Project Timeline 2005–2010

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Forum 17th October: Preliminary Report

This Report is a brief overview of the forum, what it achieved and where we go next. It also includes a commentary by the Research team opening up some of the first clusters of ideas to have come out of the whole day.

Participant List:

The Morning:

The project defines and analyses the influences which will shape Television and other audio-visual media in this country by 2017. Designed to stimulate strategic and imaginative conversations about the future of screen media, it will deliver scenarios covering the massive majority of possibilities that will lead us to 2017.

The purposes of this inaugural meeting were to introduce the group to each other; to facilitate the start of a strategic conversation; to define and explore the key issues identified by the participants; and to begin to tease out some of the complex uncertainties involved.

Thanks to the generosity of the participants, the conversation quickly got underway. During the morning it ranged through a number of areas from business models, through media ownership to audience issues. Some of the key messages which surfaced were:

At the end of the morning the group had come to the conclusion that the key influences which would shape Television over the next ten years, could be contained under the following headings:

  1. People
  2. Content
  3. Funding
  4. Governance (including IP)
  5. Technology

It was understood that this list was not definitive and will be adapted over time.

The Afternoon

Led by Ross Gibson, the group began a more-focussed discussion on the five key influences and quickly began to flush out the concept which lies at the centre of this project: the exploration of the relationships between the influences, not simply within them individually.

The group explored (inter alia):

The afternoon ended with a brief look at Disruptors/WildCards. Meeting finished at 1510.


From the perspective of the Research team it was a very successful day: the whole project has advanced considerably and the diminution of key influences gives the project group a far greater capacity to focus and deliver. Feedback from participants on the day was very positive, as it has been subsequently.

As the purpose of the day was really to introduce the group and open up the issues, it was not constructed as a day of challenge. The conversations took place within most of our current understandings and tended to gravitate towards the economics of future a/v business models. That being a common interest for almost everyone in the room, it formed a valuable base. What received less attention (but will form an essential part of forum 2) were the political, social and environmental interests/realities which will hedge every potential pathway.

One of the riches of the day was the first indication of some of the larger clusters of ideas which will end up as key drivers for the future. They included:

Forum 2

Forum 2 is at the same venue and will be held from 10 to 1245 on Wednesday 7th November.

It will be significantly different from the first. It will focus on revealing the key uncertainties within each of the five influences: People, Content, Funding, Governance, Technology. Half an hour will be given over to each. Rather than facilitating a broad conversation, Ross Gibson and Philip Bell are preparing a set of challenging scenarios to focus the whole group (including the Researchers) on the potential impacts of some of the themes revealed in the first forum. It should be very high energy and productive, exploring hard realities!

Following forum2, the research team will construct some strong scenarios. These will take on board all that has passed so far but they will be in no way the final scenarios for the project: they will be trials and snapshots. I will then come round to each of you individually in the Jan/Feb (as suits) and gather your narratives/responses to those scenarios and we’ll then build towards forum 3. Between November and the next forum we’ll also feed you a range of optional but focussed reading material to ferment your own thinking. We’ll send you the digests plus the links so you’ll know what you want to explore and what not.