Reshaping society with open innovation - The seeding of a new open and innovative mindset

Manuel Au-Yong-Oliveira, Miguel Almeida, Francisco Mendes, Marina Van Geenhuizen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


This article is a description of a growing community and movement taking place in Portugal related to open innovation. The testimonies of two principal promoters as well as the views of two career academics were gathered. Herein, the process is described whereby real corporate problems felt in industry and requiring a solution are brought for discussion and resolution by a community of motivated problem-solvers, who were carefully chosen for their skills and capabilities. Can this initiative become a mass phenomenon and can it be built up to attract [paying and sponsoring] corporations across Europe and from different continents? How can the events evolve to become mainstream? What capabilities and promotion are necessary forthat to occur? The promoters involved are entrepreneurs located in central Portugal and are seen to be forward-thinkers disrupting how innovation is seen and approached. In a society geared towards services and tourism the team is seeking to bring open innovation to the fore in a country also considered to be very creative and not lacking in creative talent - but which on the other hand is very traditional, collectivist, hierarchical, consensus-seeking, and where innovation may be resisted and change viewed with suspicion. In a 72-hour time frame where problem-solving participants are invited and gathered at a physical venue individuals surpass themselves and experience team work in a setting where all logistics issues are previously carefully thought out and taken care of - so as to provide for the best problem-solving environment possible. The open innovation initiatives (called Hackathons) involve the following: defining the challenges (we want challenges that define goals and purposes but that are open enough to let the team build something creative), defining the fit (each candidate can apply as a team or individually; candidates select their preferred area); building teams (the candidates are free to change teams and can even propose their own challenges; we encourage communication between the team elements and also the mentors). A three-day Hackathon involves: creating a team spirit; constant feedback; building an MVP (Minimum Viable Product); learning new things; sharing is caring.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, ECIE 2018
EditorsMarlene Paula Castro Amorim, Carlos Costa, Manuel Au-Yong-Oliveira, Marlene Paula Castro Amorim
PublisherAcademic Conferences
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781911218975
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event13th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, ECIE 2018 - Aveiro, Portugal
Duration: 20 Sep 201821 Sep 2018


Conference13th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, ECIE 2018


  • Disruptive practices
  • Disruptive thinking
  • Open innovation
  • Problem-solving
  • Traditional society


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