Crowdsourcing is – according to Wikipedia – “the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to a large group of people or community through an open call”.  It may be considered as a tool for organizations to obtain external inputs in their open innovation process. Crowdsourcing can help organizations collect ideas, and test these ideas prior to developing them into products or services.

Co-creation refers to the process of collaborative creation of a product or service between the company and the customers. The participation of customers is the main difference that sets it apart from Open Innovation. Some customers want to play an active role in the product experience from the outset, in the design stage, in order to obtain a more and better personalized product or service that satisfies their needs and aspirations.

User-driven innovation is a technique which consists of observing the product or service during its use in order to obtain valuable insights for its improvement. Unlike in co-creation, the users or customers play a passive role in the process, as they are observed but not asked to contribute with their ideas in the innovation process.

Ecosystem is the network of innovative contributors encompassing all the potential categories, and including all types of stakeholders: from suppliers to clients, and from government-supported bodies and initiatives to competitors. Building a cooperative and innovative culture throughout the ecosystem is a key factor for the success of the Open Innovation system.

Collaborative innovation refers to the innovation practice consisting of the collaboration between businesses from different sectors which combine their expertise to create and develop new products, services or processes. This is like a joint-venture deal with selected partners, in which each partner has to contribute with its expertise in developing innovative solutions.

Seekers and Solvers. In an Open Innovation system there may be businesses and many types of organizations looking for solutions to their challenges. They are called the ¨Seekers¨. On the other side of the platform is a large pool of innovators and experts who are expected to propose solutions to the challenges presented by the Seekers. These innovators and experts are the ¨Solvers¨. These terms are frequently used throughout this White Paper.

Open innovation platform is the hub where innovators are called to be registered and to sign up for related events. In the case of non-professional contributors, it is the place to submit content or ideas, whereas in the case of professional contributors this becomes an essential tool, as the innovation challenges for professionals are fully managed through this platform and entail more complex procedures than the non-professional ones.

This article is from the White Paper “Envisioning Open Innovation in Destinations”, available for download in

Posted by Jordi Pera

Jordi Pera is an economist passionate about tourism, strategy, marketing, sustainability, business modelling and open innovation. He has international experience in marketing, intelligence research, strategy planning, business model innovation and lecturing, having developed most of his career in the tourism industry. Jordi is keen on tackling innovation and strategy challenges that require imagination, entail thoughtful analysis and are to be solved with creative solutions.

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