Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Challenge of Discussing Innovation and Jobs.

Sven Otto Littorin
Sven Otto Littorin, Swedish entrepreneur in politics and business will be visiting the Stanford Center for Innovation and Communication until July 2011. Mr Littorin is interested in developing the link between innovation and jobs, and the interaction between creation of policy and public discussion, crossing the traditional verticals of government.

Mr Littorin was the Swedish Minister for Employment 2006-10, the President of the European Council of Ministers (EPSCO) 2009, and Secretary General of the Swedish Moderate Party 2002-06.  Prior to that, he was co-founder of the venture catalyst firm Momentor, and a senior vice president of the corporate communication consultancy KREAB.

During his time as Minister for Employment he introduced some major policy reforms, which were a part of the Swedish strategy for creating economic growth while reducing unemployment.

The Innovation Journalism initiative at the Stanford Center for Innovation and Communication is a good match with Littorin's interest in bridging policies for innovation and jobs. Governments are vertical, ministries handling innovation and jobs are different silos. Newsrooms are vertical, too. Journalists covering jobs rarely cover innovation and vice versa. Are the verticals in government and in the fourth estate reinforcing each other, making it even more difficult to bridge topics that need to be brought together, like innovation and jobs? Can horizontal innovation journalism play a part in lowering the barriers between decision makers in different silos in government and industry?

These are good questions to discuss between the Innovation Journalism initiative and Mr Littorin.

The full bio of Mr Littorin is available on the Stanford InJo website.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Amir Jahangir on InJo in Pakistan - Interview by VOA Urdu

Amir Jahangir is working on introducing InJo in Pakistan. He is on Stanford University InJo advisory board, where Innovation Journalism first started a few years ago,  and is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. As CEO of Pakistani SAMAA TV, he introduced the first ever Pakistani TV series covering innovation. Already after half a year of broadcasting, the SAMAA "Innovation" show won the brand of the year award in competition with over 500 other brands, showing that InJo has  potential also in emerging economies.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A pitch to the Knight Newschallenge

The Knight News Challenge is closing its call for proposals in just a few hours. The Newschallenge has a very good submission process. Pitch a short idea. If it's good, you'll be invited to make a full proposal. The Foundation will get involved and coach. That's the way to support innovative seed projects. The approach is quite similar to that of the Swedish Knowledge Foundation back in the 90s, which led to a number of groundbreaking initiatives, such as Hyper Island, the first Swedish education for modern media executives, today a successful international operation (disclosure: I was the director of research funding).

Here is an pitch for the Newschallenge by social network analysis wizzard Marc Smith and myself. We are suggesting the next generation news research and analysis tool.

Unwind the spin, map news angles and points of view with ZANGLit (short for “news-angle it”).
ZANGLit is a simple tool for understanding which players stand where and how they talk. We do it by combining word clustering and social network analysis.
Today, Google News lists news outlets covering a story. It groups stories with similar key words - one list for “Turkey and stuffing”, another for “Turkey and NATO”. But it remains up to the user to identify news angles, to discern interests behind angles, and to recognize language that is typical for interest groups and angles. This requires familiarity with the topic and the players and good analytic thinking.
ZANGLit goes further than Google News. ZANGL a story to map the news angles, points of view, interest groups and typical language belonging to them.  With this, you will get a picture of the politics around a story. 
Example: Breaking News. A bus with NATO troops blows up in Afghanistan, hit by a missile fired from a drone. The many casualties include U.S. soldiers. NATO country officials condemn the attack. Turkish officials criticize the way U.S. troops are managed. Different news angles appear: one focuses on the insurgency’s new capabilities, another focuses on discussions between the U.S. and NATO partners on when to leave Afghanistan (will the attack accelerate or delay pull-out? – different points of view). A third examines disagreements within NATO, and between the Turkey and the U.S. Different news outlets pick different angles. Social-media comments add a layer of information to the story’s structure and audience.
ZANGL the story and you will map angles, points of view, and clusters of players.
How do we do it? For example, proponents of a NATO pullout use expressions that opponents don’t use. The Twitter-sphere boils with discussion: we see who refers to whom, who links to which news stories, the language they use and we map it. Among the millions agreeing and disagreeing, different angles, points of views, and different choice of words - people cluster into islands in the social/language-space, visible to those who can master the latest knowledge and algorithms in social-network analysis and the visualization of complex data sets. 
For example, we can show that the expression “Global warming” is becoming mainly used by the nay-sayers. The environmentally conscious are talking about “climate change”. Social network analysis of Twitter shows this.
Using open-source platforms, adding our own development, we develop tools for understanding the ongoing battles around the stories. Journalists will use these tools to map the stakeholders and identify the core concepts and clusters in coverage. Sources and topics can be discovered in these maps, highlighting alliances and antagonisms within the population of a story's stakeholders.
It will be free for all to analyze the news. We are considering earning money by selling analysis relevant for the stock market, following brands in the same way as we can follow news stories.

David Nordfors is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Stanford Center for Innovation and Communication, which runs the Innovation Journalism initiative at Stanford.  He is a Senior Research Scholar at Stanford University's H-Star Institute. He coined the concepts of Innovation Journalism (2003) and Attention Work (2006) and started the first innovation journalism initiatives, in Sweden (2003) and at Stanford (2005). Nordfors is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Future of Journalism, a part of the World Economic Forum Global Redesign Initiative. He is an adjunct professor and advisor to the Dean at the Samy Ofer School of Communication at IDC Herzliya in Israel. He is a visiting professor in Journalism and Mass Media at the School of Government, Social Sciences and Humanities, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico. He is also a visiting professor and senior media advisor for Innovation Journalism at the Deutsche Welle Akademie, Deutsche Welle, Bonn, Germany. He serves as advisor to the executive director of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Nordfors is a member of the advisory board of DISCERN investment analytics, and several other non-academic organizations.
Marc Smith is a sociologist specializing in the social organization of online communities and computer mediated interaction.  Marc founded and managed the Community Technologies Group at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington and led the development of social media reporting and analysis tools for Telligent Systems. At Microsoft, he developed the “Netscan” web application and data mining engine that allows researchers studying Usenet newsgroups and related repositories of threaded conversations to get reports on the rates of posting, posters, crossposting, thread length and frequency distributions of activity.  Smith is the co-editor with Peter Kollock of Communities in Cyberspace(Routledge), a collection of essays exploring the ways identity; interaction and social order develop in online groups. Along with Derek Hansen and Ben Shneiderman, he is the co-author and editor of Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL: Insights from a connected world, a guide to mapping connections created through computer-mediated interactions (forthcoming Summer 2010 onMorgan-Kaufmann).
Smith received a B.S. in International Area Studies from Drexel University in Philadelphia in 1988, an M.Phil. in social theory from Cambridge University in 1990, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from UCLA in 2001. He is an affiliate faculty at the Department of Sociology at the University of Washington and the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. Smith is also a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Media-X Program at Stanford University.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Swedish Bay Area Achievement Award for InJo Fellowships

Very honoring, indeed! I was awarded the Swedish Bay Area Achievment Award for Most Beneficial Exchange. The Innovation Journalism Fellowships have been going on for several years and have led to improved networks between journalists in Silicon Valley and in Sweden and other countries with InJo Fellowships. So I wish to share the honor of this award with all Swedish InJo Fellows!

The Press release is here below:
Contact: Maria Larsson                                                                      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Email: maria.larsson(at-sign)
The Swedish Bay Area Achievement Awards are successfully concluded for this year
On October 22nd, more than 160 Bay Area cultural personalities, businessmen and –women celebrated the winners of the Swedish Bay Area Achievement Awards. The winners were 
  • the Swedish-American Library and Archives Committee (Cultural Enrichment), 
  • David Nordfors (Most Beneficial Exchange), 
  • and Mimi the Sardine (Business Achievement).
The gala is an event set to take place every year, celebrating and awarding the people furthering Swedish culture and business in the Bay Area. The idea is to build on our solid history as inventors, innovators and pioneers, paying homage to our brilliant forebears, i.e., the inventor of the dynamite, the innovator of the modern zipper and cultural pioneers like Jenny Lind and Greta Garbo.
The first winner was The Swedish-American Library and Archives Committee, a dedicated group of people preserving the Swedish heritage by archiving books, memorabilia, photographs as well as historic Swedish newspaper Vestkusten in their offices at the Swedish-American Hall. They were represented by Susan Bianucci who thanked the jury and spoke of their upcoming plans of the upcoming plans to go completely digital. The group was awarded the prize for being the most original contribution and for “their innovative spirit that helps keep our past as a part of our present” as presenter Mark Johnson of San Francisco State University put it.
The second winner, awarded for his work in innovation journalism at Stanford University as well as in Sweden was David Nordfors. A tireless traveler and promoter of Sweden, David Nordfors was handed his award “for being particularly successful within both the academic and the business world” and the jury particularly picked him for his efforts to continually improve the bonds between both countries and commerce between them. Said Mr. Nordfors, “Thank you so much for this, this award was totally unexpected!”
Mimi the Sardine, the recipient of the third award, for success in business, expressed the same kind of enthusiasm for the honor. “This is immensely meaningful for me personally. This is the result of the creative power of the Fika-rast”. Pia Andersson and her team stood out among the stiff competition in the award category for Business Achievement. The motivation for the winner emphasized innovative thinking, display of corporate social responsibility, business savvy and creative playfulness, all the while walking their own path in creating children’s eating accessories.
The Award recipients were selected by a distinguished Panel of Judges:
  • Pär Arvidsson, Founder and Managing Director at Snowshoe Capital and Olympic Gold Medalist 
  • Katarina Bonde, Managing Director at Kubicorp 
  • Mark Friedler, Consultant, Entrepreneur and Speaker Netanel Jacobsson, CEO and Founder of PlayHopper (former Director of Intl Business Development at Facebook)
  • Mark Johnson, Professor of Art and Gallery Director at San Francisco State University
  • Barbro Osher, Consul General of Sweden in San Francisco 
  • Rikard Steiber, Global Ads Marketing Director at Google 
  • Jan Uddenfeldt, Senior VP and Senior Technology Advisor to Ericsson’s CEO 
  • Nils Welin, CEO of Cypress Security and Chairman of the Board for SACC-SF/SV
The award dinner was held at the crimson halls of the Regency Center’s Lodge Level in San Francisco, with guests enjoying wine provided exclusively by vineyard Malbec & Malbec Cellars, exquisite food by caterer Chef Pelle to the sweet tunes of world-renowned singer Jan Johansen. Highlights of the evening included a dance performance by Katja Björner and Garen Price Scribner (appeared courtesy of SF Ballet, Helgi Tomasson, Artistic Director), choreographed by Yuri Zhukov, an hors d'oeuvres cook-off between Ola Fendert (Oola Restaurant) and Thomas Weibull (Swell) and an energizing speech by Dan Parisi, Executive Vice President of BTS Group in San Francisco, who in a humorously way assured the audience of his Swedish street credentials.
For more information about the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce-SF/SV visit For questions regarding this press release please contact Maria Larsson.  415 781 4188 email maria.larsson(at-sign)  
PS. The list of judges is inserted from a previous release /D

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Kirsten Mogensen: Finding New Journalism Research Directions at Stanford

Prof Kirsten Mogensen at Rosilde University found a new direction in journalism research as a visiting scholar at the Stanford Center for Innovation and Communication, the home of the Innovation Journalism Fellowship Program. Kirsten was a journalist for many years, her story has a very nice flow - click on the video to see her tell her story.

During her stay at Stanford, Kirsten performed a series of interviews with innovation journalists in Silicon Valley. Says Kirsten: "I thought they shared some norms and values, but I soon realized that journalists in a networked based society like Silicon Valley are as innovative as their environment, also when it comes to ethical questions. That was a surprise. Nobody had written about that before. So now I know what to investigate for the years to come."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Design, Innovation and Communication - Lecture at Lund University

Lund University
Ingvar Kamprad Design Center

Design, Innovation and Communication

Prof. Larry Leifer, Stanford University
Dr. David Nordfors, Stanford University

We have the pleasure of inviting you to join us in this open seminar at the Department of Design Sciences, where Prof. Larry Leifer and Dr. David Nordfors from Stanford University will share their perspectives on design, innovation and communication, and talk to us a little about the strategic partnership that they have started to advance the ways in which innovations could be created, the ways in which communication could influence innovation, and the ways in which journalism and other communication could recognize and cover innovation.

Andreas Larsson
Associate Professor, Innovation Engineering
Department of Design Sciences
Prof. Larry Leifer is Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Center for Design Research at Stanford University ( He is also one of the co-founders of Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford ( Larry and his team are dedicated to facilitating individual creativity, understanding the team design process, and developing advanced tools and methods that promote superior design and manufacturing of products.

Dr. David Nordfors is Founding Executive Director of the Center for Innovation and Communication at Stanford University (, which among other things look at how journalism and other communication influences innovation, how innovation influences journalism and other communication, and the ability of journalism and other communication to recognize and cover innovation. It involves looking at the connections between communication, formation of shared language, and innovation capacity.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Finnish Call for InJo Fellowships at Stanford

The Helsingin Sanomat Foundation call for Innovation Journalism Fellowships is online. If you are a Finnish journalist, interested in coming to Stanford for an InJo Fellowship in 2011, click here

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Stanford Daily Coverage of "Innovating the New Arab Woman"

The Stanford Daily covers Joumana Haddad's talk "Innovating the New Arab Woman" today - the article  is here. The story gets most of page one in today's issue.

EXCERPT: "Joumana Haddad, renowned Lebanese poet, journalist and founder and editor in chief of Jasad Magazine, the first erotic magazine in the Arab world, spoke Monday afternoon in Wallenberg Hall about the “new Arab woman” and her latest book, “I Killed Scheherazade: Confessions of an Angry Arab Woman”.
Joining Haddad on a panel were Esther Wojcicki, chairwoman of Creative Commons, Diana El-Azar, director of media, entertainment and information industries for the World Economic Forum, and Kirsten Mogenson, associate professor in journalism at Roskilde University. El-Azar and Mogenson served on the panel via webcam from Switzerland and Denmark, respectively.
The panel, co-organized by the Stanford Center for Innovation & Communication (SCIC) and the Center for Design Research and moderated by David Nordfors, founding executive of SCIC, began with Haddad reading a section of her book."
Click HERE to read the whole story on the Stanford Daily website.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Livestream 4 Oct 2pm PST: Innovating the New Arab Woman

Click here or on the picture below to view the livestream broadcast of our session on "Innovating the New Arab Woman" with Joumana Haddad. The broadcast is sent on Oct 4 at 2pm PST (22:00 GMT). (Fingers crossed!)

Read more about the session here

Friday, October 01, 2010

InJo Fellowships 2011

We now have a draft of the InJo Fellowships at Stanford 2011, check it out:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Innovating The New Arab Woman

When: 4 October 2010, 2pm - 3pm. 
Where: Stanford University, Wallenberg Hall

Organized by Stanford Center for Innovation and Communication
Co-organizer: Stanford Center for Design Research

Register to the event here

: Joumana Haddad, poet, editor-in-chief Jasad Magazine, author of "I Killed Sheherazade"

Panelists:Diana El-Azar, Director of Media, Entertainment and Information Industries, World Economic Forum.  Kirsten Mogensen, Associate Professor in Journalism, Roskilde University. Esther Wojcicki, Journalist, Educator, Chairwoman Creative Commons

Moderator: David Nordfors, Founding Executive Director, Stanford Center for Innovation & Communication

Joumana Haddad will be speaking about the new Arab woman, different from the cliche presently dominating discussions around the world. In her latest book "I Killed Sheherazade" she takes a stand for a modern Arab woman who is equal to man, autonomous, feminine as well as intellectual and professional, the custodian of her own body and her own sexuality. Haddad sees woman and man as equal in power and influence, their relationships built on consensual agreement between independent  individuals.

The panel discussion will cover both the New Arab Woman, as well as under which circumstances she can develop. Woman activists in the Arab world are today enabled by the Internet, cell phones and other technologies. Which types of innovations enable the new Arab woman? Which are the forces that can support the innovation processes that enable her?

More about Joumana Haddad:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

National Slovenian TV report from IJ-7

Slovenian national public TV, RTV  Slovenia, broadcast a reportage from IJ-7. The reportage is made by Eva Uranjek. It is in Slovenian, but nearly all the interviews are in English, so it's interesting to watch it, even if you don't understand Slovenian.