“Imagine how you might be able to transform your city if you could harness the collective genius of thousands of citizens to address some of the challenges facing us all. There are so many good examples of mass collaboration at work today. If masses can peer-produce an operating system, and write an encyclopedia or the Icelandic constitution, one should carefully consider what might come next.” –Nick Skytland

We had a great response to our recent open innovation and mass collaboration event series last month. At over eight events hosted by DiUS, more than 350 people were inspired by open innovation expert Nick Skytland’s insights into the idea of a more participatory, decentralised approach to innovation – and how it can be used to collaborate on a massive scale to make a massive impact – at an individual, organisational and community level.

After meeting Nick through our work as Random Hacks of Kindness’ regional partner, we jumped at the opportunity to bring him to Australia to share his unique and inspiring insights on what happens when a thousand eyes look at a problem and collectively develop a number of possible solutions.

Open innovation and mass collaboration are topics close to the heart of DiUS. While we strive to encourage curiosity, investigation and creativity within our company, we also believe in working together to give back to the communities in which we live. This is one of the main reasons that we joined Random Hacks of Kindness’ as regional partner.

Nick’s presentation outlined the evolution of open innovation and mass collaboration, the rise of participatory democracy and the different models and approaches you can take. He shared his experiences leading NASA’s Open Innovation Program, where he implemented numerous White House initiatives, including the Open Government and Digital Strategy directives.

He also provided lessons on scaling mass collaboration gained though running two of the largest in history: the International Space Apps Challenge which he envisioned while he was at NASA and now as a partner at the innovation consulting firm SecondMuse, where he is leading up the National Day of Civic Hacking.

If you missed the event or would like to take another look at the presentation, check out the links below:

 Additionally, following the DiUS open innovation events, Nick wrote this inspiring piece for the Technology Spectator on getting involved in Random Hacks of Kindness and the National Day of Civic Hacking.

**What’s next?**

Following the events, many people told us about how they better understood the ways in which they could get involved with open innovation and mass collaboration initiatives to create change within their community or organisation. They described feeling inspired to do ‘something’. One way to get involved is to join your local Random Hacks of Kindness:

Lastly, this collective inspiration has led DiUS to also bring together some of the tech leaders from our community together for an ideation / co-creation session to define a set of common problems (not solutions) that we all feel passionate about, and are interested in. That is, we are going to work on defining a ‘something’ that we can band together to solve.

Stay tuned for updates.