Tuesday, 17 October 2017

2017 REX NETTLEFORD CONFERENCE: Three experts tackle net neutrality, millennial multitasking and the new business model

Wearing multiple hats has long been hallmark of the working world, but for a huge portion of the WhatsApp and Instagram generation, it’s the only way to make ends meet. Making her witty and wonderfully insightful presentation, “Slash/Slash: Millennial Multitasking in Today’s Creative Economy,” Rachael Barrett (at left) put forward the argument that doing more than one thing has not only become the status quo; it’s an essential method of working and networking and engagement in modern/contemporary society. So get with the programme. She puts the spotlight on a few multidisciplinary artists as sterling examples of millennial multitasking at its finest, particularly in the all-important realm of branding: musician/activist./businessman/band frontman Will.I.Am; entrepreneur/tastemaker/designer Vashtie Kola; creative whiz/fashion savant/Team Kanye director Virgil Abloh and reggae singer-songwriter/producer/In.Digg.Nation Collective mastermind Protoje. “We live in an age of constant distraction where multi-focus can be problematic. But it’s the reality of how human beings function now,” says Barrett, editor/college lecturer/real estate agent/art consultant/aspiring DJ. “We are products of our environment and [millennials] are simply responding to the environment they are in.”
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According to Bianca Welds, to fully benefit from the economic advantages of their creative outputs, artists must seek to turn their art into a business, and determining the right business model is a first step to entering the entrepreneurial world. Presenting “Business Models for the Arts: A Creative Canvas,” Welds noted that a new approach to the business model canvas, designed specifically for creative arts enterprises, places the artist’s vision at the centre of the process. She offers these 7 elements for one to consider as you design your ‘canvas’: the desired experience; your audience and customers; ways to reach your customers; key activities; key resources; partnerships and collaborations; costs and revenue streams. “This approach enables customers to take a strategic big-picture view of their potential business and evaluate it for its feasibility,” Welds says. “Once you’ve assessed the business idea you can start the planning process to bring it to life.”
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Spotify is still not available in Jamaica. So much for net neutrality, the concept championed by Tim Wu and like-minded advocates that states that the internet should be open to all and available to all at the same time. In other words, net neutrality promotes an open internet free of restrictions to access. Dennis Howard (“Net Neutrality and the Threat to Millennial Artist Engagement”) says it has benefits for countries like Jamaica “because it levels the playing field.” Still, hindrances remain like licensing restrictions, IP restrictions, monetizing restrictions, geographical boundaries and the list goes on. How many times have you encountered the viral message, “This video is not available in your country?” (Personally, too many times.) Still, here in the “Third World”, we have a lot to be grateful for. “If Trump and the Republicans have their way, there will be reversal of net neutrality that will have far-reaching implications for the Caribbean,” Howard says. “We need to enact net neutrality laws in Jamaica to make people aware of it because they are not aware of it.”






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