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Format Maremma - Close Encounters of the multiplatform kind

You’ve seen the success of TED and its “ideas worth spreading”?
Then this is the proposal for a made-in-Italy alternative, just as international, but more participative, dynamic, enjoyable and commercial, show of “ideas worth watching”.

Meet TED’s little sister, Maremma. Maybe you know serious old TED and his livelier little brother TEDx, who spread a lot of ideas but don’t wait for a response. Well let’s introduce you to Maremma, who takes her name from the area of Tuscany where she made her first steps, but intends to travel the world. She’s very young, but she’s much more willing to listen. She has great respect for her brothers’ ambitions and achievements, but she has a mind of her own. For her, ideas are for discussing and questioning, so she’s keen to encourage open dialogue with people who want to test their views, rather than merely assert them.

Conference shows based upon the Maremma Format in public spaces and theatres offer a platform for the exchange of ideas and for open dialogue between the widest variety of participants, including those whose voices might not otherwise be heard. As Voltaire’s agent might have said: I may disapprove of what you say, but I’d die for the rights to broadcast it. The format facilitates the production and transmission of video content in various shapes and sizes for a variety of channels.

The experience for the members of the audience is enjoyable and absorbing, at an event in which they can participate and make new acquaintances, face to face. The debate is varied and vivacious, in a moderated meeting of the minds between competent speakers and the spontaneous response of a wide audience. The format is flexible, but firm on certain points, to create a Theatre of Ideas:

Format Maremma

  1. Velocity: Sessions last one hour and are made up of talks by three or more speakers of no more than nine minutes, with the rest of the time for discussion with the public.
  2. Discipline: The moderator is not a subject expert, but livens up the event and manages the traffic - on behalf of the audience.
  3. Speakers: As far as possible, the speakers do not know each other and are selected for their diversity.
  4. Themes of wide appeal to the general public, cutting across traditional disciplines and interests, kept vague to avoid influencing the contributions and limiting the points of view.
  5. Conferences can be made up of one or more session, with the public free to come and go between one session and another.
  6. The point of the exercise is the exchange of ideas, not the ideas. 
    The Meeting is the Message

Output for TV and Internet

  1. Short videos / podcasts The single brief talks of the speakers are edited into separate episodes of around five minutes, for transmission on social media and via dedicated site(s) and for inclusion in other programmes
  2. Programmes of one hour Complete sessions with three or four talks and the public discussion for a themed programme.
  3. Dedicated Channels with a library of videos accessible by theme, speaker and location
  4. Live Streaming

Development and expansion

Maremma conference shows can be organised frequently, in any location around the world on a limitless range of themes. The events themselves can by organised directly or by third parties, under license, on condition that the format is respected and that the contents are made available to the licensor.

Conference shows with the Maremma format have been held (and filmed) since 2012 around Italy, in Grosseto, in the Maremma, in Florence, Bologna (with Romano Prodi and Bill Emmott) and Milan during EXPO 2015. In October 2018, the format will be employed for six public conferences during AMBITA (a Forum on the Italian Built Environment) over four days in Grosseto with some twenty-four national and international speakers. This would be an ideal moment for the introduction of a “media partner” to experiment with the production and broadcasting of video content.

© Richard Harris 2018