Get ready for YAIC 2010!

Planning and preparations for YAIC on October 1 & 2 at the Reykjavík Hilton Nordica have begun! We’re getting ready to start the early bird registration offer and will announce the first names of the speakers confirmed for this year’s edition. So keep your eyes peeled on this site. Until then, here’s a nice reminder of YAIC ’09, an interview with IDEO’s Paul Bennett, who delivered an amazing keynote.

Dates announced for YAIC 2010!

This year’s YAIC conference has now been confirmed for October 1st and 2nd, 2010. The themes and topics will continue the conference’s general mission to explore the ongoing effects of the digital revolution on music and related creative industries.

YAIC seeks to define new opportunities and business models in the digital space as well as looking into new consumer behaviour and marketing trends. The event prides itself on encouraging non-hierarchy networking as well as inviting an equal number of men and women to speak.

Early bird registrations and package offers will be available from late May 2010. For more information contact Anna Hildur: or Kamilla Ingibergsdóttir:

YAIC Day 2 Video Compilation [feat. Catherine Langabeer, Oisin Lunny, Anna Hildur & more]

YAIC DAY 2 – Neebing and Sigurjón Sighvatsson Interview

YAIC Roundtable Workshops [Day 2]

After a lunchbreak and an intimate performance by the wonderful Olof Arnalds, You Are In Conference deliquesced into a series of afternoon roundtable workshops on a variety of subjects.

Songbird Olof Arnalds puts on a stunning afternoon performance

Songbird Olof Arnalds puts on a stunning afternoon performance

In The Perfect Lovenest – which explores the relationship between film and music – Christopher Roberts from Sidelot Studios was joined by Hampus Kivimae from Sony (SE), Icelandic musician Petur Ben, Icelandic director Gunnar Gudbjornsson, Cinesong’s Milena Fessmann and Alicen Schneider from NBV / Universal.

There were record labels, musicians and publishers in the room, and the discussion centred around how film studios go about sourcing or choosing music, how artists/labels can best present their music to films, the advantages of hanging around film schools to build relationships with directors at an early stage, and the importance of using ALL channels – not only the official music supervisor or whoever – to get your music into hands of the right people. A final point for musicians: be targeted and make sure you have a card and a website and can represent yourself.

The Where Is My Money panel included Mobilium Advisory Group’s Ralph Simon, Smarten Up’s Birgit Hoff, Helga Valfells from Iceland’s New Business Venture Fund, Runar Ornarsson from Nikita Clothing and Sr. Eggert Claesson from the Frumtak Investment Fund. Here the room learned about how to present a business plan and find investors; how to fan fund and micro fund; how to work on different business relationships; and who are the new players in the funding business.

A good point raised by Runnar was that investors are not only people who write cheques and give money – they can also invest energy or experience, i.e. forming strategic partnerships. YAIC MD Anna Hildur (in the audience) also stressed the importance of official government support in helping new creatives grow, and the need for physical interaction as well as digital networking.

The World Without Borders discussion explored overlapping circles within new business models. Jonas Antonsson from Gogogic, Kristin Andrea Thordardottir from Poppoli Pictures, Asgrimur Sverrison’s Cinema Now and Nokia’s Asa Carild (SE) looked at new options in the digital space, examined the borders between the different creative sectors, the role of games as potential distributors, the effects of the games boom on filmmakers and new consumer behaviour.

There were concerns from the artistic side about being lost in the new world, that middlemen therefore might be necessary as guides, but they should be transparent and bring value.

The Perfect Lovenest Roundtable

The Perfect Lovenest Roundtable

In the Creating A Green Future room, Catherine Langabeer from Julie’s Bicycle in the UK, Sigridur Sigurjonsdottir from the Iceland Academy of Arts and Gudrun Lilja Gunnlaugsdottir from Studio Billy analysed the issue of energy and the environment and the fact that the IT sector is responsible for 3-5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The room’s main question was: how is it possible to use the digital environment in more creative ways to create a more sustainable future? There were many ideas on how to be greener as an industry, how to engage individuals as well as companies, with the overall conclusion that the emphasis should be shifted from punishing the ‘not doers’ towards rewarding the ‘doers’.

There was also a room for Fashion, Digital Retail and Marketing, featuring Nathan Richardson (CCP), Oisin Lunny (Habbo) and Hugrun Dogg Arnadottir (Kron). They discussed how there is a lot of opportunity for fashion designers in the virtual world – getting brands into Eve online, Habbo, 2nd Life, where you can get real revenue. A strong identity is also essential for fashion brands, and also using Facebook and bloggers.

The final workshop was Visual Arts 2.0, which looked at the role of the visual arts in connection with the digital revolution. Gerfried Stocker from Ars Electronica, Margret Elisabet Olafsdottir, a writer on aesthetics, and artist Finnbogi Petursson chatted with moderator Christian Schoen from the Center for Icelandic Arts. The focus was on the continuing merger between the media sector and the traditional arts, and though few conclusions were found in this ongoing dialogue, the general feel was not to be in control, but to be free with ideas…

Where Is My Money roundtable workshop

Where Is My Money roundtable workshop

YAIC Day 2 – Guðjón Már Interview

Interview with Sigurjon Sighvatsson

Film producer Sigurjon Sighvatsson is the most famous and established Icelandic individual working in the film industry today. He has over 30 features to his credit and is known for his innovatve and influential principals with regards to the modern concept of the commercial and music video.

He talked to interviewer Ralph Simon about his time making music videos in Iceland back in the day (he was formerly a musician), his move to the States and working with stars like Madonna (on Truth & Dare) and on groundbreaking TV shows like David Lynch’s Twin Peaks and Beverly Hills 90210.

Ralph Simon interviews veteran Icelandic film producer Sigurjon Sighvatsson

Ralph Simon interviews veteran Icelandic film producer Sigurjon Sighvatsson

Throughout Sigurjon was relaxed and tremendously down to earth, avoiding hyperbolic words like ‘grondbreaking’ and ‘innovative’ and putting many success stories down to serendipity and/or often elements out of his control. After admitting to a love of soaps and his role in bringing Dynasty to Iceland, Sigurjon discussed some of his current projects, sich as Brother (with Tobey Maguire) and The Knock Out Artist, a new movie being directed by Sean Penn.

The interview was wrapped up by Sigurjon explaining how being an Icelander and therefore an outsider in the Hollywood industry had its advantages, and had some advice for budding creatives: be disciplined, be resilient (some of his projects have been in development for ten years!) and, above all, make sure your ideas are good!

YAIC Day 2: Remi Harris [Association of Independent Music]

Remi Harris began her presentation by rewinding to 1999 and the beginning of the “digital dream” – and how labels and middle men at that time were scared of being cut out of the picture. She recalled how between 1999-2005 AIM were busy exploring, learning, experimenting with new technologies like streaming services, and dealing with how to turn the physical product into something digital.

By 2005 AIM had started London Connected, and were helping their members use the technology via workshops and conferences to everyone from publishers to record labels and online advertisers.

Remi Harris from AIM

Remi Harris from AIM

Remi’s advise to music businesses was manifold: think about who your target audience is, and where to find them on and offline – with special focus on the core audience; the importance of communicating and using feedback on the web to collect information and responses; being creative and original when promoting your music; not trying to do everything yourself, and trying to make use of your fans and supporters.

The final bit of advice was to move steadily-  learn to use the tools available, moving through them slowly.

YAIC Day 2: Gudjon Mar Gudjonsson [Ministry Of Ideas]

Gudjun Mar from the grass-roots driven Ministry of Ideas kicked off Day 2 of YAIC by encouraging us to take a look at our lives and actions from a historical perspective, looking at how much we have changed our planet in recent times and then went on to explore the potential of the Free movement and Gift economies, specifically with regard to the creative industries.

Gudjon Mar Gudjonsson

Gudjon Mar Gudjonsson

One of the big questions was: is there any money on Planet Free? Gudjun pointed to profitable companies like Facebook, Skype, Google as well as non-profitable companies like Twitter. He then asked, can something similar happen in Iceland?

Well, he said – yes it can. He pointed out that Iceland has as many people as employees as General Electrics. He talked about the concept of Akido, the American vision of sending men to the moon – and viewed Iceland’s financial situation as being an opportunity to become a role model for other countries.

Why? Because it’s small and manageable; it has a sophisticated infrastructure; and a useful sense of urgency. The way forward will involve thinking big and working with innovative solutions to funding problems. So for example, his company have already begun the process of procuring 200 Billion ISK to put into innovative, grassroots business and developments.

The money will be raised via crowd-sourcing, and the most successful companies will be those with blended values: those with a sense of the social, financial and the environmental.

Ambitious and inspiring ideas for sure – but as the man said, if you’re gonna think, why not think big?

YAIC 2009 Day 1 compilation (Part 1)