Project Timeline 2005–2010

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Steering Group Meeting #2

Categories: Meetings, Steering Group
Date: 11 May 2007
Contributors: , , , , ,

Chair: Ross Gibson
In attendance: Lesley Osborne (ACMA), Paul Roberts (ACMA), Phillip Bell (UNSW), Hugh Pattinson (UTS), Annmarie Chandler (UTS), Ben Goldsmith (AFTRS), Andy Lloyd -James (AFTRS).
Apologies: Raphael Pustkowski

1. Update on contracts

The group expressed concern that the contracts be processed before the end of the financial year so that contributions could be made according to schedule.

Note: this was followed up after the meeting and UTS has now posted the revised contract to AFTRS as first base, and will take up Andy’s suggestion that he will co-ordinate further signatures with the industry partners.

2. Budget update

RG explained that there is no official line for the budget yet as the project will be officially opened at UTS once the contract is processed. The only expenditures thus far were Annmarie’s payments for her time, which were coming from an independent research account currently.

The group looked over the figures devised for the ARC accounting methods from the original application and it was agreed that this should be broken down into an easier to read flow chart, matched to key milestones. This was timely as the project was now scheduling its actual activities for 2007 and 2008.

3.Update on research methods and approach

The group was fortunate to have the presence of Paul Roberts, Strategist for Knowledge and Information services with ACMA. Paul gave a comprehensive breakdown on the objectives, strategy and process taken in the Vision 20/20 scenario-planning project, which was examining future scenarios for the Communications Industry and the implications for regulation.

A lively conversation ensued on both the detail of the enactment of this project, as well as the relevance of a number of key issues to the OTB project.

RG outlined the key concepts and points of difference with the OTB approach, which is seeking to develop a strategic set of conversations around the future of television. These will act as an ongoing tool or capability for industry in giving insights into the working of television, present and future. A key point here is to distinguish “scenarios” from “narratives”. The scenarios are the complex settings, the provocations, or sets of drivers out of which a large number of narrative lines can be drawn. The OTB team will do the scenario-formation work, but not the narrative work, which is the specialty of the industry experts and insiders. The OTB project will, however review and analyse the narratives for their strategic relevance to the industry, as well as provide information on how the industry is thinking as it goes through a landscape of constant change.

RG outlined that it is important that the project develop the ability to see many scenarios out of which a great many quick narratives will emerge. We already have an advantage here with the mind map, which has already been developed during the pilot phase of the project. Moreover, the interactive website that’s being developed will deepen understanding of the drivers that can be clustered together to form scenarios.

LO made the point that some important questions for television emerged from the 20/20 project; Firstly there was the issue of television itself becoming more important as a communication media, over a range of emerging platforms, and there were pressing uncertainties about what new business models were emerging and what models might sustain Australian content in this new production environment.

PR noted that since the completion of the 20/20 project in 2005, the environment for an understanding and appreciation of change had evolved and it was good timing for this project with a number of other major “futures” projects concentrating on media and Internet developments.

PR offered to share some of the documentation which had aided the earlier project and also make himself available to the researchers for further consultations, an offer the group were very happy to encourage.

4. Industry core group, issues and drivers, challenge workshops

The meeting ran out of time to discuss these in detail and they will be followed up after this meeting and in email communication with industry partners.