“Transmedia as a new Future of Pivoting” – Justyna Jakubiec
As the present-day reality is in constant motion, so are practices serving various ways of knowledge production. Academic knowledge, with the help of some of its creators, tries to escape the boundaries that have already proven to be limiting. Certainly, that does not mean that the production of academic knowledge is somehow outdated – on the contrary. What is at stake in this regard are possible connections that could be made between what is academic and what is non-academic in content, application, and understanding.
Jon McKenzie alludes to this challenge and, in order to argue for academic experiences that extend beyond the academic realm, brings in the concept of “transmedia knowledge” (McKenzie 2019, 110). What is happening behind the seminar doors can be reconsidered thanks to this approach: academic knowledge and experience are allowed to spread their wings, to connect with the outer world. Transmedia approach is what embraces various campaigns that “produce different experiences for different stakeholders,” allowing for much more open-minded and responsible solutions (Ibid.). That focus on different stakeholders reminds me of the concept of pivoting: applicable predominantly to innovation in business, this idea is characterizing a situation in which “business conditions have changed dramatically,” and a change in strategy is needed (Baiya 2020). The necessity for change may be provoked by a shift in consumers’ needs: companies, in order to thrive, must adapt to these shifts.
However praiseworthy the intentions behind pivoting are, some human values (of the consumers, among others) may be ignored. The difficulty may be with choosing which stakeholders should be specially addressed; the decision making, in this regard, may also result in an inherent exclusion of other stakeholders’ values. This is the moment when Jon McKenzie’s idea of “transmedia knowledge” may prove to be useful in the innovation strategies (McKenzie 2019, 110). Connecting academic knowledge based on researching the majority (or even all) of the stakeholders’ values, with more practical, professional, business and innovation-based expertise can, indeed, allow for prioritizing “human desirability in relation to technical feasibility and financial stability” (Ibid., 111). Transmedia approach in connection to the idea of pivoting can prove to be promising for the business and innovation realms, in making their strategies even more responsible and effective. Furthermore, it is the academic realm that may also benefit from this promising connection: thanks to extending the application of academic knowledge and making use of the academic skills in order to help businesses embrace as many human values as possible.
Jon McKenzie, when bringing up the notion of “transmedia knowledge,” allows for playful and promising ideas to be made (Ibid., 110). With the rapidly changing human reality, running on growing possibilities for conducting research and studying, comes a thought of making the academic knowledge shift. Academia is the place replete with minds and expertise that can inspire the world beyond the academic one. Business and innovation realms may be those which decide to intertwine their pivoting strategies with those based on transmedia approach.
- Baiya, Evans. 2020. “Validate Your Pivot with Innovation.” Innovation Management. June 12, 2020. https://innovationmanagement.se/2020/06/12/validate-your-pivot-with-innovation/
- McKenzie, Jon. 2019. “Becoming Cosmographer: Co-designing Worlds.” Transmedia Knowledge for Liberal Arts and Community Engagement: A StudioLab Manifesto, 109–45. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.
*Image credits: ar130405, Success, Strategy, Business, Solution, Marketing, Pixabay Photograph, February 20, 2017. Downloaded on February 5, 2021. https://pixabay.com/illustrations/success-strategy-business-solution-2081168/