USC Cinematic Arts

Brendan Harkin founded X Media Lab in June 2003. X Media Lab is the internationally acclaimed creative thinktank for digital media professionals that brings together the world's outstanding creatives, executives, and power-brokers who work as mentors with local companies on their own creative project ideas.

X Media Lab focuses on creating high-value networks among the emergent digital media markets of China, India, the Middle East, and North and South Asia; and assisting local companies get their ideas successfully to market by involving them directly with the world's leading digital media practitioners.

Brendan has held a number of high profile positions in new media industry development: founding the first Asia Pacific Multimedia Festival; and as Australia's first General Manager for Public Awareness at the National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE) and was awarded an “Australia Day National Gold Medal” by the Australian Government for his services.

Brendan's most recent honours include:

  • Appointed to the Advisory Council of the University of New South Wales School of Art + Design
  • Awarded the 5th China Creative Industries Award for "International Contribution"
  • International Jury Member for the Interactive Emmy Awards held at MIPTV in Cannes
  • Appointed “Foreign Expert Advisor” to the Beijing municipal government on Digital Media industry development
  • Appointed Visiting Professor to Beijing Culture and Language University
  • Consultant to the Suzhou Industrial Park on Animation industry development
  • Named as one of the “Top Ten Most Influential People” in the Australian Digital Media industries
  • Named as one of the “50 Most Influential Australians in Asia” by the NY-based Advance Organization
  • Panellist at the 4th Al Jazeera Media Summit in Doha
  • In the past year he has been an invited international speaker at many creative industries events around China including the ICCIE Summit in Beijing, the inaugural "Academic Alliance of International Cultural Industries" at the Communications University Beijing, the Animation Summit in Xi’an, the Creative Industries Forums at Foshan, Shangdong, Wuhu and Shenyang, the Games Forum in Zhonghsan, and the Creative Industries Festival Week in Shanghai.

Brendan combines his involvement in the Digital Media industries with an academic background in philosophy, and was awarded a Doctoral Scholarship by the University of Melbourne where he studied ‘Philosophy and Technology’.

He has consulted to the United Nations Committee on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the European Union’s EUROPRIX initiative, most of Australia’s leading creative industries and media agencies; and has served as an Advisory Board Member to a large number of digital media, cultural, and technology events throughout Asia.