The creative contractors, entrepreneurs and investors who make up the startup ecosystem known as StartupCincy work elbow-to-elbow in the entrepreneurial hub known as Union Hall, a multi-building complex in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

The restored wooden floors, second-floor beer hall and rooftop deck provide the perfect backdrop for a workshop about digital media concepts including crowd-sourced journalism, interactive tools and walkable storytelling projects for mobile platforms.

My Union Hall workspace is a collaborative environment that helps ignite innovation. It’s also a sleek office space that sparks the imaginations of the six international media pros visiting Cincinnati for ideas and inspiration.

This spring, after hosting a workshop with the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program in collaboration with the Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council, I’ve been thinking about the increasing accessibility, affordability and availability of digital products and services for media pros. From Nicaragua to Senegal, media professionals are making powerful use of the storytelling tools at their disposal. More importantly, I continue to be impressed by the innovative work produced by content creators across the globe no matter their budgets or staffing resources.

Listening to the brief intros from visiting international media professionals including, Rafael Antonio Gomez Torres, Social Media Editor, Diario Panorama, Venezuela; Cisse Mountaga, CEO, ITmag, Senegal; Alberto Antonio Sanchez Arguello, cyber activist, Politicamente Incorrecto, Nicaragua; Marco Piscitello, Video Reporter and Managing Editor, Fanpage, Italy; Vagner De Alencar Silva, Co-founder, Mural Journalism Agency for the Favelas, Brazil; and Max Guybert Lyron, Communications Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Haiti, I’m impressed by their commitment towards interacting with their communities.

Of course, if you want to ignite innovation around building, designing and implementing storytelling products and services, everyone needs to share their creative work.

A Creative Share on a Global Scale

Vagner De Alencar Silva reveals how his journalism agency gives voice to Brazil’s most vulnerable residents living in the country’s largest favelas. Fanpage Managing Editor Marco Piscitelli speaks openly about transforming Italy’s machismo culture into a place where women are treated fairly and respectfully. Max Guybert Lyron, Communications, Ministry of Affairs, Haiti, explains his workflow for alerting as many Haitians as possible during a time of emergency. Their presentations are just three examples of the visiting group’s impressive media projects.

The project I share is the Brewing Heritage Trail, an interactive product and walkable storytelling for mobile platforms service for a cultural and historical tourism trail located just a handful of blocks north of our Union Hall location.

My case study involves a lean digital team of five design professionals working ten months to build, design and implement a digital version of a historic trail featuring Cincinnati’s pre-prohibition breweries.

As a client case study, the Brewing Heritage Trail revolves around beer, brewing history and tourism. As an interactive marketing product, its’ focus is community, connectivity and interactivity via a package of digital assets affordable for a small cultural non-profit.

The Brewing Heritage Trail makes powerful use of storytelling assets like 360-degree photography, an augmented reality video; a unique content management system, interactive map and points of interests.

The visiting international media professionals enjoy the 360-degree photography that bring to life the 19th-century brewery cellars dug deep beneath the streets of Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. They’re also excited to learn about next steps strategy involving murals ignited by augmented reality tools and historic bottling plants transformed by beacon software.

The visiting international media professionals respond enthusiastically to our team’s unique content management system; excited by the possible uses at their media companies.

After additional talk about GPS software, design specifications and our team’s commitment to designing a digital platform leaner than a mobile app, we break for closing comments, a design exercise and group photos.

Building a Global Community of Influencers

My take away lesson for the International Visitor Leadership group is that innovative media doesn’t rely solely on the latest tech around Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality and Virtual Reality.

In fact, building and designing products and services lean and low-fi will inspire you to be even more innovative with your resources.

Perhaps, that’s the creative bridge that unites all of the media professionals at the workshop no matter the medium, product or scale of business.

We aim to connect and interact with our communities with accessible, affordable and available media products and services. Tech razzle-dazzle has client and sales cycle benefits. However, designing storytelling work that’s grounded, useful and valuable for our communities is the ultimate goal in every language.

I collaborated with The U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program in collaboration with Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council  on a design workshop.

Let’s talk about workshops that can help your business.

Email: Phone: 1- 513-295-4488 Skype: steveramosmedia