The Public Media Stack Summit
May 14-15,
Metro 599, NYC

What is the Public Media Stack Summit?

This is a two day summit to explore the idea of a Public Media Stack - an ecosystem of technologies that can support public media projects in an ethical and sustainable way.

The summit has developed out of two blog posts on the idea of a Public Media Stack by Matt Locke in Jan 2019. Over the last decade, the rise of monopolising platforms like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple has created ethical, strategic and tactical issues for digital public media projects. It’s now almost impossible to develop a successful public media project without relying on these platforms for storage, distribution, reach, or audience engagement. This means that public media projects have to exist within platforms that do not always share their ethics and values, and investment in public media ends up supporting the growth of these platforms.

This doesn’t have to be the case in the future. In ten years time we could have a sustainable ecosystem of ethical, independent, technologies to support public media projects without exploiting the data, content or relationships that are critical to successful public media.

If we want this future to happen, we have to start by building a map of what a Public Media Stack could look like. From this, we can build a way of tracking progress towards this goal over the next ten years, and ways to support and invest in technologies that share public media values and ethics

What is the goal of the first Summit in NYC?

The first summit will do three things - test the working model of a Public Media Stack from the original blog posts; develop a list of critical features and values for each element of the Public Media Stack; and compile a list of existing projects and initiatives that deliver to each element of the Stack.

The output of this summit will be a first report on the Public Media Stack, identifying the existing projects providing solutions for each element, and where there is the need to focus investment in under-served areas.

The aim is to make the annual Public Media Stack Report a major event in the public media and technology calendar - like the WWF Living Planet Report, it will be an annual summary of the health of the Public Media Stack as an ecosystem, and will act as a guide to technology decisions for organisations working in public media. It will also identify areas that need investment, potentially informing the investment strategies of foundations and investors committed to supporting public media.

The report will focus on technology and related issues - this will not be a report on trends in journalism and content strategies, but the ecosystems needed to support this content. The definition of Public Media is also wide - it includes education, children’s media and entertainment with public media goals, as well as journalism and documentaries.

Who will be there, and how can I register?

Attending the Summit
We’ve invited about 30 people already for the first summit, including people working on public media projects, public media technology, and foundations/funders of public media projects. We’d love as broad and diverse group of attendees as possible, so if you’d like to attend the workshop, please fill in this Google Form and let us know your experience and interests in Public Media. The event is free, but we want a diverse range of voices, experiences and practises in the room, so we’ll get back to you asap once you’ve registered to confirm your attendance.

Current Attendees include:
Ben Werdmuller, VP Product Development, Unlock

Kilian Schalk, Founder / PurpleGray
Simon Galperin, GroundSource
Brian Dell, Innovation Strategist, Consensys
Alicia Kennedy, Freelance Writer
Jereme Bivins, Principal, Good Dog Strategies
Kaarina Nikunen, Professor, Tampere University
Jessica Clark, Founder/Director, Dot Connector Studio
Tony Ageh, Chief Digital Officer- New York Public Library
Florian Hager, Managing Director funk(ARD/ZDF)
Bertram Gugel, gugelproductions
Alexis Lloyd, Head of Design Innovation & Product Experience, Automattic
Fred Graver, Self employed producer/ writer/ media consultant
Corey Ford, Managing Director, Matter Ventures
Andrew Losowsky, Head of Coral at Vox Media
Elizabeth Minkel, Editor of How We Get To Next
Gabe Stein, Product Developer, PubPub

Sponsoring the Summit
We’re funding this first summit entirely from Storythings’ own budget, but we’re looking for sponsors for some of the running costs - eg refreshments, AV equipment, and producing the first report from the summit. This will total around $10-15k, so we’re looking for 2-3 sponsors who would be able to help sponsor us at $5k each. If you’re interested in talking about sponsorship, please email us and we’ll get back to you asap.

The Public Media Stack Newsletter
We’re setting up a newsletter for people interested in the Public Media Stack project, even if you’re not able to attend the event. In the run-up to the event we’ll be using the list to do some initial research with the Public Media community, and to share emerging insights and data as we produce it from the summit. If you’d like to sign up to the newsletter, please use this form.

Summit Schedule

14 May - Developing the structure and drivers for the Public Media Stack
On the first day, we’ll be exploring the overall structure of the Public Media Stack model, looking at the kinds of technologies that fit in to the Ethical, Strategic or Tactical layers of the model. We’ll be doing this with a series of short panel sessions to start the conversation, then the option to join one of three parallel discussions about each layer in the stack.

The outputs of Day One will be a list of the major issues and considerations for public media technologies in each layer of the stack, and a list of the most critical drivers that will affect these issues over the next 2 years.

15 May - Mapping existing projects and investment priorities for the Public Media Stack
The second day will map existing technology projects within each layer of the Stack, and rate them on their suitability for Public Media projects using the critical issues developed in Day One. We’ll also identify gaps in the Stack model where there aren’t currently technology options that address those critical issues, where there needs to be more investment to scale existing solutions or where there needs to be more competition or portability between solutions.

The outputs of Day Two will be a list of existing technologies that are recommended for Public Media projects, and a summary of recommendations for further research or investment.

The first Public Media Stack report will be published by Storythings in July 2019, and will summarise all the outputs and discussions from the summit.