SOURCE: iFOCOS

January 25, 2008 12:55 ET

We Media Forum to Explore and Celebrate Innovation in a Connected Society

RESTON, VA--(Marketwire - January 25, 2008) - More than two hundred thought leaders, social entrepreneurs and media pioneers are expected to gather next month in Miami, Fla., for the fourth-annual We Media Forum and Festival from February 26 to 28. The two-day event, organized and produced by iFOCOS, the Reston, Va.-based media think tank, will bring together leaders from across industry sectors to jumpstart innovative thinking and new media ventures.

For more details and to register, go to: www.wemediamiami.org.

"We Media is not just an industry conference. It's a knowledge-sharing network. It's about being inspired," says Dale Peskin, co-founder of iFOCOS, which also organizes the We Media Community (www.wemediacommunity.org), an online network of companies and individuals.

The University of Miami School of Communication is co-hosting the conference, which kicks off with a reception on Tuesday night. The Associated Press, an iFOCOS global partner, is sponsoring the conference, along with Washington.Post.Newsweek.Interactive, Reuters, NewsGator, Topix, Humana and AARP. Additional media sponsors include BlogHer, the Association for Alternative Newsweeklies, Daily Me, the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet, LatinVision Media, PaidContent.org, SourceForge, and the Innovators Network.

This year's forum features a special conversation on how content delivered through new media platforms can improve people's health and wellness. Scott Mowbray, editorial director of Health.com and a senior executive at Time, Inc., will lead off the conversation with fellow panelists, who include:

--  Bert van Hoof, Director, Microsoft Health Solutions Group
--  Don Jones, VP, Health & Life Sciences, Qualcomm
--  Emilio Pardo, Chief Brand Officer, AARP
--  Dr. Andy Wiesenthal, Associate Executive Director, Kaiser Permanente
--  Grant Harrison, Vice President, Integrated Consumer Experience, Humana
    

"When we think about how media might be used to make the world a better place, one opportunity that leaps out is the most basic of aspirations: improving people's health and well-being. This panel is a chance to rev that engine," says Andrew Nachison, a co-founder of iFOCOS.

The conference's opening session, chaired by Nachison, poses the tough question: How can innovative media communication make the world a better place?

Participants include:

--  J. Sebastian Trager, CEO, Razoo.com
--  Jim Brady, Executive Editor, Washington.Post.Newsweek.Interactive
--  Katrin Verclas, MobileActive
--  Jean Marc Coicaud, Director, United Nations University
--  John Zogby, CEO, Zogby International
    

Other discussions will focus on transformations in the news media, focusing on questions such as: What does "bias" mean in the new media landscape? Do online communities need standards? How can professional and amateur news-gatherers work together to improve news coverage? What new business models and services are mainstream media companies adopting to reflect a culture of empowered content creators and consumers?

The We Media forum will also explore media innovation in realms as diverse as presidential politics, indigenous communities, and networked economics. "What we as individuals, as institutions and as a culture have in common is we are all connected through media," Nachison says. "We Media is a celebration of invention through media, and we hope it inspires and rejuvenates everyone who attends."

In addition to thought-provoking panels, We Media Miami will offer a real-life pitch session for entrepreneurs to present their "big ideas" to a panel of finance and business-incubation experts. Finally, the forum will present a "video fest" illustrating how collective media is transforming entertainment, pop culture and politics, along with semi-structured time for networking, peer-to-peer learning and product demonstrations.

The We Media forum is a can't-miss event for professionals and content creators in all spheres. Says Peskin, "Innovation is not possible without inspiration, and inspiration comes from sharing ideas with others. We Media is that opportunity."

For more details and to register, go to: www.wemediamiami.org. For late sponsorship opportunities, contact: info@ifocos.org.

ABOUT iFOCOS

Founded in 2006, iFOCOS is a media think tank and futures lab committed to harnessing the power of media, communication and human ingenuity for the common good. iFOCOS organizes the We Media Community, produces research, working groups and other projects that reflect, inform and inspire the community, in addition to organizing the annual We Media Global Forum and Festival.

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