One of the most critical parts of a social innovation challenge is mobilization. You may have an appealing topic or challenge, but if the right people do not know about it, the incoming ideas might be not helpful. Addressing those with passion and competence for the issue at stake is key. That means considering right from the start who the people are you want to attract to the process and how can they be reached. Internet is great for a wide reach of people, but it also may exclude some who are not internet savvy. Workshops on the other hand are a great way of enabling direct exchange and cooperation, but may exclude many who can not travel to the location where it is held. Mobilization means to have a strategy in mind how to reach many potentially interested and helpful participants for your process.
Step 1: Define Your Audience
What is your story and who cares about it? Before you start sending out your message to the masses, you need to narrow down your audience and tailor your message to them.
Step 2: Define Your Core Message
To get your message across and make your project stand out, tell a good story. Open or social innovation is also about telling good stories. If you are putting open innovation to practice, then you most probably already have a great story in your hands, even if you do not know it yet.
Step 3: Promote
Now it is time to get your message out there. Think both about how to reach your existing networks, and how to reach your target participants. The great advantage of open innovation is that most people love to speak their minds and present their ideas. Tap into all available networks and communities and try to approach new ones.
About the Author
Christian Kreutz is an author, speaker, strategic advisor and expert in open and social innovation. He has been advising for over 10 years organizations such as the World Bank, GIZ, UNDP, Nesta, Deutsche Welle and the Bertelsmann Foundation, providing them with the necessary insights and tools to build their corporate innovation capabilities. As the director of Crisscrossed GmbH, he has developed various projects such as WE THINQ – a social software for change makers to empower citizens, employees and stakeholders to asses challenges and find creative solutions through new forms of cooperation. He believes in the power of transparency and holds the potential of open and shared knowledge as the foundation for sustainable innovation. He writes about his journeys on social innovation and the use of information and communication technologies centered on people on his widely cited blog www.crisscrossed.net.