“Open innovation” is the latest buzz word circulating in forums on how to address the increased volume and complexity of challenges for cities and governments in general.
But, what is open innovation?
Traditionally, public services were designed and implemented by a group of public officials. Open innovation allows us to design these services with multiple actors, including those who stand to benefit from the services, resulting in more targeted and better tailored services, often implemented through partnership with these stakeholders. Open innovation allows cities to be more productive in providing services while addressing increased demand and higher complexity of services to be delivered.
New York, Barcelona, Amsterdam and many other cities have been experimenting with this concept, introducing challenges for entrepreneurs to address common problems or inviting stakeholders to co-create new services. Open innovation has gone from being a “buzzword” to another tool in the city officials’ toolbox.