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Open Innovator: A Toolkit for In-Person Collaboration

The magic of OpenIDEO is not in the technology, it's in the creative and collaborative system that is founded on fundamental principles that make up its DNA. The OpenIDEO system can be shared offline via a Toolkit to help groups innovate and work together. Kits can be specialized for different groups and settings (ex: 8th graders in schools). In this way OpenIDEO can scale its impact virtually anywhere (despite tech restrictions).

Photo of Sina Mossayeb
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Open Innovators Toolkit is an offline resource that helps families, groups, and organizations use OpenIDEO's process of systematic collaboration, allowing it to scale offline. The toolkit can be made in various editions for specialized groups (I've chosen one for kids as an example.). It would include:

1. Instructions on role of "facilitator" and processes of collaboration
2. Analogue counterpart "bits and pieces" that reflect some of the digital features (using post its and stickers in place of "appreciate" and "comments" fields)
3. Examples of various "scale" challenges (from individual based problems to group and community problems).
4. Templates for helping the inspiration, concepting, evaluation, and realization processes (like the brainstorm in a box kit).
5. Resource guide: some links and references for the group to turn to for free tools and services that might help them out

It can be translated into different languages as well, again scaling Open IDEO's process beyond online English only platform to virtually anywhere in the world. As Sarah suggested in her Open Translation concept, volunteers can arise to help with translating it.

What kind of social impact does this concept achieve?

This has a scaled impact, in that it takes OpenIDEO's Odin-like powers offline and into the hands of lots more people, who for whatever reason don't go online, also different age groups (including children), and different places around the world (where tech is not as easily accessible).

What skills are required to take this concept forward?

Human Resources: Basically, this can be put together by a team of OpenIDEO seasoned folks with the help of OpenIDEO titans (i.e., the one's getting paid to run this thing). Prototyping: A tangible toolkit in booklet format with materials, with some basic supplies Pilot: Pilot the thing to iterate it over and over again in small groups in different parts of the world (this could be done by OpenIDEO community members or others).

How do you envision this concept being supported financially?

1. Foundations (since you're basically providing a process for empowering various groups--it's an educational product). 2. You can sell the thing (Amazon it). 3. Initially through a volunteer corps (I think I know a few folks who'd be willing to work on this from the OI community) 4. Seed money for developing prototypes (Kickstarter or Start Some Good are places to start)

Virtual Team:

Sarah, Arjan, Meena (of course she's too busy as an Epiceer) [Will add what I built on later]


Join the conversation:

Photo of Paul Reader

Hi Sina I see this as an essential component of offline interaction. Now that I have had time to revisit some of the concepts properly I would see Avi's Card idea as one component of a really useful kit for spreading the process beyond the web. Additionally I see that we need a non-web based approach if only because we are becoming too web dependent and using physical resources is a necessary balance. I also think it is important that solving local/immediate problems is important for physical communities for two reasons:
1) local problems attract and involve local people; and
2) success at the local level provides incentive to consider broader issues.
Do you have any protyping thoughts? Would it be resilient or disposable? Would it involve local printers/publishers or be centralised? Production costs vary from place to place but transportation costs also vary.
Keen to discuss this with you and Avi.

Photo of Sina Mossayeb

thanks for your thoughtful piece here. i'd love to work with you and Avi. I also see that Avi's wonderful foldout is could be an integrated piece. I think the next step is probably a Google Doc where we can start brainstorming component pieces and then move from there.

Photo of Paul Reader

I shall have a look at Google Docs again, having avoided them in the past.

Photo of Meena Kadri

Great discussion, guys. Good luck with any protoyping – and do keep us posted with any significant developments. We'll be opening the Realisation phase soon and would love to champion any updates there.

Photo of Avi Solomon

Paul & Sina, how about we adapt the following resources to come up with a prototype:

Photo of Paul Reader

Seems potential good starting point Avi. Given the HCD Toolkit is freely downloadable it is easy to access and so are some of the Bootcamp resources. I see the IDEO Method Cards are exclusively distributed. Do we run up against copyright and attribution issues with these resources?

Photo of Paul Reader

As in the past I have a connectivity issue with Google Docs. With a maximum connection speed of 48kbps access to any document is not always reliable. Nevertheless I shall endeavour to participate.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Very nice idea. It reminds me of Serious Play by Lego:
It will be great also to have an option for people to share the results of their brainstorming. It could also be good to be a nice complement to some of the open source concepts because as you said it is not only about the technology, but mostly about the process (and the community that is attracted, built and nurtured).

Photo of Sina Mossayeb

Yup! Well said.

Photo of Paul Reader

Agreed absolutely! The process is paramount and the technology is simply a means to an end - applying the process through the tools best suited to the community is the way to go. Making those tools cost effective and tailored to the particular community I see as a couple of objectives to discuss.

Photo of Meena Kadri

Loving this! If this fab idea was to be taken forward, I'd also interested to see a dedicated section on OpenIDEO which would profile the toolkit in use. Hopefully this would motivate folks to send in their pictures and stories about how they are using it to inspire real world action – and would also spread the good word about the diverse ways and contexts in which the toolkit could be employed. I'm especially drawn to likelihood that folks might use it in ways that we haven't even dreamed of – that's when you really know you've created something really exceptional.

Photo of Arjan Tupan

Great, Sina. I would also add a list of low tech gadgets needed to facilitate a workshop (or optional ones to make the experience better). Next to post-its, that would include markers in different colors, large sheets of paper to hang on walls and past everything on, sticky tape, and maybe some pieces of Lego :)

Photo of Louise Wilson

Lego ;-)

Photo of Louise Wilson

Great way to get kids involved! All about using existing tools but making the language accessible - nice concept, Sina!