Hi, I am Paola Deepa Spagnulo and I would like to share my positive experience conducted at Crowdpolicy Company in Athens in the last months.

The internship is allowing me the opportunity to familiarize with the concepts of Crowdsourcing and Open Innovation and to collaborate in the creation of an innovative way to meet the needs of immigrant residents and promote their social inclusion.foto

Crowdsourcing represents a type of participate online activity through which the users (companies, institutions or individuals) propose to an heterogeneous group of people of varying knowledge and experience to collaborate together in order to evaluate, share and build different specific tasks or to solve a problem as a side effect of the task that they are actually doing.

In other words, the process of crowdsourcing combines the effort of the online community, where every contribution adds a small portion to the greater result.

Moreover, all the participants involved are motivated to contribute to crowd sourced tasks. An organization, by interacting with the ‘crowd ’, will set a challenge and ask for opinions and suggestions, while participants may develop their social recognition and contacts and a sense of ownership of the company`s destiny.

Another concept related to crowdsourcing is the implementation of the Open Innovation approach.

What type of interaction exists between the two concepts? Are both the same?

During my internship, in order to avoid the semantics confusion, I am investigating the several benefits that this type of approach offers to companies operating on a program of global collaboration.

Indeed, the firms are gradually moving away from the traditional work market models, they are embracing the idea of innovation management.

Despite the common characteristics of the two concepts such as the use of the external knowledge source, the creation of a truly democratic process of decision making and the development of innovation; quoting H. Chesbrough, Open Innovation is ‘a paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas and internal paths to market as the firms look to advance their technology’.

In this sense, Open Innovation describes the interaction among firms, which are actively involved in the creation of mutually beneficial solutions. Open Innovation is often view as an umbrella concept that includes crowdsourcing, user-driver innovation and co-creation.

Furthermore, inspired by the concept of Crowdsourcing and starting from the assumption that the migrant person is a social actor and focusing on the various challenges that they faced in every aspect of their life, we propose to create a platform in order to overcome language barriers and give them the possibility to tell their personal experience through art painting.

The platform could ensure the easy access to city services thanks the direct visualization of it through the development of an interactive online map and updating real-time information in order to involve local residents and immigrants.

In this perspective, the dynamic interaction among migrants, volunteers, NGOs and Social Services is crucial and they could self-organize into groups who cooperatively invent, enhance and manage innovative solutions, share knowledge and exchange resources in terms of time and skills.

Indeed, in an ‘online’ atmosphere the migrant people can feel more comfortable because they are not physically judged or scrutinized and they can tell their personal experience.

Replacing the idea of the Silent Book, that is to say an illustrated book where the pictures are used to create a story teller exclusively through narration by images, I thought that migrants could tell and express their emotions selecting or adding an art painting from a virtual gallery.

The visual language of the Art has a universal power and represents an innovative way to revitalize local and migrants` culture.

Personally, my internship experience is giving me the opportunity to learn new skills and develop existing ones and helped me to feel more confident in an office environment and to reinforce my carrier choice.