Humanity has never been as connected. The cell phone has become a mobile computer, the window through which you are watching the world, and also through which the world - or anyway parts of it - is watching you. 

Our handsets are feeding us information from the Net, and it feeds the Net information from us, by us, about us. 

We are becoming a part of a growing collective intelligence, which is conscious about space and time. This collective intelligence has an infrastructure: search engines enable people to find information, and social network applications enable communication between people, together enabling people to make collective research, collective reasoning, collective decisions, but also enabling fragmentation of these things, by empowering each single user. 

It's farewell to oblivion, information is no longer forgotten, and the access to information is becoming less of an issue than access to attention.

Throughout the 1900s, journalism - "the media" -  was the custodian and gatekeeper of the eyes and ears of the public discussion, by controlling the medium. No longer.

With over five billion cell phones in use, over 100 million smart phones sold per quarter (Q4 2010), 600 million Facebook users (Jan 2011), one billion Google search queries per day (Mar 2011) journalism is no longer a gatekeeper of mass communication and knowledge dissemination. As the impact of print and broadcast diminishes, gatekeeping is evaporating, and the business of journalism has joined the innovation economy. 

Sources of stories are increasingly building their own channels to the audience, redirecting their attention from "earned media" to "owned media". Does this mean that the control over the story is moving from the readers to the sources? Or is it in fact a democratization of the public story?

Understanding innovation is becoming more important, the ability for society to innovate determines its ability to compete. The innovation ecosystems are ruling the futures of all people on the planet, also in the short term. Innovation is not only offering people improvements in their lives, it is also posing a number of threats to both individuals and societies. 

At IJ-8 we will be discussing how journalism influences innovation and how innovation influences journalism in the light of these developments. 

All people with an interest in the issue are welcome, journalists, communicators, academic researchers, innovation analysts, stakeholders in innovation ecosystems, and others. We are looking forward to a vibrant multi-stakeholder discussion!