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Featured Ideator: Luc Shorter

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Luc Shorter grew up in a small town in New Zealand and now works for an innovative, contemporary university in Auckland – where he gets to work with talented people doing amazing things. His Purpose Workshops concept, which sought to help young people to articulate what they want their life to be about, was a winner on our recent Youth Employment Challenge.
What first drew you to get involved in OpenIDEO?
Using a lightweight process to direct the energy, insights and creativity of people around the world to address big challenges is simple genius – I loved the idea. Looking through previous challenges, I saw so many contributions that sparked new ideas for me in relation to my work and other things I'm interested in. I could see that it was this 'ideas community' that made it work and I decided to get involved.
And how's the ride been so far?
It's been fun! Once you start contributing, you realise that it really isn't only about getting the 'right' answer to a challenge question. It's also about adding to the thought community as a whole and who knows where your ideas will go or what other ones they will spark? Yes, as a community we come up with ways of solving specific challenges – but in the wider world I'm sure OpenIDEO contributions and process have influenced how contributors have solved other real-life challenges. I think that's exciting!
How has your experience with OpenIDEO influenced your wider professional approach?
OpenIDEO has shown me that it is possible to engage large numbers of people around solving a particular issue. In large organisations, it is usually the top couple of management layers that really get a share of voice on tackling challenges and opportunities. OpenIDEO shows that there are ways to effectively channel the experience and expertise of an entire organisation to answering a single question. It also demonstrates the value of diversity – different people, experiences and points of view all add to the richness of the discussion and improve what is ultimately created.
Have you got any projects for social good you've worked on?
While I have volunteered in my own community around adult literacy, I am fortunate to work in the education sector which is largely about social good. I coordinate the non-academic operations of a new university campus established in New Zealand's area of highest social need. There is tremendous local talent with global potential and the new campus provides access to university education which is one important way of helping to realise it. The OpenIDEO process has opened my mind to a new way of engaging with people I work with along the way.
What are your future plans around design + social impact?
I have decided that I want to contribute to a world where people dare to dream, hope and act to be everything they can be. I want to continue to use my career as a vehicle for that, whether I work in education, the non-profit sector, government or private business. There are also amazing organisations I wish to support - Save the Children NZ, Guria and the Glenn Family Foundation are a few worth special mention. The world is actually full of intelligent, generous people who are prepared to give their time, energy and love to making the world a better place – the OpenIDEO community is proof of that.
Cheers Luc. We hope to enjoy more of your collaborative action in future!
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