Creative brainstorming helps the CRTC predict future media discoverability

A design jam explores media content challenges in 2026

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Day: May 11
Time: 1:00PM - 2:15PM

Uninhibited by traditional assumptions and conventional thinking, students are natural “out-of-the-box” thinkers. In March, a group of university students from Ryerson and OCAD engaged in a one-day Design Jam to explore new ideas and propose creative, evocative solutions to overcome discoverability challenges. Explore the possibilities through their eyes in this dynamic session.

Video summary

A design jam is a kind of brainstorming, similar to a hack-a-thon, except that instead of writing code to design a product, you focus on generating ideas that will evoke conversation about your topic. In this case, the ideas were about the future challenges of media and discoverability, and the participants were a community of students from different backgrounds – digital media, cultural communications, design strategy, interactive entertainment. In the CRTC design jam, the organizers, from Ryerson U, called on the participants to create a media artifact that embodies discoverability, imagined as having content developed in 2026. Rather than attempting exact predictions of the future, the brainstormers tried to understand the range of things that the future might disclose, diversifying the images of future media content. Watch the video to see how they developed a media artifact that illustrates a possible aspect of the discoverability of content in 2026.

Experts in this video

Director, Transmedia Zone and Transmedia Research Centre; Associate Professor, RTA School of Media, Ryerson University

Video transcript excerpts

“It’s really tough to try to predict what’s going to happen in this [media] space of course. We frequently get it wrong, that’s the hardest part about it. Looking at today’s technology, trying to make a business immediately about something that has its basis in social practice that may not have been developed in the main stream yet. We’re trying to predict maybe edge-case things are going to become dominant but we’re doing it with today’s business model and that’s really hard to launch, because if you get it wrong you’ve spent a lot of money and you focus on something that isn’t going to actually going to take off.”

“Design jam is aimed at focusing some of that same intensity and energy [as a hack-a-thon] but not on solutions, necessarily, not on developing a product. The idea is to use the same kind of social dynamics to focus on generating ideas, and the point of those ideas is to evoke conversation.”

“In the case of design jam we had people make media artifacts. The point of this design jam was to imagine ten years from now with the lens of discoverability of content, and we invited participants to make some piece of media as if it fell through a time warp from ten years in the future. The point of these are not to make products, the point is to spur conversation.”

“We had them form random teams, again they didn’t know each other, we just numbered them off, and then we guided them to a couple of brainstorming exercises. They discussed and [found] an idea they wanted to work on. They worked over the course of an afternoon, making media, doing 3D animations, doing after-effects, going and shooting things, whatever they could. And then we had them not do a presentation, they had to show the artifact they made first.”

“We used the same kind of process but with a different orientation for a jam at New York University the summer before last, creating a series of artifacts that street vendors of the future might sell. And so again, at the end of a whole day’s work we had a whole array of strange objects that sort of invited storytelling and investigation, using just materials that we found lying around or picked up at the dollar store.”

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