Open Source Model for Developing Bids

Nick Booth passed this on to me a while back. It’s about a bid to government that was developed in a completely open and transparent manner. The entire story and process is available at the Open Innovation Exchange:

This Open Innovation Exchange site was launched on April 22 2007 and used until May 14 2007 to develop an “open source bid” to the UK Cabinet Office, which invited proposals for a Third Sector innovation exchange. The invitation to tender for a £1.2 million three-year programme said:

“The innovation exchange will pilot new approaches to fostering, exchanging and replicating third sector innovation, ensuring that public services benefit from the approaches they pioneer. The innovation exchange will seek to connect innovators to one another, to those who might benefit from their work, including public service, commissioners and third sector organisation, and others who might invest in their work.”

We believed that we could develop a better proposal by sharing our ideas with others, and inviting comments and contributions. We succeeded in that, and delivered the final proposal on May 14. It is available here.

However , we aren’t are stopping now, and we invite people to continue to contribute ideas on how the exchange – and other collaborations in the field – could work.

Below are a set of question and answers on our original approach to the bid. Simon Berry answers some challenging questions here.

You would never see a corporation opening up its bidding process to the world and if it tried, its lawyers would strongly advise against it. But in this case, it worked. Once again, an industrial model has been flipped on its head by the Net.

I believe that this is an indicator of the future of collaborative work and shows how the open source model is not just for software development but can be used in almost all work endeavours.  The Internet is a revolutionary and powerful tool for all of us, as long as we keep it open and neutral.

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