The chairman of Nokia and Royal Dutch Shell, Jorma Ollila, will deliver the Innovation Crystal prize awarded for a particularly well-produced innovation-related story in Helsinki, Finland on the 25th of March. This is the fourth time the Finnish Society for Innovation Journalism (www.finjo.fi) arranges the competition that this year has attracted a record number of nominations. The event also marks a new momentum for Finjo that under its new chairman, Carl-Gustav Linden, a 2008 participant in the Innovation Journalism program at Stanford, is raising its profile in the debate on the future of this country with just over five million inhabitants.
Finland is profiled as the world´s first country that implemented an Innovation Policy Program based on R&D and knowledge, as early as 1990. Finjo, founded three years ago, is another first; so far the only association in the world formally committed to Innovation Journalism, that is journalism about innovation and innovations in journalism. The word innovation is somewhat tainted by hype and rhetoric.
“I think it´s easier to get the message through if we talk about renewal processes or social change. I also believe that the deep recession Finland and parts of the world is in right now makes the issue more urgent and people more responsive. It’s a sort of Finland 2.0 discourse”, says Carl-Gustav Linden who is a business writer and researcher at University of Helsinki.
Finjo brings a broad variety of experts together –journalists, communication specialists, researchers, bureaucrats and business people for sharing thoughts on topics varying from the effects of social media to the R&D policy of the European Union. Openness is maybe one of the strongest assets of Finland and the rest of the Nordic countries, where Linux and MySQL are just two examples of where open and voluntary collaboration can lead.
“Even though Finland has been ahead of the rest in forming innovation policy there is a need for politicization and democratization and I believe Finjo is be just the right venue for these discussions”, says Carl-Gustav Linden.