Home > Local Stuff, People > What’s the big IDEA?

What’s the big IDEA?

Dan Gregory, a teacher in the School of Technological Entrepreneurship at Northeastern University, recently made a presentation to our Reinventing the News Class about IDEA, and the role of journalism in the entrepreneurial community.

IDEA is an NU endeavor that calls to students with dreams and ideas for  entrepreneurial endeavors and gives them the various resources that they need to turn them into reality, all conveniently located on or around campus.

But Dan did not come just to plug his group, he came to make a request: he wants more journalism students like ourselves to get involved in the entrepreneurial world. Why? There are a few reasons for this, and the key word is talent, which Dan believes is the driving force of all entrepreneurial endeavors.

One of these reasons is the skill set that journalists bring to the table. This includes writing skills, investigative skills, the ability to communicate clearly, the ability to meet deadlines, etc. These are all invaluable skills when it comes to the entrepreneurship scene: he says that there is a great need for those who can not only put these ideas in motion, but can communicate these ideas with the world.

But the other skill set is less obvious: it is the ability to keep and utilize what Dan calls “disruptive technology.” This includes gadgets like iPods and smartphones that have gotten in the way of human interaction, programs like Napster which have hurt the music industry, etc. Dan states, however, that journalists are great resources for making the use of this technology, and are always finding ways to use it in the best way possible to communicate quickly, efficiently and conclusively.

There are numerous ways that this has played out in real life situations. One of these is right here on campus with two NU students: Laura Moran and Meghan Linebarger. These two journalism students have taken IDEA by storm and have effectively revolutionized the communications aspect of IDEA, simply using the skill sets they have as journalists.

Another example is a company that Gregory is starting up himself called Knick-Knack, a group that aggregates the stories of people in the 50 plus range about companies, their families, past experiences, whatever they want to talk about. They then plan on compiling books for these consumers so they can have proper documentation of their memories! Clearly this is an area where journalism can be put to use, utilizing skill sets in communication and storytelling.

The brave new world can be both an exciting and, at the same time, scary place. New “disruptive technologies” are being created every day, and combined with changes in our working environments, it can seem like a lot to take in. But Gregory is certain that if we all combine the talents that we have, us journalists with pen (or BlackBerry) in hand included, we will be able to take on the future full force.

Categories: Local Stuff, People
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