What is Crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing is the practice of engaging a ‘crowd’ or group for a common goal — often innovation, problem solving, or efficiency. It is powered by new technologies, social media and web 2.0. Crowdsourcing can take place on many different levels and across various industries. Thanks to our growing connectivity, it is now easier than ever for individuals to collectively contribute — whether with ideas, time, expertise, or funds — to a project or cause. This collective mobilization is crowdsourcing.

This phenomenon can provide organizations with access to new ideas and solutions, deeper consumer engagement, opportunities for co-creation, optimization of tasks, and reduced costs. The Internet and social media have brought organizations closer to their stakeholders, laying the groundwork for new ways of collaborating and creating value together like never before. The approach is being embraced:

“Crowds are a hit. Millions of people, connected by the Internet, are contributing ideas and information to projects big and small. Crowdsourcing, as it is called, is helping to solve tricky problems and providing localized information. And with the right knowledge, contributing to the crowd — and using its wisdom — is easier than ever.” -The New York Times

Changing Environments – Social Media turns into Social Productivity

The future is human-centric, all about participation and the ability to co-create via an increasingly connected world. This new way of doing things – crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, co-creation, collaboration, and open innovation – is challenging business models and workings of organizations across the board, offering an immense opportunity to rethink and reinvent conventional processes.

Where Can Crowdsourcing Be Applied?

Crowdsourcing touches across all social and business interactions. It is changing the way we work, hire, research, make and market. Governments are applying crowdsourcing to empower citizens and give a greater voice to the people. In science and health care, crowdsourcing can democratize problem solving and accelerate innovation. With education, it has the potential to revolutionize the system, just as crowdfunding is currently challenging traditional banking and investing processes. It’s a 21st-century mindset and approach that can be applied in many areas and many ways to:

A Snapshot of Crowdsourcing in Asia

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Crowdsourcing Creative Solutions from Freelance Designers is Thriving

When I set up my marketing business I sketched out a rough idea for a company logo and wondered what to do next. I’d heard of an online design service where I could search for someone to complete the task for me at a starting price of $5. It seemed silly not to...

Crowdsourcing in Saudi Arabia

Early this year a submission from Tam Development made it to the shortlist of nominees in the BOLD Awards 2019. In partnership with 20 government and private entities in Saudi Arabia and the wider Arab region, and under the leadership of their CEO and co-founder...

Will Weaponized Robots Give Us Enough Time To Tackle Climate Change?

Right now, around the world, the activist movement Extinction Rebellion is disrupting daily routines in major cities to highlight the dangers from man-made climate change attributed to using fossil fuels, and that time is running out to do anything meaningful about...

Powering Social Issue Breakthroughs Through Open Innovation Design

At first glance the open innovation sector can appear a crowded  and perhaps confusing space. A closer look reveals many platforms have focused down on to one area of specialist business interest. OpenIDEO is one such platform and provides an interface for social...

Entrepreneurship Through Open Innovation Is A Journey, Not A Status

Aurelie Wen is Managing Partner at Agorize for North America, based in Montreal, Canada. Agorize is a 100-strong open innovation tech company that brings together companies and an astonishing five million innovators from 185 countries. It is “the missing link...
  • Accelerate Innovation
  • Share Ideas
  • Reinvent Business Models
  • Co-Create
  • Engage Consumers or Citizens
  • Reinvent Work Models
  • Save Cost
  • Increase Efficiency
  • Reinvent Financial Models

What can be crowdsourced? The short answer is, a collaborative or crowd-centric approach can be applied to everything. But here are just a few areas where it has had significant impact and huge potential:

  • Enterprise
  • Education
  • Government
  • IT
  • Finance
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing
  • Science & Health
  • Social Enterprise & NonProfit

CROWDSOURCING & THE FUTURE DYNAMICS OF BUSINESS

So how can this phenomenon work for organizations? Crowdsourcing as a work model, financial model, and business model are here to stay. Leveraging collaborative practices and tools leads to disruptive business implications and transformative innovations. If existing enterprise are not prepared to adapt and embrace this new opportunity, they will be disrupted. Knowledge and understanding of collaborative business practices will be a required skill for C-level suite executives and entrepreneurs.