“Majority of the wisdom lies outside of your organization” This simple statistical fact was the driving force of the Challenge Network of Minds concept. We as a society need to reinvent the way we innovate for it be more collaborative and faster in the face some of the challenges and opportunities await us. We at Futurice, a digital innovation consultancy, wanted our partners and ourselves to break away from organizational echo chambers and think beyond silos, while opening up lanes for the exchange of fresh perspectives, diverse know-how and lateral ideas for early stage innovation. So we created Challenge Network of Minds an open innovation platform that is an access point to Futurice’s international community of 650+ experts from design, engineering and science. The platforms purpose is to harness the collective wisdom to rapidly create viable, forward-leaning solutions to a societal, environmental or a business problem or an opportunity.
How does the Challenge Network Minds process work in practice? It all starts with customers filling out their challenge on challengenom.com.
Brief refinement and setup: Together with the customer we convey the core challenge into an actionable brief.
Collective ideation sprint: We kickstart the process, run a Q&A and distribute the challenge to all 650+ employees. For this, we use a online crowdsourcing tool as our open innovation engine. We start the process with a online board where ideas are shared, developed, evaluated and reworked collectively. The goal here is bring in as many perspectives as possible where each individual spends maximum ten minutes, in comparison to regular consultancy engagement where a small group of people spend days or weeks to create a solution space. Ideation workshops or similar activities have their time and place and can become powerful tools when used right. However, when it comes to challenges in these earlier stages, open innovation and participatory methods can generate more value and better outcomes. At the end of the week, generated ideas are categorized and prepared for presentation.
Idea sparring and conceptualization: Ideas are reviewed and 1 to 2 of them are chosen for further conceptualization and development.
This open ideation process helps our customers go from vague ideas and challenges to concrete concepts in just 3 weeks. It helps our employees get involved and make an impact on early stage client problems.
This is best illustrated in the case of with the case of YLE, Finnish National Broadcasting Company, which required external knowledge and ideas for the use of 3D interfaces in journalism.
The challenge was:
“GPU enhanced mobile devices and functioning web protocols are mature enough for smooth user experiences, not forgetting the recent work around webXR standard. Technologies such as lidar and photogammetry make production of realistic 3D models an option for anyone. What could be done with 3D from a journalist’s or storyteller’s perspective?”
More than 100 people in the ideation process, 12 ideas were developed and 2 of them turned into final concepts. The journey continued with the implementation. YLE article that has a 3D model and animations embedded is now live. And you guessed it right, it is about sauna. Head over here to read about the secrets of sauna.
The second article that is called “empathy” is to be published soon, which will give readers a chance to experience the world from the point of view of people with disabilities.