These are just a few of the many challenges our world faces as it changes at an exponential speed, and we must find ways to keep up. Exponential change calls for exponential collaboration: so how do we collaborate exponentially? Read on for strategies inspired by our work at Solve, where each year we issue four challenges, and use open innovation and collaboration to find and support the most promising solutions.
Have you ever used the app Duolingo to learn languages, or edited a Wikipedia page? If you answered yes, then you have taken part in mass collaboration. You’ve contributed free time to building a reliable translation engine, or the world’s largest encyclopedia.
There are more examples of mass collaboration leading to solving problems. Online gamers collaborate for discoveries, such as figuring out the structure of an AIDS-related enzyme in 10 days on Foldit – a breakthrough that took scientists a decade. Data sharing on collaborative platforms has enabled widespread improvements in well-being such as real-time traffic sharing that saves local drivers time and gas on their commutes. Additionally, purpose-driven organizations are using crowd-sourcing to achieve their core objectives, from Kiva crowd-vetting loan requests to Ushahidi crowd-mapping elections and human rights violations.
At Solve, we believe these collaborative talent, ingenuity, and creativity exist everywhere. To find them, here are three things we do when sourcing solutions to our challenges:
Our goal is to include as many people as possible. As Megan Smith, 3rd Chief Technology Officer of the U.S., said during our Solve flagship meeting: “If we include everyone, we can solve everything.”
To really unlock the power of open innovation to catalyze scalable solutions and systemic change, partnerships must be cultivated. Building partnerships is an art as much as a science. It is an exercise in trust that cannot be coded. Solving the complex problems of our world takes participation at all levels across industries, governments, and civil societies. Take for example Kiron, one of our solutions to Solve’s Refugee Education challenge. Kiron is a Berlin-based open education start-up that allows refugees to earn free college credits and degrees. It reaches thousands of refugees because its programs are recognized by governments and certified by global universities. Through its multi-stakeholder partnerships, Kiron has established the credibility and support to scale.
Solve helps broker similar partnerships for Solvers, to support the most promising solutions submitted on our open innovation platform. Here are three ways we do this:
So, here’s our challenge to you: Have you been working on solving challenges related to youth and skills, tech for women and girls, brain health, or food and water sustainability? Submit your ideas and work on our open innovation platform – anyone can take part. You can build teams and get help on our platform. If you’re selected by our judges, we work with you to broker partnerships that will help you develop and scale your solution.
If you don’t have a solution, but want to join our efforts, you can make a difference by becoming a member of the Solve community.
Let’s Solve together. Join the movement today.