The participation economy is here, and it’s here to stay, helping people meet their personal needs in new ways.

Tom Hulme from IDEO and OpenIDEO discusses the rise of widespread community engagement and how OpenIDEO is leveraging the rise of the participation economy.

The particpation economy is not new. Tom uses the example of the Longitude prize, ran in 1714 by the British Government to improve navigation, to demonstrate this. He describe the use of external motivation (money, often) as Crowdsourcing 1.0. He uses Wikipedia, and the January 25th Egyptian demonstrations to exemplify Crowdsourcing 2.0. Crowdsourcing 2.0 is much less about monetary reward, and more about allow people to find things that reward them on a personal level. It’s about intrinsic motivation, allowing people to meet their personal needs in area like status, autonomy, reputation, intellectual challenge, and identity. It’s about social good. It’s about community and contribution. Ultimately, it’s about helping individuals move to higher levels within Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Tom shares how IDEO have moved forward with OpenIDEO and some of the things that they have learnt from the process. They designed for collaboration from the start, and allow people to engage with each other in different ways, some of them taking more effort and some of them taking less. OpenIDEO maps this collaboration, which displays how all of the various content and ideas are linked together, and makes this viewable to the public. This is extended by the importance placed upon celebration. Celebrating the journey, through the design process. The little wins along the way. This ties back in to helping the individuals within the community fulfilling their own needs in terms of intrinsic rewards. By reporting back on the positive change that projects have bought about, the community gets the rewards for their work.

Tom’s final comments are that there is a systematic process that can be used, and technology does not play a huge role within it, it is only an enabler. The real question is ‘What do you want to achieve and who is capable of achieving it?’

Get on board and try it out yourself! Go to, and sign up and get involved. Check out their facebook page too, to get notifications of up and coming challenges!

Check out other crowd based things, like Kickstarter (funding), Wikipedia (knowledge), Wikifashion (Fashion) or Yahoo Answers, (Q+A).

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