30.06.2011 13:00


Open Innovation and other Methods to Activate People & Resources


Where: Supermarkt | Brunnenstraße 64 | from 1-6 pm.


Chances, challenges and downsides of Open Innovation approaches.


Open Innovation and other Methods to Activate People & Resources

With Dominik & Simon Wind, Jonathan Imme (Until We See New Land), Nadine Freischlad (Jovoto Social Media Week) and Ariane Jedlitschka (HAL - Hybrid Art Lab) as facilitators.


Location: Supermarkt | Brunnenstraße 64, 13355 Berlin |1-6 pm



Currently, everyone talks about Open Innovation. What's the reason?
Traditionally, innovation mostly happened within gated groups of large corporations, such as laboratories or closed think tanks - performed by scientist, employees or experts.

The rise of online collaborative production gave way to new models of decentralized thinking and knowledge transfer, resulting into Crowdsourcing and other community-based techniques. Nowadays, it is a common mantra that innovative ideas are the lifeblood of the cultural and creative industries. Therefore, the need for innovation seems to be more urgent than ever - not only for the big players, but also for small organisations and single creative producers.


How does Open Innovation work?
There are many questions closely tied to the different notions of "innovation": how to activate collaborators and followers in a short period of time? What's the most effective way to tap on resources? And how to finally bring those ideas into life?
These are just a few of the big themes of Open Innovation processes. Generally, Open Innovation and other Crowdsourcing techniques strive to involve the community in the innovation process, thus turning the creative work into a shared (and public) experience.

One of the basic assumptions of Open Innovation is the fact that knowledge is not proprietary to an organization."It resides in employees, suppliers, customers, competitors, and universities" (Wikipedia)

These processes therefore need inspiring & inclusive environments for collaborative thinking - for as many people as possible. A decentralized group of users (=the crowd) works on solutions, prototypes or other creative approaches. The most promising solutions get realised, often also with the help of the crowd.


Sounds like a big chance. What are the challenges and downsides?
Both the term and its underlying business models have attracted controversy and criticisms. One of the big issues is the question to whom the invention actually belongs. To the organization or to the crowd? Also the matter of compensation is subject to a wide debate. Other discussions are centered around the challenge of buildng long-term trust-based relationships among participants.
We still know very little about motivation management in order to encourage participants to build their input upon the contributions of others. Open Innovations calls for new facilitation models, clear legal and economic frameworks and new approaches towards community management.


What exactly was this workshop about?
At the beginning, Simon Wind gave an overview of different Open Innovation methods, so we could get a clear understanding of the term. Then we worked on different approaches of Open Innovation in small break-out groups, each of them focusing on the following aspects: how to activate people and tap on resources? How to get relevant results? How to manage the community and build a long-term partnership? How to develop tools and environments for collaborative thinking? Finally, we had the break-out reports and a discussion in the big group.


Who participated in this workshop?
Open Innovations processes offer interesting results for media activists, freelance producers, small companies or cultural organisations who look for new ways of engaging with their community. We therefore invited everyone who was interested in opening up their innovation process to the public.

What have been the big debates?

One of the most discussed issues was of course the question of ownership. Who actually owns the innovation and therefore the right to make money with the new invention? Then there was a long debate about the ethical viewpoint of open innovation platforms. Very often, the crowd does lots of volunteer work for large corporations without being compensated for their effort. How come that idea contests organised by big brands still attract a large number of professionals?

Another issue that was widely discussed: what is an innovation at all, at least in our freelance, startup-environment? The notion of innovation was traditionally coined within large corporations. Shouldn't we find a better term for what we are doing here? It seemed that many participants were looking for ways how to activate their audience and engage with a community on a long-term basis. Here we discussed several methodologies of online community building, crowdsourcing and communication tools.


This workshop is a collaboration between Free Culture Incubator / transmediale and the Government's Center of Excellence for the Cultural and Creative Industries.