Panel moderation: What If Innovation Festival

Business and journalism rarely come together they way they should at conferences. So I was delighted to moderate a panel at the What If Innovation Festival last month at Temple University.

The festival was organized by and targeted to students at the Fox School of Business, and I moderated three lightening panels with Philadelphia entrepreneurs about starting, growing and sustaining young businesses.

The audience was full of ready-to-graduate business students eager for advice about successes and failures they’re sure to encounter. And the advice was stellar, coming from pros like Audigent’s Jon Gosier, RJ Metrics founder Robert Moore, Amalgam Comics owner Ariell Johnson, Tassl founder Melissa Schipke, Piper Wai’s Jess Edelstein and Technical.ly CEO Christopher Wink (yep, we’re married).

So how’d I end up moderating a panel about business? Well, business. I started and ran my own media for five years, and it all began in my final days as a Temple student.

Revenue models and business strategy is nearly impossible to find on journalism syllabi, and just as rare at journalism conference. You might find a panel or two, but you won’t see editors talking strategy with sales VPs at media gatherings. But you should.

These 10-minute panels were tightly focused and had seemingly no connection to media — especially for the young business student crowd. But that’s the point. So often the relevance is missed because we still keep editorial and business in their silos. Sure, there might be sponsored content here and there. But true collaboration and open communication are rare.

It’s something I do at Billy Penn on a regular basis, but still an area where we can improve. These panels were an opportunity to reflect on that.

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Shannon Wink

Shannon Wink is a Philadelphian and experienced reporter, editor, community manager and content marketer.

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