Innocentive: The Scalable Problem-Solver

In essence what Innocentive does is it provides a platform where you can post a really challenging problem and offer a reward to anybody who can come and provide a solution. 

In essence what Innocentive does is it provides a platform where you can post a really challenging problem and offer a reward to anybody who can come and provide a solution.  And it’s been remarkably effective.  People get very challenging problems and get solutions to those problems.  And one of the interesting things that comes out if you look at the research that’s been done on where are these answers coming from.  


It turns out that the significant majority of the answers that are posted and get rewards on Innocentive’s platform do not come from within the discipline that the problem was posted.  So if it was a problem in chemistry you’re more than likely not to get the answer from another chemist.  You’re likely to get the answer from somebody in a completely different discipline who’s just coming at this with a very different angle.

So it’s that unexpected encounter.  You wouldn’t even know to go outside the discipline or where to go outside the discipline to find the answer yet Innocentive creates that opportunity where posting the problem attracts all kinds of innovative ideas and ultimately a solution to the problem. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

4 reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for universal basic income

In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.

(Photo by J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
  • The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
  • Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
Keep reading Show less

Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Keep reading Show less

Why I wear my life on my skin

For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

Videos
  • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
  • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
  • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
Keep reading Show less