Building Local Content Creation Capacity: Lessons Learned

3 September 2014 - A Workshop on Other in Istanbul, Turkey

Brief substantive summary of the workshop and presentation of the main issues that were raised during the discussions

The session identified several factors important to growing local capacity for content creation:
• Skilled workforce: entrepreneurs on the panel identified the difficulties in finding and retaining employees with the skills appropriate for content creation. Desired skills included problem solving, creativity, illustration, graphic arts and technical knowledge in coding and digital creative arts.
o Panelists discussed the need to teach these skills at all levels of education. Ken Huff from LucasFilm discussed the program LucasFIlm runs to bridge the gap of what is needed by the studio and the skills prospective employees have acquired through their formal education. Emphasized the need to work with local universities and post-secondary education institutions, and the opportunity created by working with practitioners to be good educators to pass skills on.
o The costs of training employees and then the challenge of retaining them after the investment has been made was identified as a particular challenge.
• Difficulty in finding a sustainable business model. – Advertising often does not support creators. Subscription models are also difficult as consumers are reluctant to pay. Many in emergin markets focus on sponsorships or government funding in order to get content to markets. It is a very competitive market in the “attention economy.” The competition is not other games or even other entertainment content, it’s anything people are doing with their time.
• Adequacy and presence of distribution channels: panelists and attendees discussed the need for the development of distribution channels that serve local markets.
• Intellectual property protection: Effective legal frameworks and enforcement of intellectual property rights were identified as important for creators to be able to create a sustainable business model. Emerging creators need an improved understanding of intellectual property mechanisms and how they work.
• Understanding of a local market based on research: successful apps and other content depend on a thorough understanding of the audience. To do this well developers need to understand the audience – language nuances, nuances in behavior and how audiences use the target devices. It is difficult and expensive for small entrepreneurs to conduct this research on their own. Innovation hubs are one way for entrepreneurs to share knowledge and reduce their costs.
• Availability of connectivity for audiences remains an issue; ample audience is critical to building a sustainable business model.
• Rules keeping mobile phone out of schools was also identified as a barrier when so much is possible on phones.
• Access for people with disabilities was also raised – the important of creators understanding how to make content universally accessible and consistent with technology solutions used by people with disabilities.

Conclusions drawn from the workshop and possible follow up actions

Ideas that emerged as potential follow up from the session:
Create opportunities for emerging content creators to learn from each other’s experiences.
• Strive to bring problem solving and creative arts into all levels of education. Universities, governments and industry could explore ways to bridge skill gaps with innovations centers and hubs, and tailor post-secondary education curricula to areas that support content creation. These centers could also address access for people with disabilities and research information regarding local markets.
• Policy makers should make sure they have effective intellectual property frameworks and education of content developers on how they work
• Encourage and allow development of new business models that will help creators to find a market and create a sustainable revenue stream.
• Continue to focus on core needs like increasing connectivity and encourage investment in infrastructure.

Estimation of the overall number of participants present at the workshop


Estimation of the overall number of women present at the workshop

about half of the participants were women

Extent to that the workshop discuss gender equality and/or women’s empowerment

it was mentioned briefly in the presentations and discussions

A brief summary of the discussions in case that the workshop addressed issues related to gender equality and/or women’s empowerment

The panel was half entrepreneurs who are women. Gender was not specifically raised as a barrier, although the need to close the skills gap through increased education in related matters was addressed for all students, boys and girls.

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