Journalists+Hackers= a better time reading the news

Knight-Mozilla OpenNews is a partnership aimed at driving open source innovation in news. When it started in the spring of 2011 it had an initial set of news partners that included the BBC, the Guardian, Zeit Online, the Boston Globe and Al Jazeera English. This morning I read that The New York Times, ProPublica, Speiegel Online, and Argentina’s La Nacion will also be joining.

It’s encouraging news for publishing, an industry this blog has repeatedly said needs its major players to embrace experimentation and co-creation if it’s going to develop new ideas for news presentation, delivery, and revenue-generation.

The formal announcement will be made at SXSW tomorrow, alongside a series of exhibits showcasing how open source projects are leading innovation in news, in areas like real-time visualizations, augmented video, data-journalism and HTML5 web tools.

One of OpenNews’s ambitions is to build bridges between journalists and hackers. It awards 8 fellowships annually and “embeds” each fellow at partner organizations, where they spend a year writing code in collaboration with reporters and newsroom developers. It’s fun, for example, to think about OpenNews fellow Cole Gillespie, a JavaScript developer born in the North Carolina Appalachians, becoming intimately familiar with the daily ebb and flow of Germany’s Zeit

For participating newspapers, the project is an opportunity to try a different approach and expand their ecosystems (#boundaryless). For designers, developers and content creators, it’s about creating and supporting a community where the web is studied as it gets made. Since its creation, other groups like Hacks/Hackers have emerged that share a similar goal.

According to OpenNews’s site, they’ll soon be sponsoring  “hackdays" where people can write code that helps to solve real-world journalistic problems. They’re also working on a site called "Source,” where free case studies, walkthroughs, tutorials, and code snippets will be available. We’ll keep an eye out for this and write about it when it exists.

Rachel Blatt is the content manager at Wolff Olins

Image via Firefox

A world-shaking woman

Happy International Women’s Day from Wolff Olins! 

Few deserve a shout out more today than our friend and partner Hayat Sindi, founder of the Institute for Imagination and Ingenuity (i2 institute), who was just named to Newsweek/Daily Beast’s list of 150 Women Who Shake The World.

Raised in Saudi Arabia, Sindi convinced her family to let her study abroad in London in 1991. She excelled in school and became one of world’s leading biotechnologists. She co-founded Diagnostics For All, a new medical diagnostic technique which uses small, affordable paper strips and a drop of blood or saliva to diagnose liver disease, and  down the line could potentially help in diagnosing AIDS.

Wolff Olins and PopTech collaborated with Sindi last Fall to develop the brand and identity around her newest project, the Institute for Imagination and Ingenuity. The institute is focused on encouraging entrepreneurship in the Arab community amidst an unemployment rate of over 40%. In Sindi’s words, her mission is to “create an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and social innovation for scientists, technologists and engineers in the Middle East and beyond.” 

Read more about the i2 institute or check out the full list of 150 Women Who Shake The World

Hayat Sindi: inspiring change in Mideast through i2 insitute launch

Scientist, inventor, Harvard and Cambridge graduate, Saudi Arabian native and pioneer—Dr. Hayat Sindi is an inspiring woman, a powerful force in the advancement of science, social good and a sign towards the emerging cultural shift in the role of women in a conservative region.

Today at PopTech, Sindi launched her latest project, the Institute for Imagination and Ingenuity, (i2 institute) which focuses on encouraging entrepreneurship in the Arab community amidst an unemployment rate of over 40% and a rapidly growing youth population entering the workforce. The website states "Our mission is to create an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and social innovation for scientists, technologists and engineers in the Middle East and beyond." Wolff Olins and PopTech collaborated with Sindi to develop the brand and identity around her platform.

“I believe that we can put science and society hand in hand and we should customize science for the benefit of the developing world. Small people can achieve big dreams.” Sindi stated. She also hopes that “i2 will make stories like hers less exceptional and more possible for every young innovator.”

Read More

Japanese Heart, Japanese Courage

As we watched, along with the rest of the world, events unfold in Japan we were moved to try to help.

We want to reach out to Japan and the Japanese people, and to stand with them. Hiromi Suzuki, a Japanese designer at Wolff Olins, created a set of limited edition posters, Japanese Heart and Japanese Courage.

You can buy each poster from CultureLabel for £20, the proceeds will be donated to The Red Cross Japan Relief Fund. The transaction is subject to a 1.8% fee, which is charged by
Elavon to cover administration costs. 

Kindly printed by our friends at Pure Print.