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Great MINDS Think Alike - Sourcefabric’s Strategic Partnership with News Agencies

MINDS Sessions - Keynote Media Analyst Ken Doctor @ MINDS Conference Moscow
MINDS Sessions - Keynote Media Analyst Ken Doctor @ MINDS Conference Moscow

MINDS International is a non-profit organisation focused on innovation in the media industry. Its membership is restricted to news agencies from around the world, and they gather twice a year in global capital cities to network and exchange knowledge and expertise.

As a developer of innovative tools for journalism, Sourcefabric is happy to be one of the media sponsors for the upcoming MINDS conference. Our newsroom software Superdesk, was developed together with news agencies, ensuring that its capabilities meet the day-to-day challenges of the newsroom. For this reason, among others, Sourcefabric has been named a strategic technology partner to MINDS for the third year in a row.

The first MINDS conference of 2017 takes place in Zurich on 27-28 April and will feature some 80 members in attendance; it is one of the largest gatherings in the organisation’s history. Sourcefabric representatives will join the technology architects, commercial directors, agency heads and editors in chief who comprise the MINDS membership to discuss the current challenges of digital journalism.  

We spoke to Wolfgang Nedomansky, the managing director of MINDS International, to find out more about how the organisation is helping its member news agencies innovate and create new models of business for the media’s future.

What do you see as the biggest challenge for news agencies with regard to technology today?

It is not so much about technology itself as the way that technology has impacted the media industry. I see this having three key aspects: first, the know-how needed to manage the new complexity of the media ecosystem. Second, the need for efficiency with use of resources: development of new technology-based solutions is expensive. Third, speeding up the time to market of new products and services.

We meet all these challenges by means of collaboration, which is a core element of MINDS’ DNA. This is about an exchange of thoughts, ideas, experiences, and existing services from around the world. It makes no sense at all to reinvent the wheel in each country. Joint developments are also an important aspect of MINDS, where open source can be helpful as well.

What is special about the upcoming MINDS conference in Zurich?

For one thing, we are celebrating our 10th anniversary in 2017. Our conferences have become a valuable asset over the years. Today more than 70 executives from the leading news agencies around the world regularly attend these events (in Zurich there will be 80 participants). All together, these people are working on the future of the media. A lot of new business has been triggered by the MINDS Conferences, either by ideas coming directly from our speakers or from member conversations between the sessions.

Sourcefabric will return for the third time to a MINDS conference, which shows that Sourcefabric has become a strategic partner for MINDS member news agencies in the realm of open source.

What do you hope that attendees take away from the conference?

I believe that each participant should return with at least 5 concrete ideas for new business and should be able to make at least one a reality. The more the better. I remember that one of our members developed two new services on the return flight from our conference in Tokyo, which they immediately launched after their return. And both services became a success.

Furthermore, conference attendees will gain valuable new contacts that are trusted and therefore can facilitate future business. Many people at MINDS have known each other since we started more than 10 years ago, and we are constantly adding new people to this group.

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