The growing power of digital media users—who this year downloaded their 10 billionth app, ignited the Arab Spring, and snapped up millions of Groupons for everything from teeth whitening to donuts—will be the focus of >play 2011: The User Revolution on Oct. 29.
A sellout crowd of 500 industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and students is expected as the student-run digital media conference takes over the Haas campus.
"From community organizing to the distribution of content, we have witnessed a revolution in the way we communicate, learn, buy, and share information," says Sue Young, MBA 12, who is co-chairing the conference with Scott Van Brunt, MBA 12. "We want to highlight the technologies and business models that enable users and companies to transform the world around them."
Best-selling writer, innovation guru, and venture capitalist Geoffrey Moore, author of Crossing the Chasm and Dealing With Darwin: How Great Companies Innovate at Every Phase of their Evolution, will give the keynote address. Dean Richard Lyons will give opening remarks.
>play will open with a rocket pitch session—first introduced at last year's conference. Sponsors will have between one and three minutes to pitch their products to the full audience, piquing onlookers’ curiosity about the hottest new games and apps, social media innovations, and hardware. Conferees can learn more about the products and companies by browsing the expo throughout the day.
Organizers have also strengthened the conference's interactive focus, allowing attendees to participate in everything from music choices to live polling. An hour-long afternoon session of >play talks, modeled on TED talks, centers on the themes of innovation, disruption, and opportunity.
Panel topics include media for social change, discovery vs. search, starting a digital media company, voices in venture capital, virtual goods, and the shift from buying to renting: content distribution and the culture of use.
The >play conference is a project of the Haas-based Berkeley Digital Media and Entertainment Club (DMEC). Discount tickets—$25 for students and $75 for professionals—are available through Sept. 30.