Open Innovation Design : Time for a new design paradigm for emergency and crisis response information technology?
Open innovation has during the last few years gained enormous attention as a theory that describe and prescribe how companies must open-up their often too closed innovation processes. I have by no means not been affected by this trend and the exciting research that is done using an Open Innovation-perspective in the domain of information technology. There are many interesting and promising activities going on, exploring how Open Innovation can be used in a set of industries and for a range of products and services. There are numerous papers on Open Innovation processes, Open Innovation Business Models, Open Innovation Strategy Design, etc. (see also research on open innovation at University of Gothenburg, Department of Applied IT)
Over the last few months, it has been perfectly clear that Swedish emergency and crisis response and management would benefit from Open Innovation Design. Open Innovation Design has the potential to provide a completely new paradigm for the design of information technology use for emergency and crisis response. A key challenge for any solution provider is to balance the requirements in a local situated work practice with the general requirements on a global level. These organizations must deliver solutions that have a good fit on a local level while at the same time provide a design that could scale on a global level. Open Innovation Design for information technology in emergency and crisis response does not mean the same as open source. What I am looking for is a design paradigm that can balance between the local practice focus and a global focus.
Last week, Eric Monterio, TNU in Norway gave a talk at a research seminar where he explicitly said that user participation in design work does not scale. The idea of user involvement in the design process must be reinvented in order to also account for the of designing for a global market, for users that it would be too costly to involve in one organizations product development process.
More, the most exciting new services can not to attributed to design activities in a single organization or even been linked to a nice and rational design process. The heterogeneity of designers for bits and pieces of a final application design is complex. Understanding and making use of such complex processes requires new approaches. Open Innovation Design could perhaps be the concept that could describe and prescribe how practical application design should be innovated for global design challenges. I would suspect that we will see a massive stream of research in this direction. There are already a lot of interesting work going on.