A letter from Zhan Li, PHD Candidate at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School, under Prof. Henry Jenkins,
Hello Smart and Passionate Members of Transmedia LA!
I’m inviting you to participate together in a short online strategy exercise about the state of knowledge in the transmedia field and how it might develop in the future. Along with members of [Transmedia LA/Transmedia 101 in Toronto], I’m asking your community to write short scenarios – plausible stories imagining possible futures – about how the knowledge needs of the transmedia field might develop over the next 10 years. You’re encouraged to take part whether you’re a newcomer to transmedia or a veteran expert – or somewhere in between.
I think that you’ll have fun joining in this creative storytelling exercise. You’ll also have a chance of winning one of several $20 Starbucks/Tim Hortons gift card by participating.
Below, you’ll find answers for your What/Who/Why/Where/When/How questions about all this.
The exercise might take half an hour at least or so of your time, but you may spend longer on it, if you like. You needn’t do it all in one sitting as your progress will be saved online (just be sure to use the same browser on the same computer).
- This is a scenario-based foresight exercise, which simply means using the guided telling of stories about different plausible futures to help an organization or a community imagine and think about long-term possibilities.
- None of this is intended as prediction or advocacy. Rather, the methods here are designed to help expand the ways we imagine and talk about the future of the transmedia field.
- The exercise will focus on the strategic knowledge challenges and opportunities you think will be important for the transmedia field over the next decade, depending on whether transmedia becomes more strictly or loosely defined. By knowledge, I mean both the needs of practical know-how and R&D as well as the more conceptual or theoretical.
- The exercise will involve the writing of two short (at least 1 paragraph) scenarios, and some survey questions.
- My name’s Zhan Li, and I’m a PhD student at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School, where I work under Prof. Henry Jenkins, the leading transmedia scholar. My own research doesn’t focus primarily on transmedia but rather, on how organizations and communities think and communicate strategically about different possible futures, especially through narrative. The research group I helped found at USC (www.uscscenariolab.com) under Prof. Patti Riley has worked with major corporations as well as non-profit and governmental organizations such as the World Bank.
- This exercise is part of my PhD research and you’ll be helping me to contribute to university scholarship and innovation about the ways industry communities think about the future.
- The exercise may help your transmedia community understand your collective professional knowledge needs better.
- It may also help you expand your own strategic thinking about the future possibilities of the transmedia industry, and the knowledge needs that will help realize those visions.
- I’ll report back to Transmedia LA and Transmedia 101 with an analysis of the data, using an adapted version of a Harvard Business Review award-winning strategy framework designed for executive decision-makers (Dave Snowden’s Cynefin).
- All scenarios, while being kept anonymous whenever publicly shared or published, will be part of my reporting back, and this too may help generate strategically-minded conversation within and between the professional transmedia communities in LA and Toronto.
- The exercise’s data and findings will also be used to help students and others learn about the potential of transmedia in further university exercises, classes, and conferences at USC
- All this will, I hope, help shape skills, research, and teaching agendas in the transmedia field.
Where, When & How?
I’m glad you’re interested in joining in! To take part, visit this website where you’ll be guided through the process: http://www.transmediaforesight.com (password: thematrix ).
The survey hosted on the website will be open from Jan 16 to Jan 31.
If you have any questions, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org .