere at the end of day three.
By this time every team is running around like mad men to create prototypes and presentations. Some team members are creating the visuals for the pitch, which every team has to give on day four, others are fighting about who should pitch. Every group has to impress the audience of approximately 170 people. But most important, their client. The most outrageous ideas get presented. Some very feasible but others a long way in the future. But believe me, the high you get from pitching in front of 170 people and getting a standing ovation is absolutely mesmerising.
I cannot say the Media Future Week is an experience because the week is filled with experiences. Gaining knowledge, getting to know a lot of new people, nationally and internationally, all the creativity and overcoming frustration. Oh and, did I mention all expenses are covered by school?
Former participant and facilitator at Media Future Week
Interested in joining Media Future Week this year? Join us on a rollercoaster ride through the media future, meet new interesting people, get inspired by international speakers and go home with a co-creation toolkit that is useful for the rest of your career. Keep me posted!