The Media­Tech Hub Con­fe­rence 2022

Sus­taina­bi­li­ty, Cloud Tech­no­lo­gy and „The New Virtual” 

How can we use media tech­no­lo­gies to shape our socie­ty in a sus­tainable way? The big ques­ti­on of this year’s Media­Tech Hub Con­fe­rence 2022 hover­ed over the panels and work­shops – inter­na­tio­nal media pro­fes­sio­nals and tech enthu­si­asts dis­cus­sed the latest trends and prac­ti­ces in media tech­no­lo­gies – from Web3, Meta­ver­se, NFTs and Syn­the­tic Media to Green Pro­duc­tion and Strea­ming to Vir­tu­al Pro­duc­tion and VFX – over two days from Sep­tem­ber 28-29.

Pre­sen­ted live onsite and as an online event, the Media­Tech Hub Con­fe­rence was held on the stu­dio lot in Babels­berg whe­re inno­va­ti­ve media tech­no­lo­gies meet film heri­ta­ge stee­ped in tra­di­ti­on. While cine­ma mas­ter­pie­ces have been crea­ted here for over 100 years in the best tra­di­ti­on of THE BLUE ANGEL, ever­y­thing at the Media­Tech Hub Con­fe­rence poin­ted to the future over the two days: Germany’s only con­fe­rence on media tech­no­lo­gies pro­vi­ded the set­ting for indus­try repre­sen­ta­ti­ves to exch­an­ge views and ide­as about trends and inno­va­tions in addi­ti­on to 30 ses­si­ons and 50 speakers.

Media tech­no­lo­gies are incre­asing­ly deter­mi­ning our ever­y­day lives. Every day sees us using touch screens at air­ports, in cars or super­mar­kets and mobi­le devices, we are per­ma­nent­ly con­nec­ted digi­tal­ly – but that is only a small part of what media tech­no­lo­gies con­sti­tu­te in our ever­y­day lives and what signi­fi­can­ce they repre­sent for com­pa­nies. What is curr­ent­ly being con­cei­ved with Web3 and Meta­ver­se to crea­te a new vir­tu­al par­al­lel world can dri­ve over­all socie­tal deve­lo­p­ments and help other indus­tries take a step into the future.

“It’s all Media­Tech Hub now!” is the motto

The brand eins Ope­ning Talk ope­ned with two hea­vy­weights among the tech pio­neers and set the tone for the con­fe­rence: Mei Lin Fung, foun­der of the Peo­p­le-Cen­te­red Inter­net, and block­chain expert and foun­der of the Demo­cra­cy Earth Foun­da­ti­on Sant­ia­go Siri show­ed in con­ver­sa­ti­on with the digi­tal stra­te­gist and brand eins CEO Hol­ger Voll­and that tech­no­lo­gy can sup­port us and socie­ty in acting demo­cra­ti­cal­ly, peo­p­le-cent­red and envi­ron­men­tal­ly con­scious. Tech­no­lo­gy makes it pos­si­ble – but humans are behind it all.

Mei Lin Fung invo­ked the power of com­mu­ni­ty that the inter­net can offer us across the who­le glo­be. She sug­gested that the Media­Tech Hub Con­fe­rence could be the place whe­re we are given the space and tools for the next “gold rush”. A com­pa­ri­son to show how important it is to have the right tools in hand in order to respond to the uphe­avals of our age and shape resi­li­ent socie­ties. Sant­ia­go Siri wan­ted to think along simi­lar lines with the con­fe­rence par­ti­ci­pan­ts: ” Web3 can help us deal with the­se cri­ses. It can help us to coor­di­na­te bet­ter, net­work across the glo­be and orga­ni­se our­sel­ves in a decen­tra­li­sed way. And beco­me more resi­li­ent altog­e­ther as a society.”

Accor­ding to Mei Lin, what one saw here at the Media Tech Hub and in games or vide­os could pro­vi­de tech­no­lo­gies for the who­le of socie­ty. This poten­ti­al should be exploi­ted even fur­ther. She saw an advan­ta­ge for Bran­den­burg of also brin­ging “clean IT”, i.e. sus­tainable media tech­no­lo­gies, to the local area.

Media indus­try and sustainability

Redu­ced power con­sump­ti­on on set, less was­te, no unneces­sa­ry jour­neys: Kat­ja Bäu­erle, Seni­or Crea­ti­ve Respon­si­bi­li­ty Mana­ger at UFA, dis­cus­sed how film pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies, in par­ti­cu­lar, could make a con­tri­bu­ti­on here when she appeared on the panel “Decar­bo­ni­s­ing Film Pro­duc­tion: Best Prac­ti­ces from the Pros”, tog­e­ther with Mer­ce­des Eisert, CIO of Bava­ria Film, Bir­git Heid­siek, CEO/​Founder Green Film Shoo­ting, and Adri­an Woot­ton, Chief Exe­cu­ti­ve of the Bri­tish Film Com­mis­si­on and Film London.

Bäu­erle descri­bed how a working group had deve­lo­ped new sus­taina­bi­li­ty stan­dards for seve­ral film pro­duc­tions. It’s worth swit­ching to green pro­duc­tion in the long term, she said, and this was par­ti­cu­lar­ly the case for lon­ger shoo­ting peri­ods for such pro­duc­tions as series and soaps which are more struc­tu­red than tho­se at tem­po­ra­ry loca­ti­ons. She stres­sed that “in the future, green pro­duc­tion must be just as taken for gran­ted as occu­pa­tio­nal health and safe­ty, but we also need time to relearn and adapt.”
The “Green Pro­duc­tion” work­shop led by the sus­taina­bi­li­ty con­sul­tant and pro­du­cer Kori­na Gut­sche allo­wed dele­ga­tes to del­ve even deeper into the sub­ject. The par­ti­ci­pan­ts were able to dis­cuss their own film pro­jects as well as gain prac­ti­cal insights into sus­tainable production.

And sus­taina­bi­li­ty is not only about envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion. This was shown by the exam­p­le of Ber­lin-based foun­der Sen­eit Debe­se, who­se app Gre­ta & Stark makes auto­de­scrip­ti­on acces­si­ble for the blind and sub­tit­les available for the hard of hea­ring and deaf in cine­ma films. The users just have to bring their own smart­phone with the app to the scree­ning in order to access this ser­vice. Debe­se made it clear to the audi­ence just how easy and effi­ci­ent it is to pro­vi­de such a ser­vice if you use exis­ting tech­no­lo­gy and work­flows as well as a col­la­bo­ra­ti­on with the community.

The Meta­ver­se: New Vir­tu­al World?

The second day of the con­fe­rence was cle­ar­ly cent­red on the sub­ject of the Meta­ver­se – and the panel­lists empha­sis­ed that the focus here is not on a short-lived trend or buz­zword, but rather on some­thing that we will all be regar­ding as a part of our lives pos­si­bly soo­ner than we had expec­ted. Sven Sla­zen­ger, CEO of Inter­la­ke: “This is not an omi­nous cloud, it’s not some­thing we are only just begin­ning to build, it is alre­a­dy here. We are working here with digi­tal infor­ma­ti­on that lea­ves our com­pu­ter screen and is all around us. It’s like a lot of things: an exci­ting pro­cess that we’re now start­ing and then figu­ring out whe­re it’s going to take us. A new level of tech­no­lo­gy that expands our uni­ver­se. Media tech­no­lo­gy is for everyone.”

This also poses chal­lenges for our media socie­ty, as Deepf­ake expert Hen­ry Ajder pre­dic­ted in his key­note. “Syn­the­tic con­tent, con­tent crea­ted by arti­fi­ci­al intel­li­gence, has been around for a while, but what is new is its acces­si­bi­li­ty, its realism.

The two-day con­fe­rence ended with an exclu­si­ve after-show par­ty after Artist­Con­nect was named as the win­ner of the Start-up Award of the Digi­tal Hub Initiative’s pitch ses­si­on. The plat­form con­nects music artists with pro­du­cers and the crea­ti­ve industry.

All con­tent can be acces­sed via the digi­tal con­fe­rence plat­form until 30 Octo­ber. Par­ti­ci­pan­ts can the­r­e­fo­re del­ve deeper into the pro­gram­me, catch up on missed ses­si­ons and con­ti­nue net­wor­king via the platform.

About MTH Blog

The media technologies of the future are already being used today – not only in the entertainment sector, but also in a wide variety of industries. Christine Lentz meets up with tech enthusiasts, established companies and researchers for our monthly MediaTech Hub Potsdam blog to tell the stories behind the innovative business models.