- Social Media
- Active Citizenship
- Good Giving
- Corporate Responsibility
- Be Fearless
OpenIDEO is a community that brings together human-centered design methods with a web-based platform to tackle social issues. It’s a platform that deliberately addresses the question: Is a crowd better at solving problems than just a small team or an individual?
We know intuitively at IDEO that teams benefit from a staged innovation process, and so in building OpenIDEO we looked at the standard innovation model and at which aspects of the process a crowd could most effectively contribute to. We found there were three main phases where a crowd could add most value:
- Inspiration: at the start of the process - getting inspired.
- Concepting: creating new to the world ideas.
- Evaluation: community evaluation of concepts against predefined criteria.
Users can upload inspirations and observations in the form of photos, stories, or videos. The best inspirations bubble to the top through the ‘applause’ functionality and commenting.
Ideas are submitted in the form of capture sheets by users. The capture sheet challenges the community to think about the wider impact of their ideas and establishes a hurdle to ensure quality contributions.
Each finalized design is evaluated for a window of time by the community. Feedback can be given on predefined factors so that each is measured with equal levels of fidelity. The evaluation template is filled out by the designer. Users are entitled to vote only once and evaluate the concepts against the criteria set by the moderator.
An offline team (sponsor plus IDEO domain experts) support the challenge process at key stages, and I’ll briefly talk about the two main areas:
- With open innovation, you’re as good or as bad as the question you set the community, so we work with the challenge sponsor to ensure that the challenge is well articulated and right for the community. After inspiration, we synthesize all the great content that’s been submitted into themes. The idea of themes is to provide a series of jumping off points to inspire new ideas in concepting.
- Encouraging diverse levels of contribution - Everyone has different expertise and skill-sets, and with the platform we’re aiming to encourage and leverage that diversity. Community members can contribute in a variety of different ways – from inspirational observations and photos, sketches of ideas, to business models and snippets of code – whatever makes sense for the challenge. We also realize that people have different time commitments, so we’ve tried to make it so that you can spend as little or as long as you want participating. Sometimes this can be in the form of applauding inspirations and concepts, or commenting on them; other times it’s building off a previous person’s work.
People participating in OpenIDEO can provide feedback every step of the way. Between each development phase, IDEO helps shape the journey through synthesis, prototyping, and encouraging the conversation.
Contributors are rewarded with points, known as a Design Quotient or “DQ,” for their OpenIDEO efforts. In turn, a person’s DQ will become a new kind of currency, a quantified representation of his or her creativity and experience that could have meaning outside of the OpenIDEO platform.
For a quick look into how OpenIDEO works, watch this quick 2-minute video:
Or, why not get involved in helping to tackle some of the social challenges we have currently ongoing?
There’s a challenge for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, which poses the question: “How can we raise kids’ awareness of the benefits of fresh food so they can make better choices?” This challenge started on August 2, with the top concept announced on October 8. This challenge stems from the 2010 TED Conference, where Jamie Oliver received the TED Prize and expressed his One Wish to Change the World. His hope: “to create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again, and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.”
Alternatively, why not try the challenge with Enterprising Schools, an initiative of Gray Matters Capital Foundation. It asks: “How might we increase the availability of affordable learning tools & services for students in the developing world?”
Our most recent challenge launched this week - OpenPlanetIdeas.com - by Sony in conjunction with global conservation organization WWF - leverages the OpenIDEO platform to connect with a global network of innovators to address the question: "How can today’s technology address the environmental challenges we’re all facing?" In support of this, Sony will donate expertise and technologies to eventually prototype and realize the final idea.
We’d really love to hear what you think of the platform, and for you to get involved with the different challenges.
Guest blogger Nathan Waterhouse is an organisation, systems and interaction designer for IDEO. He recently moved from IDEO London to San Francisco and is fascinated by using the power of networks of people to solve some of the most complex problems we face.