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Open innovation education

Making openIDEO part of a new education paradigm: open innovation education

Photo of Erik Mooij
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Open innovation is a very promising way of organizing creative problem solving. OpenIDEO and other initiatives have shown the impact that the wisdom of crowds can have in finding workable solutions for new and difficult problems. 

But to truly make a sustainable impact on society, open innovation has to become second nature to a lot of people, with different views and backgrounds, who should all contribute to improving our world. And as Nelson Mandela already pointed out: "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." 

And education is already changing; there's much discussion on what education should should focus on now that the world seems to change at such a high pace. Topics like 21st century skills and lifelong learning indicate how required knowledge and skills are already changing, and will keep on changing at that same high pace.

And so there is room and demand for new paradigms in education. If school can't tell us what the future might look like, then at least it should teach us how to deal with change. And open innovation should be part of that teaching, because adapting is easier when you can work together.

There are promising signs for open innovation in the current discussion on education; design thinking is becoming an integral part of the 21st century skills, initiatives like offer new perspectives on teaching for a changing world and a recent project at Stanford University even offered a very interesting peek into the future of higher education: in a scenario study called Stanford 2025, students invented purpose learning ( to replace degree learning in the future.

So let's start teaching open innovation. Because we'll need all the innovators we can get.

If you'd like your name to appear in our report on open innovation, please include it below as you'd like it to appear.

Erik Mooij - Utrecht University of Applied Science


Join the conversation:

Photo of Charlie Turnley

Hi Erik Mooij great thought! I completely agree that for Open Innovation to reach its full potential it needs to be widespread, and one outlet is to teach the concept of Open Innovation to students.

Yet maybe you'd agree that the beauty of Open Innovation is it's ability to grow itself and its structure through its own inputs... much like this challenge we are participating in!

Maybe schools could implement Open Innovation platforms internally, promoting open innovation within the school's faculty? Could be a great learning incubator, and ties in with Pranayraj Kondapally 's Preserve the inner child thoughts.

Photo of Erik Mooij

Hi Charlie Turnley , yes absolutely! I agree that open innovation has to grow by itself, and as it basically is a learning process, it could be a great way of teaching students new skills and have them gain new insights as well. It will have to replace some more rigid forms of education to do so...
I think open innovation platforms could easily be integrated into current school systems, just like wikipedia, TED or Khan Academy did before.