MediaFutures supports both startups and artists, at various stages of their careers or entrepreneurial journey, and working across different domains and expertise, from theatre to sculpture, Open Banking to climate change. It’s important that the training offered as part of the MediaFutures programme is not one-size-fits-all, and responds to the different needs of each of the projects.

We’ve already shared some information about our approach: KUL wrote about how they will offer different perspectives on freedom of expression through their training, and the ODI shared why we think every startup and artist needs digital literacy skills.

Below, we go into more detail about the types of training we plan to offer and why. Coordinated by the ODI, this training programme draws on the vast expertise from across the MediaFutures consortium, and is provided alongside individual advisorship and mentoring for each project.

START phase

We started planning the outline of the training programme before we knew which artists and startups would join the programme, and what their individual needs would be. In the first month of the programme (what we call the START phase) we wanted to make sure that we provided each project with the foundation it needs to reach its full potential in MediaFutures, regardless of their experience and stage of development.

We also wanted to strengthen each project’s alignment with MediaFutures’ mission to reshape the media value chain through responsible and innovative uses of data, with a particular focus on responsible uses of data.

Projects from all three tracks – Artist for Residency (AfM), Startups for Citizens (SfC), and Startup meets Artist (SmA) – will receive the following training:

  • “Introduction to Data Ethics” – delivered by the ODI, this course provides an introduction to the concept of data ethics, how ethics is addressed in other domains, and how data ethics can be applied to help organisations avoid harmful impacts and increase trust in new products and services 
  • “Anonymisation is for everyone” – delivered by the ODI, this course introduces the latest thinking on anonymisation and explores how to develop and maintain trusted data infrastructure. It looks at the different needs of stakeholders and how to handle these with design, communication, and technical skills, in order to maintain data utility while minimising risk. 
  • “Basics of personal data and GDPR” – delivered by KUL, this session will present the EU framework for personal data protection and break down the key concepts of the GDPR. It includes the scope of the regulation, the lawful basis for processing data, and the need to conduct a Data Protection Impact Assessment. 

For the SmA and SfC tracks, we offered additional training:

  • “Business planning” – delivered by NMA, this session covers the different aspects of building a business product, the overall market context, players and competitors, as well as the unique value proposition of each product
  • “Pitching skills” – delivered by NMA, this training helps participants help prepare for the presentation to the jury, as well as other pitching opportunities. On the SmA and SfC tracks, after the one month START phase, each project will have to pitch to win a place to continue on the MediaFutures programme.

BUILD stage

After the first month, we enter the BUILD stage of the support programme, which lasts for five months. We’ll adapt and adjust the training calendar based on the startups and artists’ needs and demands, covering areas including business growth, the media industry, data literacy, and working with arts and technology.

At the beginning of the programme, we surveyed each project to understand which training areas they’re interested in. Throughout the programme, we’ll continue to work closely with each project, and with their advisors, so we understand how these needs change.

We’ve listed just some of the proposed sessions below:

  • Applying for public funding opportunities, delivered by ZABALA
  • Online marketing strategies, delivered by NMA
  • Pricing models, delivered by NMA
  • Best practice for arts-tech collaborations, delivered by IRCAM
  • Media Literacy training sessions: Data and narration, delivered by LUISS University
  • Media and the use of technology-led automated decision making: a legal and ethical perspective, delivered by KUL

As the programme progresses, we’ll share more about how our training offer develops, and what we learn from working with the MediaFutures startups and artists. If you’re interested in finding out more about our approach to training, please contact: