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Tackling complex challenges together. Top 10 tools for Open Innovation

Global Knowledge Initiative (GKI) looked into various tools for collaborative innovation and selected their top 10.

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"Since its formation GKI has found that the use of Collaborative Innovation tools enables problem solvers to increase their effectiveness and impact. This compendium introduces the top 10 tools that GKI uses to jumpstart and sustain Collaborative Innovation networks and increase the number of effective, scalable solutions they deliver. Through training, facilitation, and analysis, these tools enable motivated solvers to smash through silos and bring together ideas, experts, and resources in ways that leverage their true value."


"While Collaborative Innovation stands to solve many of the world’s toughest challenges, it can also present a challenge in and of itself. Research has found that including diverse problem solvers can radically improve the chances of solving a challenge. Paradoxically, this very diversity can pose a bottleneck: experts from varied academic and cultural backgrounds have unique incentives, points of view, and terminologies, each of which renders working together a struggle. In the absence of shared goals or coordination between their competing interests, collaborative teams often fail to deliver solutions."

"Mastery of three vital and inter-related processes is essential—(1) collaboration, (2) innovation, and (3) solving problems in teams."


This is their top 10:

1. Challenge Mapping

A tool to parse complex challenges; a way to visualize opportunities and bottlenecks 

2. Strategy Shaping 

A tool to visualize the activities, resources, actors and connections needed to achieve outcomes 

3. The THICK Methodology  

A tool to take stock and make sense of science, technology, and innovation resources 

4. Matchmaking

A tool to match partners based on strengths, resources, goals, values, and other strategic characteristics

5. Empathizing with Users 

A tool to create demand-driven solutions by understanding user needs and perspectives 

6. Network Management 

A tool to manage complex networks of individuals collaborating to solve problems

7. STI Context Analysis  

A tool to clarify the context in which science, technology, and innovation take place

8. Collaborative Innovation Strategy

A tool to create a strategy for taking on challenges through a collaborative network

9. Network Ecosystems 

A tool to map available and needed resources around a given challenge

10. Collaboration Colloquium 

A tool that gathers experts to spark strategic collaboration around specific challenge areas 

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Anneke Stolk

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