Thursday, December 31, 2009

Prisoners Dilemma at COP15 in Copenhagen; Meanwhile in Mei Lin's Kitchen

Doug Engelbart and David Nordfors
(This blog post was published by Huffington Post 31 Dec 2009)

On December 9, world leaders debated global climate in Copenhagen and Obama was in Oslo to accept his Nobel. I was sharing a glass of wine with Doug Engelbart, father of personal computing as we know it, in the kitchen of Mei Lin Fung, Doug's long-time friend, in Palo Alto. It was a potluck dinner, shoes off, sparing Mei Lin's floors. I sensed links. Half a world away, people were commemorating the world's biggest problems, preparing for gala dinners, while we toasted the birth of perhaps the most powerful tool in human hands, sitting in that cozy kitchen among people who had made it happen.

Doug was guest of honor. In San Francisco, on Dec 9 1968, his 'Mother of All Demos' gave birth to the modern PC: Doug and his SRI team, with chief engineer Bill English, demo'ed for the first time personal computing as we recognize it today, showing the first computer mouse, interactive text, video conferencing, teleconferencing, email, hypertext and a collaborative real-time editor.
Mei Lin Fung
While Obama was receiving his Nobel, the Copenhagen Climate Conference was becoming a giant prisoners' dilemma. If all cut emissions, all win. If nobody cuts, all lose. If some cut but not others, non-cutters win more than cutters. Which courageous leader will commit first? As fictional Jim Hacker, Minister of Administrative Affairs in the political satire 'Yes, Minister' says: "Courageous? I don't want to do anything courageous! That's the kind of thing that ends careers." Swedish PM Fredrik Reinfeldt's was not happy: "Who sets the speed of progress? The least ambitious."

When groups face common problems, power goes to those who must agree for anything to happen. Often their political power and the value of their 'OK' grows as they hold out--supply and demand. If the problem is bad and people want their 'OK' they say 'Well, first YOU must [insert demads here].' They may be conscientious, backed by their constituencies, so it might not seem immoral. Leaders build power, stature and wealth for their followers by gatekeeping. Some may get a Nobel, others may end up in the International Criminal Court in the Hague. The need for consensus breeds gatekeeping. That's the game.

Back to Mei Lin's kitchen. It might be closer to the solution than banquet halls in world capitals. The name 'Mother of All Demos' came later. The actual name marking the birth of real personal computing was 'a research center for augmenting human intellect.' Doug's idea was not to make computers smarter, it was to help people be smarter. Computers had been about automation, replacing but not augmenting intellect. Doug was lucky, a chosen researcher supported by J.C.R. 'Lick' Licklider at ARPA, the visionary accredited for planting the seeds of computing in the digital age. Normal funders disdained people like Doug: the ideas did not fit their funding.

Lick coined the "intergalactic computer network," a vision of computers collaborating. The Internet protocol that enabled it was invented by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn. Vint - often referred to as 'father of the Internet' - is today at Google, still reforming civilization.

Doug hosted the second node of the Arpanet, the predecessor of the Internet, at his SRI center, believing that by networking PCs humanity could improve its 'collective intelligence' and solve tougher problems: such as avoid nuclear wars, stop pandemics and solve environmental issues. Solutions via traditional multilateral agreements may be hard: they engender gatekeeping, brinkmanship and cheating on agreements.

But through improved PCs and the Internet, it is easier to innovate, to introduce game-changing novelties, that can bypass obstacles to getting things done. If gatekeepers disagree, innovate and re-design the game to work without them.
Doug Engelbart and Bill English
Bill is holding the Google Phone
This is happening in IT, including music, entertainment and media, not the least journalism. For example, Creative Commons is an innovation of copyright in the digital age. HuffPo bloggerEster Wojcicki, Chairwoman of Creative Commons, as well as the Palo Alto High School Teacher of Mei Lin's daughter among other kids, was also with us at Mei Lin's this evening.

Voices--including Thomas Friedman's--are saying that innovation, not multilateral regulation, should drive the climate issue. The ideal: a balance between innovation and regulation. Necessary international agreements can be driven by the innovation ecosystem, putting gatekeepers at risk of being bypassed. And international agreements can enable the innovation ecosystem, through creating incentives.

David Nordfors
Given the impact of personal computers and the Internet on humanity, I was struck by the intimacy in Mei Lin's kitchen vs. the grandeur of the manifestations of the world's problems in Oslo and Copenhagen. As Copenhagen opened our eyes to the difficulties of creating consensus in a cynical world, perhaps in 2010 meetings in kitchens and garage startups will be equally important to multilateral negotiations in large congress centers. One could leverage the other.

PS. The achievement of 'the Mother of All Demos' was astonishing. Mei Lin: "That demo was never supposed to work." It might not have if not for Bill English. Bill was there, showing his new cell phone. Later it became known that Google had given beta versions of its own Android to selected people (Bill probably among them). Did anyone in Oslo or Copenhagen get one?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Slovenian InJo-InCo 2009 Manifesto

Violeta Bulc's Vibacom have released the InJo-InCo 2009 Manifesto, the project is lead by Estera Lah P0ljak. The publication is in Slovenian, there is a summary in English here. It starts like this:
"Identifying significant events and projects, becoming aware of their importance in time and space, critically assessing their advantages and challenges, capturing responses of different stakeholders, proposing initiatives and future activities. These were our guidelines in drafting
the second issue of our annual publication, the InJo-InCo Manifesto 2009. All of the above is also included in the principles of innovation journalism, from which the InCo movement as a business-civil initiative was initiated and grew into wider innovation communication projects interconnecting different stakeholders of the innovation space based on dialogue. This publication is a result of this active involvement. The title “Manifesto” itself demands action or manifestation, thus we start by proposing initiatives for an innovative breakthrough of Slovenia drafted based on the philosophy, dialogue and experiences of the InCo movement in the field of innovation communication and journalism in 2009. These initiatives are accompanied by commitments the InCo movement will fulfil in 2010 and which we believe will raise awareness about creativity and innovation in Slovenian space."

PBS Mediashift InJo Feature

(Mark Glaser's PBS Mediashift published a very nice feature on Innovation Journalism. Mark is a leading innovation journalist himself, albeit not using that label, covering all aspects of innovation in journalism. The Mediashift blog is an important read, I have had it in my RSS feed for some time, and am now subscribing to the Twitter feeds @mediatwit (Mark Glaser) and @pbsmediashift.

Here is the beginning of Mark's piece - read all of it on PBS Mediashift.

Stanford Program Breaks Down Walls Between Business, Tech Journalism

I am so used to hearing about innovation in journalism that when I first heard about theInnovation Journalism program at Stanford, I assumed that's what it focused on. Not exactly.

The VINNOVA-Stanford Research Center of Innovation Journalism actually focused on helping journalists cover the field of innovation. David Nordfors, a Swedish punk rocker-turned-molecular-physicist-turned-journalist, found that journalists were stuck in silos of "business journalism" and "technology journalism" and couldn't see the big picture of innovation.

In 2003, Nordfors started the Innovation Journalism program, bringing mid-career journalists from around the world to Stanford University as fellows. They were placed in San Francisco Bay Area newsrooms to learn the new ways that reporters and bloggers were covering technology and innovation. Those newsrooms include the Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, CNET and even the Technologizer blog. There's also an annual Conference on Innovation Journalism at Stanford, where the fellows present their work and discuss related topics.

IJ conference.jpg

While the program was set up to help journalists do a better job of covering the topic of innovation, there is now a need for journalists to do a better job of covering innovation in journalism itself. Nordfors told me that journalists charged with covering the media are good practitioners of innovation journalism, because they are mixing business, technology, lifestyle and political journalism in one beat. He stresses that journalists need to break out of their silos and go across disciplines for better coverage of innovation.

I recently sat down with Nordfors at Stanford to talk about the Innovation Journalism program, and get his take on the current state of journalism, and how media companies -- and even journalism schools -- need to change. The following is an edited transcript of our conversation, including audio and video clips.

[ read the rest of it on PBS Mediashift / David.]

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Journalism Needs a Business Model for the Truth

(This story is also published through the Huffington Post)

Journalism's first obligation is to the truth. Discussions about Truth and Objectivity in journalism often become questions of journalistic ethics and the trustworthiness of individuals and brands. These are good things but increasingly inadequate in backing up a story.

Convincing people the news is true by saying "because I told you so" is not working as well as it used to. The Internet is making it harder. Today people can read almost any news publication on the Internet, or check the sources of journalistic stories.

Some trusted news brands and individuals have experienced major scandals in recent years. The New York Times suffered from the fake star journalist Jayson Blair. Iconic anchor Dan Rathers of CBS’ high-profile investigative journalism show "60 Minutes" tripped with the fabricated Killian documents, and was brought down by blogger Charles Johnson.

How can professional journalism maintain its reputation for truth and objectivity?

The truth is often elusive. Events can have many explanations. Other circumstances are not what they seem. What we believe to be true today may be in doubt tomorrow. And then, of course, there has to be a news angle.

Physicists deal with the truth as closely as anyone can come to it. In science, models that can't predict are discarded and non-repeatable experiments dismissed. When scientific researchers write an article, the reader must always be given enough information to be able to repeat the observation. Otherwise the article should not be published.

Journalistic stories are much less accountable. A journalistic story rarely supplies readers with knowledge and references that lets the readers confirm the story. Links to information sources central for the story, even public ones readily available on the Internet, are omitted. Especially old-style journalism does not use links and references, bloggers do, much more.

Journalists and news outlets committed to the truth can make it into policy to link to important sources, and to write the news stories such that audiences can see how sources and assumptions were used to build the story. If readers reconstruct the story this way, they can add their own research. They can discuss the value of the sources, suggest other sources that were omitted, etc.

Traditional news organizations have never let that happen, because links lead readers away from their site. In their ‘attention’ business model – attracting eyeballs to pages and selling them to advertisers - the site needs to be sticky. Instead, the blogosphere is leading the way in developing the culture of linking to sources, because it depends less on ads.

Unfortunately, professional journalism has deeply rooted traditions. I was invited recently to a conference with the World Economic Forum, where we discussed the role of journalism in society. When I suggested that journalism should link to sources, a world-leading news organization chief commented that they wanted to do it and had tried, but their business did not allow it. For many journalists, that ends the discussion. But this is not where the discussion ends. Instead, it is where the discussion begins. We need to ask: "What are the business models for the principles of journalism?"

Societies that care about improving their collective ability to make priorities and informed decisions, need business models that promote journalists to link to sources, so that both readers and other journalists can check the stories and use them for continued research.

Some people think professional journalism is finished, that it can be replaced by citizen journalism or social interaction in social networks. I disagree. Professional journalists have an incentive to represent their audience. Who knows which incentives unpaid journalists have, or who they have their mandate from?

Professional journalism is needed as much now as ever before. With the Internet, peoples’ worlds of information are transforming from silent rural isolation to the bustling cacophonies of the metropolitan street. Journalists who focus public attention on issues that interest the public, working in the interest of and with the mandate of their audiences will be powerful. They will focus public discussion enabling people to improve society. The key for that is in the business model – journalists need the right incentives.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Statement of The World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Future of Journalism

Three days of intense meetings in Dubai are over, we made some significant steps this year. The key point made by the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Journalism - the council I take part in - is that "journalism" and "the media" are no longer synonyms. Journalism is still very much needed, but needs to reorganize, to exist in a different capacity than "the media".

Here follows a summary from the WEF web site and other places:

The second World Economic Forum Summit of the Global Agenda closed today with participants putting forward a host of ideas for redesigning the global system. The proposals debated by the Global Agenda Councils will form the basis of discussion at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, in January. For more information on the Summit and the Network of Global Agenda Councils, visit

Here below is the final statement of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Journalism. The committee members who participated in the council meeting in Dubai:
  • Amadou Mahtar Ba, President, Senegal
  • Charlie Beckett, Founding Director - Polis, London School of Economics, United Kingdom
  • David Nordfors, Founding Exec Director, Innovation Journalism, Stanford, USA/Sweden
  • Guido Baumhauer, Director of Strategy, Marketing and Distribution, Deutsche Welle, Germany
  • Rui Chenggang, Director & Anchor, co-founder CCTV-9, People's Republic of China
  • Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-chief, The Indian Express, India
  • Sulaiman Al Hattlan, CEO Arab Strategy Forum, Saudi Arabia
  • Susan King, (Chairwoman), VP External Affairs, Director - Journalism Initiative, Special Initiatives and Strategy, Carnegie Corporation, USA
  • Ulrik Haagerup, Head of News, Danish Broadcasting Corporation, Denmark
  • Wilfried Ruetten, Director - European Journalism Centre, Netherlands/Germany
  • Zafar Siddiqi, Chairman/Founder CNBC Pakistan, Chairman/co-founder CNBC Africa, Chairman/CEO CNBC Arabiya, Owner SAMAA TV, Chairman/co-founder Murdoch University Study Centre Dubai

The Global Agenda Council on the Future of Journalism believes there is a need to reconstruct journalism and its relationship with the citizen and society. Public engagement is transforming journalism, offering an historic opportunity to create unprecedented increased value.

The media industry in general, and journalism in particular, have been experiencing drastic changes which call into question their role in mediating information to the benefit of their audience as well as disrupting traditional business models. Yet in an age when information is more important than ever, journalism is vital for building societies. It is a systemic part of the social, environment. We need to build a new technical, political and financial eco-system to support it.

There is a need to reinforce its basic principles: freedom of expression, holding power to account, providing information and a forum for debate, empowering citizens to take decisions about their lives. But mainstream journalism must also recognise its past failings and take advantage of new technologies and new social forces to reframe its practice, role and purpose. Journalism has a responsibility to not only mediate today’s realities, which go beyond national borders, are complex and inter connected, but also to engage local and global audiences/societies.

This poses an unprecedented set of professional challenges. Even in regions where conventional journalism is still growing as a commercial sector, it is also subject to the impact of the same kinds of technological and social changes. Likewise, the opportunities this paper identifies are available in diverse ways to all news media markets.

The Council believes that it is necessary to redesign organisations and identify business models that ensure the sustainability of professional networked journalism as the digital and mobile media have disrupted traditional distribution models and revenue streams. As a response, news organisations need to ensure constant refining of their talent pool’s professional skill set and equip them with innovative tool kits. At the same time, to ensure sustainability and relevance, organisations with journalism and journalists at their core may likely develop joint networks and forge strategic partnerships by pooling resources and sharing revenues.

At the same time, the journalism itself is changing and so the business model that creates it must also be reinvented. There is a need to support the opportunity afforded by networked media to develop a more constructive journalism. This is based on some traditional values such as the Right to Know and some familiar kinds of editorial work such as investigative reporting. But new technologies enable a different functionality. Internet and digital journalism allows for fuller and more expansive story-telling.

It affords the opportunity for a much greater connectivity between experts, journalists and the public. But most importantly, it allows the public to participate at all stages. Journalism can now tap into the boundless resource of knowledge and opinion within the audience. The role of the journalist changes from gatekeeper to a networker. The best obtainable version of the truth remains the goal but trust is not a given, it is a mutual relationship between the public and journalist. The authority of journalism will be built by the value it offers working with the citizen, not by a professional code alone.

The Global Agenda Council on the Future of Journalism sees as a priority the establishment and (self) enforcement of global guiding principles for professional independent journalism.

Existing Gaps:

1. Can a global concept and practice for independent professional journalism be encouraged in countries or environments where a different set of values exists and censorship still prevails?

2. Journalists are inadequately appreciated and protected. If journalism hopes to reinforce its role of watchdog for abuses of power and democracy, how can accountable journalists be valued and safeguarded?

3. Journalism needs the following in their new business models to continue to exist and fufill their commitment to the global society:
  • Innovation and new partnerships
  • New and improved system of journalism education
  • Increased transparency and accountability
4. News organizations need to understand and leverage the new dynamic of the social media revolution. Traditional models of journalism are in danger of being marginalised as public discourse shifts to direct and networked media platforms, Journalism – both citizen and professional needs to be fostered in these new spaces.

Journalism needs to integrate the two new principle characteristics of digital media:
  • public participation
  • connectivity
Internet and social media permit engagement between the audience and professional journalists as never before. The new media interactivity promises a more dynamic business and society - but there will be a period of creative reordering that presents a challenge to all stakeholders.

This council believes that there are common values across diverse news media marketplaces as well as a global interconnectedness. Journalism has a world-role as well as a local or national function. This council believes that when it is networked, journalism offers a more sustainable business and a more socially useful way to inform and communicate about our world. Journalism at its best will continue to inform and inspire public debate and action. But this will not happen automatically and needs investment and strategic thinking, primarily by the journalism industry itself, but also by government and civil society

Monday, November 02, 2009

IAMCR Conference 2010: The Role of Journalism in Innovation Systems

Innovation Journalism and the concepts of innovation communication systems and attention work are being addressed by the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) World Conference in Braga Portugal (2010) on “Communication and Citizenship: Rethinking Crisis and Change".

IAMCR is the worldwide professional organisation in the field of media and communication research. It was founded in 1957 and is present in 40 countries today.

The Journalism Research & Education Section of the IAMCR is inviting people to submit research papers to the conference within five selected themes. One of these themes puts a special focus on the issues that are at the core of the Innovation Journalism initiative:
Second Theme: Innovations in Journalism:
  • What evidence for journalists as stakeholders in innovation systems?
  • How do current innovation diffusion models treat the role of media?
  • What available models and evidence for the innovation communication system (interplay between journalists/ communicators/others)?
  • What lessons could be derived from historical evidence about the role of media systems?
  • What is the role played by media in the social construction of reality?
  • What measures and metrics to identify the influence of journalism on community identities?
  • How does journalism education could be optimized?
  • How does journalism contribute to the formation of the public perception of an emerging industry?
  • Will journalism increase economic growth?

Looks like a great opportunity for Innovation Journalism and Innovation Communication researchers.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Innovation Journalism Course at the University of Jyväskylä

The University of Jyväskylä in Finland is running a course in Innovation Journalism this autumn. The course is headed by Turo Uskali, fmr visiting researcher at the Injo center here at Stanford:

Innovation Journalism and Innovations in Journalism

University of Jyväskylä, Finland

10.9.-1.12.2009, ToB 216

Turo Uskali, Ph D

The course is all about innovations and innovations in journalism. In these challenging financial and environmental times, new ideas, concepts, tools, methods, and innovations are needed in societies in many different levels; also in news business and journalism.

Innovation journalism was coined by Dr. David Nordfors in 2003, and can be seen as one example of the evolution and possibilities of quality journalism. In terms of traditional newsbeats, innovation journalism is multidisciplinary. It is a 'horizontal' beat, spanning across the old beats, consisting economic, and financial news, science, politics, and culture. Furthermore, it is focusing on long-lasting innovation processes and complicated innovation ecosystems.

In this course the basics of innovation journalism is taught, as well as the latest innovations in journalism. The course consists of lectures to local sources of innovation news, as well as working in online-environments, and participating a Guru-seminar on innovation journalism.

The main task (final exam) for a student is to produce a journalistic product, which can be defined as an example of good innovation journalism. An injo product can be a traditional newspaper, magazine, or news wire article, but also a video, web site, or a social media service (Twitter feeds etc.) contribution can be accepted.

The course has links to national, and international innovation journalism education, and research programs, such as Global Innovation Journalism -research project, and the Vinnova-Stanford Research Center for Innovation Journalism at Stanford University, California.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Innovation Journalism Fellowships 2010

We are now in the process of launching the Innovation Journalism Fellowships 2010. Read more about it on the Stanford Injo web.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

1st Nordic Conference on Injo, Helsinki 25 Sep

The 1st Nordic Conference on Innovation Journalism will be taking place at the Communications Research Centre, University of Helsinki, Finland on Sep 25. It is supported by Helsingin Sanomat Foundation and Sitra, who are funding the Finnish Innovation Journalism initiative. These are the funding organizations who have made it possible for Finnish journalists and researchers to come to theVINNOVA-Stanford research center of innovation journalism.

I will be keynoting the conference, so if you are going I will see you there! The conference program and registration is available on the conference website.

Here is an excerpt:
1st Nordic Conference on
Innovation Journalism:

Weather-casters of Future?

The Role of Journalism in Understanding Technological and Social Innovations

In recent years “innovation” has emerged as a key concept in which many issues of modern societies – solution to social problems, belief on economic growth, survival in international competition – seem to culminate. Central to the discussions on innovation have been the idea that traditional institutional boundaries between different sectors of society, such as politics, economy, culture and technology, have to be crossed more than before. This means that journalistic practises have had to become more flexible than before. The concept of Innovation Journalism was coined in 2003 by David Nordfors. For Innovation Journalism the process of innovation itself is the central concept, treating business, technology, politics, etc. as nested components of a news story. It is a ‘horizontal’ beat, spanning across the old beats, reporting on innovation processes and innovation ecosystems. Elina Noppari and Erkki Kauhanen have further defined innovation journalism as a kind of future journalism involving also cultural and social innovations emerging from outside of the ‘official innovation structures’.

Communication Research Centre CRC is pleased to invite everyone who thinks journalism and innovation is important to a one-day confence to discuss the role of journalism in understanding technological and social innovations.

Time: Friday, 25 September 2009, from 9 am until 5 pm

Venue: University of Helsinki Main Building, Fabianinkatu 33, Helsinki

Keynote speakers are Professor Kevin G. Barnhurst and David Nordfors, Executive director of the Research Center of Innovation Journalism, Stanford University.

Further contributors include Jyrki Alkio, Ulrik Haagerup, Risto Kunelius, Hannu Nieminen, Vilma Luoma-aho, Turo Uskali and Esa Väliverronen.

Conference language is English.

There is no registration fee. However, the number of participants is restricted due to limited seating; therefore, participation

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Innovation Journalism Conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia - Sep 3

The event is being organized by the European Journalism Centre and Vibacom, a business solutions company. The event will examine key points discussed at a Conference on Innovation Journalism which took place at Stanford University in the United States in May. It will also discuss innovation as a journalistic topic, the education and professional development of journalists and new media business models.

Accommodation and travel expenses will be covered by the organizers. The draft program is available here.

Interested applicants should send a CV (in English), including area of specialization and clips to Biba Klomp at or Estera Lah at

Monday, July 06, 2009

IJ-6 Conference Summary in Spanish

Mexican journalist Manuel Meneses Namihira from ID Investigacion Y Desarrollo has published a summary in Spanish of IJ-6, the Sixth Conference on Innovation Journalism, Stanford University May 18-20 2009. Manuel's summary is here. The official website of IJ-6 is here.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Keynote at the Innovation @ Creative Industries Conference in Berlin

Projekt Zukunft Berlin - the futurist initiative of the city of Berlin organized the conference "Innovation @ Creative Industries", and invited me to make the opening keynote. The conference website is here.

Here is the short description of the event:
Creativity and innovation are of key importance for the economic and social well-being of Europe’s cities. At this, creative industries play an important role due to many reasons: They are a major source of innovative ideas. They offer services and products which contribute to the innovative activities of other entrepreneurs within and outside the creative industries. And by being intense technology users and fast trend follower they often demand even more new developments. Yet, the high impact of creative and cultural workers on the cities’ innovation performance is often not widely known.

Therefore, the international and high profile conference „Innovation @ Creative Industries“ brings together 200 creative workers, artists and key stakeholders from public, private and NGO sectors around Europe to reveal the benefits of the booming creative industries and approaches to stimulate their contribution to innovation capacity of regions.

Here is the keynote I delivered at the event:

I wish to thank the organizers for inviting me to speak here today. This is an important event. The creative industries are important in the innovation economy – not only as an industry among others producing innovation, but as a part of the mindset that drives innovation, that enables society to incubate ideas and transform them into value, across the spectrum of human activity.

Also, Berlin is my mother’s home town, which makes it an extra treat to be here.

The VINNOVA-Stanford Research Center of Innovation Journalism at Stanford University is based on three new concepts: Innovation Journalism, attention work and the Innovation Communication System. Innovation Journalism is Journalism covering innovation. It tells us how innovation happens, covering the innovation processes and the innovation ecosystems that nowadays determine our futures. In 2003, I did a Google search, and got thousands of hits on the expressions technology journalism and business journalism, but zero hits on innovation journalism. Journalists were covering innovation, but there was no name for it. It was done within traditional news beats – technology or business or politics or culture. But innovation is not about technology OR business OR politics. Innovation is about the combination of them. Innovation journalism can be seen as a horizontal news beat, crossing the traditional news beats.

People think innovation something techie. As a physicist and techie myself, I will stick out my neck and say that innovation is about language. Every innovation is an innovation in language. It needs a name so we can call it something. It needs a definition so we know what it is. And it needs a story, so that we can relate to it. If any of these three things are missing, the innovation will not happen.

I suggest society can not innovate faster than it can create new shared language. Society has an infrastructure for creating new shared language, for example journalism, communication and PR. Today we live in an attention economy, where attention is a scarce commodity. It has attention workers – people who generate and broker attention professionally. These are, for example, journalists working for ad-based media, or communicators and PR people. They are all stakeholders in public attention, and when there is public attention, then shared language is more easily created.

They are key players in the innovation communication system, which influences the flows of attention around innovation issues.

Innovation journalism, attention work and innovation communication systems are concepts that are constructive for discussing how innovation systems work, how innovation happens. They help society create new shared language around innovation processes and ecosystems.

Innovation journalism connects the innovation economy and the democratic society, which are not well connected today. I get worried when I hear innovation business leaders in democracies speak highly about the innovation policies of governments in non-democratic countries, at the same time expressing frustration over the lack of good policies by their democratically elected governments in Europe. I think this is because we lack the ability to have a public discussion around innovation issues. There is little incentive for elected politicians to spend much time on innovation, when journalism is not organized in a way that it is able to cover it.

The EU is hopefully recognizing this, and I hope they will address journalism and the creative industry it in their policies for developing Europe as the worlds leading innovation economy. Innovation funding can be used for developing innovation journalism, VINNOVA in Sweden is doing it already, as are Tekes and Sitra in Finland, together with the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation. More countries will hopefully do it, and hopefully more of the creative industry can be involved.

Storytelling is very important for innovation. Innovation needs vision and scenarios, and they need to be imaginative and inspiring. It needs new metaphors, introducing us to new things by analogies to things we already know.

We only need to look back at the role of science fiction to realize how important creative storytelling is for innovation. Science fiction gave us grand fantasies of futures shaped by scientific discoveries and technological progress. We grew up reading about how the interaction between people and technology conquered the universe. When these stories were written, they were fantasies, made to tickle and entertain. But in fact they were blueprints of the future. Young people got inspired, and chose educations and professions that enabled them to make the science fiction stories come true.

These science fiction stories were powerful, because they put science and technology into a social context, fantasizing about how it would change the human mind, the way societies work, and culture and art. We can see the results today.

And still, science fiction was until recently not considered good literature.

Our parents and teachers rarely looked upon science fiction as a respected form of literature. They preferred we read the classics.

The thing about science fiction was that it bridged popular science, technology and the humanities. That is tricky. The British scientist and novelist C.P. Snow gave in 1959 a well known lecture about how the breakdown of communication between the "two cultures" of modern society — the sciences and the humanities — saying it was a major hindrance to solving the world's problems. He noted that “literary intellectuals” felt no requirement to know anything about science and technology, they would even take pride in not knowing anything about it.

Innovation is often about bridging and mixing things that are separated, and this there comes with challenges for the innovators. It will trigger controversies and there will be politics. Think of, for example, convergence in information technology, where phone companies and computer companies are finding themselves increasingly in the same business, going from being complementary to being competing. That comes with a lot of politics both within organizations and between them.

Many useful innovations fail, because they did not manage to build a constituency, they lost the politics.

And even when innovations succeed, the innovators may fail. Entrepreneurs know how difficult it is to survive success. They need to be good politicians.

Innovation will continue to increase, and so will the politics, as our whole society gets increasingly affected.

The world economy is going through a fundamental shift. Economic growth used to be driven by doing more of the same. Now it is more about the new replacing the old. In the more-of-the-same economy, we switched our phones when the old one broke, in the innovation economy we switch our phones because we want the newer models.

In the more-of-the-same economy, researchers lived apart from the market people. The researchers focused on the future, while the market people played the more-of-the-same game. There was a chasm separating the techies and the market folks, they had different interests, different priorities and different languages. A version of C.P. Snows two cultures in the industrial economy.

Today, in the innovation economy, every launch of a product, process or service, is just a step on the way, a preparation for the next launch. The most important thing now, is to work on what comes next. That is the nature of the innovation economy. This means that researchers and market people are moving closer to each other, they need to bridge the techie and the market cultures. We need to bridge that to politics and the broader society, as well.

Many people still think of innovation as something very technological. This is a reason to why C.P. Snow’s “humanities culture” has until recently not cared very much about it, some people taking pride in being ignorant about it. Unfortunately, leading newsrooms live with the cultural divide between science and tech on one hand and the humanities and social issues on the other hand. This is not helpful for the democratic society in the innovation age.

The humanities are as important for innovation as science, technology and business. But most important of all is to bridge between them, to let social aspects, arts and humanities interact with science, technology and business in the same story.

Now, at the core of innovation there must be creativity, free spirit, and radical thought. The key value of an innovative society is not acceptance. It is tolerance. No entrepreneur will expect to be accepted all the time, few people will know what they are doing or the potential significance of it. But new initiatives need to be tolerated, so they can develop to the stage when people will be able to accept them.

My grandmother was a psychologist here in Berlin in the 30s, working closely with Wilhelm Reich. Reich was free-spirited and provocative. He changed the world by marrying two concepts: sexuality and revolution, he coined the expression “the sexual revolution”, planting one of the seeds for the youth rebellion and counterculture of the 60s. The “Sexual revolution” was a social innovation, not a technological innovation or a business innovation, but it has driven technological and business innovations, for example in healthcare.

It is the concept is the essence of an invention, and how this concept succeeds in creating change is what is the essence of innovation. This is the difference between invention and innovation. An invention can be done by one single inventor. But in order to be an innovation, it needs to engage people and make some change to their lives. Innovations are the outcome of innovation processes driven by ecosystems of stakeholders.

And, I will continue to repeat, innovation is about people.

Doug Engelbart in Silicon Valley is known as “the inventor of the mouse”. Doug is a pioneer of human-computer interaction, the invention of the mouse was only a small part of his big contribution, which was manifested in the so called “mother of all demos”, where he and his team at SRI in 1969 demonstrated live a fully functioning computer network with computers running interactive text, video conferencing, teleconferencing, email, and hypertext, using a mouse. The idea behind the demo was to show how computers may help people interact better with each other.

Before getting his job at SRI, Doug had missed a number of job opportunities by saying that computers could be used for augmenting human intelligence, when everybody knew that computers should be used for automation. He said that computers should be small, when everybody knew that the bigger computers were, the better they were. Doug was bridging C.P. Snows two cultures, but few people on either side knew what he was talking about.

The people working with Doug were hippies, children of Wilhelm Reich’s sexual revolution, which was big stuff in California in the end of the sixties. They were young intelligent revolutionaries trying out LSD and and testing programming computers so that they would produce artistic sounds and patterns that would assist transcendental meditation. They loved reading science fiction. For them, technology and humanities were the same. That mindset shaped the way we relate to computers today.

Doug’s higher goal has remained throughout his life. He says we need to develop our collective intelligence in society, so that we can solve the big complex problems that are threatening humanity, like nuclear wars, global warming or pandemics. For this, he says, we need to develop technology that develops us. He talks about the “human system” and the “tool system”, where the humans develop the tools and the tools develop the humans. That is the core of the collective intelligence. When Doug spoke at my yearly journalism conference at Stanford two years ago, he pointed at journalism s the perceptive system of our collective intelligence. Not the sensory system, but the perceptive system, that helps us formulate concepts and deliberate what they mean. That is another way of describing the importance of creative industry in the innovation economy. Storytelling, creativity and art needs to be there.

Now let’s talk a bit about the risks that entrepreneurial innovators have to live with. For their visions to come true, they have to engage people around them, to bring in different stakeholders. They will need to play politics, and they need to do it good, because they are stirring the pot, and they are connecting things that people often feel don’t belong together.

In Silicon Valley, innovations are nowadays often developed by small companies, that then are acquired by bigger companies, except for small companies that themselves grow into big companies, like Google. This is a trend that we can see coming to the rest of the world. There is something with big companies, which makes it difficult for them to innovate radically. Not impossible, but still difficult.

This is what I call “the intrapreneur’s dilemma”. An intrapreneur is an entrepreneur who innovates inside an existing organization. The “intrapreneur’s dilemma” goes like this:

When someone tries to innovate within a traditional organization,
few will understand what he/she is doing,
but everybody will understand who is a trouble-maker.

After the innovation has been embraced by the organization,
few will remember who started it,
but everybody will remember who was a trouble-maker.

This is the dilemma encountered by many intrapreneurs - they risk punishment for success. Organizations that want to be innovative need to find solutions to the intrapreneur's dilemma and its consequences, if they don't wish to set negative examples that will scare off people from intrapreneurship. Here is an example: as long as a new project is of little impact and not well understood, the intrapreneur will be fighting for its continuation while others may ignore its existence or perhaps wonder why it should be allowed to steal attention from the more important core activities. Once a project has impact and receives recognition, incumbents within the organization will want to influence or control it. People may reason that 'a project as important as this one should not be run by a trouble-maker'.

Many entrepreneurs I know say it is futile to be an intrapreneur. Any entrepreneurial spirit must leave and start their own startup. Then they are in a better position to balance the forces, so that they can come out on top.

This can be true, but it can also be that there are ways of organizing companies and societies so that creativity and innovation can be a part of the system, without killing off the creators and innovators.

In order for us to discuss these very important issues, we need the creative industry. We need storytellers of all sorts, who can earn their living on helping society develop shared narratives about how we can change things for the better, how we can solve problems, and that can stimulate our brains with creative visions and scenarios about what our lives can look like. Just like science fiction did.

But keep in mind that this requires creative storytelling that is horizontal. We need to bridge C.P. Snows two cultures to succeed. The storytelling should not preserve and isolate the silos in society. It should punch through the silos, and help people understand how they relate to other people in the system, who have very different skills from their own. When the creative industry does this, it will be a central component of the innovation economy.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Injo talk @ Copenhagen Business School - Danish Injo Research Scholarship

Here is a press release by the Copenhagen Business School about my talk there. The purpose of the talk is to interest Danish researchers to apply to be a visiting researcher at the VINNOVA-Stanford Research Center of Innovation Journalism. The scholarship is funded by DASTI, the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, represented in the Silicon Valley by Lars Beer Nielsen. Lars and I are in touch about the scholarship. (Full press release available on the Copenhagen Business School website)

For journalism to survive, it must succeed with innovation. Journalism needs to innovate to survive as a business. Citizens, students, workers, executives, all of us need to innovate in response to tectonic economic upheaval.

Dr Nordfors will present his research on Innovation journalism and introduce the opportunity for a scholarship at Stanford.
Do you want to do research in Innovation Journalism at Stanford?

As part of a partnership agreement between the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation (DASTI) and Stanford we invite PhD students and scientists employed by a Danish University or a Danish public research institution to submit applications for visiting scholarships at Center for Innovation Journalism at Stanford University. The visiting scholarship is for a total of four months for the fall of 2009 or the spring of 2010.
Executive Director at the Center for Innovation Journalism at Stanford University Dr. David Nordfors will be at Copenhagen Business School Thursday June 25th 2009 where he will explain about the visiting scholarship and the research program at Center for Innovation Journalism.

About David Nordfors:
David Nordfors is co-founder and Executive Director of the VINNOVA Stanford Research Center of Innovation Journalism at Stanford University. 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 Media, and is taking part in the World Economic Forum Global Redesign Initiative.

The details:
DASTI pays a slotting fee to Stanford, which covers the various administrative costs associated with the visit at Stanford by the visiting scholar from Denmark. In addition to the Visiting Scholarship, a Visiting Scholar has the possibility of receiving a prepaid travel grant of 10.000 DKK from DASTI. Visiting Scholars will accordingly have to fund their own lodging and living expenses and assume responsibility for their own salaries, benefits, and health insurance.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Nordic Conference on Innovation Journalism

The Finnish Innovation Journalism research initiative is organizing a Nordic Conference on Innovation Journalism, taking place on Sep 25 at the University of Helsinki.

The conference is named "Weather Casters of the Future? - The Role of Journalism in Understanding Technological and Social Innovations". The conference is sponsored by the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation. I will be attending the conference as a keynote speaker.

The Finnish Injo initiative was started in 2005 by media entrepreneur Seppo Sisätto, and has in recent years been spearheaded by Turo Uskali. The Finnish initiative, backed by Helsingin Sanomat Foundation, SITRA and Tekes, includes a major research project - Global Innovation Journalism - performed in collaboration between the Universities of Helsinki, Jyväskylä and Tampere.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

IJ-6 Conference Sum-Up

IJ-6 The Sixth Conference on Innovation Journalism took place at Stanford on May 18-20 2009. The conference carried the title "Task: Journalism succeeding with innovation". It was the most successful IJ-conference so far. For details about what was going on, check out the conference website.

IJ-6 hosted 241 people from 15 countries. This is our record so far, last year we had around 180 participants. The conference had a new format this year - instead of lots of panel discussion following each other, we arranged massively parallel workshops, so that all participants could take part in discussing topics that interested them. It was very successful. We had only three plenary presentations the two first days - all of them keynote sessions, which I had the pleasure to moderate.

The opening keynote was delivered by Vint Cerf, "father of the Internet" and Chief Internet Evangelist of Google, who co-invented TCP/IP and co-founded the Internet-culture. We had a surprise visit by Doug Engelbart, who sat in with us on stage for the Q&A. Doug invented the computer mouse, as a part of demonstrating the first computer system with GUI, videoconferencing, teleconferencing, email and hypertext. Doug's lab at SRI was responsible for more breakthrough innovation than possibly any other lab before or since.

It was good to have them both on stage at the same time, they both have a big part in changing the world. The picture with both of them will be something to show the grandchildren one day. Both Vint and Doug take an interest in the future of journalism and are friends of the Injo Initiative at Stanford. Vint is on our advisory board, and keynoted once before, at IJ-3. Doug keynoted IJ-4.

The second keynote was by Curt Carlson, President SRI International, followed by a panel of three ace journalists: Gregg Zachary - now working with developing journalism in Africa, Michael Kanellos from Greentech Media and Eric Eldon from Venturebeat. Curt is just like Vint and Doug a regular guest of IJ-conference, and he is a member of our advisory board. Curt has a particularly deep understanding of how innovation happens, the impact it has on the world, his knowledge spans across tech, business and politics, and he is at home on all these arenas. The discussion among them was how journalism is managing to cover innovation today.

The third keynote was given by Jason Pontin, CEO and Editor in Chief of the Technology Review - which won a gold medal for best technology magazine last year. Jason's point was that for a publication to survive, the leadership needs to know both journalism business and content, it's not enough to know only one of them. He was joined by Amir Jahangir, CEO of SAMAA TV from Pakistan, and Thomas Frostberg, Senior Business Columnist of Sydsvenska Dagbladet from Sweden.

The third day of IJ-6 was dedicated to two parallel tracks, whereof one was case studies from the practice of innovation journalism in various places around the world.

The other one was the Academic Track, held for the first time this year. When we made the call for papers we expected perhaps half a dozen contributions - Innovation Journalism is a very new research topic. We got many submissions, and could accept no less than 20 papers. The Academic Track has a website of its own, where the conference papers are available - check out

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Location-Awareness Story Wins Stanford InJo Pick Contest

Wired Magazine’s Contributing Editor Mathew Honan’s story ”I Am Here: One Man’s Experiment With the Location-Aware Lifestyle” has been chosen as Stanford InJo Pick 2009: The Best Innovation Journalism Story & Journalist of the Year. Honans’ story described his experiences after starting to share his iPhone’s location with everyone in San Francisco.

The choice was made by over 200 attendees of IJ-6 The Sixth Conference on Innovation Journalism at Stanford University. Sixteen stories were nominated by Stanford Innovation Journalism 2009 Fellows from five different countries and discussed in depth by attendees in 16 separate groups, led by the proposing Fellow and attended by the nominated article writer.

Founder and Editor of Earth2Tech Katie Fehrenbacher received the second place award with ”The Story of Grid Net: How Ray Bell is Betting WiMAX Can Fix the Grid.”

Xconomy’s Chief Correspondent Wade Roush was voted to third place. His story was ”SiOnyx Brings ”Black Silicon” into the Light; Material Could Upend Solar, Imaging Industries.”

Monday, May 18, 2009


David Nordfors
Founding Executive Director,Tthe VINNOVA-Stanford Research Center of Innovation Journalism
H-STAR Institute
Stanford University

18 May 2009, Stanford University

Welcome to IJ-6, the Sixth Conference on Innovation Journalism.

Thank you all for coming here, especially you who have travelled all the way from Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Slovenia, Pakistan, Israel, France, Chile, Mexico, UK, Korea and Kenya.

Thank you also to the funding organizations that are making the Innovation Journalism Initiative and IJ-6 possible. Above all, thanks to VINNOVA, the National Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems, that initiated the collaboration with Stanford in 2004, and who partnered with Stanford in upgrading the Innovation Journalism program to a research center this year - the VINNOVA-Stanford Research Center of Innovation Journalism. We are now a part of H-STAR, the Human Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research Institute here at Stanford, and we are really looking forward to build a solid body of research that will add further traction to our other activities. Thanks to the agencies and foundations that have made it possible for journalists and researchers from around the world to join the center at Stanford: the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation, Sitra and Tekes in Finland, the Competitive Support Fund and the USAID in Pakistan, Ad Futura in Slovenia and Conacyt in Mexico.

These are turbulent times for the media. When we started the Innovation Journalism program in 2004, the word 'blog' was quite new. Inside the newsrooms, people were discussing if blogs were to be taken seriously or not. Our Injo Fellow Marcus Lillkvist wrote the first story in Wall Street Journal on that blogs were getting ads, and that some blogs were earning enough money to hire people to work with them. The blogs contained mostly news from the paper publications. Today, online publication is in the lead.

In 2005 we recorded a roundtable discussion with Vint Cerf, Whit Diffie and a number of other experts and journalists. On the cover we wrote 'journalism stands at the crossroads of redefinition'. Vint was in the middle of switching jobs, going from Worldcom to Google. Since then, nearly all journalists in that video have switched jobs. Vint is still at Google.

The media industry is facing a business challenges, their business model is bust in several ways. Controlling the infrastructure for distribution of content was the key to making money. Control the production, control the distribution, control the content. When your channel of information gets public attention, sell that attention to advertisers by letting them pay to push their info through your infrastructure. People could control printing presses, fleets of trucks distributing freshly printed paper, broadcast concessions. But they can not control the Internet. In fact, as we move toward Net Neutrality - a concept promoted by Vint and many people in the Internet culture, where those who control the infrastructure of the Internet are forced to not censor the content - it may become illegal to try doing it. The trend in the media just now is to move away from vertical integration. Those who produce content are moving away from controlling the infrastructure, such as is the case with blogs. And those who control the infrastructure are moving away from producing and controlling the content, such as the companies providing the cables, the ISPs, and companies offering tools for aggregating and organizing information and transactions, such as Google, Facebook, or eBay.

In the eighties software industry broke out from the hardware industry. In the nineties network services broke out from the network infrastructure providers. Perhaps we are seeing now how content is breaking out of the media. We will have an industry providing the infrastructure for spreading content - like Facebook, Google or eBay - and other industries providing content, among them the journalism industry. A number of these players are earning their money by selling our attention to advertisers, and we are offered a greater variety of products and services in return for directing our eyballs here or there. Our attention used to give us news and entertainment. Now it's giving us tools as well, for example Blogs, word processing, search engines. That's actually not bad. But it will be bad if it ends up with that attention gives us only tools, and no good content. We need both.

This also means that the definition of journalism needs to be looked over.

According to the Oxford dictionary on the Internet,, a journalist is, I quote, "a person who writes for newspapers or magazines, or prepares news or features to be broadcast on radio or television". Ironically, Oxford's Internet dictionary does not say a word about journalism on the Internet. But just pushing in the Internet in that sentence won't solve the problem. The problem is, we have been used to identifying the content with the carrier. This is understandable, because that was the way it was. But today, no more. Here is another example of how we have identified the content with the carrier: LPs and CDs used to mean music. Today CDs are no more pieces of plastic with music information on them. We rip the music and toss the plastic. LPs represent memories of old times, when vinyl was music and vice versa. But the cat is out of the bag, the information has broken free, the vertical integration is broken, and all the kings horses and all the kings men can't put Humpty back together again, with the possible exception of Steve Jobs, who seems to have brought back vertical integration to some extent with the iMac, and with the iPod, iPhone and iTunes. He is earning good money on it and people like it. So let's be careful with saying that vertical integration is gone from the news business forever. But we won't go back to old times.

We must look at how we can redefine journalism. It still means something, even if it is not brought to us on paper, through the radio or TV. It remains valuable. The old definitions related journalism to the medium. How about defining journalism by its relations to its constituency? How about talking about what journalism does for people, rather than stating which infrastructure it uses for spreading the information? For example, we can define journalism as the production of news stories, bringing public attention to issues of public interest. Journalism gets its mandate from the audience. It is required to act in the interest of the audience. This was valid for good newspapers, and it remains to be valid without newspapers. We are talking about the principles of journalism, that's what defines journalism. So when we are talking about the crisis in the media industry, we are perhaps not trying to address how to save the old business models, or how media should continue to be controlled by those who produce the content. We are talking about the importance of finding business models for the principles of journalism.

We need to adopt new definitions and find new models, or things might get worse. For example, in some countries around the world, public service broadcast is payed for by placing a fee on TVs, radios and other equipment used for taking part of public service content. The companies that collect these fees are very committed to the task. Now that public service TV is broadcast online, they are stating their intentions to collect public service fees on all personal computers. I guess all cell phones will soon be next. How much sense does that make? And as long as the production of public service journalism is payed for by these fees, the public service news organizations will be stepping on their own eggs when reporting on any Internet issues.

Which brings us to the next issue. Given that journalism will develop a strong innovation system, enabling it to continuously renew itself, so that it like the rest of the information industry is always aiming at the next product rather than aiming to prolong the lives of its earlier ones, what is its mission in society?

Society is going through a fundamental change. We are getting less driven by doing more of the same, and more driven by making new things replace the old. Curt Carlson, who is speaking later today, defines innovation as the process of creating and introducing new value in society. That's what is driving society more and more, not doing more of the old stuff. Power structures are shifting as a consequence. In a more of the same economy, power is in regulation. When society is driven by the introduction of new things, innovation often trumps regulation. Look for example at music. Innovation means that everything gets more connected. In the more of the same economy, it's easier to divide the labor, to establish professions following established routines, to write textbooks about how things were always done and how they should continue to be done. In the more of the same economy, people can group together with other people doing the same things as themselves, focus on that part and not communicate much with the rest of the world. In the innovation economy, however, everything is changing, technologies, business models and policies shape each other interactively, and everything becomes everyones business.

People in society need journalism to tell them the story of how the innovation economy hangs together, where the power is, how science, technology, business and politics co-evolve, and how this depends on and changes cultures. Doug Engelbart is suggesting we need to be connected in a collective intelligence, so that we can solve fundamental challenges, such as global warming, pandemics, the threat of nuclear wars, and so on. But our communication is limited by our shared language. How do we collectively develop words and stories that enable us to talk about the things we benefit best from talking about, and which enable us to find solutions, build wealth and happiness? Journalism is an obvious player, Doug has said he sees it as the perception system of our collective intelligence. Not the sensory system, but the perception system.

When we look it how we are interacting collectively today, it is valid to ask if we are heading for collective intelligence or if we are heading for collective neurosis. Here, again, the importance of matching business models and principles of journalism are important. We definitely need good business models promoting the principles of journalism, offering an incentive for directing public attention to issues of public interest, and facilitating a public dialogue which will deliver the greatest value to the audience. Without good business models for journalism, the players for public attention will soon be dominated not by those representing the audience - i.e. the journalists - but by those representing the sources - i.e. PR. I like both PR and journalism, they are both needed. They are both a part of the ecosystem that will hopefully direct our collective attention to maximize our collective intelligence.

In todays innovation economy people need professional news organizations, driven by incentives to represent the interest of the audience, to cover innovation so that people can engage, and can create maximum value for themselves and others. It needs to interact with other professionals, representing stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem, who also are playing for the public attention. Together they form the innovation communication ecosystem.

That is what the Innovation Journalism conference is about, and we will today and tomorrow, with the help of the Innovation Journalism Fellows 2009, discuss various aspects of how journalism can best play its part in the innovation economy. The workshops are defined and moderated by the Fellows, who will be summarizing some bullets on best practices. We will be doing it in two ways. Today we are looking at themes - "How tos". Tomorrow we will be meeting journalists who have covered innovation well - our Injo Picks 2009 - and talk with them about how things are done the best way.

All the workshops are organized by our Injo Fellows 2009: Christian Borg, Ellen Andersson, Fredrik Wass, Jörgen Lindqvist, Kerstin Sjöden and Mats Lewan from Sweden. Anna Kattan, Anu Partanen, Juha-Pekka Tikka and Jussi Rosendahl from Finland. Afzal Bajwa, Hamza Habib, Mubarak Zeb Khan and Sarah Hasan from Pakistan. Sabina Vrhnjak from Slovenia and David Luna from Mexico. Both Slovenia and Mexico are in the program for the first time this year.

This year we also have for the first time a special academic track on the the innovation ecosystems and the news. which takes place on wednesday in parallel with other interesting talks from the field. Just like innovation is new as a keyword for journalism, journalism is new as a keyword for research on innovation. I hope we will get a good dialogue between journalists and academics, it is really needed in order to move forward. The people who have put together the academic track are Vilma Luoma-aho, our Helsingin Sanomat Foundation Visiting Injo Researcher from the university of Jyväskylä in Finland, Marc Ventresca, Professor at Said Business School in Oxford and Senior Scholar at the VINNOVA Stanford Research Center of Innovation Journlaism at Stanford; and Turo Uskali from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, former visiting researcher with us here at Stanford.

We should also be very grateful to Johanna Mansor, without who two stones would not be standing on top of each other here today. Thanks to John Joss, who is checking all the texts by all the Fellows and will be taking part in the moderation of the conference. We also are very grateful to all of our members on the Directors Advisory Board: Vint Cerf, Curt Carlson, David Demarest, Anders Flodstrom, Don Kennedy and Jacob Ziv, and the Program Advisors of our Center who are here today, who each are carrying a part in building the global initiative: Violeta Bulc, Turo Uskali, Amir Jahangir and Rick Horning. Final thanks to our friends that have given us advice on the conference: Mei-Lin Fung, Allison Murdock, Lisa Friedman, Laszlo Gyorffy.