Friday, October 20, 2006

Kick-Off for Innovation Journalism Initiative in the Balkan

Things are catching on pretty quickly in Europe now. The First European Workshop on Innovation Journalism was held at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, on Oct 18. The entrepreneur behind the initiative is Violeta Bulc and her company Vibacom, spearheading the introduction of Injo in Slovenia, which now is beginning to reverbarate also in other parts of the Balkans.

I was very happy to note that InJo attracts positive interest from journalists, companies, government and academia alike in Slovenia. They all seem open to the idea that this is a new playing field with something in it for each one of them as independent players.

The conference was opened by John Hagard, Swedish ambassador to Slovenia. Some of the key people in the conference (from left to right on the picture):
* Jan Sandred, VINNOVA (Sweden), fmr founding Editor of Biotech Sweden, the first documented case of targeting an innovation system as a readership, implementing InJo as a business model.
* Mateja Dermastia, economic strategist, managing director of Anteja ECG and fmr State Undersecretary in the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Slovenia.
* David Nordfors (i.e. me), Stanford and VINNOVA, introduced the concept of innovation journalism, continously working on developing the concept and community around it.
* Violeta Bulc, president Vibacom, opinionmaker spearheading InJo in the Balkans, writer, fmr journalist and telecom intrapreneur.
* Dusan Snoj, CEO of Vigeo Consulting, fmr editor-in-chief of Gospodarski Vestnik Publishing Group and of GV Group; fmr Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazahstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan and Turkmenistan.
* Marko Milosavljevič (not on the picture), Assistant professor in Journalism at the University of Ljubljana, regularly contributing and writing comments and analysis on media and journalism issues for leading Slovenian daily Delo, Razgledi, Novinar, Balkanis, Emzin, and Media Watch. Chairman of Expert commission for radio and television programmes at Slovenian Ministry of Culture.

Some of the key comments and observations from the workshop are listed here.

The workshop was organised by Vibacom in collaboration with VINNOVA, TIA - the Slovenian Technology Agency - DG Marta Svetina participated in the workshop discussion panel, the University of Ljubljana, Stanford. Media partner was Finance, the largest Slovenian business daily. The event was sponsored by thirteen Slovenian companies.

(News Release from VIBACOM)

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