Open innovation is rooted in the notion that two heads are better than one, and a thousand heads are better than two. The World Bank Institute's (WBI) Open Innovation team is dedicated to providing tools and services that amplify the development conversation, accelerating the identification of ideas and approaches with game-changing potential.
The team creates and manages challenges and competitions that are designed to crowdsource the best thinking and innovative solutions from traditional and non-traditional entities. By providing recognition or cash prize incentives, the team encourages citizens and non-traditional actors to apply their talents and energy to generate breakthrough ideas
World Bank Challenge Platform
To amplify the World Bank’s ability to crowdsource solutions to development issues, the team has launched a customized web-based platform capable of supporting a variety of competitions and challenges. Participants can be challenged to contribute to a number of different engagements - to solve a narrowly defined problem, or address a multi-year complex issue requiring multi-disciplinary expertise, or simply to propose new ideas. The platform can manage the proposals throughout the submission and evaluation process, while advisory services on the design and management of challenges using this new platform are available from the WBI team.
The team has designed two global apps competitions which invite software developers to create apps using data curated by the World Bank. The Apps for Dev competition, which wrapped up in April 2010, challenged engaged software developers—a community of young and talented citizens not typically reached through standard World Bank channels. The competition generated visits from more than 80,000 unique individuals from 204 countries, and 100 software submissions from 30 countries. The top 14 applications included data visualizations, research tools and interactive games. More recently, the Apps for Climate competition launched, inviting the same community to develop apps using data from the World Bank's Climate Change portal.
Innovation Steering Committee
The team also acts as the Secretariat to the Innovation Steering Committee. The Committee, chaired by WBI Vice President, Sanjay Pradhan, meets periodically to discuss developments in the approach to innovation in World Bank operations.