Thursday, April 27, 2006

What? Is it important to evaluate the clusters?

Emiliano Duch, President of Competitiveness and a founding member of TCI, discusses how to evaluate clusters.

I’m at the The Competitiveness Institute - TCI symposium on evaluation of clusters in Barcelona. Michael Porter at Harvard Business School made the idea famous outside the academic area.

For a government like Vinnova, where I work, clusters simplify practical issues like training, infrastructure development and procurement. They are an effective and popular way to stimulate regional economic growth.
How do you evaluate a cluster initiative? (They are all publicly funded.) Well, it turns out that governments mostly don’t evaluate.

Christian Ketels at Harvard Business School and Stockholm School of Economics have written a good basic about evaluation of clusters.

This symposium is not an academic exercise (conceptual, experts talking about objects, etc), but a very hands-on way on deciding what are the most important issues and how to achieve them.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

(almost) new blog on Innovation Journalism

Turo Uskali from University of Jyväskylä in Finland, visiting Scholar in Innovation Journalism at Stanford, has been blogging about innovation journalism since December. His blog is "Innovation and Journalism".

Monday, April 24, 2006

Podcasting Premiere

I've been talking a lot about trying to podcast, but now it's the time. The conference in Slovenia was podcasted. Here's the Hallelujah choir, excerpt from The Messiah by Händel, performed by Collegium Cantorum, Uppsala Domkyrka. Recorded March 2000. (Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License).

Podcasting Premiere

I've been talking a lot about trying to podcast, but now it's the time. The conference in Slovenia was podcasted. Here's the Hallelujah choir, excerpt from The Messiah by Händel, performed by Collegium Cantorum, Uppsala Domkyrka. Recorded March 2000. (Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License). My modesty prohibits me to name one of the participants... ;-)

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Innovation Journalism program started in Slovenia

Slovenian mineral water available at the conference that tasted like the smell of my shaving soap. Quite original. More photos from the conference.

I was invited as a key note speaker to the “Stanford po Stanfordu” innovation journalism conference at the University of Ljubljana 20 April. I’m very impressed how far and fast the program in Slovenia is moving. They got hold of the concept less than a year ago and have now signed a Letter of Intent for the Innovation Journalism program with the University of Stanford by the University of Ljubljana and the Technology Agency of Slovenia (TIA). And I find myself an honourable advisor to the program.

Slovenia is a small country (2 million citizens), but small countries have also its advantages. Sweden is often a test lab for new technology, and Slovenia is a perfect test bed for this concept. When you get people interested in a topic you can really get all levels of society to cooperate.

Most of the conference was in Slovenian, but there is a conference blog in English. The discussions were mostly on the same topics as we have in Sweden.

There are four daily newspapers in Slovenia, selling no more than 240.000 copies. Slovenia traditionally has good journalism schools. The faculty of journalism at Ljubljana University where the conference took place has been around since the 1970’s. It was the first in all former communist countries. The media legislation in the Republic of Slovenia is surprisingly modern, almost like the Swedish. The constitution is explicit in giving the right to obtain ‘information of public nature’, given a ‘legal interest, based on the law’. More here:

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Stanford after Stanford

"We all need to learn how to talk to each other, how to cooperate. Sweden, Finland, Silicon Valley are not by coincidence the drivers of global change. Probably the strongest differentiation factor is the networks that they have… their way of cross functional cooperation."

Exactly! It’s all about getting people talk to each other. And magic happens if people from different disciplines talk to each other about the same problem.

Innovation comes from new looks at old problems; when people see beyond their expertise and together approach situations actively and in new combinations. Great breakthroughs often develop as a result of a combination of ideas from different fields, not within one specialized field only. Innovations occur at the intersection of multiple fields or interest areas, where ideas and opinions from different fields and cultures meet and diverge, to form new discoveries and solutions.

Most people have a core competence where they have developed expertise. You also have to have an “open attitude” for new approaches and learn new ideas. It just struck me that innovators are often self-taught (at least Swedish). They educate themselves intensely and often have a broad learning experience, having excelled in one field and learned another. Broad education and the ability to self-educate appear to be two keys to learning differently. The Swedish National Agency for Education and the Swedish National Agency for School Improvement has a special action programme for “lifelong learning”, to be able to learn in any stage of life. It is all purposeful learning activities whether formal, non-formal or informal like literature, media, and experience of life.

It is also essential to have a supportive environment. If you’re too much rebel, you’re rejected. It you’re too much conformist, you’re not innovating. The problem is all people who find themselves in environments where they are forced to specialize. (I have a lot of that experience
myself, but finally found a place where I feel can use all my knowledge and experience)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Blogs, punk rock and some thoughts on the conference

Finally the conference is over. I was surprised to see how many international initiatives that had been started since last year. And France is coming too. I talked to Frédéric Miribel, Chargé d’études économiques at the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Lyon, who was very interested in starting an innovation journalism program. That will be discussed at conference Clusters 2006 in October 9-13, in Lyon.

There was a lot of discussion on blogs and journalism. One big blogging issue is the (lack of) quality. So what? What blogs do is making it harder charging for bad journalism. There is a lot of crappy journalism being printed today. With blogs you can get all that crap for free plus the good ones. The blogs are just new competition to the traditional media and that is a good thing for the readers. For the moment there is a jungle out there, but I am convinced that we soon will have ways of finding quality. The change in the media landscape today is no more different that is was with the tabloids during the 1900th century or the radio in the 1930’s. People learn too choose and find tools: there are ratings, reviews, editors, friends, and sometimes we even decide ourselves.

I find that the blogosphere is a bit like the punk rock movement. An anti-establishment movement with a provoking frankness of expression, with strains of social and political relevance, that is missing in established industry. In other words: “the current media sucks and we publish what we like to read.”

In general it struck me that many of the speakers from The Big Publishers were defending themselves: “We do cover…”, We do write about…”, We do use internet/blogs/whatever…” It would be more interesting to discuss what the new media can do, instead of cross-examine the old papers. For next year I would like to see more video bloggers, web magazines and podcasters.

Not surprisingly there also was a lot of discussion if there is a need for a new label “innovation journalism”. The question does not have any answer, but the discussion is necessary and personally I think the discussion is the issue. It’s like the question “What’s good music?” To paraphrase Duke Ellington: Journalism is a category of writing. But everything that goes into the paper/web is not good journalism. If it’s about innovation it’s innovation journalism. And it depends on who’s reading how much innovation journalism it is.

To a certain point we need labels to be able to identify different topics. And I do believe that we should change the way journalistic labels are now somewhat; journalism should not be put in one broad category.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

KTH starts Swedish Innovation Journalism Initiative university programme

KTH Learning Lab, part of the School of Scientific Information and Learning, will start Sweden’s first university programme in innovation journalism in 2006. The course is aimed at for working journalists and others who possess important skills and knowledge. The goal is to provide commissioned education in Innovation Journalism corresponding to 5 university credits.

The participants will get knowledge of the different players in innovation system and processes and their different ways of reasoning, analysing and behaving. Participants will also receive training in assembling complex information from different sources in order to create a realistic holistic view.

Parallel with the lectures, each participant will plan, carry out research and write articles dealing with innovations and innovation systems. Alumni from the Innovation Journalism Fellowship program will comment and provide critical feedback during participant work processes.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

More blogs on Innovation Journalism

Marco Formento – Cailloux Just a link. But still...

The final panel on the role of Journalism in Innovation Systems

Lisa Chiles, USAID/Pakistan Mission Director
Ellen Levy, Director of Industry Collaboration and Research, Media X, Stanford University; Network Advisor, Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Joseph Yang, Director of the Science & Technology Division of the Taipei Economical and Cultural Office (TECO) in San Francisco, Taiwan
Patrick Windham, Lecturer, Public Policy Program, Stanford University

The final panel discussion on the role of Journalism in Innovation Systems

Final Panel left
Originally uploaded by Innovation Journalism.
David Nordfors, Program Leader, Innovation Journalism, Stanford University
Karin Markides, Deputy Director General, VINNOVA, Sweden
Antti Hautamäki, Director of Innovation Research, SITRA, Finland; Visiting Scholar UC Berkeley School of Information, Finland
Markku Huusko, Arvopaperi Magazine, Finland

Innovation Journalism as an Essential Element in the new Endogenous Theory of Growth

Erkki Kauhanen
Originally uploaded by Innovation Journalism.
Erkki Kauhanen, Researcher and Journalist at the Journalism Research and Development Centre, University of Tampere in Finland gives a more philosophical view of innovation economy. It has in its core a dynamics that in terms of the so called new growth theory (NGT), is called endogenous growth. It is based on the idea of knowledge being a "non-rival good" (with relatively little extra cost that is) knowledge can multiply like a plant and it can therefore be used by several agents at the same time. That makes possible "increasing returns".

"One of the main alchemistic mechanisms whereby knowledge is turned into gold, or efficiency gains, is technological complementarities. It refers to old and new technologies (sensu lato) supporting each other, producing together more than each would have accomplished alone, thus opening new avenues of development.

It is claimed in this article that this dynamics is only possible on the condition of effective and efficient communication. Especially horizontal communication that 'transgresses' technological boundaries is important and fertile.

Usually economic theories treat the process of knowledge multiplication as a black box and do not pay attention to how it is happening. Therefore, all too often, it doesn't. Here innovation journalism has its most natural area of application."

The Role of Journalism in forming the Public Perception of a New Industry

Stine Grodal
Originally uploaded by Innovation Journalism.
Stine Grodal, Doctoral Candidate in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford, is talking about how media uses different word depending on what type of coverage it is. In this case a rhetoric analysis on the emergence of nanotechnology – Nano before it was Nano.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Basque Initiative on Journalism and Innovation

Patricia Valdenebro
Originally uploaded by Innovation Journalism.
Patricia Valdenebro, from the International Knowledge Cluster in Spain
is promoting a "Basque Network on Journalism & Innovation" where local journalists, editors and main communication and media agents from companies, research institutions, universities and administration can meet together and dialogue about innovation journalism, their needs and interests covering innovation. The final aim is to map future actions about innovation journalism that contribute to develop the Basque Innovation System with national and international connections.

Innovation Journalism program in Slovenia

Polona Pibernik
Originally uploaded by Innovation Journalism.
Polona Pibernik, Director at Mediade , is presenting the Innovation Journalism initiative in Slovenia.

Innovation Information and Journalism in Germany

Originally uploaded by Innovation Journalism.
Simone Huck, Assistant Professor for Corporate Communications, Department of Communication Science, University of Hohenheim in Germany, talks about the the German Innovation Communication Program. She presented the results of INNOVATE 2006, the second nationwide German trend survey on innovation communication in Germany. How innovations gets edited for different target groups or different media types, by want means of sources and media channels journalists and PR-experts learn about innovations, and what part the interconnection of economy, technology and social aspects of innovation editing in Germany.

Innovation Journalism program in Finland

Originally uploaded by Innovation Journalism.
Turo Uskali, Visiting Scholar, Innovation Journalism, Stanford,
describes the experiences from the first Innovation journalism pilot course for undergraduate students at University of Jyväskylä in Finland.

Innovation Journalism to fight poverty

Alisa Weinstein, Senior Editor, Innovation Journalism and Kevin Murphy, President, J.E. Austin Associates, between David Nordfors, are emphasizing the importance of innovation to fight poverty in underdeveloped countries. Kevin Murphy pointed out that the first goal is to change people’s mindset in those countries, which nowadays is fighting innovations. Innovation journalism has an important role to achieve that goal. (A lot of computers for the video connection to Pakistan)

Innovation Journalism Program in Pakistan

Amir Jahangir, Consultant Competitiveness Support Fund in Pakistan on a very shaky video Skype connection from Pakistan, explains the Innovation Journalism Program in Pakistan. They are planning to have more than 750 journalists in the program.

Day 3 of the 3rd Conference of Innovation Journalism

Yesterday was really exhausting. 12 hours in total, if you count the dinner reception afterwards.
P.H. Yang from The University of Hong Kong took some photos during the first 2 days of the Conference:

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Opening speech day 2

Curtis Carlson
Originally uploaded by Innovation Journalism.
Curtis Carlson, President of SRI International, talks about The Discipline of Innovation in his opening speech.

Good morning! Day 2 at the conference

More bloggers writing about the conference (during the night):
The Daily Me
File Sharing on The Web

More bloggers covering the conference

Frostberg i San Francisco
In Swedish only.

Webpronews. Ross Mayfield. Same post as below.

What's the deal with Podcasts?

David Hornik
Originally uploaded by Innovation Journalism.
David Hornik, August Capital, explains why podcasts are cool and why you can make money on them. He's right. (It turned out that he is a hobby musician) You should read his blog

Podcasts as Innovation Journalism - the business model

Rick Horning
Originally uploaded by Innovation Journalism.
Richard Horning, Principal at Fish & Richardson P.C. argues that aggregators are not a new concept (remember TV Guide), but could be very profitable.

Podcasts as Innovation Journalism - is it the content or?

Sam Perry
Originally uploaded by Innovation Journalism.
Sam Perry, Startup Adviser and a Fellow at the Reuters Digital Vision porogram agt Stanford, argues about the future of podcasts.

Podcasts as Innovation Journalism - investments

Paul Matteucci
Originally uploaded by Innovation Journalism.
Paul Matteucci, Partner at US Venture Partners explains why he invested $5.5M in Podtech, an Innovation Journalism startup.

Podcasts as Innovation Journalism

John Furrier
Originally uploaded by Innovation Journalism.
John Furrier, CEO, Podtech Networks Inc. talks about "New Platform. New Economics. New Realities."

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Another blog (well, sort of)

Other bloggers on the conference - so far

In English:
Ross Mayfield’s Weblog

In Swedish:
Erik Stattin’s My Markup
Peter Svensson’s Silicon Svensson

More panelists

Harry McCracken Editor-in-Chief PC World and Michael Kanellos Editor-at-Large CNET

Discussing the future of innovation journalism

Joel Dreyfuss Editor-in-Chief Red Herring and Harry McCracken Editor-in-Chief PC World discussing blogs and the new transparency of journalism. Don’t mix content with journalism.
Blogs have introduced real transparency into the process of journalism and beeing able to really criticize .

The panelist at the conference

John Furrier CEO Podtech Networks Inc, Tony Perkins Founder and Editor-in-Chief ALWAYSON, David Nordfors Senior Research Fellow Innovation Journalism Stanford and VINNOVA.

The panel

The panel
Originally uploaded by Innovation Journalism.
The panel at the conference discussing the future of innovation journalism.

Vint Cerf opening the conference

Originally uploaded by Innovation Journalism.
He used no Power Point presentation because “Power corrupts, and Power Point corrupts absolutely.” Absolutely correct. There are too many bad power points in the world. It’s around 200 attendees, a record number. International participants from Sweden (obviously), Finland (as usual), Germany, Slovenia, Pakistan.

Barbro Osher

Barbro Osher
Originally uploaded by Innovation Journalism.
The Conference has started. Almost. Some photos from the Buffet Reception at the honorary Consul General for Sweden in San Francisco Barbro Osher’s home. For more pics klick on the photo.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Third conference on Innovation Journalism at Stanford

It's time for the third conference on innovation Journalism, April 5 to 7. Vint Cerf, founding father of the Internet and Chief Internet Evangelist of Google will open the conference and have a pnel discussion with Harry McCracken, Editor-in-Chief, PC World; Joel Dreyfuss, Editor-in-Chief, Red Herring; Tony Perkins, Founder and Editor-in-Chief ALWAYSON; Michael Kanellos,Editor-at-Large, CNET and John Furrier, CEO, Podtech Networks. Also Matteucci from US Venture Partners will explain why he invested 5.5 MUSD in PodTech, an innovation journalism podcasting startup. And I will speak on Thursday afternoon.

Who needs ink? And btw, Save the Merc

“A Panel Discussion on the Future of Newspapers” at The Commonwealth Club of California in San José yesterday. You’ve seen the title before on seminars and speeches: Will Internet kill newspapers?” But I thought I’ll give it a try. The panel discussion was quite interesting, even though I’ve heard the same questions and answers many times before. And I also had the same agreements and disagreements.

Peter P. Appert, analyst at Goldman Sachs, Jerry Ceppos former News Editor at San José Mercury News, Joan Walsh from and Dan Gillmor discussed the topic together with Jim Bettinger Director at Knight Fellowships Program, Stanford.

I definitely agree with Peter Appert: There will still be a paper on your doorstep tomorrow and the next week. It’s all about finding the “new” business model for printed news.

It’s interesting to note that we had the same discussion in Sweden some years ago. Disregarded that newspaper reading are unproportionally high in Sweden, Swedish newspapers already have started to adapt to the Internet. And new printed ones have emerged. For example Metro (U.S. version. The original Swedish version) is a hugely successful Swedish printed newspaper innovation, with a completely new business model. It’s available for free at local public transport designed to be read the average time it takes to commute from the suburb to work. Today it’s the largest Swedish daily.

An interesting side effect with Metro is that young people’s knowledge of contemporary life and events has been notably better the last years in Sweden. They read Metro.

Internet it more threat against television. Internet ad revenue is rising, but TV commercials are declining. And ads in printed media is rising, especially job advertisements. (Statistics: The Swedish Newspaper Publishers’ Association)

I had a chat with some writers at the San José Mercury News, that’s up for sale. They were promoting to “preserve the paper’s quality journalism and civic commitment to the community.” I like the Merc even though I worked at the Chronicle.

Personally I like news papers for what they do, not what they are. And I would like to add what I learnt from Ken Howe, my old Business Editor at the SF Chronicle, “It’s called newspaper, not oldpaper!”

Some interesting quotes:

“More outlets doesn’t mean more news.” (Joan Walsh)

“We have to think of ways to make newspapers essential again, and they might not be newspapers.” (Joan Walsh)

“Newspapers are in the 24 h cycle manufacturing business, not the news business.” (Dan Gillmor)

“Most blogs are conversation, not journalism, so don’t sweat it. Factual errors can be fixed quickly. Citizen Journalism doesn’t mean that everyone’s a journalist; it means that some people from time to time, ‘commit an act of journalism’.” (Dan Gillmor)

“Blog is just a proxy word for “doing things ourselves.” Ninety-five percent of everything (not just blogs - everything) is crap. How do we surface the really good stuff?” (Dan Gillmor)

“The Tom Paines of tomorrow are probably going to be doing it with video” and other forms that are native to the next generation of mediamakers” (Dan Gillmor)

Full report at Ryan Sholin's J-School Blog.