Over 30 leading voices in new media including social media experts, online entrepreneurs, game theorists and designers, marketers and academics will convene in Montreal, Canada today through Tuesday for the NU: Media Innovation Initiative (NU). The invitation-only conference is bringing this cadre of new media experts together to help reimagine and create new and meaningful Jewish engagement experiences for Jewish Millennials.
“With mobile devices seemingly glued to their fingertips, Millennials are connected to their networks like never before in the history of human kind, constantly effecting and disseminating information, altering choices web-users make about what they share in public, what they believe is valuable and even who they want to become,” said Mike Savatovsky, creator and co-facilitator of the NU: Media Innovation Initiative.
“The most successful brands put this truth at the front of their product, service and/or program design strategy and insert themselves into the daily decision-making processes of their fan base by offering real-time interactive experiences; stories are no longer viewed passively as something happening to someone else, but rather are now fully immersive and interactive, empowering users to seemingly create and share the world of their choice,” Savatovsky added.
NU participants will lead workshops in their areas of expertise, share cutting-edge techniques employed by the most innovative brands, and challenge participants to design dynamic engagement opportunities for Jews of the Millennial generation. This young, educated, technologically savvy and empowered generation is wielding great influence in the commercial and cultural zeitgeist. The conference aims to re-work “Jewish” programming in a way that speaks to and reaches this technologically oriented generation, leveraging great Jewish minds to re-think and re-invigorate the Jewish world and Jewish engagement.
Participants will be given the opportunity to pitch the ideas that emerge from this conference to an audience and panel of media and Jewish community leaders, who together will decide the winning projects and help them become a reality with funding.
Among the participants at NU are Jacob Schwirtz, former Director of Social Viewing and Social TV for Viacom Media Networks who has built dozens of digital communities for MTV/VH1; Zev Moses, Founder and Director of the Interactive Museum of Jewish Montreal; Sharon Feder, COO of Mashable; and Josh Burstein, Deputy Chief of the Obama Campaign. The think tank is co-facilitated by Amy Friedman, Senior Advisor at MTV Scratch, an industry leader on Millennial behavior and psychology for more than a decade consulting some of the biggest companies in the world on how to reimagine their products and their corporate infrastructures.
Organizers of NU intend to publish a document in the days following the gathering highlighting new engagement principles and some blueprints for creating relevant entry points into Jewish life for young adults in the age of perpetual connectivity.
NU Montreal is part of the Outreach and Engagement Initiative at Federation CJA in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. NU also operates under the auspices of ROI Connection Points, a pilot project of ROI Community, created to expand the organization’s reach and create greater opportunity for entrepreneurs to connect and learn about creative new ideas, deepen relationships and affect change.