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Solving Public Problems with Crowdsourcing

Beth Simone Noveck
June 14, 2013
500

Solving Public Problems with Crowdsourcing

Beth Simone Noveck

June 14, 2013
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  1. TALK
    BETHSIMONENOVECK
    @bethnoveck
    JUNE142013
    Solving Public Problems with
    CROWDSOURCING

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    SOLVING HARD PROBLEMS WITH CROWDSOURCING
    What is the impact of the vast growth of energy production in the US on your export business?
    Who are the global experts in horizontal drilling and its environmental consequences?
    What are likely scenarios in Syria or in the middle east?
    How do we enhance our manufacturing exports?
    What is the least expensive and best way to deliver mental health services to veterans?
    What should the bus stop or pay phone of tomorrow look like?
    How do we decrease childhood obesity?
    Which of our regulations impede entrepreneurship and how do we improve them?

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    [Crowdsourcing] represents the act of a
    company or institution taking a function once
    performed by employees and outsourcing
    it to an undefined (and generally large)
    network of people in the form of an open call.
    Jeff Howe

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    Without power and independence,
    a town may contain good subjects,
    but it can have no active citizens.
    DeTocqueville
    DEMOCRATIZING PROBLEM SOLVING

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    [We] “simply do not have enough genes to program the
    brain fully in advance,” we must work together, extending
    and supporting our own intelligence with “social prosthetic”
    systems that make up for our missing cognitive and emotional
    capacities: “Evolution has allowed our brains to be configured
    during development so that we are ‘plug compatible’ with
    other humans, so that others can help us extend ourselves.”
    Harvard Group Brain Project

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    WHAT GROUPS DO WELL
    Unconnected Tasks Connected Tasks Combined Tasks Networked Tasks Collaborative Tasks

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    Using Networked Groups to Expand
    the Toolkit for Problem Solving

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    Open Innovation: Generating Innovative Ideas to Solve Problems
    IDEAS

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    Smarter Governance: Getting Better Information to Solve Problems
    DATA

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    Tasks and Doing More with Less:
    Collaborating with the Crowd to Get Things Done
    TASKS

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    Crowdsourcing as a Strategy for Economic Growth
    ECONOMIC GROWTH

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    Prioritizing Agendas and Allocating Resources
    OPINIONS

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    Funding Public Goods through Crowdsourcing
    FUNDING

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    WHY PEOPLE PARTICIPATE
    Accomplishing a goal
    Engaging in the life of our democracy
    Demonstrating skills and mastery
    Community connection
    Earning money
    Doing stuff that matters

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    Access to Smart People with Talent
    Going Beyond the Usual Suspects
    Building New Constituencies of Supporters
    Sustaining Your Mandate Post-Election
    Spotting Problems Faster
    Finding More Creative Solutions
    Developing New Ways to Implement Real Changes
    WHY DO IT:
    ADVANTAGES OF CROWDSOURCING

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    SOLVING HARD PROBLEMS WITH CROWDSOURCING
    What is the impact of the vast growth of energy production in the US on your export business?
    Who are the global experts in horizontal drilling and its environmental consequences?
    What are likely scenarios in Syria or in the middle east?
    How do we enhance our manufacturing exports?
    What is the least expensive and best way to deliver mental health services to veterans?
    What should the bus stop or pay phone of tomorrow look like?
    How do we decrease childhood obesity?
    Which of our regulations impede entrepreneurship and how do we improve them?

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    IF WE BUILD IT, WILL THEY COME:
    Designing an Effective Crowdsourcing Strategy

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    Identify
    the
    problem
    Define
    the process
    to fit the
    problem
    Compare
    precedents
    Compress
    the
    timeframe
    Create
    incentives
    (make it fun/prize)
    Identify and
    reach the
    audience
    Give people
    the data
    Be
    committed
    to act
    Give
    feedback
    HOW TO DO IT

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    Identify
    the
    problem
    Define
    the process
    to fit the
    problem
    Compare
    precedents
    Compress
    the
    timeframe
    Create
    incentives
    (make it fun/prize)
    Identify and
    reach the
    audience
    Give people
    the data
    Be
    committed
    to act
    Give
    feedback

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    Identify the Problem

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    Identify
    the
    problem
    Define
    the process
    to fit the
    problem
    Compare
    precedents
    Compress
    the
    timeframe
    Create
    incentives
    (make it fun/prize)
    Identify and
    reach the
    audience
    Give people
    the data
    Be
    committed
    to act
    Give
    feedback

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    Define the Process to Fit the Problem

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    Identify
    the
    problem
    Define
    the process
    to fit the
    problem
    Compare
    precedents
    Compress
    the
    timeframe
    Create
    incentives
    (make it fun/prize)
    Identify and
    reach the
    audience
    Give people
    the data
    Be
    committed
    to act
    Give
    feedback

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    Compare Precedents

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    Identify
    the
    problem
    Define
    the process
    to fit the
    problem
    Compare
    precedents
    Compress
    the
    timeframe
    Create
    incentives
    (make it fun/prize)
    Identify and
    reach the
    audience
    Give people
    the data
    Be
    committed
    to act
    Give
    feedback

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    Compress the Timeframe

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    Identify
    the
    problem
    Define
    the process
    to fit the
    problem
    Compare
    precedents
    Compress
    the
    timeframe
    Create
    incentives
    (make it fun/prize)
    Identify and
    reach the
    audience
    Give people
    the data
    Be
    committed
    to act
    Give
    feedback

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    Make It Fun

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    Identify
    the
    problem
    Define
    the process
    to fit the
    problem
    Compare
    precedents
    Compress
    the
    timeframe
    Create
    incentives
    (make it fun/prize)
    Identify and
    reach the
    audience
    Give people
    the data
    Be
    committed
    to act
    Give
    feedback

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    FINDING EXPERTS
    How to Find Who Knows What
    Identify and Reach the Audience

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    Identify
    the
    problem
    Define
    the process
    to fit the
    problem
    Compare
    precedents
    Compress
    the
    timeframe
    Create
    incentives
    (make it fun/prize)
    Identify and
    reach the
    audience
    Give people
    the data
    Be
    committed
    to act
    Give
    feedback

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    Give people the data

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    Identify
    the
    problem
    Define
    the process
    to fit the
    problem
    Compare
    precedents
    Compress
    the
    timeframe
    Create
    incentives
    (make it fun/prize)
    Identify and
    reach the
    audience
    Give people
    the data
    Be
    committed
    to act
    Give
    feedback

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    CROWDSOURCING QUESTIONS NOT JUST ANSWERS
    Harvard Type 1 Diabetes Challenge
    Be committed to act

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    Identify
    the
    problem
    Define
    the process
    to fit the
    problem
    Compare
    precedents
    Compress
    the
    timeframe
    Create
    incentives
    (make it fun/prize)
    Identify and
    reach the
    audience
    Give people
    the data
    Be
    committed
    to act
    Give
    feedback

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    CROWDSOURCING
    CHALLENGES

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    Sometimes the Crowd Isn’t So Wise

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    Crowdturfing

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    Democracy Theatre
    Classic
    Trade-Off
    High
    Low
    Focus
    Participation
    Command
    and Control
    A Thousand
    flowers bloom
    FOCUSED
    COLLABORATION
    Low High

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    PUBLIC VS. PRIVATE CHALLENGES:
    How is Solving Public Problems Different from Solving Private Ones?
    Public institutions do not have a well developed
    culture of asking questions.
    There is little institutional readiness to incorporating
    good ideas from outside.

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    Bureaucracies lack access to good technology or
    people who can use it.
    The public distrusts the seriousness of the intention.
    Leaders often distrust the ability of the public to
    crowdsource wisely.

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    WHAT WE DON’T YET KNOW

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    RE-DESIGNING GOVERNANCE
    What tools and design should be considered?
    How long should the initiative run?
    What will drive participation? What are the incentives?
    Who is my target audience/participant? How can I reach them? How many are needed?
    What is the level of readiness/tech literacy of my participants?
    What resources can I provide participants?
    How will entries be evaluated? How will prize-based challenges be judged?
    How will entries be curated and/or quality assurance be controlled?

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    Creating New Mental Models
    RE-IMAGINING HOW WE GOVERN

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    We need leadership to take on the
    best properties of the network,
    becoming more about connection,
    more human and more comfortable
    with our inevitable human limitations.
    David Weinberger
    Author of Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren’t the Facts,
    Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room

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    The openness of one’s work, the
    democracy and transparency of an
    activity — this is not just a mechanism to
    raise the effectiveness of government...
    It is a strengthening of the traditions of
    civil society and offers new opportunities
    for social initiatives.”
    Vladimir Putin

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  75. TALK
    BETHSIMONENOVECK
    JUNE142013
    Solving Public Problems with
    CROWDSOURCING

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