PSFK, an international consultancy specializing in trends and innovation, is organising the PSFK Conference Asia 2008 for those in the creative business. The full-day event is happening on 10 October 2008.
The conference covers topics like youth trends, social media, creativity and innovation, collaboration, digital democracy and the impact of change in China, with speakers from companies including MTV, NASA, Panasonic and agencies including Flamingo International, Mindshare, Profero and Wieden + Kennedy.
I did a short interview with PSFK’s CEO Piers Fawkes to find out more about the conference.
Coleman: I understand that PSFK started with you and your friend emailing each other trend and idea news, and eventually posting it on PSFK.com. Now, what’s the story behind the PSFK Conference Series?
Piers: I had been to too many bad conferences. Some had CEOs talking about what it’s like to be a CEO to an audience of non-CEOs, others had doers who weren’t directed enough. I wanted to create an event with quickfire presentations and talks where the audience could use their learnings the next day back at work.
That explains why the PSFK conference can have almost 20 speakers – each one has less than half an hour. Short and sweet.
It’s also good to know that I’m not the only one who’s been to too many bad conferences. And here’s someone who’s actually doing something about it.
Coleman: You’ve had PSFK conferences in London, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. Now it’s coming to Asia, with the first one in Singapore. Why Singapore?
Piers: Partly because of the strong heritage Singapore has a heritage as a crossroads of creativity and business; partly because my partner in Asia, Brian Tiong, is there – and partly because we thought it was the perfect place to start our journey into Asia.
Coleman: What’s with all that purple?
Piers: It’s to do with luxury – or the color of luxury. PSFK in its first iteration as a business was a luxury consultancy. I ran it with Simon King – the SK of PSFK. It wasn’t very successful so I put the company to sleep for a while. When Simon and I started the site, we thought we’d use the URL and the color scheme of the previous company!
An interesting event by an interesting company – I’ll definitely be attending (I was invited for it).
Event link: PSFK Conference Asia 2008
Update – press coverage:
- Free public servants to engage online (WEEKEND TODAY, 20th Sept 2008) – Alicia Wong features us in her article.
- Rules for political films still a hot potato (Straits Times, 20th Sept 2008) – Lynn Lee covers the forum and mentions us.
- How Should We Expand Political Space on the Web? Public Opinion Split (ZaoBao, 21st Sept 2008) – ZaoBao covers the forum. English translation in the comments.
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I was in the public forum today discussing the “Consultation Paper by the Advisory Council on the Impact of New Media on Society (AIMS)”.
Near the start of the event, the chairman Mr Cheong Yip Seng mentioned that some “social media activists” gave some “thoughtful” and “constructive” feedback 3 days ago to the AIMS committee.
He was referring to the response given by 9 bloggers, including myself.
I won’t go into the forum itself, but when the forum ended, it turned out that the (mainstream) media and other attendees had many questions regarding our response.
Here are some of the frequently asked questions:
Are you the Bloggers 13?
No, we’re another group of bloggers.
Who are you then? The “social media activists”?
We call ourselves the “media socialists“, but we normally don’t use that name because it gives people the wrong idea – we’re not socialists. We’re a group of academics, civil servants, consultants and designers who are passionate and actively involved in social media, or what many people call “new media”.
This means we’re not quite activists as well. Let us know if you can think of a better name for us.
Why did you send this collective response to AIMS?
Being passionate about social media, we have regular discussions on the subject, so when the AIMS paper came out, we naturally started discussing it. Eventually, one of us had the idea of compiling our responses together and sending it to AIMS, as it was a good opportunity for us to contribute to our society.
Your collective response seems to focus more on e-engagement, as opposed to online political content, protection of minors, and immunity for intermediaries. Why is that?
We see a lot more potential in how the government can engage citizens more deeply through social media, potential that we’re currently not harnessing.
As for the other areas, we support the recommendations on protecting minors and immunity for online intermediaries, and have nothing much to add there. And none of us are political bloggers, so online political content isn’t really our domain.
You had an interesting suggestion to have an online Hong Lim Park.
That was wrongly attributed to us.