Milestones that Shaped DV Media Co’s Work Philosophy
When people are intent on finding purpose and meaning, they might not always find it — but more often than not, they do find each other. In the middle of a raging pandemic, a media entrepreneur was able to connect remotely with a writer and designer to help throw into relief a dream that had been simmering for years: a collaborative network.
It is only apt that DV Media Co. was born (Read Vol I here) in a time of extreme uncertainty — for it addressed the need of the hour: to work towards building a more sustainable future, with a focus on transforming media along the way.
As with every endeavour, our journey too has been marked by milestones that have shaped our outlook. Here’s a look at some of them:
The New School, New York
The founder of the organisation, Dona Varghese, actually made the decision to start DV Media Co before she moved to New York; in fact, the move to the media capital of the world was to work on the organisation — to gain deeper insight into running a media business. She obtained a Master’s of Science in Media Management from The New School and cannot emphasise enough the value that the school has brought to her brand.
“It made me realise the vast impact that media has,” she says. “We all have a choice — either to continue how we have been, or to change and contribute to media transformation.”
Media Transformation: The Future Is Here
The course Media Futures was taught by Prof. Manoj Fenelon. “Envisioning the future of media is not just about imagining a preferred future,” Dona summarises. “It is about using that vision to decide what to do now in the present, in order to move towards the preferred future.”
It was during one of the Media Futures classes, back in March, 2018, that Dona hit upon what is today at the core of the organisation’s process — the infinity symbol embodying the company’s culture and every aspect of the business:
DV Media is a partner in media transformation; it uses systemic thinking and a multidisciplinary lens to look at the media landscape and figure out the factors that are shaping its evolution. Familiarity with the big shifts we are witnessing currently in the media environment enables us to articulate a coherent perspective on what is preferable in the future and why.
Technology, Power and Social Change
Taught by Prof. Sumita S. Chakravarty, this course marked another turning point for our founder. Examining the relationship between technology and society, and between technology and culture, it enabled questions like:
How do humans and machines interact and evolve together?
How do we participate in digital networks?
How much have Big Data and algorithms already taken over?
The focus was on the impact of digital media technologies on social relations and on cultural debates. “My relationship with technology changed with this course,” Dona admits.
With rapid technological advancements, our choices have multiplied — new mediums have led to more options, modes of expression and representation for under-heard voices. But this expanding landscape isn’t without its downsides.
“I want to create a system that encourages people to be authentic and, through this authenticity, comes great work,” Dona elaborates. “When people strive for self-fulfillment, money becomes a by-product to live a fulfilling life as opposed to being the only goal to life.”
With Teal Management at the heart of the organisation, DV Media Co. formulated and fleshed out its primary brand values.
Brand Values of DV Media Co
Diversity of thought, expertise, experience and background. DV Media Co. is a global network with expertise, experience and backgrounds from US, UK, Middle East, India, South Africa.
Anybody can be creative, given the right opportunities and resources. Cultivating domain expertise, encouraging experimentation with adjacent interests and empowering oneself with technical know-how are three steps that will set you right on the path to diverse ideation.
Transparent in the way it does business. DV Media Co. gives access to information others keep to themselves.
Everlane’s marketing concept is something we stand by, where both the producer and consumer are aligned in the creation and consumption of the product.
Collaborative and non-hierarchical working environment. Win-win, give-take projects.
Founder of DV Media Co. Dona Varghese managed a brand as a part of a collaborative effort while studying in New York. The brand included a plant-based product, but the feeling the client promoted was of a community that prioritised self-love and self-care rituals. The client had set up her company in such a way that it was a lifestyle; there was a lot of give and take in creative efforts.
Innovative because the goal is not simply to apply best practices — but also to invent them.
In ‘Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation’ by Steven Johnson, the author reflects that — contrary to common perception — more than eureka moments, it is ‘gradually-maturing slow hunches’ that develop over time and lead to discoveries and innovation.
Integrity as an expression of courage and accountability.
Creatures of Habit, the all-natural clothing brand and an ally of ours in sustainable living, is a great example of this brand value. When they realised just how bad current fashion habits are, they dispensed with the idea of working with polyester or plastic altogether. Starting from scratch, they use the best natural fibre they can find and have them custom-knit to their specifications — creating fabrics that are versatile and all-natural.
As with every endeavour, our journey too has been marked by milestones that have shaped our outlook. Read Vol II here
We have some exciting things in store in the coming few months. You can expect conversations addressing the realities of creativity, productivity and work-life balance — all through the lens of the digital media landscape.
Written by Aditi Dharmadhikari