Our 17 winning entrepreneurs deliver their opening presentations and enjoy the first full day of Power to the Pixel.
With a busy week of networking and discovery ahead, our young creative entrepreneurs settled in with a day of introductions and talks giving context to the tour.
They began at the HUB Westminster, learning more about the UK media environment with the help of Frank Boyd (Director, Creative Industries Knowledge Transfer Network), Emily Memarzia (IC Tomorrow, Technology Strategy Board) and Alice Fung (HUB Westminster), before heading to the British Council offices in the afternoon to deliver their own presentations to the rest of the group.
This year's YCE winners come from various media-related backgrounds and include filmmakers, screenplay writers, games designers, fashion writers, multi-media artists and graphic designers. They all share a passion for new media and are keen to keep up with the latest developments in a quickly-evolving digital landscape. Amongst them, Bassem Elhady (CEO of KIJAMI and Co-founder of TEDxCairo), who runs a social media agency in Egypt and has been inspired by the rapid developments in his own country -
'Egyptians are [becoming] more aware of the power of social media in shaping Egypt and our future... Before the revolution we had 20 million internet users, and 5.5 Facebook users; 6 months after it, that number increased to more than 30 million internet users and 10.5 Facebook users, the growth rate is unbelievable'.
Having shared and discussed their business ideas with each other, the entrepreneurs spent the following day at The Cross-Media Forum (Power to The Pixel), where there were frequent reminders of the importance of interactive technology for everyone going forward.
Sean Stewart, Co-founder of Fourth Wall Studios, gave the opening keynote presentation, noting that 77% of people in the USA now watch TV whilst communicating on a separate devise. The challenge is to involve the audience more through cross-media channels; whether we like it or not, our relationship to content is changing - 'the barbarians are at the gates!'
In the presentations that followed the YCEs were introduced to cutting-edge, cross-media ideas and initiatives from all over the world, with insights into everything from interactive documentaries to kitchen-table coding.
In the afternoon, Film participants enjoyed a specially arranged meeting with Hussain Currimbhoy from Sheffield Doc/Fest, discussing the UK documentary scene, whilst Media participants were given a sneak preview of the new War Horse e-book from Egmont Publishers in the auditorium.
In the final and most interactive session of the day, Lawrence Weiler (from Reboot Stories) challenged the audience to a live story collaboration. With so much talent in the room, hopes were high. The result was a story about a time machine and a vengeful kangaroo, a manifesto for a new society and a collection of crowd-crafted play-doh sculptures, which will all be passed onto 100 school children in New York to be reimagined and repurposed.
A lively way to end the day and an eye-opening start to the tour.
You can find out more about the 2012 YCE Media winners here and view more images from the week on our Flickr page -