According to Wikipedia (one of the first Viral Innovations that changed the way we live and do business), the word “crowdsourcing” was coined in 2006 and can apply to a wide range of activities. It is “the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees or suppliers.” In the last month I have personally invested/bought a product more than once in this way. Since this platform has been around since 2006, I’d hardly call myself an early adopter, so I venture to say that open innovation has now reached the mainstream.
We are now using viral innovation, social media, crowdsourcing and more to do things like data collection and enhancement, building remote teams, marketing, financial services and investing and more accurately predicting the weather. More and more, we are turning to open innovation approaches for solving our most difficult problems. Work is starting to be done in many truly new and different ways and work that was not getting done at all is now suddenly possible. The sheer level of investment and brain power in using open innovation is growing exponentially. This harnessing of the power of the many and the urge toward transparency and collaboration, is truly the light side of our future.
Compare this “light side” to the darker vision of the future…
Recently, I came across a September edition of John Stewart’s Daily Show, where scientist Richard Dawkins gave the entire human race only a 50% chance of surviving into the next century. Quoting British Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees, a professor of cosmology and astrophysics at the University of Cambridge, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, and author of Our Final Hour: A Scientist’s Warning. TED.com calls Rees one of our key thinkers on the future of humanity.
Watch this video and decide where you want to put your two most powerful resources – Your attention and intention: