By Minna Aslama Horowitz

Finnish public broadcaster  Yle acts as a co-creator of a new kind of event for media, arts, and culture

Last October, a cohort of arts and cultural organisations and associations, together with the city of Helsinki and the Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle), organised LIFT, an event of “cooperation, playful experimentation, diversity and the ability to both challenge and be challenged”. LIFT sought to break barriers between arts and media by encouraging new connections and networks.

The keynote speakers ranged from Eli Pariser, the Board President of and Co-founder of Upworthy who predicted the Future of Meaningful Media, to the Founder & CEO of Power to the Pixel and Programmer of Venice International Film Festival, Liz Rosenthal, who highlighted new trends and subgenres in VR/AR storytelling. LIFT discussed social phenomena as motivators in making art, technology geared towards solidarity, sketch comedy on social media… It even included a hackathon to bring more joy to internet.

Why is an event like LIFT an important venture for a public broadcaster? Ritva Leino, Head of Multiplatform and Co-founder of Yle Lab, explains:

No more silos

“LIFT brings up the core dilemmas and trends of media, arts, and culture: hence Future as the first theme of the very first LIFT.  But perhaps the most important feature of LIFT is bringing people and content-makers together at demos and discussions, to seek new ways of collaborations. We want to create an event for joy and inspiration.”

“Yle has been one of the key initiators and developers of LIFT, together with the Cable Factory, the largest cultural centre in Finland. They both have the same mission: To create a novel and unique event. The Finnish cultural scene is vibrant but projects and happenings tend to be based on one artform or genre. LIFT seeks a new approach in enabling cross-disciplinary experiences and new ways of thinking.”

Importance of culture and PSM

“In the past decades, technology has dominated developments in the media field. Instead, we need to incorporate technology, media and culture. Today, the meaning of culture in our societies in in flux. It is no longer about ‘consuming’ cultural products but about a way of thinking and acting, a way that has the potential to have a real impact and change the world. Developments in technology require us to change, but those transformations need to be human-centric.”

“The disruptive role of public service media is central in offering alternatives in today’s global surveillance economy. We at PSM organisations need to, and want to, collaborate with other actors in the field, to steer development toward a better, more collaborative and impactful future. Yle is at the forefront in creating new meanings – but for that, it also needs partners and encounters. LIFT is one example of that.”

Header Image: Lift logo. Credit: KAAPELITEHDAS/Lift