Government // Leadership
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1/23/2014
02:15 PM
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GSA's Challenge.gov Wins Harvard Innovation Award

Online portal features information on government challenges and competitions, aims to crowdsource creative ideas to solve societal problems.

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WKash
IW Pick
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
1/23/2014 | 4:34:35 PM
Well deserved
Glad to see this program get the recognition it deserves. I've been following this program since its inception, and it's record for helping agencies innovate, by engaging the public, at so little cost is remarkable.  Some of the stats on this program are worth noting, especially when you consider how the creative work of just a few individuals at GSA has been so powerfully leveraged:

·       300+ challenge and prize competitions

·       59 agencies and bureaus represented (Every cabinet level agency)

·       1,200 people trained at 15 webinars and in person workshops

·       580 members in Challenge Community of Practice

·       42,000 solvers participating in challenges

·       3.6 million+ visits to challenge.gov

·       11,681 U.S. cities represented by site visitors (includes every state)

·       Visitors from every country

·       Bodies of knowledge at Challenge.gov and HowTo.gov
David F. Carr
50%
50%
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
1/24/2014 | 10:14:56 AM
Re: Well deserved
Would you say this is a case of government succeeding more than private sector organizations in the use of this crowdsourcing technique? The govermment has the advantage of scale and should make maximum use of it.
WKash
50%
50%
WKash,
User Rank: Author
1/24/2014 | 12:26:43 PM
Re: Well deserved
David, good question. This is a great example of using crowd sourcing, but I wouldn't say this government program is doing it better than the private sector.  The real genius here is how GSA gave agencies a turnkey program and template for staging contests, similar to what DARPA does all the time.  Rather than trying to develop a proposed solution to a  problem, and put it up for competitive bidding, as agencies typically must do, agencies can simply go out to the public and ask, "What ideas do you have or recommend?" It costs agencies  practically nothing (beyond award a prize, and often, it's just recognition.)  And agencies often get superior ideas to work from at a fractio of the usual cost, and in substantial shorter time frames.  Multiply that times dozens of federal agencies and you begin to see the power of this program.

 
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