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Our Guiding Principles


To support constructive collaboration, we've compiled these guiding principles to help steer our community efforts in the right direction. These principles seek to provide guidance, inspiration and focus during our collective efforts.  


Staying Optimistic  

Sometimes it can be easy to dwell on the negative or make assumptions – especially when we’re trying to create solutions that involve people outside our own peer group or life experience. But in keeping with our OpenIDEO community spirit, let's focus on turning obstacles into opportunities that we seek to solve. Staying optimistic, hopeful and most importantly curious will not only help us collaborate better – but also to design better, together.  

Respectful Dialogue  

Our community already has a knack for conversations that are friendly, constructive and collaborative. Let's remember that everyone's experiences and opinions are welcome, as long as the content we share is thoughtful and respectful. If you know something that someone else doesn't, rather than cut them down as ignorant – take up the challenge of how you might thoughtfully help them up their knowledge. That way we build collective intelligence.

Favor Collaboration over Competition

Collaboration is the cornerstone of OpenIDEO. Rather than believing in the lone genius, we feel that great ideas and impact occur best with diverse input from folks in various locations, working across multiple sectors. Welcome feedback, build on each other's ideas, acknowledge the input of others, share skills and experience. The input of a novice may spark your thinking to move in an exciting new direction. Diversity + inclusivity is where great ideas flourish.



Image by Stefano Corso via Flickr