Flemish Government Launches Open Innovation Portal

Posted by Janelle Noble at 11:45 AM, September 29, 2010

Sn1Traditionally slow to adopt new technologies, more and more governmental organizations are refocusing on utilizing and maximizing open source and web 2.0 tools. This movement, often referred to as Gov 2.0, is creating new, fresh ways to tackle traditional challenges and improve government services. Ireland's Your Country Your Call challenge recently  announced the winning proposals of its open government initiative that tasked the public with helping revitalize the Irish economy. In addition, the US Department of State is utilizing Brightidea software to power the 'Sounding Board' innovation platform championed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to help overhaul everyday department activities. The City of San Francisco did it too. And now the Flemish government is doing just the same.

Sn2 Just this week the Flemish government, in collaboration with HP, launched an open innovation portal, I-Vlaanderen (or i-Flanders), powered by Brightidea's WebStorm. The platform seeks ideas from the public for policy reforms to improve pressing economic and social issues. Top ideas will be reviewed by a special board and eventually sent to Flemish minister Geert Bourgeois for consideration and eventual implementation.


It's great to see the concept of open government spreading and being practically applied to help solve real-world problems, improve government operations, and help improve the lives of citizen's all over the world.


Listen to CEO Matt Greeley speak on open government trends on Gov 2.0 Radio here and to learn more about Brightidea for government check out http://www.brightidea.com/government.

GE's Ecomagination Challenge: Final Week Approaches

Posted by Janelle Noble at 8:16 AM, September 23, 2010

GE ecomagination ChallengeWhat would it be like to drive down a highway paved with LED-lit photovalic solar panels? Thanks to GE's $200 million Ecomagination challenge, we might soon find out.

The massive open-innovation Challenge, powered by Brightidea software, offers world engineers (and anyone else) the chance to submit innovative energy solutions that do one of three things: make power, move power or use power. Headlining GE's billion-dollar effort to create cleaner technologies, and with a $200 million investment at stake, the Challenge is changing the way companies innovate while shaping the future of renewable energy resources.

GE ecomagination ChallengeAfter the challenge's ten-week submission period closes, which opened on July 13 and ends September 30, an independent panel of judges will whittle down the thousands of applicants (using Brightidea's Switchboard tool for effective idea prioritization and decision-making) to five winners who will each be awarded a $100,000 prize come October.

GE ecomagination Challenge With eight weeks down and only one to go, the best ideas are already rising to the top. Using Brightidea's API, GE created an interactive data visualization that clearly shows the difference between the thousands of pedestrian ideas and the few large outliers. The spinnable wheel displays the ideas as color-coded spheres, which when clicked display an overview of the idea and a link to its full page. The bigger the sphere the more votes the idea has, and the bigger the 'halo' around it the more comments it's gotten. Not only is the wheel a fun way to pick through ideas, but its intuitive timeline and stratification make it an astutely easy way to visually sort the endless information.

GE ecomagination ChallengeThe idea currently standing at number one with over 3,500 votes is an idea posted by Jing Wang. Wang's idea calls for the creation of an "intelligent E-station" that swaps drained batteries from electric vehicles for a new one, fully charged. The focus of the initiative is to bypass lengthy EV recharge times and eliminate current inefficiencies in technology and cost.

GE ecomagination Challenge Another idea, posted by husband and wife Scott and Julie Brusaw combines the element of transportation with another hot item: solar power. Perhaps the most ingenious and innovate on the list, the couple has come up with the idea to repave America's roads and parking lots with photovalic solar panels, an effort that could annually produce three times the amount of energy used each year in the U.S. The high-tech panels will be fully equipped with LED lights to display warning signals, heating devices to dissolve ice and snow (and thereby increasing its visibility to the sun) and multilayered glass to keep out moisture. Scott, the electric engineer of the team, explains that the glass panels will need to be strong enough to hold a fully loaded semi-truck and have enough traction to mimic current asphalt roads. They need to be shatterproof and fireproof and be transparent enough to let the sunlight in without glaring back into drivers' eyes.

GE ecomagination ChallengeBut what seems like an out of the box, merely conceptual idea is already more than just that. Utilizing a $100,000 grant won from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Brusaws have already built a 12x12, full-sized prototype that (mostly) meets all specifications. And going even greener, Scott explains that they can use trash gathered from landfills to make the internal support structure for each panel.

'Solar Roadways' is currently ranked at number three with over 2,700 votes, but with one week remaining it's still anyone's game. No matter which ideas are ultimately chosen, environmental safety and innovation are clearly underway at GE. Time and cost aside, the Ecomagination challenge is making the future seem that much closer.

Check out the Ecomagination Challenge website to find out more.

Your Country Your Call Announces Winning Ideas

Posted by Janelle Noble at 6:17 AM, September 20, 2010

Your Country Your Call Ireland's open government WebStorm, Your Country Your Call (YCYC),  announced its two winning proposals. The campaign, which ran for about two and a half months between February and April, aims to bolster Irelands economy and safeguard its future wellbeing. The first winner is Neil Leyden who proposed creating an "Irish Content Industry Association" to attract global content industries and make Ireland a global center for digital content.

The other winning proposal was submitted by Cianán Clancy and Colm MacFhlannachadha who will implement what they're calling 'The Data Island Strategy,' a plan that will also focus on global digital services.

Each winner will be awarded a prize of €100,000 and another €500,000 grant for implementation of their proposal. The winners beat three other finalists: Brody Sweeney's proposal to create an Irish tourism/cuisine "Superbrand," Gordan Hyland's plan to create a property-based financial securities market and Peter Enda Kavanagh's proposal to install large-scale solar photovoltaic panels on existing Irish wind-farms.

To read more on YCYC click here.

TTXGP Event Previews Next Generation Zero Carbon Motorcycle

Posted by Linh at 12:00 PM, September 17, 2010

Innovation is the driving force of progress, from technology and medicine, to design and entertainment. At Brightidea, we like to support innovative initiatives that promote sustainability and progress. That is why we partnered with TTXGP, the world's leading race series for electric motorcycles.

We were honored to receive an invitation from TTXGP's founder, Azhar Hussain, to attend their event "Racing Improves the Breed – the TTXGP Story" this past week at Intel's global headquarters in Santa Clara, California.

During this event, Azhar presented the Mavizen TTX02, the latest zero carbon, clean emission motorcycle running purely on electric energy. Powered by the Intel Atom Processor, this motorcycle is an outstanding example of smart innovation.

With the electric motorcycle racing industry still in its infancy, TTXGP is using Brightidea's WebStorm software to power a site that gathers ideas that will help define and govern the rules and regulations for the upcoming 2011 racing season. 

During his presentation, Azhar Hussain said, "We are benefiting from the curve of innovation." ... I completely agree.

About the Author: Linh Bui is Brightidea's Partner Manager and will be writing on all things partner related.

The Importance of Marketing a WebStorm

Posted by James Pasmantier at 8:47 AM, September 09, 2010

This blog post is part of the 'Innovation Management Practitioners Blog Series'.

We've covered features, and the spectrum of innovation initiatives in our previous posts, so now let's touch on a topic central to successful WebStorms - marketing. Properly implemented, marketing will ensure a robust social community is developed and most importantly, sustained.

It's important to define and understand the target audience of an individual campaign or idea generating initiative before beginning any marketing effort. In general, WebStorms will be either internal, employee-facing campaigns, or externally-facing to customers, targeted groups, or the general public.

Used internally, WebStorms leverages the collective wisdom of employees to drive innovation. This can happen among small, cross-functional, groups, entire departments, or company-wide. Marketing a WebStorm to an internal audience should be targeted, utilizing existing channels of communication such as intranet portals and direct email communications. Take into account the role and functions of employees to determine the most effective means of communication—the marketing approach for factory-floor workers, for example, might be different than for software product managers.

When using WebStorm to power a public-facing campaign or initiative, it's important to narrow down who the audience will be (much like determining targeted vs. broad-spectrum WebStorms) to focus efforts and still stay as broad as possible to encourage maximum participation. Identifying where the audience can be reached—social networks, blogs, through print advertising, etc. - setting a budget, and setting and communicating expectations internally are all key factors to developing a productive community with active, sustained participation.

Here are some ways to think about how to market a WebStorm-powered campaign, and real-world examples of successful initiatives, broken down into three categories: Big Splash, Continuous Communication, and Get Creative.


Big Splash

A successful kickoff is important to any WebStorm. Launches are opportunities to gain momentum that can quickly translate into a highly engaged user community. Specifically events are helpful for condensing attention and streamlining messaging to a wider audience be it influencers, press, etc.

Promoting the WebStorm on existing digital presences also can make a huge statement. A company website or homepage of an intranet portal often times is a gateway to exposure to key audiences, so its important to get the buy-in needed to promote through these existing channels.

 Market2 General Electric (GE) held a high-profile launch event for the Ecomagination Challenge. To a room packed with press, key public figures, and top executives from GE and partnering venture capital firms, GE's CEO announced the launch of the Ecomagination site and outlined GE's vision and goals for the Challenege. Webcasted live online, the event created buzz that brought in thousands of users. Video of the event was then uploaded to YouTube, and pushed out to press. In addition, GE put a link to the Challenge on the homepage of GE.com – a clear callout box that highlights the initiative and drives traffic to the site.

British Telecom (BT) launched their innovation program with an event in London that included a presentation from CEO Ben Verwaayan. Attended by over 30 executives and other key employees identified as 'influencers' from around the world, BT created advocates that galvanized their individual departments and peers from the earliest stages of the innovation program. Five years later, BT continues to foster employee engagement and a broader thought-community focused on innovation with a tremendous amount of success.


Quick Ideas:
  • - Celebrity Endorsements (i.e have a celebrity record a call to action message for employees or public) –note: this has been done by a Brightidea client
  • - Create a viral video
  • - 200M prize pool

Continue reading "The Importance of Marketing a WebStorm" »

Your Country Your Call Competition Selects Finalists

Posted by Janelle Noble at 1:21 PM, September 07, 2010

3 Your Country Your Call, Ireland's massive open government campaign to help bolster the country's economic future, is now in the final stage of determining winning proposals. Hundreds of thousands participated by submitting, voting and commenting on ideas through the WebStorm  powered website, and now just five ideas are left in the running. On September 17 the chairman of the competition, David Byrne, and his panel of seven judges will award the two winning submitters their €100,000 prize and €500,000 grant for implementation.

Submitters had about two and a half months between February and April to submit their proposals, of which 20 were selected as semi-finalists. Accompanying their selection was a rigorous six-week coaching period followed by interviews with the judges to determine five finalists. The final step is a two-day ceremony leading up to the final decision, where the judges will annouce which proposals are the most creative and feasible for implementation. The ideas, which range from tourism to finance to green energy solutions, are part of Ireland's greater plan to transform their economy through new jobs and opportunities to secure a vibrant economic environment moving forward.

Continue reading "Your Country Your Call Competition Selects Finalists" »

VIDEO: Matt Greeley on ‘Why Ideas Matter’ via Forbes.com

Posted by Janelle Noble at 8:16 AM, September 03, 2010


Business and technology veteran Kym McNicholas of the Forbes network caught up with CEO, Matthew Greeley     to discuss GE's Ecomagination Challenge powered by Brightidea.  Greeley spoke about 'why your ideas matter' in the fast-paced environment of innovation and the need for management throughout the innovation process. Josh Bernoff, senior VP of idea development at Forrester Research, also spoke about the importance of the public's input in the innovation process.


Also, care to know why Greeley also has 'one of the world's largest collections of rubber ducks' then please check out this Forbes.com post!


To see more please visit the Forbes Video Network.

CTO of HP, Phil McKinney’s Mystery Tease via Engadget

Posted by Janelle Noble at 9:25 AM, September 02, 2010

PicEngadget, an online technology and gadget magazine, recently posted interesting photos of HP's CTO Phil McKinney.

The photos, which were originally dropped via Twitter by HP's social media strategist Mark Budgell, came in conjunction with a little push for readers to vote for McKinney's SXSW panel.

Since HP's $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm, the company has found creative ways to harness and tap employees to brainstorm around the possibilities created by the webOS platform. Earlier this year, HP held a WebStorm powered webOS App Competition for employees to build and submit apps for the platform that likely produced a few of the new devices promised to be "breakthrough".

McKinney has already revealed through Twitter that over 500 apps were submitted to the WebStorm-powered campaign and he is in the final stages of hand-picking the winners.

Make sure to follow Mckinney on Twitter and check out his blog to keep up with developments and teasers like this one!




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