Innovation – in numerous spheres, but especially in the economic – is one of the key putative benefits of Open Data. However, innovation is a complex and rarely solo activity.
Multiple inputs are required to create new products, services or efficiencies. It’s therefore unsurprising that ‘user innovation communities’ are visible all over. 
In my research, I’ve been looking at communities with proven innovation records – those of open source software – to identify exactly what activities are taking place that enable innovation.
I’m now attempting to see if I can identify interactions that may lead to innovation among the open data community. I’ve started by analysing online fora.
During Open Data Camp I’d like to lead a discussion on whether the open data community has created access to the same resources for innovation, and what channels we use to transfer knowledge, shape products or services, or learn new skills.
- Are these channels (for example, online fora, Open Data camp, hackathons, request systems) sufficient?
- Are they effective?
- For what purpose do we use them (or not!)?
- Are there examples of successful interactions where members of the community supported others to innovate?
- Are there examples of where needs have not been met, but could have been?
As well as contributing to my research, I hope the outcomes of this session will be wider awareness of the useful opportunities for interaction for innovation with Open Data, and a basis for development of new channels to support innovation.
I look forward to seeing you at Open Data camp to discuss this.
Eric von Hippel. MIT Sloan Management Review42.4 (Summer 2001): 82-86.
Matthew Buck of Drawnalism