Friday, September 08, 2006

Fourth Round for Swedish InJo Fellowships

If you are a Swedish journalist or know any Swedish journalists who might be interested in the Innovation Journalism Fellowship program, now is the time.

VINNOVA has officially announced it's call for applicants for the fourth round of the Innovation Journalism Fellowship Program (click here to apply). Last application day is October 13. Applicants must be Swedish residents.

The selected participants will participate at two workshops and the Fourth Conference on Innovation Journalism at Stanford, and be hosted by leading newsrooms for 4-6 months this spring and summer, where they will be covering innovation issues.

Those who are interested in knowing more about it are welcome to get in touch with me or any one of the previous fellows. (They are listed on the "about" page on the innovation journalism web site.)

The program call will be announced in the Swedish journalism newspaper Journalisten on Sep 18. You can download the ad (in Swedish) in PDF here: annons-journalisten.pdf

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Good Thoughts and Words

SRI International President and CEO Curtis Carlson and co-author Bill Wilmot have good things to say about InJo in their new book Innovation: The Five Disciplines for Creating What Customers Want. In the section "Innovation in the Media" they don't take any prisoners when pointing out the need for innovation journalism, praising our InJo program at Stanford:
"Over the next decade, the mainstream media will spend a great deal of time talking and writing about the consequences of our lack of competitiveness and its impact on bid companies. They will be concerned when Chinese firms buy big United States Companies, when software jobs move to India, and when protectionism becomes a political issue. But these stories, absent the bigger context of innovation and competitiveness, represent a disservice to their readers and listeners. The action is not just with the larger companies, which, as we discussed in Chapter 2, are finding it increasingly difficult to survive, but rather at the grassroots level, where new company formation through innovation thrives. The mainstream media are basically missing the story. Perhaps each media-outlet science and technology editor can change his or her job description to "Science, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Editor".

More generally, the mainstream media can increase their active role in helping communicate the challenges, opportunities and excitement of innovation and entrepreneurship in our time. This could help stimulate a productive discussion about how the United States needs to improve its schools, tax policies, government regulations, and research agencies. They too could use innovation best practices as a ruler to measure the United States' performance against that of others. Ultimately, they could help promote and examplify the skills and attitudes needed to thrive in the exponential economy. For example, maybe he creative staffs of the major television networks could make this the ultimate 'survivor' show.

One bright spot is a program at Stanford University called Innovation Journalism. It is not about innovation in journalism but, rather, it is a journalism program about innovation. The program is led by David Nordfors with the goal of advancing the public debate about this critically important topic. He has assembled journalists and students from many countries to be part of the program, who then become innovation-enlightened journalists at major publications around the world."

The book, which has received a positive review by Business Week, describes how a disciplined approach to innovation—the successful creation and delivery of a new or improved product or service—will provide value for customers and organizations alike and offers a systematic way to make innovation practical and sustainable for any enterprise. Carlson is an innovation guru with a lot of personal experience. Before heading SRI International he started and led the team that set the US standard for HDTV, for which his team shared an Emmy.