Corinne Le Buhan was recently selected as the winner of The Economist-Innocentive Human Potential Index Challenge. In addition to the $10,000 award, Corinne was invited to present her solution at The Economist Ideas Economy: Human Potential conference in New York in September 2011. You can view her full solution here, and her presentation here.
How did you hear about InnoCentive and why did you become an InnoCentive Solver?
Curiosity brought me to Innocentive in the first place. As a freelance consultant in intellectual property and innovation management, I wanted to better understand how innovation crowdsourcing works in practice and what new opportunities it enables for my customers. This approach is not very well known yet and is often feared because of the loss of control it seems to imply, but that can be addressed with the right framework and process. So, I registered as a Solver to test it… and ended submitting an ideation Challenge on my own simply because it was inspiring me.
Have you attempted other InnoCentive Challenges?
So far, I have not attempted other Innocentive Challlenges, but I did consider a few. It’s a lot of work to compile a good proposal. You need to gather the relevant part of your background knowledge, you need to devote some time to further explore what other solutions already exist elsewhere and enrich your thinking accordingly, and then you still need to articulate your nascent ideas as clearly as possible to formalize a suitable answer to the Challenge requirements. This process is somewhat similar capturing a technical invention into a good patent description and claims… you need significant quiet time to think and write about it! So I can only work on Challenges when I have enough free time left besides my day-to-day business.
What motivated you to work on the Challenge that you ended up winning?
What particularly motivated me to devote extra-hours building an answer to the Human Potential Index Challenge was its larger purpose and meaning than what I’m usually working on. In my humble view, GDP-based metrics are depressing the whole western economies in a schizophrenic way as we grow GDP at the expense of other goals such as environmental preservation. Still, I personally have the opportunity to interact with a number of creative and positive-minded engineers who have not given up their faith in mankind capability to design new technologies, even if sometimes just for the fun of it. So I thought there must be a way to better capture that, as a human potential index measurement, than with GDP-derived metrics, and that where I started from.
What do you like about working on Challenges?
I like working on almost anything, and Challenges are even more rewarding because it is a creative work. I also like more and more being able to connect and share knowledge from very different fields as my life experience and understanding develops. Challenges like the one I submitted provide a very good opportunity to do so.
What would you like to see happen with your solution?
I now try to integrate my proposal into a larger initiative. I’m using the visibility it gave me to connect to other people with the same concerns and hopes on the need for a better human potential development measurement. I think there’s room for further formalism and prototyping from real data in this area, but this requires funding of some sort. Ideas that are not implemented in the end are just ideas, not innovations… that’s nice, but a bit worthless. I hope we can move to the next step, and have already started to connect to other Challengers to evaluate if there’s enough momentum to further build something concrete out of our respective ideas, expertise and networks.
You can read Corinne's bio at http://www.ipstudies.ch/about/