The Pyatiletka: A Five Year Expansion Plan | DMS Talent Pool Google Form | Sample Feedback Form (Meme Warfare Seminar) | UOWDMS Podcast (group component)
My digital artefact seeks to assist the expansion of the Digital Media Society at the University of Wollongong, through the production of a five-year master plan for the Society itself, as well as the development of systems for event feedback and connecting students with portfolio-building opportunities. Additionally, the public components of the artefact, including social media content, the UOWDMS podcast, and a website, have been completed with the assistance of Alex Mastronardi and Kelsea Latham, who are both completing BCM325 at present, as well as DMS Vice-President Meggen Pigram and Events Coordinator Sunny Commandeur.
DMS is the first and only faculty-affiliated club at UOW for communication and media, digital media, and journalism students. Founded in August 2018 by the current executive, led by myself as President, this artefact seeks to continue the expansion of DMS as a hybrid professional association and student-led media company into the future through addressing strategy in the following time periods:
- Short-term (Autumn 2019-Autumn 2020), as the founding executive team begins to depart and new talent filters in;
- Medium-term (mid-2020 to January 2022), as new talent gradually takes over operations and UOW’s current Strategic Plan comes to an end; and,
- Long-term (2022 through to 2024), by which point all current executives and their successors will be expected to have graduated, leaving DMS in the hands of a third generation of executives.
Initially, the focus was on developing DMS to account for the changing nature of work, incorporating technical proficiency-building into the master plan. However, feedback on this concept allowed for a narrowed focus on on the management of the society and its relationship to students in a highly technologised field – this also allowed me to avoid any potential clashes with Alex’s Career Development Plans and Kelsea’s website development. Similarly, referencing in the master plan has been almost entirely removed, owing to the need for the document to be more readable and less academic in nature.
A substantial chunk of the Pyatiletka (named for the Soviet-era mass industrialisation programs instituted in Russia) focuses on the construction of DMS as a community that benefits members outside of socialising, which can in turn allow for improved social engagement with the university environment as a whole (Mwaikinda & Aruguete, 2016). A second major component of the Pyatiletka centres around the development of strategies to manage unforeseen challenges to the growth of society – the acronym VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous), coined by the US military during the Gulf War of the early 1990s, serves to actively support the preparedness of leaders for turbulent changes.
This attitude of preparedness and constant expansion, particularly in the tertiary education sector, requires an entrepreneurial mindset amongst leaders, particularly as technological change becomes an increasing impact (Schoemaker et. al, 2018). As such, the Pyatiletka aims to account for VUCA through detecting potential changes ahead of time (hence the timeframe focus in the document itself), seizing opportunities (incorporating the entrepreneurial aspect and attempting to weld DMS more closely to the faculty itself), and regular transformation (a process that occurs on a relatively slow feedback loop through our annual general meetings, but allows for tinkering in the period between meetings). As such, this brings the document in line with the NSW State Government’s Future Frontiers Analytical Report (2018) on the Future of Work – by targeting students entering into this sector of the economy with the plan, DMS positions itself as one of the more forward-thinking student associations on campus.
It is difficult to evaluate success of the plan at this point in time – the document itself was only recently released publicly, although an early iteration was linked in my beta presentation. Through consultation with the DMS executive and members, analysis of qualitative data gained from the feedback forms developed as part of this artefact, and regular discussions with academics in the Communication and Media program at UOW, however, I have been able to gain some additional direction as to how DMS could become an integral part of the experience of studying media at UOW.
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University of Wollongong, (2015), 2016-2020 Strategic Plan. Understanding our why, available at https://www.uow.edu.au/about/strategy/strategicplan/complete/index.html, accessed 24/4/19