In the summer of 2010, I was asked to participate in an open foresight project, organized by Ontario’s creative media cluster, Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab) at OCAD University, Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) and a group of sponsors, that attempted to shed light on where the media world may be in 2020, and what the implications of potential evolutions may be. The project, called 2020 Media Futures, looked at trends and drivers across the full STEEP+V spectrum, and across not just music, film and television, but books, magazines, and interactive platforms as well. The findings were released recently and make excellent reading.

My role involved working with the core team to filter the initial trend propositions, after which I authored a compilation of trends and drivers that could influence the landscape leading up to 2020. This phase looked at themes from attention fragmentation to hybrid media, data visualization, DIY production, the environmental burden of physical media and social collectivity. These trends and drivers, for which the working deck is available for download here, were then fed into a Delphi study earlier this year to identify critical uncertainties, and finally developed into a set of scenarios and final report.

Along the way, the initial research was put through a number of filters, and synthesized in well-considered working groups to create a highly valuable final product. If you are interested in the future of media, I strongly recommend digging into the project as a whole, and the final report in particular.