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2013: The year of uptick in enterprise crowdsourcing?

Those who work with IT are accustomed to hearing about outsourcing arrangements and cloud computing. Put these concepts together and you get what has been coined the “human cloud.” The Human Cloud is a sourcing ecosystem that engages a pool of online workers, or suppliers, that can be tapped on-demand to provide a wide range of services to any interested buyer. Buyers contract suppliers or workers through one of dozens of online platforms.

2012 saw the consolidation of several platforms, a sign of a maturing industry. Lionbridge bought Virtual Solutions and Freelancer bought vWorker (parent company of RentaCoder).

Even microsoft is excited about the human cloud. See this video. Meanwhile, lionbridge has a great explanatory video.

2013 will see a shift from small business buyers to adoption by large enterprises as well as a shift from outsourcing of one-off projects to the outsourcing of processes where streams of activities in workflows are performed by “cloud” workers. Large enterprises will continue to develop internal human clouds composed of unassigned workers who may engage in modular work. As information and communication technology advances, outsourcing to the Human Cloud will eventually disrupt the multi-billion dollar business process outsourcing industry. Off-shoring becomes every-shoring, then the world is truly flat.

Open innovation in education, OLEDs, and Nature

Mozilla, Creative Commons, and P2P University announced a new open innovation initiative to partner with educators in extending Mozilla’s role in the education space. This post has more about Mozilla’s strategic position to engage in the open innovation process build educational materials.

Innocentive and Nature just announced a partnership of somekind to engage scientists in solving global scientific challenges. It is refreshing to see this large publisher getting involved in such a worthwhile endevor. Perhaps this is in response to MIT’s announcement to make all it’s faculties scientific papers available for free on the internet.

Lastly, Novaled, an OLED maker, and Holst Centre, an open innovation R&D company announced a partnership.

Read Pascal Finette’s blog about the interesting name change for the LinkedIn Open Innovation group.

Open Innovation in the news

Mentions of Open Innovation continue to appear in diverse places. Here are a few mentions in the past day or so.

A FastCompany expert blog tells how PetMD is choosing not to adopt Open Innovation blindly, to differentiate itself from its competitors.

Jeong Kim, President of Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs tells how the new joint research lab with Institut Telecom “represoecdents another important step forward for us  in realizing our open innovation strategy”.

Science Archived links to an OECD study which lists Open Innovation as a recent trend in the innovation process.

The implications of Informal Learning

I was browsing Gartner’s Hype Cycle Blog, and found something interesting by Richard Straub at the Training Zone on Informal Learning.

He shares that in IBM’s 2008 survey of 1,100 CEOs:

more than 40% are changing their enterprise models to be more open and collaborative.

A significant number… Unfortunately he does not elaborate on this point, but rather the important role of Informal Learning in today’s world. The first comment states that Informal Learning is what we do everyday – learning on the job, in the process of “putting out fires”. I would agree, but I think Straub’s remark shows there is something more:

“We are on the threshold of a paradigm shift in learning. We have new learning environments and tools that enable us to access knowledge more effectively and to share and collaborate in better ways.”

Even though this sounds like a cheap management book, I agree with it. It seems that the relatively small number of people who are very active (look at Tim O’reilly)  in the blogosphere operate under a different paradigm than the mainstream. But, things are changing.

Post Doc Opportunity in Open Innovation

luleaI saw on the AOM TIM Newsletter that there is a post doc opportunity in Open Innovation at Luleå University of Technology. I have not been looking much, but this is the first time I have seen a post-doc position specifically for Open Innovation research. Here it is:

The research division Entrepreneurship & Industrial Organisation at Luleå University of Technology (Sweden) focuses upon scholarly study of business development in commercial companies, especially development based on innovative products, services, process solutions or new ways of organising business activities. Its research team, consisting of 13 members (nine seniors and four PhD candidates) and three associated visiting professors/researchers, now announces a:


Your background
We believe you have successfully completed and defended your PhD dissertation during the last three years in fields such as entrepreneurship, business administration, product development or innovation management.  You are curious to learn more about a Swedish academic environment and looking forward to cooperate with ambitious members of the division’s team in Luleå. Maybe you also would like to experience “a productive sabbatical” at Sweden’s northernmost university, close to the Arctic Circle.

Your field of research
Your main topic is technology management, product innovation and/or innovation system research, where we would like you to specifically contribute in projects aiming at developing our understanding of open innovation theory and/or network-related arrangements for business development. An option is to divide the scholarship into two parts, addressing (1) open innovation principles and practises, and (2) regional innovation systems and indicators for measuring the dynamics of innovation. This links to ongoing research at both the Entrepreneurship team and at the Industrial Organization team. 

Your skills and competences
We expect you to work within our team at the university for at least a period of six months. We require candidates to demonstrate high analytical skills as well as significant skills in research methods employed in the social sciences. You should be fluent in English, and enjoy both self-organized and team-based work tasks.  International publication in scholarly journals relevant to your research filed is highly valued. 

Position conditions
This is a scholarship position for one year (2009). It may also be divided into two positions with a six months contract for each position. Definitive terms for the position(s) will be negotiated.

Your application should be sent to Luleå University of Technology, IES, Entrepreneurship & Industrial organisation, Att: Håkan Ylinenpää, SE-971 87 Luleå, Sweden, incoming before the December 15th 2009. Attach your full CV, at least two academic persons who may provide references, and possibly earlier work that could be of relevance. 

More information
Contact the head of division, professor Håkan Ylinenpää (phone +46-920-491210, e-mail [email protected]) for more information. Dr Johan Frishammar (phone +46-920-491407 e-mail [email protected]) will also be at your service for information.