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Open Innovation and the contribution of non-experts

The re:innovate track highlights different perspectives on Open Innovation. This session presents a civil society and scientific view.

How and why do nonexperts contribute to innovation? – Beth Kolko

Beth Kolko will provide an insight into her work with hackers and makers to demonstrate the contributions of non-experts and the ways institutional structures generally forestall these kinds of contributions and how organizational boundaries exclude them from conversations that can lead to innovation. Her conclusions are based on over a decade of fieldwork in developing countries, and inadvertently seeing patterns of innovation among populations with little access to formal education, professional-grade tools, or any formal experts. Beth also teached and watched non technical students which solved old problems in new ways because they didn’t know enough to understand the boundaries of the domain space. None the less academic or industry labs are highly unlikely to ever recognize them as ‘experts’. As a result of this work she started writing a book about hackers and makers and non-expert-innovation with focus on the notion of disruptive technologies.