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Open Innovation Communities enable the implication of several collectives in the resolution of different challenges and problems. Fruit of these efforts is the co-creative work between them and the creation of an element of collective intelligence that gives organizations a competitive advantage in any industry or sector.
Here we review some public examples of open innovation communities, as well as the advantages they grant the organization who promotes them.

Perhaps the most obvious application for an open innovation community is finding new business ideas. In the case of the Hotusa Group in the Tourism sector, it shows how to gain an extra advantage from their clients’ stays. The community Hotel Tester Ideas allows this group to gather ideas from their guests, or from anyone who wishes to contribute, to improve the services offered at their hotels. But the community also functions as a loyalty-creating resource, because it gives continuity to the client’s experience beyond their stay in their hotel room.

Open innovation communities are also a valuable resource to receive feedback from clients and learn about their needs. Optical group Alain Afflelou uses ideas4afflelou to, according to General Director Eva Ivars, “have a super-ear to listen to clients with”. This community also helps to cover different stages in their consumers’ customer journey.

comunidades de innovación abierta

Benefitting from an element of collective intelligence is another advantage of open innovation communities. This is applied at the University of Alcalá (UAH) with imaginalaUAH, a space for debate and co-creation where the entire university community participates, including Alumni. This experience has allowed UAH to gather ideas that enable a collective imagination of the university’s future, adapting to rapid social and economic changes in the digital era, while vindicating the university’s role as a center for debate focusing on the ideas of our time.

Open innovation allows organizations to innovate with the collectives that surround it, such as employees, clients or suppliers. UnLtD Spain uses Plantacción to take this one step further and serve as intermediary between large companies and entrepreneurs. The former raise challenges with a social purpose in the community, and third-sector change-makers contribute their solutions to those challenges. An example of how to turn innovation into something collective.


Since 2013, Santander’s City Council employs its Santander City Brain, a community open to ideas from its citizens, and to all elements of the city’s social and economic fabric. Within the framework of its Strategic Plan as a Smart City, a movement for which it has become an international reference, Santander City Brain has promoted the involvement of citizens in decisions about the city’s public works, events such as the Sailing World Cup, or campaigns to boost local trade, among others. A clear example of how a commitment to local innovation strengthens a city’s resilience.

comunidades de innovación abierta

If you wish to share other examples of open innovation communities, please comment on this post.

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