Drew Cogbill | Thesis Blog

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Charlie Brown: “Open Sourcing Social Solutions”

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This paper argues that when more people can work to generate and carry out social innovation, they are able to be more effective than individuals working on their own.  Ashoka attempts to facilitate this with Changemakers, an online competition narrowed by ‘the public’, but ultimately decided on by a panel of experts.

In the paper they over-extend the ideas of ‘open-souce’ collaboration and ‘crowd-sourcing’ instead of focusing on what they actually do well, which is create a collaborative environment which encourages innovation through funding and knowledge of similar projects.  If they want to extend an internet term it seems more appropriate to call their approach ’social networking.’  They are creating a site where like-minded people people can connect in a way that they could not in person.

Beyond all of this, the most interesting part of the paper for me in the ‘Mosaic of Solutions’.  An expert from Ashoka has pooled together common obstacles in related innovations giving guidance and provoking thought from new innovators.  They provide precedents and solutions to particular problems which can be extended and changed by new innovators.  This is a very valuable resource for those beginning to create answers to similar problems which have been addressed before.  The more widely available these charts were, the more useful they could be to such people.

“Open Sourcing Social Solutions” from innovations summer 2007

Written by drewcogbill

August 8th, 2008 at 8:36 pm