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Online & Offline

We were thrilled to see so many posts about the intersection of the online and offline realms as part of the open innovation process.

Photo of Jason Rissman
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As we invest more in supporting OpenIDEO’s Meetups program and having recently completed a successful #COPisHere events campaign, we’re convinced that designing ways for online and offline experiences to complement one another is incredibly important. As we work to strengthen the OpenIDEO community and grow our impact, we appreciated the chance to learn from several inspiring perspectives on the interaction between online and offline opportunities for open innovation.

Here are three themes and eleven posts we noticed related to combining online and offline open innovation:


In-Field Immersions

On the hunt for quality: This fascinating post shared the experience of participating in the Finavia and Finnair Quality Hunters program that recruits bloggers to find improvement opportunities for Helsinki Airport and Finnair. Arjun explains that this program illustrates how there are very different ways to “do” open innovation, yet it also reflects two similarities to OpenIDEO’s approach: having a well-defined structure and the importance of engaging community members.   

A Tale of Two Cities: This inspiring post by OpenIDEO veteran Anne-Laure shares the experience of developing a winning idea for a 2014 OpenIDEO Amplify challenge with partners in Nepal. Anne-Laure’s team in New York worked virtually with their distant partner -- throughout the challenge and since -- and just recently finally had the chance to meet in person. Read more in Anne-Laure’s Impact Story The Power of Prototyping.

Field Immersions: After being encouraged by his OpenIDEO experience to pursue “sustainable change at a global scale,” Aaron traveled to Cambodia to join a cross-cultural storytelling project that’s part of the Designing for Social Innovation Leadership Global (DSIL) program. Aaron suggests bridging these two models of collaborative innovation -- allowing OpenIDEO community members to conduct field immersions alongside the OpenIDEO team. Intriguing idea Aaron! We’ll give it some thought.

Build Smart Spaces for Co-Creation

Sunshine PopUp brings open innovation into a shopping mall. First imagined by high school girls during an ideas competition in Finland, the Sunshine PopUp is a co-creationg space designed for malls. According to Minna, a successful experiment of the PopUp brought approximately 11,000 visits (including the Finnish Prime Minister). It sparked 30 events and 250 ideas. Over 100 ideas from the PopUp were implemented by volunteers during the experiment.

Bringing OI into the Physical World & Opening Walls for Inclusivity: Charlie and Ria both shared posts that imagine a new way for online open innovation contributions to be shared through whiteboards in public spaces. We love Ria's hope that this approach would amplify the voices of disconnected communities, as well as Charlie’s inspiring provocation: “Let’s make problem solving easy, and immerse it subtly into the daily physical lives of the masses.”

Design for America: Anne-Laure shares her experience with leading a Design for America chapter that participates in OpenIDEO challenges. We’re fans of Design for America and would love to see more chapters get involved in OpenIDEO. It also got us thinking, what other groups might want to include participation in OpenIDEO in their work?


Refine the Meetup Model

Persistent Impact Teams: In this post Luke suggests OpenIDEO Meetups can become more engaging and impactful if we create a structure to help local groups form lasting teams. We like it. In fact, some of Luke's thinking is so in line with what we're cooking up to better support our meetup community, we think he might be hiding under a desk here somewhere.

Open Innovation Weekend: Jinal takes inspiration from Startup Weekend and imagines what would an intensive weekend look like for open innovation. Sounds like fun, Jinal. We'll bring the post-its! 

Innovation Everywhere: Flash mobs meet open innovation in Anders' imaginative post that foresees a way to engage "massive crowds" in addressing social challenges.

OpenIDEOx: Saad shares an exciting vision and even some sharp mockups for a way to let OpenIDEO community members launch their own challenges. While Saad's idea doesn't mention Meetups, we included it in this category because, to us, it would seem important to have a strong community behind a locally started challenge.  

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Thanks Jason for your reflection. I have been thinking a lot about the blurring between online and offline in general, and on OpenIDEO in particular. As a veteran :-) I find your post particularly interesting as this was an insight that emerged for me from the OpenIDEO Impact challenge (for OpenIDEO one year anniversary): the number of posts proposing ways to continue the online experience in an offline experience (meet ups, groups, spaces). ...