Friday, March 09, 2007

New concept: Innovation Requires New Words, Requires Journalism

By David Nordfors and Turo Uskali

When SRI President Curtis Carlson first heard about the concept of Innovation Journalism, he said injo is important, because it will establish a common language for discussing innovation processes. This makes it possible for society to discuss innovation.

Chuck House, Stanford Media-X executive director and former head of ACM, independently made a similar reflection: A reason to why HP back-then could spearhead innovation was that many of the engineers came from Stanford, sharing a unique set of vocabulary for describing electronics, which made it possible for them to efficiently communicate ideas with each other.

Language is at the core of innovation!

We suggest journalism is even more important in innovation societies than in traditional societies!

Here goes:
  1. Innovation is the introduction of something new
  2. In order to introduce something, it needs to be communicated
  3. Communication requires shared language
  4. New things need new words or word combinations to be a part of the language
  5. The News makes/spreads the new words to us so that the new things can be included in our language, discussed and introduced.
  6. Therefore: Journalism enables society to discuss new things and introduce innovations.

This applies for all journalism covering innovations.

Injo - journalism about innovation processes and ecosystems - is a special case, but a very important one. It disseminates language for discussing how innovation happens in society. So innovation journalism enables society to improve innovation processes, which can affect the rate of innovation even more than the journalism about the innovations themselves.

If you agree, and have a bit of an academic mind - here is the word to hook up with injo: neologism. "Neologism", according to the dictionary (Wikipedia), is "a word, term, or phrase which has been recently created ("coined") — often to apply to new concepts, to synthesize pre-existing concepts, or to make older terminology sound more contemporary. Neologisms are especially useful in identifying inventions, new phenomena, or old ideas which have taken on a new cultural context. The term e-mail, as used today, is an example of a neologism." It continues, "Neologisms often become popular by way of mass media, the Internet, or word of mouth (see also Wiktionary's Neologisms:unstable or Protologism pages for a wiki venue of popularizing newly coined words). Every word in a language was, at some time, a neologism, though most of these ceased to be such through time and acceptance."

So innovation journalism and neologism form together a new key concept.

We are presently preparing a paper, to be presented later this year, that will develop this concept further.

No comments: