Please find below the introduction to an interview in Projects Magazine, April 2013, with Signe Skov-Hansen, consortium manager of the innovation consortium 'Community-Based Innovation:
"Ethnographers will tell you that groups of people with a shared interest are often a hotbed of ideas with great potential for innovation. Such communities are buzzing with aficionados who are passionate about their chosen subject, whether it’s amateur astronomers searching for new planets or passionate VW drivers sharing ideas on how to fine tune their vehicles. It is, of course, human nature to seek out likeminded individuals to form a cohort but until recently such communities were often limited by geographical or communicationbased constraints. The technological revolution that has taken place over the past few years has provided a platform for communities to develop, engage and, potentially innovate.
Led by the Danish Technological Institute and funded by The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, a group of researchers has teamed up with small and medium-sized businesses in a three year-long project, entitled Community-Based Innovation (CBI). This consortium has set out to explore what motivates members of a community as well as how technology can be used to identify and access relevant communities as a source of innovation. “This is a project where we target value creation in businesses,” says consortium manager Signe Skov-Hansen. “What aspects of working with communities, either online or offline, might increase innovation in your company and how might you go about involving specific groups of users in an innovation process in your company.”
As well as exploring the motivation of a community (what brings them together, what keeps them there and how do they contribute) the team will also look at the technology that facilitates communities, such as Smart Phones, iPads, desktop computers or even tangible objects i.e. a hanger in a store. A further objective of the project is to develop hands-on tools that might assist a business in encouraging community-based innovation. “We have the chance to actually develop technologies that we can test to see whether they support community based innovation and we have the opportunity to study what people do,” says Signe."
The full article in PDF in Projects Magazine: