Countdown to WeMedia (Tuesday Edition)

The Countdown to WeMedia continues!

One week from today, two-hundred of the world’s most innovative leaders, executives, investors, marketers, activists, educators, entrepreneurs and game changers will gather in Miami for a one-of-a-kind conversation about the future.  Innovation and entrepreneurship are hot topics right now — more than just buzzwords or back-of-the-napkin concepts, the very idea of innovation and entrepreneurship embodies the unprecedented opportunity to change the the world through media and technology that we know exists.  WeMedia is about recognizing and capturing those opportunities and taking the big steps necessary to make them a reality.

This week we are highlighting some of the sessions taking place at WeMedia and introduce the influential voices that will drive the conversations. Next week we will give you a front row seat to every session and hear from the game changers who are defining and leading our connected society.  We also invite you — as members of the WeMedia community (whether you are scheduled to join us in Miami, or participate from afar online) — to participate and help advance the discussion online, and we’ll tell you how.

Today, we’ll dig into some of the workshops and caucuses at WeMedia — including our discussions about advertising, social media, and culture, and how these critical aspects of our world are redefined in a connected society.

We kick off the workshop focused on advertising by “rethinking” where the money and messages are headed — what sticks, what doesn’t, and what matters in a digital marketplace where personal data and commerce are accessible to all.  With Mark Walsh from GeniusRocket producing the session, I can assure this will not be your typical conversation about advertising.  The workshop, which includes Joe Marchese from SocialVibe, Melissa Goodis from Crispin Porter, and Sheryl Cattell from LGD Communications, will look at new models for advertising, online and offline, as well as how the community impacts the industry (GeniusRocket has a community of 8000 creative artists who contribute work, and SocialVibe helps create brand connections through social networking profiles — and that’s just the start).  Not to sound too cheezy, but this is one set of advertisements you won’t want to fast forward over.

On the social media front, we have two big discussions.  In the workshop on social networking taking place Wednesday morning, John Havens from BlogTalkRadio (and author of Tactical Transparency), Virginia Miracle from Ogilvy, Chuck DeFeo from the Washington Times, and Suha Araj the VP of Strategy from Real Girls Media, will explore how social networks, and online communities generally, can expand business and social opportunities.  They have an activity planned to help you understand how to use social media to reinvigorate brand, grow audience, market products, and more.  Thursday morning, Rebecca Watson and Susan Mernit will co-convene a caucus on the future of social media, and what makes for effective use of social media to attract people to programs, organizations, brands and products.  The workshop will tackle some of the big issues while the caucus the next morning will give you the practical knowledge, and case studies, to put theory into practice.

Of course, it wouldn’t be WeMedia if we didn’t tackle culture — and in this case, how we should ‘decode’ the culture, if we want to truly envision the future, uncover opportunities and connect to societal shifts.  John Fischer from Anomoly is producing this session, with contributions from David Liu of The Knot and Daryl Perkins of the Hip Hop Caucus.  No matter how well you may think you understand how the world works, and what audiences all over the globe are doing — online, on tv, in books, and more — you will leave this session with a whole new perspective on how everything is changing.

These are just a few highlights, but all of WeMedia is filled with workshops, caucuses, and discussions about how innovation and entrepreneurship come to life, in practical terms, and what is changing about the various elements of our society as a result.

We’ll continue pulling back the curtain and showing you what makes WeMedia a must-attend, can’t-miss, have-to-participate, I-want-to-be-involved, here-is-my-contribution kind of event tomorrow.  Here on the blog you’ll find the following:

Wednesday: What does the future of media look like – making journalism, defining public media, and inspiring change through news.

Thursday: Changing Lives, Changing Cultures — democracy, education, and leadership when the community plays a meaningful role in the process.

Friday: Thinking Papers, Ground Report and Rapporteurs – what you will hear coming out of WeMedia, whether you are in Miami or participating from afar.

And next week: Behind the scenes coverage from WeMedia and insights from those who are gathering for the big event.

Stay tuned.

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