Innovation Challenges

Find solutions to your challenges by tapping into a creative community

Hackday participants for the Dynamic Demand Challenge by Nesta. - Photo: Richard Lewis

Does your organisation move too slow? We love working with organisations that are ready to solve the world's biggest challenges. Yet, many organisations use tactics that no longer work. They use outdated policies that are supposed to make things efficient, but in reality make it harder to achieve positive change.

Organisations prioritize recruiting the top talent in their fields, and they want to keep the top ideas to themselves. But instead of keeping competitors at bay, these policies often keep the best ideas from coming forwards. The ideas that you know are simmering in your community, but you don't know how to get to. These rules aren't always written on paper, but embedded in the culture of an organisation, so that employees and co-workers don't feel safe taking risks.

Organisations who actively look for ideas outside of their core team, are leaving their competitors behind. Don't believe us? Look at these examples of idea competitions in action and see for yourselves:

"WE THINQ helped us setting up an exciting international idea competition on the topic of energy savings in households. We benefited a lot from WE THINQ's expertise in the field of idea platforms and their eagerness and creativeness to solve problems. WE THINQ is more than what their name indicates: it's empathic implementation of what their customers want and need."

Dr. Franka Birke - Entrepreneurship Lead - Climate-KIC Germany

Idea Competitions in Action

WE THINQ and climate protection: Climate-KIC, a large "Knowledge and Innovation Community" centering around all things climate change, successfully conducted an idea competition for indoor climate control in conjunction with WE THINQ.

Within the space of 2 months some 50 inspiring ideas from 12 countries were collected, with 800 participants involved during the collaboration phases. At the conclusion of the process, a jury was charged with the exciting task of selecting the best ideas from the wealth of candidates.

Open Innovation Slam - implemented with WE THINQ.

1. What are Idea Competitions?

Idea competitions open up your problem solving process to the community. Idea contests are possibly the most popular form of open innovation. It is a way to get a broad range of ideas in a short amount of time. Idea challenges can take different forms, from one day hackathons to events spread out over several months. The general structure includes; inviting participants to your event, accepting submissions, and awarding prizes. However, competitions vary from organisation to organisation where stages can include chances for participants to receive mentorship and refine their ideas. What you get out of an idea competition depends on your goals and the structure of your event.

2. How Do I Run an Idea Competition?

The first step is understanding and defining your goal. What challenge are you hoping to solve? Why do you think an innovation contest is the best way to help you do this? We love using idea contests for blue sky type challenges. If you're looking for remarkable ideas from a wide range of participants, idea challenge may be the best route for you.

Once you have your goals defined you need to invite participants. It's great to invite people that you think would have a good solution to your challenge, yet we also recommend reaching out to a broad range of people. The more backgrounds and ways of thinking you have in the room, the more diverse your idea submissions will be.

The next step is deciding where you would like to host your competition. If you choose an online platform like WE THINQ, you can reach participants from all over the world in just one click. However, some people thrive from the energy created in the room on a hackday.

It is up to you which will work best for your competition- or a combination of both! Once you have planned your event, choosing a moderator and structure for the contest will help you get the most out of the contest. For more on running an idea competiton check out this blog post.

3. What do I Get out of an Idea Competition?

The chance to expand your community and discover new solutions for your challenges. Participants in idea contests often stay fans of your organisation even after the contest is over.

Due to the nature of the event you often get many ideas in a short amount of time compared to more traditional ways of problem solving or brainstorming. Further, if you are able to include a diverse range of participants you will get many different perspectives on the challenges you are facing.

4. How Will an Idea Competition Help My Project?

This will vary depending on your goals. Idea contests can help you shape and form your project, as well as helping overcome challenges you may have encountered along the way. Idea contests can also help you can feedback on various ideas and projects, helping you realise which projects should move forward and which should not.

5. How Do I Get Started and Build My Community?

If you are using an online software like WE THINQ, it only takes a couple minutes to get started! You can begin by inviting people that you already know and then outreach to others, asking them to join your community. If you are ready to get serious about running an innovation challenge, we offer a free tutorial with 7 helpful lessons. Get started today!

WE THINQ has simplified the process of innovative idea management by providing a one-of-a-kind online idea crowdsourcing platform that drives ideas. With our idea management tool, you can bring down the overall time and cost required in the process while considerably increasing the ultimate value you can get.


Download Our Free Open Innovation Checklist

The essential questions to get you started

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. ×

Download Our Free Social Innovation Guide

14 Pages with great examples and how-tos

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.