Study Tours

Learning from those that have been through it, and that are pushing the boundaries

GEN Study Tour

San Francisco and Los Angeles

20 – 26 September 2015

The Global Editors Network will take you on a tour to discover how new technologies can deliver news in innovative forms. From smart watches to fully immersive virtual reality news experiences – this is innovation that is coming soon. Join us to learn from experts, practitioners and startups. Smart watches won’t necessarily have the mass impact that smartphones did, but they are personable and, if well done, can grab the user’s attention.

Register for the Study Tour




Virtual Reality & Wearables for News

New technologies and techniques to attract and immerse the audience

GEN Study Tour San Francisco and Los Angeles

20 – 26 September 2015

The Global Editors Network will take you on a tour to get ahead of the game on how new technologies can deliver news in innovative forms. From attention grabbing alerts on smart watches to fully immersive virtual reality news experiences – this is innovation that is coming soon. Join us to learn from experts in the field, including The Godmother of VR, Nonny de la Pena.

The smartphone was welcome by the masses, streamlining many different devices – phone, camera, maps and much more – into one. Then new devices starting appearing on people wrists, not watched, but fitness bands measuring activity.

Smart watches won’t necessarily have the mass impact that smartphones did, and are indeed an extension of the mobile phone, but they are personable and if well done, can grab the users attention. More and more beautifully crafted models are being released and predictions of exponential growth are abound.

When FaceBook bought Oculus Rift, virtual reality became a topic of discussion. Most VR devices are still big and clunky, but will change within next couple of generation of devices, as we are already seeing with Google Cardboard.

This study tour will take you to meet the people at the forefront of these technologies to help understand how news media can take advantage of these new outlets for their content.

Schedule Overview:

 Sunday 20 September: Arrive and welcome dinner, San Francisco

 Monday 21 September: Silicon Valley

 Tuesday 22 September: San Francisco, travel to Los Angeles

 Wednesday 23 September: Los Angeles

 Thursday 24 September: ONA conference, Los Angeles

 Friday 25 September: ONA conference, Los Angeles

 Saturday 26 September: Flights back


Detailed Schedule

Sunday 20 September – San Francisco

Arrival at hotel. 7pm meeting at hotel lobby

7.30pm Welcome dinner to meet fellow participants and discuss the study tour. Plus Dan Gillmor with some good questions to ask along the way around data

Monday 21 September – Silicon Valley 9.30am Pebble, Palo Alto

Pebble are an independent company that have launched some excellent smart devices that now face competition from leading brands such as Apple.


Apple (tbc)

11.30am Nick Grudin, Head of Partnerships, Facebook (tbc)

Following the much publicized purchase of Occulus Rift, what are Facebook’s plans to conquer wearable’s and VR, and what can traditional media organizations learn?

2pm Matterport, Mountainview

A startup with a developing story around how to use VR tech in the context of news storytelling.  They are already doing some interesting pilot projects with major news outlets here in the US.  By September, could be the most cohesive story about applying VR to news media. 4pm HTC (tbc)

7pm dinner, with Jean Louis Gassee, VC and Monday Note contributor (tbc) At Radius restaurant

Tuesday 22 September – San Francisco

9.30am Innovation at Samsung (tbc), Financial District Samsung has launched it’s wearablse successfully and will soon be moving into VR. The Head of Innovation will take the group through the learnings so far, and opportunities in the future.

11.30am AJ+, David Cohn (tbc)

AJ+ are working on some interesting new products. David will take us through the editorial challenges faced.

1pm Lunch with David Gehring, VP Partnerships of Guardian News & Media, and one of founding partners for Google Digital News Initiative (confirmed)

3pm Twitter (tbc), City Centre

Following SMS, Twitter was the birthplace of short sharp messaging. Ideal for grabbing attention on small devices such as a smartwatch.

7pm flight to Los Angeles

Stay: Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles

Wednesday 23 September – Los Angeles

10am Robert Hernandez, USC Annenberg School of Journalism (confirmed) Robert is dedicated to preparing journalists who can do multi-platform work, know how to reach and create audiences for it and think critically about how it can be supported. Robert will be a key part of helping make this happen —and helping Annenberg in its (not-too-modest) efforts to help journalism survive. He will provide a hands on demonstration and discussion of the new technologies and partnerships he is working with.

11am Tour of Annenberg new media facilities and projects

12.30pm Lunch with Aaron Luber, Product Partnerships, Google (confirmed)

At the recent IO gathering, Google Cardboard was top of the agenda. Find out more about Google plans, and have a demo of Google Cardboard and how it can be used.

3pm Nonny de la Pena, "The Godmother of VR"​ by Engadet and "One of the People Who Made the World More Creative"​ by Fast Company. Developing immersive journalism pieces, which uses virtual reality to put you on scene as news and nonfiction stories unfold. Emblematic Group also create native advertising to support this immersive journalism.

7pm Dinner with Dan Pacheco (tbc) at the Getty Museum

Thursday 24 September – Los Angeles

10am YouTube VR hub, Los Angeles (tbc)

1pm Lunch

3pm ONA Conference

Friday 25 September – Los Angeles

ONA Conference

Saturday 26 September – Los Angeles

Flights back to Europe

Practical and financial Information

Working language

The presentations will be held in English.


Jean-Yves Chainon, Programme Manager -


US tel: +1 808 724 6037

Bertrand Pecquerie, GEN CEO - bpecquerie@globaleditorsnetwork.org

Tel: + 33 1 53 01 98 82