OCAD University

OCAD's Strategic Innovation Lab to lead major

foresight project '2020 Media Futures'

(Toronto — February 16, 2010) The Ontario College of Art & Design’s Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab) today announced it will lead a multidisciplinary strategic foresight project called 2020 Media Futures: Strategic Foresight for Ontario’s Cultural Media Industries, designed to understand and envision what media may look like by the year 2020 – what kind of cross-platform internet environment may shape media and entertainment in the coming decade and how Ontario firms can take action today toward capturing and maintaining positions of national and international leadership.

2020 Media Futures is an ambitious, 14-month long foresight project bringing together researchers, creators, policymakers and other professionals representing the cultural and digital media industries. A significant grant of $132,500 has been provided by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) through the Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund. Additional support will be provided by key industry partners and OCAD, bringing the total value of the project to $226,500.

2020 Media Futures builds on OCAD’s demonstrated capacity undertaking industry-driven research through consortia such as CONCERT and the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC),” explained OCAD President Sara Diamond. “OCAD’s sLab is uniquely positioned to lever our community’s strengths to support research, commercialization and economic development within the entertainment, screen-based and creative industries, including design, services, technology, infrastructure and policy.”

“sLab is delighted to have this opportunity to lead the development of a shared future vision for the media and entertainment industries in Ontario,” said Lenore Richards, Director of sLab. “In this unprecedented project, initiated and shaped through a close collaboration among Communitech, Nordicity and sLab, we will draw on distinct and diverse capabilities within our own communities and from across the Creative Cluster throughout the foresight scenario process. Unique to this project will be the active participation of graduate students in OCAD’s Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation, a groundbreaking new program and the first of its kind in Canada.”

Strategic foresight is a systematic approach to gathering intelligence about possible futures, and building a high quality forward view aimed at guiding and enabling present-day decisions. 2020 Media Futures will investigate several key areas of inquiry, including media convergence, consumer choice, distribution channels, distinctions between producers and consumers, interactivity, and the integration of technologies.

“sLab develops design thinking, business insight, and strategic foresight through an open, informed, imaginative and disciplined process,” said Greg Van Alstyne, Director of Research at sLab, and project leader for 2020 Media Futures. “Our aim is to help Ontario’s creative companies and industries ‘future-proof’ themselves, preparing for rich opportunities and unexpected threats brought on by the rapid evolution of media.”

The project aims to build upon previous foresight programs undertaken around the world, but within an Ontario-specific context. The resulting research from 2020 Media Futures will be made available in an open, publicly accessible forum with the goal that the project’s findings will help significantly build capacity and provide early-stage recognition and support for innovative products, services, platforms, and business models.


2020 Media Futures Partners:
Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP)
Achilles Media
Corus Entertainment
Breakthrough Films and Television
GlassBOX Television
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment
National Film Board of Canada
Nordicity Group
Ontario Centres of Excellence
Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
York University

About Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab)
Strategic Innovation Lab (slab.ocad.ca) is a centre for research in design, strategic foresight and innovation at the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD). sLab integrates academic investigation, professional engagement, education and skills development for private, public, and not-for-profit stakeholders. sLab is a growing community of researchers and practitioners, design and business professionals, teachers and students, who are passionate about envisioning possible futures.

About the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
The Ontario College of Art & Design (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” OCAD is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. The university is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinarity, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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For more information and images please contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer, OCAD
416.977.6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

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