Co-Creating Futures

Co-Creating Futures

Dr. Gig Johnson has given intensive workshops for three days to small groups of researchers from UIC Barcelona on new teaching methodologies: innovation, artificial intelligence, and creativity. The Co-creating Futures days, in which Johnson participated, were promoted by the Aula de Calidad e Innovación Docente de UIC Barcelona with the collaboration of the Puig Foundation, which provides resources for scholarships and grants for teaching innovation. The Aula de Calidad e Innovación Docente was born with the aim of responding to the interest of teachers to implement innovation initiatives and projects in the classroom, and to promote the continuous improvement of the teaching processes of all the teachers of UIC Barcelona. To this end, dynamics are generated in the classroom that favor teaching innovation or that foster the concern for research in teaching innovation.

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Pirates, Magicians, and Wizards . . . with Megan Elliott

Pirates, Magicians, and Wizards . . . with Megan Elliott

Megan Elliott

Megan Elliott shares her journey from Australia and indigenous cultural media to trade union representation in Ireland to traveling across Asia connecting leaders and cultures . . before she was found on LinkedIn to bring her superpowers to Nebraska. She tells of the shared collaborative creation of the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts, which works to create “pirates, magicians, and wizards” who can reach their dream job or create their dream company right out of school.

Guest: Megan Elliott, Founding Director, Johnny Carson Center For Emerging Media Arts, University Of Nebraska, Lincoln

Megan Elliott is the founding director of the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. She was previously the manager of leadership and community connections at the University of Technology Sydney in Australia and former director and CEO of digital media think-tank X Media Lab.

From 2015-2016, Elliott served as the manager of Leadership and Community Connections at the University of Technology Sydney in Sydney, Australia’s number-one young university, where she led an international program for students to develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills, as well as instilling a commitment to innovation, social justice, community building, and sustainability.

Elliott has deep ties to emerging media industries across Asia, Europe, and the world. She served as co-founder and director of China Creative Industries Exchange in Beijing and Shanghai, China, from 2007-2015.

From 2005 to 2015, Elliott was the director/chief executive officer for X Media Lab (XML), an internationally acclaimed digital media think-tank and creative workshop for the creative industries that she co-founded with Brendan Harkin. XML created a meeting place uniquely designed to assist companies and people to get their own creative ideas successfully to market. Some of XML’s partners included the Sydney Film Festival, Beijing Film Academy, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India, the national broadcaster (NPO) in Amsterdam, the American Film Institute, Digital Hollywood and 5D Global in Hollywood, the British Council, and the Federal Office of Culture in Switzerland.

Elliott and Harkin were recently chosen as two of five people to have their oral histories recorded for the National Film and Sound Archive in Australia, as two people pivotal to the development of the interactive media arts industries.

She also served from 2002-2006 as the executive director of the Australian Writers’ Guild.

Originally from Australia, Elliott received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Canberra in Bruce, Australia.

She began her career in theatre with the Splinters Theatre of Spectacle and has also served as a performer/artist in residence/assistant project manager for The Performance Space, Australia’s leading performance space and gallery for the research and development of interdisciplinary arts.


The Center: The Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts is an investment by the University made possible by a recent $20 million gift to the University of Nebraska Foundation from the Johnny Carson Foundation in November 2015. The Johnny Carson Center will be an internationally distinct program focusing on virtual production, film, design, technology, and commerce. It will explore the boundaries of where cinematic narrative and storytelling intersects with artificial intelligence, science, the humanities, computer science, engineering, music, fine arts, and other disciplines. Students will learn, among other things, how to create content for film and television, game design, interactive media, internet media, and augmented and virtual reality.


Mentioned Links


Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln


    SXSW 2014 Crowdsourced Panelpicker: Update with Results


    [Revised Jan. 22, 2014]

    Back in August 2013, SXSW started its crowdsourced panel picking process for 2014.  Each year, thousands of people pitch great ideas to be voted on in a big crowdsourced process.  According to a recent email, 700 people pitched SXSWedu (education) panels for that conference.  More than 3,000 pitched for SXSW Interactive.  Who knows how many pitched for SXSW Music.  A person can only pitch one for each.

    We submitted 3 pitches around innovation: educational, social media, and interpersonal:

    • SXSWedu (March 3-6, 2013): "To MOOC or Not To MOOC: Real Questions at the Core" (
      • Pitch: MOOCs (Massively Open Online Classes) have dominated the educational trade press in both 2012 and 2013, stirring both enthusiasm and anxiety. This session will look at their impact on higher education planning, economics, and "the rest of us."  What have we learned from MOOCs?   How can universities use these learnings to create our own environments for the next decade? This session will frame ways to have concrete and beneficial discussions about learnings from these broadly MOOC-labeled experiences in our blended university environments. Questions can arise beyond the economics of learning at scale, focusing on the learning science, design, and differences in qualities, as well as the real learning outcomes. With this lens, we also can examine what “works” in the 700-person lecture hall and in more intimate distributed learning platforms.
      • Find a supporting Prezi at
    • SXSW Interactive (March 7-11, 2013): "Pixelating Reality: How Smartphones Shift Now" (
      • Pitch: Many of us carry smartphones wherever we go. Increasingly, we are leaning on them as active and passive gathering devices of data and images. Google Glass and other recording devices bring the question further front and center—how is our recording and perpetually digitally checking in affecting our everyday lives? How are those check-ins and recordings shifting our being "present" in our shared Now and Here? Are we increasingly taking the opportunity to be digitally Elsewhere and not Present?
      • Find my supporting YouTube video at
    • SXSW Music (March 11-16, 2013):  "Building Your Digital Brand Using Social Media" (
      • This ties into my Udemy course and my UCLA Music course as well, plus benefits from work this summer in helping relaunch a long-time software product.
      • Pitch: The digital world for musicians continues to change dramatically. We can self-market and create communities directly with listeners and also can thrive in online communities with influencers and other musicians around the world. Digital has transformed not just the way we get the word out, but also how we create and collaborate. Internet marketing has morphed into Internet community crowdsourcing of rich relationships—a very different world for musicians and musical organizations. How can you – a busy musician and/or support team – use the resources of social media to use your time, energy, and money well to create your long-term audience and profitable Super Fans?
      • Find a supporting Prezi at

    We were thrilled that our favorite won: Pixelating Reality.  You'll be able to join that session at SXSW on March 11 at SXSW Interactive.


    Mixing Technology, Media, Education, and Social Change

    Mixing Technology, Media, Education, and Social Change

    We stand at a crossroads of change.  Powerful forces are transforming what is possible in media, education, and other cultural industries.

    Maremel builds learning environments and organizational change opportunities with its partners for social change.

    Maremel Institute

    • Builds learning programs with universities and other organizations--how to teach executives and students to embrace and understand how technology-enabled change
    • Builds training and professional development programs for adult and higher education on technology-enhanced teaching and learning.
    • Advises organizations how to bolster forward-thinking change: across whole organizations, departments, or executive teams.

    Maremel Media

    • Builds interactive and live media for education.  Our videos and live events help schools, teachers, adults, kids, artists, and other individuals embrace how to work with technology for their own lives.
    • Builds multimedia content platforms for higher education use.
    • Produces socially conscious media for teaching about history, storytelling, and technology.  This media includes live events, music, and multimedia content.

    How can we help you?  How can we help your organization?  Your future?