My friend Paul Schumann has for some time now been trying to put together principles for an "innovation commons," which he defines this way: "An innovation commons is a space (physical or virtual) that enables innovation through the mutual and interdependent creativity of its members. It has the following characteristics:
* Open system (bounded)
* Everyone contributes
* Everyone can use the results
* Members who dont contribute are excluded
* Fluid & flexible
* An abundant resource system
Other names that people have used to describe this type of system are open source, open innovation, democratic innovation, inclusive innovation, peer to peer (P2P), smart mobs and free agent collaboration."
Paul notes that some attempts to create an innovation commons have succeeded and some have failed. His project is to try to find out what are principles of a successful innovation commons?
The discussion about this is taking place via a blog. There's also a newsletter. And a survey that's open now. You can find out more about it here.
I just finished taking the survey, and I think that the fewer "principles" and rules, the better. I'd love it if we could get down to the most basic. Be flexible, responsible, and honorable. Maybe there are more, but those three say a lot.