Logo: University of Southern California

IMSC will Partner in New Institute for the Connected Society

iFOCOS will Innovate across a new world of media, founders say
October 10, 2006 — The USC Viterbi School's Integrated Media Systems Center will partner with two leading media analysts in a new non-profit institute, iFOCOS, the Institute for the Connected Society.

IMSC will work with iFOCOS co-founders Andrew Nachison and Dale Peskin to establish partnerships with individuals and organizations around the globe to conduct research and to create next-generation media projects that foster an informed society, as well as create new opportunities in the marketplace.

"We at IMSC are excited by the opportunity to work with iFOCOS," said Adam Clayton Powell III, IMSC's director. "We look forward
Powell: "We look forward to developing partnerships..."
to developing partnerships that will lead to cutting-edge research to produce digital media solutions for news, information, education and entertainment."

The affiliation with IMSC positions iFOCOS at the intersection of media, technology and society, say the group's founders.

"We'll be working with one of the world's outstanding media labs to develop and understand a dazzling array of information technologies that will continue to transform media, media businesses and our connected society," said Nachison, who will serve as executive director of the iFOCOS.

Nachison and Peskin will also be affiliated with the USC Annenberg School of Journalism. Prior to founding iFOCOS, both men directed The Media Center at the American Press Institute.

A board of advisors has been compiled from the world's most influential digital media companies to advise and support the institute, including QUALCOMM, Yahoo, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, FastCompany magazine, The Associated Press, the British Broadcasting Corporation, Reuters and more.

The Reston, Virginia-based institute will announce cross-sector collaborations with institutions, businesses, foundations, research centers, public policy groups and individuals in coming weeks.

One of iFOCOS's first actions is organizing the international "We Media" forum at the University of Miami, February 8-9, 2007, with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and participation by Grupo de Diarios America, a coalition of Latin-American media groups. Previous "We Media" conferences were conducted in New York and London in association with news organizations, including The Associated Press, the BBC and Reuters.

"iFOCOS will lead international collaborations such as 'We Media' to understand how we can use media and new information technologies to anticipate changes on the road ahead," said Nachison. "As conveners and as facilitators of innovation, we will continue to bring productive groups together to address complex issues impacting audiences, communities and a society defined by media. Partners will contribute to an exciting dialogue and also walk away with ideas they can apply to their business and organization today."

In addition to its event and research agendas, iFOCOS has established a practice to work with organizations and individuals on media strategies, projects and funding. The practice spans traditional channels of private and public media, from broadcasting and publishing to telecommunications and the "long tail" of personal and niche media.

"The rules are changing and so are we," said Dale Peskin, iFOCOS's co-founder and director. "We believe that media is a powerful source for innovation and a vital instrument for change in our society. We have a rare opportunity to inform crucial decisions about our future. iFOCOS and its partners will help steer innovation, broker collaborations and stir conversations that make a difference."

The board of advisors to the institute includes:
  •     Jeff Belk, SVP, QUALCOMM
  •     John Bell, Managing Director/Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
  •     Merrill Brown, Principal, MMB Media
  •     Carin Dessaur, Principal, mc2
  •     Jim Kennedy, VP, Strategy, The Associated Press
  •     Susan Mernit, Product Manager, Personals, Yahoo!
  •     Craig Newmark, Founder, craigslist.org
  •     Scott Fox, CEO, Global View Partners
  •     Adam Clayton Powell III, Director, USC Integrated Media Systems Center
  •     Scott Rafer, CEO, My Blog Log
  •     Brian Reich, Senior Strategic Consultant, Mindshare Interactive Campaigns
  •     Richard Sambrook, Director, Global News Division, BBC
  •     Karen Stephenson, President, NetForm
  •     Alan Webber, Founder, FastCompany magazine
  •     William C. Weiss, Chairman and CEO, The Promar Group
  •     Dean Wright, SVP and Managing Editor, Consumer Services, Reuters America

More information is at the iFOCUS website, at http://www.ifocos.org