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Open innovation allows organizations to multiply the scope of their innovation by granting access to new sources of ideas and talent.

Those who choose this innovation model naturally accept that a large part of the best talent and ideas are outside the organization, and that it is therefore worthwhile to look for it there.

They also recognize that digitization is a great opportunity to reach these knowledge assets quickly and easily, and to engage them in a common cause.

Let us see how five different types of large organization, in different sectors,are choosing to look beyond their walls, by opening innovation to participation from different collectives they collaborate with.

Along with these five cases, you will find a link where you can download a free PDF with details about how they are driving this process forward.



Open innovation enables today’s organizations to collaborate with their stakeholders. In the case of Banco Santander, that is accompanied by the need to work every day towards achieving a simpler bank, closer to its employees, clients, shareholders and society in general. Listening is the key. Among their various efforts, the bank has two communities where it, respectively, receives ideas from its employees and from its clients. An initiative that, in the case of employees, has produced over 15,000 shared ideas, of which 100 have been selected for development.

Download here the case study and discover Banco Santander’s corporative innovation program.


The ability to innovate and place the client at the very center are two of the great challenges faced by insurance companies in the age of digital disruption. Aware of the need to connect the company with its clients, Mutua Madrileña is committed to promoting listening programs for ideas from its employees and policy holders. In the case of the former, the company benefits from the collective intelligence of a digital community arising collaboratively from its over 2,000 employees. A commitment they extend to their clients with a second community and a listening and idea co-creation program that has been active for more than four years.

Discover more information about this project. Download the case study (pdf).



Gauging the pulse of the market is essential for any company in the retail sector, even more so when faced with a new, highly volatile, consumer profile. With that in mind, Alain Afflelou is promoting an actively listening and co-creation program for business ideas with its clients and the public in general, under the umbrella of the community ideas4afflelou. The community gives them input for new business, expands the scope of its clients’ customer journey beyond the buying experience, and reaches other consumers thanks to an initiative that invites them to participate.

Discover how the optical group co-creates with large audiences. Download here the case study (pdf).


Open innovation extends beyond private business. Santander’s City Council is one of the administrations that take advantage of it to innovate, within their strategy as a smart city. Since 2013, Santander City Brain has given shape to a collective brain for ideas participated by the citizens and various public actors in the city. This community allows the town hall to bring its policy to citizens, promote their participation and commit to a highly technological smart city model that is also very human, taking citizens into account and listening to them.

Download the case study (pdf) and find out how Santander is a smart city with its citizens.


Open innovation has allowed the UNED to look towards its future collectively, and starting in the present. On the occasion of its upcoming 50thanniversary, the university promoted a community to gather ideas for its future, using crowdsourcing and participation from its students, teaching staff, associated centers, Administrative and Service Staff (ASS) and alumni. The experience, with a duration of six months, managed to bring together more than 1,000 ideas that helped to focus on the construction of the UNED of the future.

Download here the case study (pdf).

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