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Out in the Open

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Lucy Douglas explores three scenarios for innovation on the Business Management site – and includes the example of OpenIDEO. Check out this excerpt –

[Tom] Hulme explains that the project was born out of experience in the innovation process, highlighting the need for a more diverse range of minds in order to have the best possible outcome. "I was inspired by what happened in the last Industrial Revolution," he says. "There was a real spike in innovation as a result of people coming together in cities, like never before so involving diverse people in conversations, and logic would tell me that technology, the internet, would give us an opportunity to have a similar spike in innovation, but for whatever reason, I don't think it's been realized as much as it might. So we decided to start looking at how we might design a platform to enable creative people to come together to solve complex problems." The set-up of the network is straight forward; challenges are posted, usually sponsored by an external organization (at the moment a featured challenge is to improve the way that kids in America eat, sponsored by British chef Jamie Oliver), and the connected members of the network can post inspirations for solving the problem, strategies for implementing the inspiration into the real world, and evaluating the ideas that have arisen from the opportunity. As well as benefiting the organizations setting the challenge, and OpenIDEO itself, the network allows for users to improve their profiles with their participation. "Those parts of the process are the different ways that people can contribute," explains Hulme, "and they become part of what we call your design quotient, so we built a system that automatically feeds back to you your performance on the site, based on the quantity and also the quality of your inspiration, so that you get recognition.

Read the full article: Out in the Open

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