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Emergent by Stephen Scott Johnson

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Chapter 8 Co-creation: Test. Fail. Learn. Adapt.

AS JEAN-FRANCOIS ZOBRIST ARGUES, ‘MORE AND more people understand: this is not a crisis, but the end of a cycle’. In the past ten years we’ve seen an increase in brands and organisations using crowdsourcing and co-creation to power their online communities and connect with the people invested in their success. Co-creation can be a powerful engine for innovation.

‘Crowdsourcing’ is a term first coined in 2006 by Jeff Howe. He defines it as:

… the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call.

Crowdsourcing can enable a brand to gain a true competitive advantage by innovating faster and making more informed business decisions. Often used interchangeably with co-creation, crowdsourcing is, as crowd intelligence platform Chaordix argues, an ‘invitation to submit, discuss, refine and rank ideas or other contributions via the web to arrive at what have been proven economically as the most-likely-to-succeed solutions’.

Co-creation takes things further. According to Francis Gouillart (co-author of The Power of Co-Creation and cofounder of the Experience Co-Creation Partnership), co-creation is

a theory of interactions. It involves changing the way the organization ...

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