2020 Media Futures

2020 Media Futures is an ambitious, multi-industry strategic foresight project designed to understand and envision what media may look like in the year 2020; what kind of cross-platform Internet environment may shape our media and entertainment in the coming decade; and how our firms and organizations can take action today toward capturing and maintaining positions of national and international leadership.

The purpose of 2020 Media Futures is to use open-source strategic foresight for the benefit of the creative cluster — the book, magazine, music, film, television and interactive digital media industries – to help organizations and individuals “future-proof” themselves and their creative livelihoods. These creative professionals include writers, filmmakers, producers, music label executives, game developers, programmers, and other media franchise specialists. To help them prepare for the future, we employed strategic foresight research methods and practices. You can learn about our strategic foresight research methodology and project structure. But before recounting that material, we present the heart of the project, the narrative and contextual scenarios developed through this consultative, participatory process.

These scenarios are the result of analytical and synthetic work described in the pages that follow: horizon scanning for signals and trends in consumer behaviour and the media industries; collaborative workshops with industry experts and professionals; and sense-making exercises led by sLab team members to understand the data that we gathered.

In many ways, the scenarios were the ultimate goal of the project: four unique visions of possible futures that members of the creative cluster could read, critique and engage with. But as we discovered, the research process that led to their writing was its own reward. Ontario’s creative community is diverse, highly opinionated and innovative.

Through our interactions together we gained experiential learning about the needs of these industries, but also a rich understanding of their hopes and fears for the future. Our participants in turn clearly took advantage of opportunities to establish new network connections with one another at our events. We are grateful for the honesty and energy of their contributions to this project.

–Greg Van Alstyne and Madeline Ashby

Other Partners Include:

  • Achilles Media
  • Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP)
  • Breakthrough New Media
  • Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)
  • Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA)
  • Canadian Radio and Television Commission (CRTC)
  • Corus Entertainment
  • GestureTek
  • GlassBOX Television
  • Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. (MLSE)
  • Marblemedia
  • National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
  • Nordicity
  • OCAD University
  • Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE)
  • Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT), Sheridan Institute
  • St. Joseph Media
  • Universal Music Canada
  • York University


For more information, please visit http://slab.ocadu.ca/project/2020-media-futures.

2020 Media Futures: Cover Image featuring title in white font on a purple background with OCADU and sLab logos
Monday, October 23, 2017 - 11:30am
Lab Member: 
Greg Van alstyne
Lenore Richards
Suzanne Stein

OCAD U campus stars in Kim's Convenience

Photo of the cast of Kim's Convenience
Wednesday, October 19, 2016 - 4:00am


OCAD University makes many  appearances on CBC’s acclaimed new weeknight comedy, Kim’s Convenience. Based on a play by Torontonian Ins Choi, the show portrays a Korean-Canadian family. The daughter Janet (played by actress Andrea Bang), is a photography student at OCAD U. Janet’s parents opened a convenience store in Regent Park when they immigrated to Canada.

The production company filmed on campus on July 19, primarily in Butterfield Park and on McCaul Street. The exterior of the Sharp Centre for Design can be seen in several episodes. The show’s producers also commissioned and leased photos by students Maddie Alexander, Antonio Giacchetti and Tess Siskay to represent the works of Janet and her classmates.

Kim’s Convenience is receiving praise for being Canada’s first TV sitcom led by Asian actors and for addressing social and intergenerational issues with humour and sensitivity.

The series runs on Tuesday evenings on CBC TV and can be watched online.

What happens when ‘90s show Art Attack meets real, working artists?

Still image of an actor costumed as a sculpted bust, Brandon Hackett, host of Art Works
Tuesday, October 4, 2016 - 4:00am

Art Works! is an online tv show parodying the beloved ‘90s British children’s television series Art Attack to humorously share the process of socially innovative Canadian artists working today. Created by Toronto-based art collective Madeleine Co. in partnership with OCAD University, and hosted by Toronto comedian and Second City performer Brandon Hackett, the project features artists Allyson Mitchell, Sean Martindale, and Dana Prieto showcasing their artworks. 

 Art Works! mixes the wholesome cheesiness of Art Attack with the surreal comedy of Adult Swim’s Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. The show’s host, Toronto comedian and Second City performer Brandon Hackett, plays “The Head,” a talking sculpture who introduces the three featured artists and their friendly how-to guides on bringing artistic ideas to life. The video also features OCAD U students and alumni who discuss their processes. 

Artist and designer Sean Martindale, whose art interventions activate public spaces to encourage social engagement, shows us how to turn a city wall of poster ads into a garden of beautiful “Poster Pocket Plants”

Artist Dana Prieto bakes a unique batch of cupcakes to represent her complex cultural identity and "mestizaje", a spanish word for the process of mixing ancestries.

Watch the artists in action at www.artworks-show.com. Art Works! is commissioned by the Impact Collective www.impactcollective.ca, OCAD University’s art & design social innovation project. You can access images and gifs here.

Madeleine Co. is a Toronto-based art collective reimagining social issues through experiential storytelling and multimedia art. Projects include: Climate Talks commissioned by the Ryerson Image Centre, Creative Catalyst symposium on art and social change, internationally touring walking performance These are the People in Your Neighbourhood, and Let's Imagine Canada's Future commissioned by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Madeleine Co. has been featured in festivals such as Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Luminato, and Art of the Danforth. Learn more about past projects at www.madeleineco.com