Fellow InnoCentive Solvers:
I recently noticed that there seems to be a common theme in my life.... that of being open. I use open source software on my computer; Linux, Open Office, Gimp, etc. I contribute to that bastion of open knowledge; Wikipedia. I am open to trying new things; I have started a few companies, learned to snowboard, took up rock climbing, and am currently teaching myself guitar (with NO musical talent in my body). And, I am open to what life throws at me and embrace it for what I can learn from the experience.
Therefore, participating in open source innovation, as facilitated by InnoCentive, seemed like a natural fit for me. During the few months since I started offering solutions, I have been amazed at how many other Engineers and Scientists out there are also open to doing things differently. I may have found my clan!
And what a clan! We are acting as change agents for how problem solving, innovation, and product design may be done in the future. We are probably shaping the new way intellectual property will be generated and protected going forward. We may even be starting a totally new way to conduct business virtually. If you can do open Product Design and Marketing, why not Accounting and Manufacturing? (InnoCentive should owe me an award if they use that one!). From my perspective, we are participating in this truly amazing experiment of open innovation at a truly extraordinary time in history. I find this exciting!
But I also find it the basis of hope. If one views open source innovation, as exemplified by InnoCentive, as a harbinger of how we might solve the much bigger challenges that face us in the world, my heart lightens. People say that the world has so many “problems” (war, oppression, decease, poverty, water shortages, overpopulation, etc). I would love to see those in power use the open source model and turn these "problems" into “opportunities”; Opportunities for grass roots efforts of creative and motivated people from all types of backgrounds and disciplines to come together and implement much-needed changes. But, again, I am open to dreaming.
In closing, I must thank you, my esteemed colleagues, for the enjoyable competition that you have provided me on the InnoCentive website. I feel honored to be included in your 'clan', given your impressive backgrounds, extraordinary credentials, and inspiring creativity. Keep up the good work.