The past five years have seen more changes in the global media and journalism environment than ever before in the nearly 30-year history of Internews. The dramatic evolution in how people access, produce, consume and share information has challenged the fundamentals of how to create quality, local news and information. From the rapid trending of the mobile phone as a primary source of information to the decline of traditional media in many places around the world, new information dynamics require exploration, collaboration and experimentation. One of the way Internews used to harness the possibility behind this exploration is the organization of Innovation Camps or Innovation Labs.
The first ever Social Innovation Camp took place in London, UK in 2008, since when Social Innovation Camps have taken place across Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. More than idea boot-camps, Social Innovation Camps are based on the notion of bringing together diverse groups of people to combine and challenge their capac- ities in order to inspire a creative use of web and mobile tools to solve a range of social challenges.
SICs are an opportunity for people who would not otherwise be able to invest energy towards actually realizing a venture or digital product. They are also incubators for networks and relationships which carry on the ideas and enthusiasm gained through the camp experience.
Internews is particularly interested in the SIC approach for the way it can inspire creative use of new tools to solve communication challenges as well as its potential to spawn applications to aggregate news, track land ownership and mobilize journalists.
This report is a record and evaluation of the first Social Innovation Camp for Internews employees and other attendees that took place in Sarajevo on 9-10th July 2011. It highlights the journey that individual participants took through the Social Innovation Camp (SIC) process and how their experience was shaped during and afterwards.
The report is aimed at readers interested in Innovation Camp techniques and any future organizers of such events. The report describes the organization of the Camp, analyzes feed- back from participants and then makes recommendations based on lessons learnt. By looking at a practical example of an SIC and analyzing some of the issues that arose, it is hoped that this report can serve as a guide for best practice in the running of future SICs.
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