Leveraging Crowds in the Public Sector

  • Online
  • For Certification
Starts the week of

March 23 - 27, 2015

Course ends on

April 17, 2015

Application Deadline

March 20, 2015

Passionate about the uses of Crowdsourcing in the Public Sector? Are you...

  • Trying to solve a public public and want to assess the appropriateness of crowdsourcing?
  • Using crowdsourcing and engagement to enhance policy-making or service delivery ?
  • Seeking to integrate crowdsourcing into organizational and institutional operations on an ongoing basis?
  • Implementing a citizen engagement project through crowdsourcing and need support to assess impact or scale it?

Course Description

More and more organizations are turning to crowds for help in solving their most vexing innovation and research questions. But managers remain understandably cautious. It seems risky and even unnatural to push problems out to vast groups of strangers distributed around the world, particularly for organizations and institutions built on a history of internal innovation. Understanding what kinds of problems a crowd really can handle better and how to manage the process requires careful design. However, after a decade of study, we have identified when crowds tend to outperform internal organizations (or not). This program is designed to help those wishing to integrate crowdsourcing into ongoing projects. Whether policymaking or service delivery in nature, we start from the assumption that, engaging citizens is generally both more effective and more legitimate as a way of working. Together we will explore how to better harness crowdsourcing and distributed innovation networks by offering guidance on choosing the best form of crowdsourcing for a given situation. Applicants should have a clear view of the problem they are trying to solve and either an ongoing or an about-to-start crowdsourcing project. Although everyone is invited to apply, there will be an admissions preference for those working at the city-level.

Course Format

1 faculty-led session every week for 2 hours (one hour is with a guest expert and one hour is an all-group session); and a personalized schedule of peer-to-peer and one-on-one coaching sessions.

Course Duration: 4 weeks

More information

FAQs

Faculty Members

Karim Lakhani

Lumry Family Associate Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School

Karim R. Lakhani is the Lumry Family Associate Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and the Principal Investigator of the Harvard-NASA Tournament Lab at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science. He specializes in the management of technological innovation in firms and communities. His research is on distributed innovation systems and the movement of innovative activity to the edges of organizations and into communities. He has extensively studied the emergence of open source software communities and their unique innovation and product development strategies. He has also investigated how critical knowledge from outside of the organization can be accessed through innovation contests. Currently Professor Lakhani is investigating incentives and behavior in contests and the mechanisms behind scientific team formation through field experiments on the TopCoder platform and the Harvard Medical School. Professor Lakhani’s research on distributed innovation has been published in Harvard Business Review, Innovations, Management Science, Nature Biotechnology, Organization Science, Research Policy and the Sloan Management Review. He is the co-editor of Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software (MIT Press), a book on community-based innovation. He has also published teaching cases on leading organizations practicing distributed innovation including: Data.gov, InnoCentive, Google, Myelin Repair Foundation, SAP, Threadless, TopCoder and Wikipedia. His research has been featured in publications like BusinessWeek, The Boston Globe, The Economist, Fast Company, Inc., The New York Times, The New York Academy of Sciences Magazine, Science, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Wired. Professor Lakhani was awarded his Ph.D. in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also holds an MS degree in Technology and Policy from MIT, and a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and Management from McMaster University in Canada. He was a recipient of the Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship and a four year doctoral fellowship from Canada's Social Science and Humanities Research Council. Prior to coming to HBS he served as a Lecturer in the Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship group at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Professor Lakhani has also worked in sales, marketing and new product development roles at GE Healthcare and was a consultant with The Boston Consulting Group. He was also the inaugural recipient of the TUM-Peter Pribilla Innovation Leadership Award.

Beth Simone Noveck

Founder of The GovLab

Beth Simone Noveck directs The Governance Lab and its MacArthur Research Network on Opening Governance. Funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Google.org, the GovLab strives to improve people’s lives by changing how we govern. The GovLab designs and tests technology, policy and strategies for fostering more open and collaborative approaches to strengthen the ability of people and institutions to work together to solve problems, make decisions, resolve conflict and govern themselves more effectively and legitimately. The Jerry Hultin Global Network Visiting Professor at New York University’s Polytechnic School of Engineering, she was formerly the Jacob K. Javits Visiting Professor at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a visiting professor at the MIT Media Lab. Beth is a professor of law at New York Law School. She served in the White House as the first United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer and director of the White House Open Government Initiative (2009-2011). UK Prime Minister David Cameron appointed her senior advisor for Open Government, and she served on the Obama-Biden transition team. Among projects she’s designed or collaborated on are Unchat, The Do Tank, Peer To Patent, Data.gov, Challenge.gov and the Gov Lab’s Living Labs and training platform, The Academy. A graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, she serves on the Global Commission on Internet Governance and chaired the ICANN Strategy Panel on Multi-Stakeholder Innovation. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Open Contracting Partnership. She was named one of the “Foreign Policy 100″ by Foreign Policy, one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company and one of the “Top Women in Technology” by Huffington Post. She has also been honored by both the National Democratic Institute and Public Knowledge for her work in civic technology. Beth is the author of Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger and Citizens More Powerful, which has also appeared in Arabic, Russian, Chinese and in an audio edition, and co-editor of The State of Play: Law, Games and Virtual Worlds. Her next book Smart Citizens: Smarter State will appear with Harvard University Press. She tweets @bethnoveck.

Still hungry for more information?

Send us an email at info-academy@thegovlab.org