Special Investment Workshop

And so to the final event of YAIC 2011: a special workshop on how to present your idea/ concept/ business model to a group of investors and business development specialists.

Hosted by Iceland’s New Business Venture Fund, this workshop began with an explanation of who the NBVF are and how they operate, by Helga Valfells, Managing Director of the company. We learned that the company was founded in 1998, has invested in around 150 (Icelandic) companies, are shareholders of around 39 companies, and have made a total investment in the creative industries if around 1700 million ISK.

Among the companies they have helped are Gogoyoko, Grapewire, Nordic Photos, Lazytown (recently sold), Gogogic and design company Nikita.

Ms Valfells explained how NBVF, despite being government owned, enjoy a great deal of independence, and how they tend to invest in technological companies, many of which have a creative bias. She commented that one of the most important element in pitching is showing the strength of one’s team: their knowledge, skill set and/or attitude. “An A team with a B idea is better than the other way around,” she claimed. The company then look at the business concept, what problems the pitching company might be solving in the world, financial planning (“essential, even if plans don’t always follow that path in real life”), plus how the pitch addresses markets and things like competition.

In front of a “Dragon’s Den” style panel that consisted of Ms Valfells, Egill Másson (Investment Manager at NBVF), Svana Gunnarsdóttir (Investment Manager at Frumtak) and Eyþór Ívar Jónsson (CEO of Klak – Innovation Centre and Associate Professor at Copenhagen Business School), YAIC participants were then invited to present their concepts to see how they might be received in a real environment.

The first pitch was by a lady involved in an improvisation vocal and dance project consisting of nine women from four Nordic countries, who wanted to plan musical experiences and perhaps a school that taught improvisation. Not the most obvious pitch, but it was popular with the panel, the majority of whom said they would back it, albeit with an urge to focus more, and be specific about who the audience might be, how the project would make money and how much would be needed.

Next came Christine from NYC, a music writer who had the idea of creating a “musical exchange” between musicians from NYC and Iceland, to help foster creative enterprise as well as travel experience. This was also well received, despite being a very sketchy idea in the first instance, though again the panel specified they would need more information regarding funding, and more specific dynamics.

The third, and most comprehensive pitch was from Icelandic Cinema Online, who have already begun their business without funding, but who are looking to expand and bolster what they have. Again, it was unanimously agreed that the project was a great idea, and had great potential in a variety of ways. Whether real pitches to investment funding companies would be quite so relaxed and full of fun brainstorming is a moot point; but the workshop really did give an insight into the kinds of things potential pitchers would need in order to make a serious bid for money.

Workshop: How the digital changes the world of film distribution

Hosted by Tilman Scheel (DE) & The Icelandic Film Centre, this workshop examined how digital culture will shape the way cinemas select films in the future or how the internet changes the way films are distributed. As the founder of Europe’s first Cinema on Demand service “Europe’s Finest” and of “reelport”, Europe’s largest festival submission platform, Tilman has years of experience in all aspects of the, often bumpy, relationship between digital and film. And since all of his projects have profited from MEDIA support, some hints and tips on how to prepare for Brussels are given, too.

Also present in the workshop were Þór Tjörvi Þórsson (IS), Project Co-Ordinator at The Icelandic Film Centre, Stefanía Thors (IS), Co-founder / Owner of Icelandic Cinema Online, Ari Kristinsson (IS), Producer, Writer and Director

Many points were raised in the workshop, with some key points being that 1,400 to 1,500 films are produced in Europe annually, and the importance of providing customers with ways of filtering them (or filtering for them.

The discussion revolved at one point around how to make Icelandic cinema more visible, the expenses involved in “hidden” aspects of film distribution such as support (90% of costs in some cases), and led on to the future of VoD in general. “I am not sure where the future is,” admitted Scheel. “But maybe it is to try and be niche. I think Iceland is already niche, and in a very positive way. It is also important to market and promote well, otherwise nothing happens.”

Workshop: How can interactivity extend the magic life of brands?

Champagne Valentine and the Icelandic Design Centre hosted a well-attended and thought-provoking workshop, featuring CAOZ’s Hilmar Sigurdsson on the panel and discussing the relevance of interactivity and engaging new technologies in creating original sensory experiences for brands. The visionary Champagne Valentine were the perfect people to open up questions about how to reach out to people who wouldn’t otherwise be attracted by ‘technology’ per se, but are magnetised by beauty, good ideas, humanity – bringing the two together is the key to finding, and keeping, an audience.

Champagne Valentine’s Anita Fontaine suggested that, “as opposed to making experiences for the wealthy, which is what we do, we create work for those who can afford to look at it, why not have a brand sponsoring experiences” that can bring people together and reach out further.

CV’s Geoffrey Lillemon said that they aren’t always paid as much as people think for their work for large brands, particularly if the work demands a lot of their own out-lay. “You have to make something nice to prove you can do something for money.” Fontaine: “We want to make everything we do the best possible product, our name is on it. But that sometimes means we spend too much time on things.”

Sigurdsson expressed his concern for the social problem created by technology, despite the ‘interactivity’ aspect. “Technology is distancing us – you see people in the same room but o

n screens. There have never been more lonely people in the world, in the Western hemisphere at least.” Ultimately it’s vital to find a way around that, to bring people together rather than separate them.

Fontaine and Lillemon mused on the concept of holograms… and put it out there that maybe someone in the room was a hologram, maybe we are all holograms, maybe indeed nothing was real at all, prompting an unexpected existentialist tangent that raised a smile and closed the session.

Workshop: Optimising the online experience for both bands and fans

Darren Web, online marketing manager for Sigur Ros (photo by Arnar Bergmann)

Darren Webb from the Sigur Ros online team and Johann Agust Johannsson of Kraumur – a non-profit music office and operation based in Reykjavik – hosted an intimate, informative workshop on maximising the online experience for bands and the merits of the tools and services currently available.

The audience was a great cross-section of people, including members of Gogoyoko and Projekta as well as music managers, musicians and performers, all keen to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to online engagement with fans and consistency across platforms.

Darren Webb, who is currently working on the campaign for Sigur Ros album Inni, discussed how vital it is to have as many people as possible returning to your website – once they’re there you can sell, engage them further, ensure they subscribe to newsletter, and basically encourage further commitment.
Webb also talked about his time working with the band The National, consolidating their online presence – it’s only too easy to have a smattering of sites and to end up updating one more than another, which is misleading for fans and ultimately detrimental for the band profile – simplifying and bringing things together was the way forward here.
He also discussed the importance of an accessible approach from the band, or at least the band’s team. “We’re very hands on, we get emails all the time, everything from ‘Can you come to play in my small town?’ to licensing issues.” f you send an email to a band you idolise, to get an email from someone in the team is very valuable. The band are passive (when it comes to online), they concentrate on the music.”
Twitter is obviously a great tool for artists to communicate with fans, but, unlike the likes of Lily Allen or Courtney Love, Jonsi and Alex perhaps unsurprisingly “tweeted once every season: ‘Happy Christmas, we’re making chocolate cookies’ or something like that.” But fans would know that it would be unlikely for Jonsi and Alex to be verbose on Twitter, so they were happy to be treated to occasional tweets which felt special rather than being saturated with constant tweeting that risks ruining the mystique.
Twitter aside, Facebook is, in Webb’s opinion, still king. “Facebook is the one that engages fans the most. It’s the real time aspect, you put something up and within minutes 100 people will have clicked like. But the mail-outs get the most response – there are less people subscribing but more click-throughs.” On the subject of Facebook, Johannsson added: “To see the fans’ response to something you have posted up, whether about a new song or a new baby, there’s something really valuable to have that direct response.”

When it comes to band websites, it’s often a case of keeping a balance between posting up what you want and keeping retailers happy, linking to Amazon, for example. But it’s also vital to take a fresh and quirky approach; with the campaign of Heima, fans were encouraged to email in a picture of themselves with the disc in return for a download link, which garnered a huge response. Ultimately thinking of fun and engaging new ways to increase interactivity and thus consumer interest is incredibly valuable and a key to piquing interest in an era of online saturation.

Workshop: The Intersection of Art & Commerce: A Music Licensing Exploration

This workshop, hosted by industry veteran Staci Slater, founder of The Talent House, was on the ways in which art and commerce can merge in a successful manner. Based on her experience in film/television licensing, clearance and pitching as well as her many years as a manager, Staci discussed the business aspect of creating income through songs and music in film and TV, while showing it’s possible to remain authentic to the artistic vision of the songwriter.

She was joined by Guðrún Björk Bjarnadóttir (IS), General Manager of STEF, The Performing Rights Society of Iceland, Einar Tönsberg (IS), Musician, Pétur Jónsson (IS), Music Producer and Manager of Medialux Music Productions. The guests at the workshop included local artists, representatives of Gogoyoko, and a publisher of sheet music and books.

After underlining the fact that TV and film are one of the best ways for musicians to make a living, Staci began explaining the best ways for artists to get their work heard by the right people. Pétur Jónsson (IS), Music Producer and Manager of Medialux Music Productions also rightly pointed out that the perception of music has changed to the point where it is nowadays much more acceptable for musicians to have their creative goods used in film and TV.

Some of the main points raised were that artists should always send instrumentals, as almost every commissioning producer wants to hear an instrumental version of a song, even if the original comes with lyrics. (Make sure you master them too, urged Peter, show them the same respect as the originals). Secondly, make sure you tell people you are from Iceland, as this is a very popular and buzzy place as far as film people are concerned right now — be sure to write it in big letters to help your pitch stand out.

One of the main “don’ts” was to make sure not to send hundreds of unsolicited CDs out to mailing lists. Resources like www.filmmusicstore.com are a way of researching more specifically what people are working on…

 

 

 

 

Presentation: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard (UK)

Photo by Arnar Bergmann

Jane Pollard and Iain Forsyth are collaborative visual artists who have done everything from re-enacting David Bowie’s final performance as Ziggy Stardust, remade a bootleg of the Cramps with Holly Golightly as Poison Ivy, created the feted ‘Moby Hotel’ and built a machine that can embed a subliminal message into music for ‘Silent Sound’.

When it comes to bringing music and digital together in an innovative creative, these people are at the top of their game.

 

They discussed the five main factors they apply to each project:

1) Aim – what do you want to do? Is it achievable?
2) Voice – is the project tailored to the artist?
3) Innovation – is it a good idea?
4) Audience – are you reaching the audience?
5) Value – are you getting the right value

For example, when Pulp reunited to play live, they grabbed attention with the way they put it across, in the form of an enigmatic film of the band setting up in a studio with a stream of consciousness narrative provided by Jarvis Cocker. Fans were also invited to cover Pulp songs to ‘help them relearn the songs. The brief was to make it not look like marketing.

With Adele, the aim of her initial campaign was, as Pollard put it, ‘How do we put across this remarkable voice?’ Rather than making a regular website with news stories and a run of the mill design, the main page featured solely a video of Adele’s incendiary performance on Later…with Jools Holland – that was the first and main thing fans saw / heard when visiting the website. Simple but effective…

Pollard and Forsyth basically gave a masterclass in quirky ways of approaching marketing – another example was a sinister cut-out ‘man’ listening post, which toured London’s landmarks allowing people to listen to Thom York’s solo debut ‘The Eraser’, garnering masses of press and interest. The video for Nick Cave’s ‘Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!’, kept it simple, understood that Cave fans just want to see Cave, rather than a complicated narrative, and unlocked the humour of the record in a successful bid to change perceptions that the band were ‘gothic’ or miserable.

The pair continued to show a slew of impressive campaigns, from the Moby Hotel to their celebrated  4AD Sessions, with lucid explanations of their principles and working methods along the way. Not only that, but they then publicly brainstormed with three companies (chosen via a previous application process) to try and find ideas to promote and market their artists.

Panel: Copyright – Where do we go from here?

Copyright Panel (photo by Arnar Bergmann)

The copyright panel was a fiery affair, with some understandable  locking of horns between Levine and Klang, representing the two sides of the copyright argument.

Robert Levine, on the subject of the Creative Commons, within which Klang is Project Lead for Sweden, argued that the “Creative Commons licenses are practially written in crayon.”

He observed that CC only has one copyright, as opposed to two: mechanical and composition. “Why?” he asked. “Here are some possibilities: some of the smartest lawyers in the US forgot about it? They wanted to create confusion? If I record Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run, they want to create a  situation where those mechanical royalties are impossible to collect?  I’ll give you a clue, it ain’t the first.”

Klang refuted this, adding that: “Creative Commons are doing it for no money and they are not financed by Google, the whole connection with Google is confusing me,” he said, in reference to Levine’s previous claim that many law schools are funded by Google.

Designer Sigga Heimis, who works for Ikea, cut in to put forward the argument that instead of discussing the past, “Why not try to reach young people? Ten years ago people were sceptical about selling ecological products, (they) cost more, no one is going to buy them…now they sell like candy. Why not put energy into educating young consumers, try to talk towards the future rather than nag about the situation today?” She also raised the concern that while millions are pumped in to protect brands, more money should be pumped into creativity.

On the subject of downloading and watching material online for free, Levine observed that there is an assumption among young people that “if something is on YouTube, it’s legal.” Klang, as a university teacher, spoke of his concern of criminalising young people: “I don’t want to teach a 13-year-old ‘You know that thing all your friends do? You can’t do that.’ I don’t want to make children outlaws.”

While there are benefits to artists’ work being shared and played online, Gudrun Bjork Bjarnadottir, former lawyer and general manager  of STEF, the performing rights society of Iceland, said there is hope for the future for those concerned about the lawlessness of the web: “YouTube is currently making contracts with (Scandinavia) so we are slowly making the internet a regulated place. We cannot take a part of our culture and say: this is a place where no regulations apply. We need regulations in that sphere as in other spheres of our lives. The goal is to make money for artists. I would be very glad if at least some could make a living from being an artist.”

A round up of other interesting thoughts from the panel:

Njordur Sigurjonsson, lecturer at Bifrost University: “We shouldn’t  
let the unions dominate the most important question of our time –  
where is culture heading? We need to open the discussion, ‘Free Ride’  
is a contribution, this might be one of the most important issues of  
the future. This should be a wider topic in terms of democracy and  
business interest.”

Gudrun: ‘Interesting times ahead. I was moved by Ralph’s speech about  
what was up and coming in technology. I do also have hopes for the  
future, and as we discussed educating hte young re copyright, it  
actually is so that the youngest generation is the quickest at  
picking up on Spotify – it’s the older generation that is using peer-
to-peer illegal file-sharing, there are signs we are going in the  
right direction,”

Klang: “I feel that part of what exists in other cultures, you should  
be able to opt out of copyright and put your work in the public domain.”

Sigga: “The word copyright, it’s a problematic kind of thing and  
people don’t address it but it is something we have to solve rather  
than debate about, integrate it into education.”

And the final word from Alex MacNeil, CEO of Gogoyoko, a service that  
allows artists to sell directly to fans: “The future is artists being  
paid fairly, responsibility being taken by the companies that make  
distribution, not hiding behind lawyers and double speak. That’s the  
future.”

 

 

Presentation: Mathias Klang (SE)

Mathias Klang (photo by Arnar Bergmann)

Mathias Klang, a lawyer and lecturer from Gothenburg, presented the  other side of the copyright argument after Robert Levine’s talk with an entertaining, thought-provoking presentation.

“Where were you when they locked up culture?”, asks Matthias Klang,  challenging the dominant myth that ‘everything is property’ and ‘creation needs cash.’ Cash is not required for creation, argued Klang.

“It will work if it’s providing for the common good,” we don’t need to cling to the economic and creative myth. His take on stealing and sharing? “Stealing stuff is creative, by the way; Piratebay is a really creative community.”

“My problem with copyright and the chasing and enforcing of it is the people who get caught in between. The people who don’t have or can’t afford lawyers, the people who (don’t) realise they need a lawyer. The galleries, libraries and museums are also suffering. Culture is proving a casualty of this war.”

On the subject of participatory democracy, Klang said that we have felt for a long time that we don’t have the tools for it. “We now have, thanks to digitilisation, connectivity, storage and devices. We took the content from the content carrier and removed the physical  item. Connectivity is the basis for everything. With modems we used to pay by the minute, it was awful. With fixed rates you stay online more, and start file-sharing etc. We are saving more stuff, creating more stuff, storing it.”

Devices are “the most important, they are the interface to the world, the way in which we see the world, they change our life.” He joked that we have become so used to the ‘pinch’ mechanism on our iPhone and iPad screens that he is waiting for the day a child goes up to a TV and tries out the pinch mechanism on it, and gets angry when the picture doesn’t enlarge.

Ultimately, Klang feels that culture “shouldn’t be so focused on fixation. It’s depressing when artists talk about copyright, I know it’s important but when we equate the successful artist with the one who makes the most money, when the artist becomes an entrepreneur, aren’t we changing the game-plan?”

Presentation: Robert Levine (USA)

After a celestial live music introduction to the second half of the first day by Song for Wendy, the hotly anticipated and controversial talk from ‘Free Ride’ author Robert Levine commenced, kicking off the session about copyright.

Levine claims in his book that the internet is destroying creative industries, and discussed how culture needs to fight back against the idea that “everything being free is the future.”

“It’s painted as a progressive struggle,” said Levine. “A conflict between the rights of the people and the media companies.” He insisted that despite accusations of being “anti-technology, it couldn’t be further from the truth.” He admires the innovation of
Facebook, Twitter, Bjork’s Biophilia, and acknowledges that “these couldn’t exist without copyright.”

Levine shared some sobering thoughts: “People who distribute creative works without paying for them, the Piratebay, Youtube, they’re there to make money and if they say they aren’t, they’re lying.

He argued that the value of music sales is down to half of what it was.  On paper more music is selling than ever, but, as he said, “this is like saying ‘If I give you 15 pennies for a quarter, you now have more money.’ The value is going down.

He also claimed that, “a lot of activists fighting for copyright are covered by Google, they donate millions. Many law schools (also) get a lot of money from Google.” Levine argued that copyright lasts way too long, covers way too much, but hasn’t enough depth – and that it would be preferable to have a shorter, narrower monopoly, but with greater depth.

So, how important is copyright, in his opinion? “It’s very relevant,”  said Levine. “The basic idea of having a temporary monopoly of your work is a good one… We hear about copyright as a barrier to human rights – copyright is a human right.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Levine has been covering pop culture, technology, and the awkward dance between them for 15 years. Most recently, he was the executive editor of Billboard, charged with running the influential music business trade magazine. He has also been a features editor at New York magazine and Wired. His first job was at HotWired.com, the Wired Web publication, where he was hired several months after it sold the first online banner ad.

His writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, Fortune, Rolling Stone, and the arts and business sections of the New York Times. He has offered commentary on the media business for CNN, CNBC, and VH-1, and spoken at the World Copyright Summit and the CMJ music conference. He holds a B.A. in politics from Brandeis and an M.S.J. from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

His first book, Free Ride: How the Internet is Destroying the Culture Business and How the Culture Business Can Fight Back (Doubleday), was called “brilliant if depressing” by the Times (U.K.) and garnered praise from the Guardian and the Financial Times. He now covers the culture business from New York and Berlin.

For more than a decade – since the introduction of Napster – we have been hearing about the conflict between large, old media companies and young, technology-savvy consumers. It’s a compelling story, with obvious heroes and villains, but it’s wrong. The real fight on the Internet is between the media companies that fund culture, and big technology businesses like Google that want to distribute it – legally or not. This has enriched technology companies and decimated the media business. But since most Internet traffic still involves copyrighted content, this trend could eventually leave technology companies without much to distribute. Entrepreneurs need to work with artists, rather than against them, so we don’t end up with a 21st-century infrastructure and a 17th-century conception of artists’ rights.

Photo: Song For Wendy

A short set from Song for Wendy, a collaborative project between Danish singer/songwriter Mads Mouritz and Icelandic singer Dísa. (Arnar Bergmann)

Presentation: Rasmus Wiinstedt Tscherning

Rasmus Wiinstedt Tscherning discussed the ‘silent knowledge that can’t easily be transferred’, hence it being worth its weight in gold. The ‘tacit knowledge’ to which he referred is about a certain kind of know-how that can’t easily be learned but can be transferred  through mentoring or via a teacher.

But, for example, should one’s grandmother pass on a treasured recipe to you, the end result would not be the same. Explicit knowledge is more easily distributed – and copied, but the transferrance of implicit knowledge is more complex.

Tacit knowledge is particularly relevant to creative industries, explained Tscherning. “I can’t learn to make great movies by just watching Lars Von Trier’s movies, you have to be part of it. That kind of transferred knowledge is expensive, cumbersome, difficult.”

Tscherning observed that most art has commercial potential – the uniqueness of an artistic visionary is often what sells, but it’s certainly hard to mass-produce. But art and creative projects can go  straight to the heart of people; shape, form and colour sends a message that can be directly communicated to the consumer – “computer  games help the banks explain to kids that it’s good to save money,” as Tscherning says. Collaborating with creative industries makes sense.

 

 

Presentation: Champagne Valentine

Next to take the floor were the visionary Anita Fontaine and Geoffrey Lillemon, owners and founders of Champagne Valentine, who make art for brands. Champagne Valentine have transformed the art and advertising cosmos with their expressive and provocative creations. They shapeshift between commercial, fashion, music and interactive realms while remaining attuned to ethical and contemporary art trends. “Our emphasis,” explained Lillemon, “is on interactive experiences with an emotional, human, romantic touch.”

Champagne Valentine (photo by Arnar Bergmann)

Their talk, ‘Feel ones and zeros’, incorporated clips of stunning visuals and atmospheric installation pieces, and presented us with the concept of ‘feeling’ technology, engaging with it on a sensual, romantic level.

They explained their focus on convincing brands to take a chance on a more sensory, interactive technological experience when it comes to advertising, while simultaneously attracting consumers with their off the wall approach and hypnotic visuals which never feel as if the product is being ‘rammed down their throat.’

“We’re trying to engage brands in the creative experience,” said Lillemon. And for the consumer? “It doesn’t feel so branded”.

They screened their short film Storytellers and Liars, packed with soundbites such as “lies are just hopes dressed up”, “I can’t unhear your stories”, and Paradisis, a surreal film about the death of Cleopatra, made using the slit-scan technique.

The soundtrack of another short clip they played also incorporated binaural beats which can induce a state of mild sedation. They also screened the video to Placebo’s ‘Never-ending Why’, an interactive video which proves that a music promo doesn’t have to be merely eye-candy.

So, ultimately, what is Champagne Valentine’s aim? “We like to hold hands with everyone and it’s our aim to create experiences that benefit and enrich humanity through fantasy, provocation.” Punk isn’t dead, neither is romance – and Champagne Valentine appear to have married the two with intriguing results and interesting implications.

YAIC 2011 – Audience Photo

YAIC 2011 (Harpa). Photo by Arnar Bergmann

Presentation: Hilmar Sigurdsson (Iceland)

Hilmar Sigurðsson’s presentation – “Animation goes Cross-Media” – was based on the CAOZ release of Legends of Valhalla – THOR, Iceland’s first ever animated feature film in 3D (out on October 14 in Iceland).

The film has been in development and production for 7 years and has been sold to over 50 countries world-wide. The company is now full force on development of an on-line computer game, publishing and licensing programs, including live action performances in key markets in Europe.

Legends of Valhalla is developing into a full blown cross media programme, all based on the Nordic Mythology, documented by Icelanders close to 800 years ago. In the wake of the release of the film, CAOZ is developing a full-blown cross media programme, all based on the foundations of the Nordic Mythology, documented by Icelanders close to 800 years ago.

Sigurdsson brought the ancient Nordic past and the cutting edge of the  digital present together in his inspiring, ambitious talk about taking animation to cross media platforms. Sigurdsson explained the company’s vision for going global and extending over multiple platforms, branching out into gaming, publishing, licensing and beyond.

Legends of Valhalla – Thor’ incorporates classic Nordic deities such  as a glamorous Freyja, goddess of love and war, Odin, Heimdall the  Gatekeeper of Asgard and of course, there’s an over-confident  teenager who proves to be the hero of the tale against the evil Hel, Queen of the Underworld, and we were treated to an action-packed clip of the film itself. We’re looking forward to seeing it in full!

Presentation: Ralph Simon

One of YAIC’s most regular and charismatic speakers, Ralph Simon is the CEO of Mobilium Advisory Group and Chairman Emeritus and Founder of the Mobile Entertainment Forum. Ralph’s presentation was preceded by a short intro by Anna Hildur, who claimed him as ‘one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. He pushed me to go into the creative industries and not just have YAIC as a music conference.”

Today’s talk was specifically about how Icelandic creatives and creators can get some insights into what is just beyond the technology horizon. Bringing the room to life with his impassioned oration and seemingly endless arsenal of small jokes, he discussed how we will be seeing more in the way of ‘smart tools’, smart-pens, smart- cards that can multi-task and use data in interesting new ways, and
see the opportunities in the changes.

For example, sites such as  Turntable FM are focusing on how music fans’ tastes are broadening  thanks to the availability of music: “There’s no such thing as
genres any more — people like creating playlists and mash-ups.” “Media technology is shaping human civilisation,” he claimed. “We are all screenagers – it’s about working out ‘which screen is best for your work?’

An amazing 48.5 per cent of people said they were connected to the web from the moment they wake to the moment they go to sleep. Every 2 days we create as much information as we did up to 2003. “Soon we will be using zedobytes – a trillion gigabytes.” He showed us some incredible current and near-future inventions such as Augmented Reality, technology that allows us to dial telephone numbers with just our fingers (no phone) and  also praised Iceland’s creative, artistic drive and insists that now is a great time to be an Icelandic creator, winding up with the enduring local saying: “Icelanders never give up!”