By    Apr 19, 2011

IDEO, as you may know (including those of you who have studied the organization in one of our seminars) is one of the world’s top product design firms. OpenIDEO is their open innovation site where they use crowdsourcing to develop ideas for addressing social issues.

The site is interesting in its own right, but I wanted to highlight it because it is such an interesting example of an organization finding a way to embody in technology the thing that is unique about them, and use technology to extend that experience to a much larger audience. IDEO’s design process is what sets them apart. They have a process that relies on observation, that is heavy on brainstorming and building off of other people’s ideas, that is driven by the quantity of ideas not the quality so you can then evaluate and “fail forward” from one idea to the next. It is a process where “the adults” come in periodically to help sort out the mess (not dictate, just facilitate) and move the process to the next stage. In OpenIDEO they have captured that same experience and delivered it to a global audience.

You can compare their internal process in these videos (using the short version or the long version in part 1, part 2, and part 3) with the process they have created for crowds on OpenIDEO. If you have ever wanted to be part of the IDEO process and experience, OpenIDEO is a pretty interesting opportunity. And perhaps it’s also an interesting opportunity for IDEO to scout for talent with the unique ability to observe, create, and collaborate that they need.

Are there ways to take what makes each of our arts institutions unique and capture that experience through technology? Is it just the “end product” that engages our communities, or are there opportunities throughout the entire process of creation and presentation? Visit OpenIDEO.