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May 20, 2011

Where does journalism fit in a world of 5 billion cell phones and 600 million Facebook users? Stanford gathering explores the possibilities

A power lineup of media types – both new media and old – converge on Stanford to sort things out. One discussion asks the question, "Are we heading for collective intelligence or collective neurosis?"

With more than 5 billion cell phones in use around the world, 600 million Facebook users and a billion Google searches per day, journalism is no longer the sole gatekeeper of information and storytelling. The convergence of mobile phones, personal computers and the Internet is leading a mobile innovation economy that is changing the media's role.

On May 23-25, journalists and media business professionals will come together at Stanford University to discuss how innovation and journalism are shaping each other, and how innovation in journalism empowers societies around the world.

This year, the eighth Conference on Innovation Journalism (IJ-8) focuses on the promise of mobile for publishing and journalism. The program will cover devices, business approaches and technologies that power media and their impact on societies around the world.

Several hundred journalists, communication professionals and academics are expected to attend, according to David Nordfors, executive director of the Stanford Center for Innovation and Communication.

Speakers represent a cross-section of leaders in communication, technology, science and business.

Håkan Eriksson, chief technology officer of Ericsson, will provide a glimpse at the future of mobile innovation. He is the top technology strategist for the world's largest mobile network equipment provider. 

A panel, "The Arab Awakening," will discuss what's next for Arab society and culture following an uprising that was fueled by new media. Speakers will include:

  • Joumana Haddad, Beirut-based cultural editor for An Nahar newspaper
  • Shahira Amin, the Egyptian Nile TV anchor who quit her job to join the uprising
  • Hoda Abdel-Hamid, a triple Emmy-winning Al-Jazeera roving correspondent
  • Josh Rushing, the former U.S. Marine and Central Command press officer who joined Al-Jazeera (he played himself in the movie Control Room)
  • Amra Tareen, founder and CEO of
  • Margarita Quihuis, director of the Stanford Peace Innovation Lab

The panel will be moderated by former Al-Jazeera English anchor Elizabeth Filippouli and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Joel Brinkley.

Geoffrey Moore, a venture partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures, will discuss how corporate software is being overrun by consumer software such as Facebook and how this will change the notion of the enterprise.

In a session titled "Why Innovation Journalism Matters," Michael S. Malone, a long-time chronicler of high tech, will explain how journalism played a role in creating the Silicon Valley we know today.

The panel "Are We Heading for Collective Intelligence or Collective Neurosis?" will discuss the effects of smartphones and mobile publishing on individuals and society. Stanford's Clifford Nass is the opening speaker. His paper on multitasking was the most covered research paper in social sciences in 2009. A discussion will follow with Nicklas Lundblad, Google's head of public policy; Elizabeth Filippouli, founder of Global Thinkers; and Marc Ventresca, a fellow at Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation.

Two of the discussions will be livestreamed: "The Arab Awakening" and "Is the Medium Still the Message?"

Working journalists, entrepreneurs, public relations professionals, investors, policymakers, academics and students are invited to attend the conference. The registration fee is $50 per day and includes refreshments, as well as networking receptions on Monday and Tuesday. Register online at

Stanford ID-holders can attend IJ-8 for free by completing the online registration and indicating their affiliation with Stanford. The registration fee will be refunded at the close of the conference.



David Nordfors, Center for Innovation and Communication: (650) 804-5184,

Dan Stober, Stanford News Service: (650) 721-6965,

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