Wednesday, October 31, 2007

First Injo Presentation in Turkey

“Creating Innovative Environment” Workshop “Clustering 07”
Violeta Bulc, Vibacom, M.Sc.
Jan Sandred, M.Sc., VINNOVA
David Nordfors, Ph.D., Stanford University
Nana Adeishvili, Ph.D., Anteja ECG

Innovation Journalism was presented for the first time in Turkey a few days ago, on Oct 25 in Istanbul at the Clustering 2007 conference.

The presentation was in the "Creating Innovative Environment" session, organized by Violeta Bulc, the Ljubljanian entrepreneur who is spearheading the Injo initiative in Slovenia. Read Violeta's summary of the entire session here.

The interest in the session was very high, there were a large amount of people listening.

Clustering and Competitiveness are well established concepts and there are a lot of initiatives around the world. Innovation Journalism fits very well into this framework. If a society is developing an innovative business cluster, independent journalism is the key for integrating it into society, and connecting the development of the cluster to societal awareness and opinions. (More about this in "The Role of Journalism in Innovation Systems")

Monday, October 29, 2007

Swedish Injo Fellowships Call for Applicants 2008: Six Fellows, 375 000 USD

The Injo Program in Sweden will be sending six Swedish Injo Fellows to the International Innovation Journalism Program at Stanford 2008.

The call for applicants is open until Nov 22.

VINNOVA, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems is providing funding for six fellows, up to a total of 2.400.000 SEK (375.000 USD) for 2008. These funds are intended to cover costs of the Fellows' Swedish employers during their participation in the Stanford program, i.e. coverage of salary expenses, travel, living costs in the US etc. VINNOVA uses the same terms for coverage as goes for civil servants (no other reason for this than that it was the most accessible set of regulations to ensure fair coverage).

The fellowship program at Stanford 2008 is five to six months long, and has the following activities:
  • InnovationBeat Newsroom. A four week training newsroom for all fellows, a learning-by-doing approach on reporting on the Silicon Valley. Coaches: G. Pascal Zachary, and John Markoff
  • Working with hosting newsrooms. Fellows spend 4-5 month inside a leading US newsroom. Each fellow is assigned by the newsroom to cover innovation issues. (Summaries of stories published by fellows 2007 is available on )
  • IJ-5, The Fifth Conference on Innovation Journalism, May 21-23. Each Fellow is in charge of one session at the conference, which they dedicate to an important aspect of innovation journalism of their choice. (The program of IJ-4 2007 is available here)
  • Field trip to the US East Coast. Looking at how innovation policy is made in Washington DC, and how the markets for listed companies work in New York.
Here is a video by Tina Bjers, Reporter at Swedish TT and Injo Fellow 2007, telling about what she got out of the program this year:

The VINNOVA call text includes the following program statement in English (the rest of the call is in Swedish):

The innovation journalism program was started in 2003 to offer an opportunity for individual journalists, to increase their knowledge and develop skills and practices, and increase professional level in covering innovation processes.

It is designed as a fellowship program, where journalists practice at editorial offices in regions with efficient innovation systems, like Silicon Valley, Boston and New York. In addition the participants are required to participate in workshops, study visits and the annual innovation journalism conference at Stanford University, organized by Stanford and VINNOVA. The fellows are also part of a Swedish alumni community and offered to be part of an international
alumni community.

The target group is senior practicing journalists and editors.

The aim is
  • To get experience in covering innovation systems, innovation processes and entrepreneurship. Innovation is a process, often long-term. Understanding of how to evaluate the progress of companies and societies by looking at the interaction between science, R&D, business development and public policy.
  • Get a systems perspective. Understanding of who depends on who, and how? Innovations do not occur – they are created in cooperation with many. And you need support from many actors to create innovations.
  • Understand and develop skills and practices in cross disciplinary work. You need to cover many difference aspects: science, law, finance, policy, even the social and ethical. A combination of business, technology, political and cultural journalism.
Here is a complete list of previous Injo Fellows. If you are interested in applying for an Injo fellowship, it is a very good idea to chat with any of these people, they will be able to give you important tips and advice:

  • Jyrki Alkio, Journalist, Helsingin Sanomat, Finland, 2006
  • Marie Alpman, Innovation Editor, Ny Teknik, Sweden, 2007
  • Erik Amcoff, Journalist, Affärsvärlden,Sweden, 2006
  • Patrick Baltatzis, Journalist, Entreprenör, Sweden, 2006
  • Eva Barkeman, Science Editor, Aftonbladet, Sweden, 2006
  • Tina Magnergård-Bjers, Reporter, TT, Sweden, 2007
  • Johan Boström, News Desk Editor, Göteborgsposten, Sweden, 2005
  • AndreasCervenka, News andFeature Editor, Affärsvärlden, Sweden, 2005
  • Adam Edström, Editor-in-Chief, Elektroniktidningen, Sweden, 2004
  • SaidaFazal, ResidentEditor, Business Recorder, Pakistan, 2007
  • Birgitta Forsberg, Journalist,Veckans Affärer, Sweden, 2005
  • Thomas Frostberg, Editor-in-Chief, Rapidus, Sweden, 2006
  • AndersFrick, FreelanceWriter representing Ny Teknik, Sweden, 2007
  • Marie Granmar, Editor-in-Chief, Process Nordic, Scandinavia, 2005
  • Patric Hadenius, Editor, Forskning & Framsteg, Sweden, 2004
  • Zamir Haider, Senior Reporter/Producer/Anchor, AAJ TV, Pakistan, 2007
  • Ralph Hermansson, Journalist, Riksdag & Departement, Sweden, 2007
  • Magnus Höij, Feature Editor, Computer Sweden, 2004
  • Erika Ingvald, Journalist,Elektroniktidningen, Sweden, 2006
  • Niklas Johansson, Journalist,Veckans Affärer, Sweden, 2005
  • Johan Jörgensen, Journalist,Affärsvärlden, Sweden, 2004
  • AndersLotsson,Journalist, Computer Sweden, 2005
  • Marcus Lillkvist, Reporter,Västerbottens-Kuriren, Sweden, 2004
  • Ilkka Luukkonen, Journalist,Maaseudun Tulevaisuus, Finland 2007
  • Miriam Olsson, Journalist,Goteborgsposten, Sweden 2007
  • JanSandred, FounderBiotechSweden, Sweden, 2004
  • Amanda Termén, Journalist,Göteborgstidningen, Sweden, 2006

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Session at Clusters 2007 - Global TCI Conference

The TCI Global Competitiveness Conference 2007 - this year hosted by Portland, Oregon, USA - featured a session on the Innovation Communication System, chaired by me.

The session introduced the novel concept of the Innovation Communication System (see original blog posts explaining this concept here and here) for the second time to the business cluster community. The first time was at the TCI Global Conference 2006, in Lyon, France.

Clustering is moving in the direction of regional innovation systems, so the concept should be extremely relevant. This assumption was confirmed by very positive reviews from the audience.

Here is how the session was presented in the conference program:
Clusters and innovation ecosystems are attention economies. There are a lot of ideas, but attention is scarce. Media and communicators are "attention workers," generating and trading public attention. They are key players in the "innovation communication system," a new central concept in clustering and competitiveness.
The panel represented various parties in the innovation communication system:

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Cal State University puts Injo on curriculum

Here is some exciting news from Raul Reis, Associate Professor & Acting Chair of the Journalism Department at California State University, Long Beach. He has put Innovation Journalism on the curriculum for this autumn. Raul is a pioneer, this is the first time Injo is offered to undergraduates at a US University.

For more info, get in touch with Raul directly.

Raul's story about the Injo course in his own words:

The Department of Journalism at California State University, Long Beach, is offering for the first time this fall a course on Innovation Journalism. I had the idea to create and teach the course during the Fourth InJo conference at Stanford last May. To be honest, I didn’t know much about InJo before I attended the conference. I had heard the term before, but didn’t quite grasp what made the concept different from good, old-fashioned, news coverage of technology. I have to say that IJ-4 changed my perspective on InJo, and broadened my horizons on the topic. The most striking thing about InJo for me is its ability to approach innovation in a more holistic way, looking at how different aspects of the innovative spectrum overlap and complement each other. As a result, instead of looking at the latest gadgets or software programs as isolated end products, this wider approach to innovation tries to look at them in a more comprehensive way, examining each step that took to get to a particular technological advance; the impact that new technologies or products might have on society and the market; the political, social or environmental forces that might be at play; and even the overall benefits that might be accrued from this particular development. Moreover, InJo forces journalists and students to think outside the box, and cover not only technological developments, but also innovation in areas such as science and the environment, new social trends, creative government and public policy, and the business world, just to list the mot obvious ones. Since most of my students are advanced undergraduate journalism majors, many of them seniors, I wanted the course to be hands-on—instead of talking about InJo’s definitions, for example, I want them to be InJo reporters and editors. For this reason, the course is organized as a hands-on workshop, where students, working in pairs, produce multimedia packages that cover innovative developments, trends, products, and ideas. Those multimedia packages have to blend platforms and media, including video, photography, hypertext, graphics, and audio. The motto for the course is: “Instead of talking about innovation, show us innovation.” The students and I are also producing a web site, where all stories and packages will be posted, and a collective blog, an ongoing conversation about some of the issues and topics we discuss in class. Whenever needed, we take class time to work on different programs and software, to try to bring everyone to a similar technical level. Students have responded really well to this last point, with savvier students making themselves available as a resource for more tech-shy classmates. The department and faculty have been very supportive of this InJo initiative, because all of us understand the importance of media and technological convergence, and we want to prepare our students to face a marketplace that expects them to hit the ground running. I’m especially excited about this new field, and hopeful that this special course will be successful and translate into a permanent teaching and research area for us.

Course blog:
Course web site: coming soon