Reputation system. Participants’ reputation should be built upon the quality and quantity of their contributions, the skills and behaviors perceived by their peers in their collaborative experiences. More precisely, the criteria to define every solver’s reputation would be:

  • Peer ratings, recommendations and comments (skills, values and behaviors)
  • Non-profit contributions, considering number of projects and value of each contribution
  • Results achieved in all kinds of contributions
  • Certainty of the solver’s votes to others’ proposed solutions

There should be a ranking of contributors in every field of expertise – and categories according to the ranking – and a synthetic rating integrating all the criteria mentioned above. It should be also possible to see detailed information about every solver´s performance for each criteria, to better know what could be expected from his/her contribution. Reputation would also be the basis for the allocation of training assignments, participation in benchmarking trips, etc.

Reward system. Assigning rewards to contributors may be a very complex challenge itself, especially for collaborative innovation, where each contribution has to be assessed accurately to assign the fair share of the total reward given to the solution. In the case of challenges worked out individually, the solver either accepts or negotiates the reward with the seeker, in accordance with market fees – the platform should offer illustrative information about this – and other variables such as special skills and reputation. Likewise, when two solvers build a team for a challenge they should negotiate each one’s share of the final reward beforehand.

In the case of collaborative deals – technological challenges only – where there are contributions from several solvers, but not being part of a team the platform should have a set of criteria to assess each solver’s contribution and assign fair rewards for each one. As explained in the operation system section about assessing contribution, collaborative working discussions should be carried out and registered through platform tools such as mind mapping, video conference, online forum or chat. This way, each solver’s contribution could be accurately assessed and idea authorship be identified. Contributions could be classified in four categories:

  1. Bold ideas and lateral shortcuts are the core of any innovation, and are only attainable by visionary innovators and thought leaders. Due to their scarcity and considering the associated value of leadership, these should be conceptually the highest valued kind of contribution, before considering the amount of workload involved.
  2. Idea development to put the former into practice may be a daunting task and requires highly skilled team contributors. However, the value – before considering the time invested – is lower than the former, as it usually requires just adapting of existing solutions. If the development of the idea requires innovative approaches its value would equal the former.
  3. Refinements or changes to prototypes proposed by qualified outsiders – not team members – may help perfecting the main idea or its effective development, by bringing in new approaches and knowledge. These contributions could be assessed as more valuable as any of the former or much less. Team innovators and voters should decide on this.
  4. Votes to the presented solutions help the seeker decide on the best solution or solutions to reward. The reward of the vote should depend on the number of options to review, how early the vote is given (the earlier the better) and how certain they have been. These would have the lowest reward, but should be significant to motivate participation.

Beyond the conceptual value, the workload invested in the contribution should be considered. This must be justified and approved by the platform’s board of experts. Furthermore, other assessment criteria could be originality, expertise value, feasibility, detailed development of the contribution and critical value for the feasibility of the project.

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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