Considering Henry Chesbrough's notion, we can say that Open Innovation is a process in which companies and organisations seek external ideas in order to advance in their technologies. In 2013 the OI understanding was upgraded to Open Innovation 2.0 (OI2) philosophy. At that time already the OI2 trend had been adopted by many companies in Europe, but no one had recognised it with an official update.
In May 2013 during a OI2 Conference in Dublin, Ireland a new paradigm was born – the OI2 Paradigm in which the integrated collaboration, internal and external, is actually understood as a diverse multidisciplinary experimentation and idea sharing at an international, as well as, online level. Martin Curley and Bror Salmelin had a crucial role in the process of shaping the new paradigm. Representing different organisation profiles, they came together with their teams, inspiring also numerous of like-minded fellows with the aim to reshape the stereotype in Innovation.
Open Innovation 2.0 has also its digital facet: Internet and ICT technologies put forward the international character of OI2 through online communities and platforms, social media channels, blogs, etc. Few experts speak about the relation between social networking sites and open innovation. Some of them point out that web 2.0 allow us to interact Many to Many and not One to Many as with the conventional media channels. No disagreements here, although I suggest that we start thinking about the convergence between the social media communications planning and the innovation flow. The way we communicate influences the way people would respond, and therefore, the way we are all involved in the innovation process. People's reactions help us understand whether the information we provide them with is interesting or useful, and at the same time make it clear whether and how we need to alter something.
There has never been as much need for people's/ readers'/ customers'/ users'/ citizens' feedback before as it is now. Communication experts seek for their constituencies' feedback; the more, the better. A tweet’s success is measured by the times it was retweeted or favoured. On the contrary, on Facebook, measurement of success is based on other factors, and to a big extend, such a factor is the use of paid communication. Nevertheless, what we provide people with is what they reflect and react upon. Hence, our strategic thinking is pivotal, if we, also as innovators, want to get something creative and useful out of it.
In the context of social media comms planning, to improve not only means to make the communication of a product better, but also to innovate the product based on the feedback of the way it was communicated. Actually, when we communicate innovation topics: innovation in return is inevitable. We would either advise on someone's idea, put two entities in contact in order to innovate, or only give food for thought to people: it's all innovation and we need to foresee it in our communications planning. How? People should be told what they are expected to contribute to; where their participation is required. On social media users tend to express themselves on topics they are interested in, and in order to help others. Hence, social media is a great place for idea sharing. On your page/account/blog/community you give the directions, but do not predetermine them. Directions can change. They'd better change. This is the whole point of innovation. And in Open Innovation we do not only seek for the creative mind, but also for the practically-creative mind: innovative ideas to be taken up rapidly.
However, not only planning, but also good analysis, is required. What is happening, how it is happening, and what is the online context: Innovation Media Analysis. All the different aspects in which the activities are happening need to be taken into consideration and put into practice together with the other stakeholders – be it Public or Private sector representatives, be it Researchers or/and Citizens (i.e. in a Quadruple Helix Model environment). Social Media allows us to build an innovation network ecosystem where all the players can meet and collaborate based on their user experience and perspectives.