Category: Innovation

Business model innovation, open innovation and co-creation practices and case studies

Co-creationCollaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureCulture changeInnovation

Presidential Innovation Fellows: Co-innovating with (We) the People

As it has been explained in the posts about destination models 3.0, these intend to leverage the intelligence, creativity, initiative and influential power of all its stakeholders from the outset, not only in product and content co-creation, but also up to the business model innovation. In this regard, considering the Destination Management Organisation (DMO) as the destination’s government from the planning and management perspective, some governments are developing innovative practices in this direction, which should inspire also the destinations’ governance organisations.

Some governments are trying to lessen political apathy by engaging citizens in crowdsourcing initiatives for a variety of areas of innovation and decision taking on public affairs. But besides the attempt to prevent further public institutions disaffection, those governments tapping into the knowledge and abilities of citizens are also discovering the benefits to reach beyond the usual experts to expand and diversify the talent pool tackling a problem.

U.S Government and more specifically Obama administration has been especially active in government-driven crowdsourcing competitions and collaborations. Across government, all sorts of agencies are implementing hundreds of crowdsourcing approaches, citizen science programs, and other efforts that have brought the best ideas and talent together to solve mission-centric problems. Last year alone, Federal agencies ran over 85 prize competitions, from small-dollar prizes to winnings of $100,000 or more.

The Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) program brings the innovation economy into government, by pairing talented, diverse technologists and innovators with top civil-servants and change-makers within the federal government to tackle some our nation’s biggest challenges.
This program brings the principles, values, and practices of the innovation economy into government through the most effective agents of change we know: our people. This highly-competitive program pairs talented, diverse technologists and innovators with top civil-servants and change-makers working at the highest levels of the federal government to tackle some our nation’s biggest challenges. These teams of government experts and private-sector doers take a user-centric approach to issues at the intersection of people, processes, products, and policy to achieve lasting impact.

Fellows selected for this unique, and highly-competitive opportunity serve for 12 months, during which they will collaborate with each other and federal agency partners on high-profile initiatives aimed at saving lives, saving taxpayer money, fueling job creation, and building the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation within government. As stated in its website, PIF offers to talented individuals from diverse backgrounds “the unique opportunity to work on truly awesome projects with the potential to make a positive impact, with a user base of more than 300 million Americans.”

About the Fellowship

The Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) program was established by the White House in 2012 to attract top innovators into government, capable of tackling issues at the convergence of technology, policy, and process.

The PIF program is administered as a partnership between the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the General Services Administration (GSA). In 2013, the PIF program established a permanent home and program office within GSA.

Program Details

The Fellowship is a 12-month program, during which Fellows are embedded within a federal agency to collaborate on challenges with innovators inside government. Fellows are based in Washington D.C. for the duration of their Fellowship, and are considered full-time employees of the federal government.

Fellows operate with wide latitude for individual initiative in planning and executing solutions to problem, and spend a significant portion of their time co-working and collaborating with other Fellows. Throughout the program, Fellows receive support from partners in the White House and change-agents across various federal agencies.

Created in 2012, opportunities for Fellows participating in the program have already include creating new crowdsourcing tools to empower survivors and first responders during natural disasters, significantly improving the quality of US patent system, or even addressing asteroid threats to human populations. Fellows have also unleashed the power of open government data to spur the creation of new products and jobs; designed pilot projects that make it easier for new economy companies to do business with the Federal Government; and much more. These are some of many other resultant projects:

This article is from  www.co-society.com/presidential-innovation-fellows-co-innovating-people/

www.whitehouse.gov/innovationfellows

Business trendsCollaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureInnovationInnovative culture

Co-Innovation will be a new growth path for companies, Singapore considered

Collaborative innovation is one of the key concepts that set Destinations 3.0 apart from others, and one of the main sources of competitive advantage. Singapore –the second most competitive economy worldwide according to the World Competitiveness Index- is an example of best practices in collaborative innovation between the public and private sector.

The Singapore Government launched about five years ago a Public Private Co-Innovation Partnership (CI Partnership) programme to encourage the co-development of innovative solutions with the private sector to meet the government’s longer term needs. The initiative was inspired by part of the recommendations of the Singapore Ministry of Finance Economic Strategies Committee (ESC) in which it was included the idea that Co-Innovation would be a new growth path for companies.

The programme involves the Government committing $450m over 5 years to fund such collaborations. For each of these projects, companies interested in co-developing solutions with the Government can apply for funding to do so.

The CI Partnership works on a public-private problem-based approach to innovation. Public agencies first define Government’s needs where there are no identified “off-the-shelf” solutions. Interested companies can then submit their proposals and ideas for projects to the agencies. Depending on the project, promising proposals can be funded to test the feasibility of the concept, develop prototypes or to test-bed the solution.

Interested companies can log on to the co-innovation website at http://www.coinnovation.gov.sg in which is possible to read Government explanation for the programme:

“Today, in an increasingly complex environment, Government faces many challenges and needs that do not have existing solutions. Singapore companies have the innovation potential to meet those needs. The central idea behind the CI Partnership is that Government can better serve the public through innovations borne out of public-private partnership”.

www.coinnovation.gov.sg

This article is from www.co-society.com/co-innovation-will-new-growth-path-companies-singapore-considered

 

InnovationOpen innovationThird sector and social sustainability

UNICEF looks “out there” for co-innovation to solve its challenges

Tourism Destinations 3.0 base one of their main competitive advantages in the power of leveraging the stakeholders’ collective intelligence through open innovation, taking advantage of the stakeholders’ motivation for contribution to the destination’s mission, to address some of the community’s social and environmental challenges. This example illustrates how other international bodies tackling global challenges try to leverage the motivation for contribution to the greater good through open innovation.

UNICEF is hoping to do more to help the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people thanks to a new open innovation initiative. The United Nation program for children recently launched CauseTech looking for unique alternative solutions to propel their work forward. This dedicated global community site will enable participants to share ideas, vote and discuss refinements. 

CauseTech aims to aggregate the world’s best and brightest innovators, technologists, IT professionals, product developers, researchers, entrepreneurs, academics and post-graduate students in a global open innovation ecosystem. The new portal is part of a new private sector initiative to crowdsource breakthrough ideas, inventions, products, and emerging technologies that can advance the work done by the UNICEF Global Innovation Center worldwide. The CauseTech website features novel technologies and solutions that serve as inspirations for the community moving through the ideation process. These technologies are also profiled for crowdsourced discussion through the ideation platform.

The aim is tap collective thinking and input to identify, adapt and deploy inventive technology solutions that can help UNICEF scale its efforts to meet the ever-growing needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and excluded children across 190 countries. This includes health, drinking water, renewable energy, food security, hygiene, education, communication, and self-sufficiency.

CauseTech.Net will register and profile contributors and run crowdsourcing contests and challenges developed by UNICEF offices. Once registered, community members can submit ideas and technologies to solve a need and/or take part in one of the global challenges.  UNICEF also wants this new platform to engage with mentors, other innovators, and potential partners and collaborators in order to improve upon potential new successful ideas, therefore becoming the connector between all the relevant actors in the value chain to ensure innovative solutions can be successfully implemented and scaled across regions and contexts. 

While the platform will enable ongoing open ideation around challenges, it will also run timed contests curated by UNICEF Innovation teams. The first official contest was launched last June through UNICEF’s Burundi Innovation Lab. This challenge focus on alternative energy solutions for this country, where only three percent of the population is connected to the electricity grid. The aim is to accelerate product development and market expansion while building local entrepreneurship and testing a new hybrid public-private partnership. 

UNICEF has already experienced the positive benefits of private-public partnerships. The United Nation organization hope private sector partners will use the new platform to provide funding for crowdsourced innovation challenges besides engaging their smart minds in solving real-world problems UNICEF workers are facing in the field. As declared in the “Q&A” section of the new platform, 

“We  are  seeing  a  shift  in  private  sector  companies  away  from  competition  and  towards  collaboration.  Companies  see  that  by  pulling  in  the  resources  and  strengths  of  different  groups,  they  can  really  extend  their  value  proposition. This is the same in the social sector. We  realize  that  we  cannot  achieve  everything  on  our  own,  and  while  we  are  experts  in  development  we  don’t  necessarily  have  the  technological  background  to  ensure  the  best  solutions  can  be  found  and  scaled. The  goal  of    CauseTech  is  to  expand  the  sphere  of  how  we  look  at  private  public  partnerships  so  that  we  can  really  go  beyond  philanthropy  and  move  towards  engagement 

We  believe  that  for  the  global  challenges we  are addressing, the  solutions  are  out  there.

This article is from www.co-society.com/unicef-looks-co-innovation-solve-challenges

Collaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureCulture changeInnovationInnovative culture

A fresh outlook to public-private sectors relationship where a Co- mindset is key

Since the latest global financial crisis, new evidences prove the mindset shift ingrained in the private sectors in accordance with the trends of Marketing 3.0, namely referring to the business mission driven purpose and the cooperation between businesses and also with governments. This article deepens in the new role of governments in this new paradigm. For Willian D. Eggers and Paul Macmillan, authors of The Solution Revolution, it’s time to contemplate a fresh outlook to public-private sectors relationship where a Co- mindset and practice is key.

As tough societal problems persist and government budgets tighten, citizens, social enterprises, and even businesses, are relying less and less on government-only solutions. The Solution Revolution describes how, as the subtitle puts it, “business, government and social enterprises are teaming up to solve society’s toughest problems”.

These wavemakers range from edgy social enterprises to mega-foundations that are eclipsing development aid, to Fortune 500 companies delivering social good on the path to profit. In order to make the biggest impact, they have started to think holistically about their role and their relation to other players, not as competitors fighting over an ever-shrinking pie, but as potential collaborators. By erasing public-private sector boundaries, they are unlocking trillions of dollars in social benefit and commercial value.

For the “Solution Economy” new players, government is an essential part of the solution but government’s role have to change dramatically. The traditional boundaries between public and private sector should blur in order to get better results when dealing with social problems. There are some on both sides of the divide who doubt whether there should be such a divide at all. They are realizing that each sector stands to do better with a little help from the other.

Fortunately, as The Solution Revolution points out, international companies are increasingly seeking “progressive structures” through which co-operation is endorsed and regulations are created to engender higher levels of trust and mutual interest between companies, sectors, supply chains and markets.

Thus, the business world is undergoing such profound change that a fundamental rethink of the relationship between companies and governments is required. For instance, the so called “Purpose Economy” or “Purpose-Driven companies” where a new CSR mindset is less about PR and more about looking at problems as opportunities, including social problems as education, water, low-cost healthcare, sanitation, recycling, or reducing traffic congestion.

The Solution Revolution examines scores of examples of how this kind of Co- approach is already solving social problems. Here are some of them:

  • Recyclebank turned recycling into a game by uniting cities, citizens and companies around a system of exchange and rewards. Citizens are encouraged to recycle more by earning points that can be redeemed for discounts and deals on products and services from Recyclebank’s network of more than 100 corporate sponsors.
  • Unilever created an entire ecosystem of diverse partners to address an urgent sanitation problem affecting more than 600 million poor Indians. It acted as a partner with NGOs, banks and schools to create a profitable market for cleaning products in rural India.
  • NASA partnered with SpaceX and other private space companies when fiscal constraints shut down the agency’s space shuttle programs. SpaceX’s unmanned Dragon capsule successfully docked on the international space station in May 2012.

You may find the original article in The Solution Revolution

This article is from www.co-society.com/fresh-outlook-public-private-sectors-relationship-co-mindset-key

Beyond the proposed destination models 3.0, which other public-private partnerships do you envision for tourism destinations?

Business model innovationBusiness trendsCollaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureCulture change

Business ecosystems come of age

As it has been explained in many posts and Whitepapers, one of the key success factors of destinations in their evolution towards the Vision of Tourism 3.0 is to develop an innovation ecosystem integrated by different types of contributors. In that regard, Business Trend Series Deloitte’s report Business ecosystems come of age presents a series of articles describing how businesses are moving beyond traditional industry silos and conjoining networked ecosystems, creating new opportunities for innovation.

The report offers a glimpse of how some view the rise of ecosystems as an opportunity for creating powerful new competitive advantage as it becomes increasingly possible for firms to deploy and activate assets they neither own nor control and expand the possible beyond of their expertise and activities.

This brief summary outlines the various subjects and ideas dealt with:

Introduction: A brief history of the concept of ecosystems applied to business and how it all started in the technology sector but now is also taking root far beyond.

Blurring boundaries, uncharted frontiers: Long-standing boundaries and constraints that have traditionally determined the evolution of business are dissolving, allowing new ecosystem possibilities to flourish.

Wicked opportunities: Many kinds of complex, dynamic, and seemingly intractable social challenges are being reframed and attacked with renewed vigor through ecosystems formed by unprecedented networks of NGOs, social entrepreneurs, governments, and even businesses coalescing around them.

Regulating ecosystems: Regulators are challenged to create policies and solutions that protect the public’s interests and are also dynamic enough to keep pace with innovation born through ecosystems.

Supply chains and value webs: A set of powerful developments have worked together to help transform the business environment, changing how supply chains are configured, further heightening their strategic significance for many firms, and creating new leadership imperatives for the years ahead. Now “companies don’t compete—supply chains do.”

The new calculus of corporate portfolios: The rise of business ecosystems is compelling strategists to value assets according to an additional calculus, often generating different conclusions about what should be owned.

The power of platforms: Properly designed business platforms can help create and capture new economic value and scale the potential for learning across entire ecosystems.

Minimum viable transformation: Business model transformations are not unprecedented, they have always happened. It is not even new that business model transformations must consider the evolution of a company’s broader ecosystem. What is new today is that such transformations must be considered and accomplished routinely—not as storm-of-the-century events.

You may download the document at Business ecosystems come of age

This article is from www.co-society.com/official-business-ecosystems-come-age-deloitte-confirmed/

Business model innovationCo-creationCollaborative business modelsInnovationMarketing 3.0

Case study: Trip4real. Tourism experience collaborative business model

Trip4real is a paradigmatic example of how the collaborative economy flourishes in new business models for the tourism industry. Founded in Barcelona by Gloria Molins, it connects local experience developers with tourists eager to discover the destination through tailored experiences for them. Trip4real is a collaborative platform where any local may market a tourism experience to help the tourist discover the destination from a particular point of view or live special interest experiences.

The platform acts like a marketplace and also as an intermediary, so the payment is controlled by the platform and it gets a commission out of it. After the payment is done, the supplier and the client are connected to meet and live the experience. The motivation behind this business model is the will of the tourists for discovering the destination off the beaten track, where the locals go, and the hidden secrets that cannot be found in the Guides, as well as the authenticity brought by the interactivity with locals, who facilitate a deeper understanding about the local culture.

The first platform was developed for Barcelona, but other platforms have been developed in Madrid, Lisbon, London, Paris, Rome, Dublin, Berlin, Amsterdam, Edinburgh and a handful of Spanish destinations.

As has happened with Uber, do you think that these business models may be treated as unfair competitors to the local “official” tour guides and incoming agencies? Do you think there should be any kind of restrictions to letting it legally compete with standard tourism service suppliers?
You may check further details at www.trip4real.com

Business model innovationCollaborative business modelsStrategy

Small local brands: You either collaborate or you’ll be intermediated

In Destinations 3.0, DMOs work as marketing platforms intermediating for the local businesses and joining efforts with those businesses to reach the global market, just in the way that thousands of niche companies are willing to enjoy the benefits of the level of visibility and consistency that only a more “mainstream” brand can offer. This article explains the imperative need for small businesses and brands to develop cooperative marketing platforms to avoid being intermediated by wholesalers with a much higher negotiation power.

Some early Internet evangelists promised anybody with a website and an e-commerce platform can have a global market no matter how small the company or where it is located. A theoretical true, that statement does not take into consideration the laws of Attention Economics that Internet itself is boldly proving right from the very first moment.

It’s also true “Long Tail” niche offers can overcome this barrier by the same differentiation and exclusivity that made them niche in the very first place. Yes, it’s possible to create a global audience or market by offering something nobody else is offering and then establishing a relationship with your customers leveraging all new media and tools available today. Yet, still, this level of differentiation is not always and for everybody possible.

Collaboration with others such niche brands can make this strategy less difficult and more potentially fruitful.  Good news is people seem to be rejecting the notion of large corporations and are looking for companies whose people and story they can connect with. Bad news is Attention Economics apply, making impossible for customers to have a relationship close enough with all niche brands that could be relevant to them in a particular moment.

This is why even living in a flat world we still need intermediaries. A different kind, but still intermediaries. But in the digital paradigm, once eliminated geographical proximity as a factor, we only need one of these intermediaries for each of the limited list of categories our minds can deal with, making monopolies or oligopolies a natural and logical outcome for every market.

Good for those understanding becoming the perfect interface for a particular category of products or services is the fast lane to success (and dollars) in the digital realm. Too bad for the ones who will have (or already have) to deal with a monopolist in order to make their products or services visible and purchasable. Too bad for thousands of musicians or app developers taken a cut of a third of every sale that would have been considered outrageous if taken by a local record or software shop. For every Etsy or Zappos of the world, there is the menace of them taking advantage of a dominant position, the threat of the “Upper Hand” syndrome we wrote about referring the case of Fulfillment by Amazon.

Collaboration will be the only possible answer for the convergence of a growing number of niche offers and the challenge for these companies of having enough scale for their offers to be visible and purchasable. If these companies do not create and own their own intermediation by collaborating with others, somebody else will create a digital intermediation for them.

Co-Society was recently involved in a project for an association of cooperatives looking for new roles in a changing, much different world in which the Co-op concept was born. There is still an opportunity to build many middleware platforms between consumers and niche offers, an opportunity for umbrella organizations representing smaller or local brands and offers with a promise to the consumer of a guaranteed consistency and quality. But for these to be owned by the smalls brands themselves, there will be no other way that to be implemented and managed by a more collaborative, democratic and horizontal organizations we are used to, organizations similar to the structure and mindset with which cooperatives were born more than a century and a half ago.

This article is from www.co-society.com/small-local-brands-either-collaborate-youll-intermediated/

Up to what extend could the local niche brand be differentiated from the destination brand if this niche business has to be marketed through the destination branded platform?

Co-creationCollaborative cultureCulture changeInnovationInnovative culture

Co-ideation with employees, a first step for a much needed mindset and culture change

Destinations 3.0 intend to engage both the DMO employees and local stakeholders in co-creating contents and products in the form of life-changing experiences. This article brings us a case study showing how to create innovation teams and foster internal cooperation to boost innovation.

New collaboration efforts on innovation are usually almost exclusively put on initiatives, partnerships or projects with some other companies or external agents as providers, distributors, developers, academics or even customers. But often there is another area where to try to make the most of collaboration to innovate in a way that is easier, less risky and many times as fruitful: within the companies themselves.

Co-innovation between different departments or with employees not directly linked with innovation functions it’s still unusual. Maybe one of the reasons is because it’s kind of counterintuitive to think that anything else is needed to foster collaboration once you hire talent and put it under the same roof with common goals. But in practice, things do not work this way.

We have already some experience initiating and managing processes within companies of different sorts and from different sectors in order to create innovation teams with employees never before asked to think and implement new ideas. It’s not an easy task. Tools and methodology are needed. It is also very important for companies trying to tap into own talent for innovation to constantly explore what is going on beyond the walls of their sites, areas of expertise, business model and industry  to avoid the syndrome that make internal ideas often biased by a reapplication of knowledge, methods, and solutions which hinders creativity and market sensitivity.

But outputs are positive and important. For start, a first experience that acts as a necessary spark for a culture and mindset change in order to create a needed “company’s second operating system”, the one in charge of the future of the organizations. Co-innovate internally is the best first step and learning & testing way to co-innovate with external agents afterwards.

There are many ways to foster internal collaboration to innovate. Siemens is one of the big global companies that puts lots of efforts into their innovation goals and they have lots of initiatives on open innovation, co-creation and co-ideation within the company itself. This article describes two of the tools the company is using successfully for such a goal: TechnoWeb, an online platform that can be used by all Siemens employees worldwide to share ideas and research trends; and an Open Co-Ideation competition that invites researchers from different departments to share their knowledge.

TechnoWeb and the Open Co-Ideation competition exemplify new approaches for the internal generation of ideas, some of them already turned into successful company products as the article shows. But more importantly, they are causing Siemens’ corporate culture to change. As Christoph Krois, responsible for innovation management at Siemens, explains:  “It’s no longer a case of my knowledge, your knowledge, or my precious secrets, because as we proved with this tools and processes, knowledge is the only thing that increases if you share it”.

You may check the original source at Co-ideation and Knowledge-Sharing culture in Siemens

This post is from www.co-society.com/co-ideation-employees-first-step-much-needed-mindset-culture-change/

What cultural barriers prevent these innovation practices from being developed more often in corporations?

 

Co-creationInnovationMarketing 3.0Tourism marketing

Co-creating experiences in cooperation with Airbnb

Airbnb is partnering with iconic brands all over the world to promote its services. The news is that they partner with all sorts of brands, regardless of their relationship with the tourism and hospitality business. For instance, in Australia they partnered with Ikea to allow a group of customers to sleep in its Sidney store. This has not been the only case of such partnerships. During last year, some Airbnb guests have been able to rest on a KLM plane or at the Galeries Lafayette in Paris. There’s a future chance to spend the night at the Holmenkollen ski jump skiing in Oslo (Norway).

More recently, Chicago Bulls and Airbnb partnered on a promotion to allow one fan and a guest to sleep in the United Center following a game. The Bulls redesigned the owner’s suite equipped with a bed, dining room table, and TV (although guests could chose a movie to be shown on the team’s giant video screen). The Bulls even hired a cook to make a very special breakfast in the morning.

For a hospitality brand as Airbnb with not a single room among owned assets, it’s being a very clever and successful promotion to show how they can offer what no hotel chain can offer: unique experiences in accommodations all around the world. A promotion hard to imagine if not thanks to a collaboration between two brands with a win/win outcome, a co-creation process concerning a global brand wanting to be known in every possible local market and another local brand interested in being exposed to the world.

So we were really glad when we knew Casa Batlló in Barcelona and Airbnb agreed to a similar partnership giving two guests the chance to spend the night in one of the most mythical and iconic landmarks in the city. First of all, because this modernist architect Gaudi masterpiece building is owned by a Co-Society fellow (consider this a disclaimer). But also, because in this case, besides the partnership between two companies, the initiative also included some other elements of co-creation and co-innovation.

The contest to win this unique experience was not a mere lottery. It was created to tie in with Mobile World Congress, which took place in Barcelona during those same days, and linked to the “Entrepreneur hosts Entrepreneur” program in which entrepreneurs who travel to Barcelona to attend the event could sleep in the homes of other local entrepreneurs. Casa Batlló wanted Gaudí to be one of these local entrepreneurs and invite home not any tourist but somebody who could show the same out of the box thinking that made the host unique. To qualify for the award, the applicants must “Write to host” and propose an original idea of how to leverage mobile technology in the building, built between 1904 and 1906.

See the original post at www.co-society.com/airbnb-casa-batllo-mi-casa-es-su-casa-gaudi-said/

What kind of partnerships do you envision for collaborative platforms like Airbnb?

Business model innovationCo-creationTourism trends

Innovating in a religious center to create life-changing experiences

Innovation is not a transforming element exclusive to the business world. Promoting innovation in another ambit such as spirituality is not only possible but it can also teach us many useful lessons which are actually applicable to any kind of organization. The changes carried out in Cova St. Ignasi house of spiritual exercises, a Christian Catholic center in the Barcelona Area, prove that innovation is applicable in absolutely all fields. Actually, innovating in the field of spirituality is itself a disruptive innovation.

It took around 7 years for a group of young Jesuits led by Xavier Melloni to introduce a series of new activities among the programs developed in Cova St. Ignasi. Those activities were open to the participation of all kinds of people regardless of their religious confession or practice. These programs offer the chance to experience the inner search introducing both oriental techniques and elements of body expression.

Among the new internalization techniques there are yoga and tai-chi. Self-knowledge practices incorporate also elements from the Sufi tradition and have a base of both spiritual and psychological dimension. To these spiritual experiences some components related to body expression like dance have been added.

As you may guess, the introduction of these activities among the usual programs in this house of spiritual exercises was much more than mere novelty in an institution dedicated for centuries to the prayer and spirituality from the Catholic practice and doctrine. Years after offering these new activities, the novelty has positively surprised both the local population and the institution.

Key takeaways

From the success of an innovation in a rather conservative environment there are many interesting lessons to take away:

WITHOUT RADICAL BREAKING OFF. The introduction of new programs has not led to the disappearance of the traditional activities. This circumstance helped the transition by diminishing the anxiety in front of novelty.

CONVINCED PEOPLE, THE MAIN CHANGE MOTOR. The main characteristic of the group of people who led this innovation was the strong conviction in the ideas they were proposing and wanted to put into practice. Nobody had the obligation of getting involved in an activity which they did not feel comfortable with or did not believe in.

MULTI-CONFESSIONAL TEAMWORK. To develop the Project they decided to mix both catholic and non-catholic members, cooperating at the same level since the first day.

CONFIDENCE IS KEY. The proposal of Xavier Melloni and the rest of the team responsible for the Project generated many kinds of negative reactions at the beginning. For instance, one of the main concerns was fear that people could think that they were abandoning or relaxing the principles of the organization. But any innovation process requires a certain audacity to overcome the fears that arise with any change. For Xavier, this audacity has been as crucial as the necessary confidence not to be questioning the project over and over again. With the confidence shown by Xavier and his team it was easier to assume their own responsibilities and be patient with the development of the project.

THE BEST OF EVERY PRACTICE. Successful innovations in any field are not absolutely original. They do not start from scratch, but rather from combining elements of the best practices in a new way. The spiritual exercises designed by Xavier Melloni claim to integrate the most positive elements from both oriental and western cultures, attracting people who are distant from the Catholic practice, probably due to the Church’s official message. Many people want to work on their spirituality but consider that Christianity is too inflexible and excessively moralized. On the other hand, seriously introducing elements from other religions requires going through an educational process encompassing language, mythology, etc. which may be quite long and demanding. Xavier’s proposal consists in offering the chance to rediscover spirituality through the local language.

INNOVATION AS AN ELEMENT WITHIN A VISION. Changes coming from a concept or a vision that goes beyond that particular change have more chances to be successful than those that are made as a result of a short term challenge. The new proposals from Cova St. Ignasi come from considering the various religions as different vehicles to achieve the same destiny, the philosophy which Xavier Melloni has been working on as an expert in inter-religious dialogue for many years.

POSITIVE CONTAMINATION. Innovation usually comes from the merge of ideas and practices from different fields which are barely ever in touch. Xavier Melloni thinks that it is crucial to distance yourself from the small and closed worlds in which we usually are. Why not create the glocal (global-local) also in the religious ambit?

This post has been inspired by an article in www.infonomia.com , the leading Spanish Forum on innovation.

What life-changing experience do you envision inspired by these case studies?