Cookies and Privacy

The University uses cookies on this website to provide the best experience possible including delivering personalised content on this website, other websites and social media. By continuing to use the site you agree to this, or your can go to our cookie policy to learn more and manage your settings.

Rethink Media 2016 Conference

Rethink 2017
Date and time
13 Jun 2016 (9:00am - 5:30pm)

The Parkside Building

City Centre Campus, Cardigan Street, B4 7BD, Birmingham

Map and Directions



Rethink media 2016

#Rethinkmedia2016, Birmingham City University’s one-day conference for digital media professionals, took place on Tuesday 13 June 2016. At Parkside, the UK’s largest media production centre, attendees heard valuable talks by industry leaders, insightful panel discussions and had fantastic networking opportunities.

The conference programme made attendees rethink how you gather, generate and publish truly engaging content to meet the rapidly-changing expectations of today’s audience. Issues of representation and diversity, both on and off-screen, were debated throughout the day.

View Storify
Rethink Media 2016
See the tweets and photos from the event.

The full line up of speakers is shown below.

Lizzi Michael
Lizzi Michael

Lizzi is the Partner Manager at ChannelFlip, a YouTube Multichannel Network based in London. She has worked with some of the top YouTubers in the UK such as Dan and Phil and Emma Blackery.

Frank Golding
Frank Golding

Frank Golding is a former Director at Google. As YouTube's Head of Sport for North America, he helped leagues, teams and athletes connect with YouTube's one billion monthly users.

Diane Kemp
Diane Kemp

Diane Kemp is a Professor of Broadcast Journalism at the Birmingham School of Media, teaching on our postgraduate courses. Previously Diane worked for the BBC in local radio and regional television.

Emma Mulqueeny
Emma Mulqueeny

Emma is the founder of Rewired State and Young Rewired State, a Commissioner for the Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy and a Google Fellow.

Adam Biddle
Adam Biddle

Adam Biddle is the Managing Director of Edition and has hands on experience with online publishing strategies on behalf of global celebrities, influencers and brands.

Sadie Spooner
Sadie Spooner

Sadie is Commercial Manager at Unruly, one of the UK’s most prominent ad tech companies that specialises in getting video watched, shared and tracked across the open web.

Daniel Noy
Daniel Noy

Daniel Noy is the Managing Director of the creative services division at THINK JAM. He's driving innovation across the world of interactive design, content marketing, social media and advertising.

Anthony Tattum
Anthony Tattum

Anthony is the co-founder and MD of Big Cat, a Birmingham based creative communications agency that does pioneering work in a variety of sectors, including healthcare, tourism, food & drink and retail.

Matt Shaw
Matt Shaw

Matt oversees the editorial output of video content on Jamie Oliver's digital platforms, including 22 channels of engaging food content from across the globe with 4.5 million subscribers.

The host - Andy Akinwolere

Andy Akinwolere

Andy is a broadcaster, world record holder and BAFTA nominee. He became Blue Peter’s first black male presenter, hosting the show for five years. In 2015, he became the winner of an RTS (Royal Television Society Award) for his documentary on Extremism for the BBC's Inside Out.

Conference Agenda


Registration and Coffee
Networking with complimentary pastries.


Introduction by Andy Akinwolere.

Welcome by Joanna Birch, Director of Enterprise Innovation and Business Engagement at Birmingham City University. Joanna is currently involved in developing some game changing projects for the city, working collaboratively with international, national and regional partners to drive new opportunities for Birmingham including a new concept entitled STEAMhouse.


Alia Lamandaar from Slack

Alia will discuss how digital media teams embracing their new roles, not just as journalists but as technologists. What is the impact of this shift on the ways that these teams communicate with their colleagues and their audiences?

The talk will also explore how teams from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Sky News are using collaborating in innovative ways, including how The New York Times built a bot (blossom bot) that helps journalists to predict which stories would do well on social media.

10.40am Industry Panel 1
A presentation by each speaker, followed by a panel discussion and audience Q&A on the topic of 'Shaping digital behaviour and culture'. Facilitated by Andy Akinwolere, the panellists are:
  • Mark Frankel, Social Media Editor at BBC News. Mark's presentation will be cover 'Off-site social engagement to encourage on-site activity'.
  • Paul Bradshaw, Leader of MA Online Journalism at BCU. Paul's talk is entitled ‘The city with many gates: How new storytellers are finding new ways to bring new audiences into new stories'.
  • Dan Noy, Managing Director, Creative Services at THINK JAM. Dan's presentation will cover 'The Communication Bubble: Click bait culture and its impact on the message and our ability to receive it'.
11.40am Tea break
12.05pm Industry Panel 2
A presentation by each speaker, followed by a panel discussion and audience Q&A on the topic of 'Next generation – the Millennials/Gen Z - content creation and consumption '. Facilitated by Andy Akinwolere, the panelists are:
  • Emma Mulqueeny, Founder of Rewired State and YRS
  • Mandy Combes, Head of Creative Operations at BBC. Mandy's presentation is called 'Creativity is still king'. Creative talent always was the lifeblood of the media – and although everything around us is changing, that is the one thing that is still a constant. It’s still all about creativity – it’s still all about creative talent.
  • Lizzi Michael, Partner Manager, ChannelFlip. Lizzi will offer a brief introduction to the exciting world of YouTube creators, Multi Channel Networks (MCNs) and the industry behind the vloggers watched by today's teenagers.
1.05pm Lunch: Complimentary buffet.

Café Conversations

These tracks run in parallel and are being facilitated by Andy Akinwolere.

Track 1: Industry speakers each host a table in The Shell Space.

Track 2: Join us in this participatory workshop as we delve into some of the current challenges facing the media sector today, exploring challenges in terms of ethnic engagement, such as:

  • Barriers to getting into the industry
  • Content creation for an Asian audience
  • Digital -v-print

This session is co-developed with Birmingham based Indi Deol, founder of Desi Blitz,a British Asian lifestyle web magazine. The team have identified the overarching theme of ‘what is the value of ethnic digital media’. We’d like to invite our Rethink audience and speakers to this participatory workshop, to openly discuss aspects of this topic you feel passionate about and share ideas with fellow delegates.

This is a facilitated session and we'll capture ideas using the BarCamp technique, summarising the outcomes to take forward.

3.30pm Tea break
3.50pm Industry Panel 3
A presentation by each speaker, followed by a panel discussion and audience Q&A on the topic of Audience Engagement. Facilitated by Diane Kemp, Professor of Broadcast Journalism at the Birmingham School of Media, with panellists:
  • Sadie Spooner, Commercial Manager of Unruly. Sadie’s presentation is about the science of creating engaging and shareable video content by uncovering the key drivers that lead to sharing.
  • Matt Shaw, Network Editor, Jamie Oliver's Food Tube
  • Adam Biddle, Managing Director of Edition
  • Frank Golding - former Google Director. Frank’s talk is entitled ‘Connecting the Dots - the Genius of Media’, which is about using technology, data and art to spot what everyone else sees, but to compose what no one else does.
5.00pm Q&A / Plenary
Round up of thoughts and views from the day, with Q&A between the audience and all of the speakers. Facilitated by Andy Akinwolere.
5:30pm Networking and drinks at Parkside Gallery

Photo gallery