The legendary product development and design firm IDEO has beta-launched OpenIDEO, a “crowdsourcing” site for innovative ideas for a variety of contemporary challenges. The concept is fairly simple: challenges are posted, ideas submitted, and a panel facilitates refinement and ultimate selection of a winning concept. You can join for free and participate in several different ways, from submitting ideas to helping in refining the ideas of others.
The challenges posted range from sustainability to education to medicine. If you’re creative and have ideas, it’s a fabulous way to interface with IDEO and a network of people like you. If you’re simply looking for inspiration, it’s a great place to browse about (see especially the Field Notes section).
The best part, to quote from the OpenIDEO site: “All concepts generated are shareable, remix-able and reusable by anyone – in a similar way to Creative Commons. The hope is that some of these concepts will become reality outside of OpenIDEO.com.”
Here’s their video introduction:
Exciting stuff, really. I see in OpenIDEO an intriguing model for all kinds of technological and social development projects. In a way, it’s a kind of democracy of ideas that neither completely dilutes the vision of the individual creator nor completely eschews the value of a rigorous vetting process. And because the concepts are shareable and resuseable, there’s the potential here to cultivate and coalesce creative problem-solving around big challenges and thus stimulate even more, even better solutions for our present (and future) challenges.