Barack Obama and Michelle Obama
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One of the most obvious governmental uses of Crowd-sourcing has been President Obama’s effort to really hear the voices of the American people. He used several platforms to do this, including Ideascale’s platform at opengov.ideascale.com where the people were allowed to post ideas, discuss and refine others’ ideas and vote the best ideas to the top of the pile for consideration. According to their website “Because of your participation, this dialogue has generated a rich collection of ideas that will shape the President’s commitment to making our government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative.”

For more examples of governmental use of collaborative efforts and Crowd-sourcing, visit the Global Development Commons, an initiative of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), where you can find social networks blossoming of all shapes and sizes who plan to foster innovation in technology that will promote international development through collaboration.

Local Motors is leading the pack in the automotive industry. The company runs an ongoing contest on their website for environmentally friendly auto designs. Users of the site enter competitions to design everything from roadsters and race cars to the interior based on that of a Rally Fighter plane. The company plans to build “micro-factories’ where designers can build their concept in a prototype facility and eventually actually drive it home.

What’s the lesson?

As you can see, one of the really great things about these collaborative platforms are their ease of use to many and the speed with which they can be put up and start to collect data and ideas. Not only do you not have to have your own engineers, you don’t have to host the platforms, and set up time can be extremely fast. With this kind of power behind it, a passionate team of innovators and their collaborators can go far.

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