As the E.ON Innovation crowdsourcing project draws to a close, it’s time to look back at the challenges and find out how many green ideas the Great British public has come up with. You may remember my first post about this unique community-driven effort that coincided with the new Channel 4 show Home of the Future. The whole point of the E.ON Innovation was to encourage people to think green and to come up with practically applicable green ideas; and the public has responded with enthusiasm.
Firstly, let’s look at the impressive stats! The whole creative process was divided into 5 challenges: Rest, Work, Play, Food and Wellbeing. Across all 5 challenges, as many as 1323 submissions were received. At the time of writing 9,945 comments have been submitted but you still have a chance to contribute by commenting on your favourite ideas – the Play and Wellbeing challenges are closing on April 7.
Although crowdsourcing is still a very new concept, the E.ON Innovation shows that people are really responsive when it comes to submitting ideas and sharing their thoughts on discussion boards.
Let’s look at some of the most exciting submissions that have been received so far.
No, it’s not a typo. The phyto voltaic roof panels are run by genetically modified algae, which (just like an electric eel and other fish) can produce electricity. The algae can be put between two glass panels each of which is coated with a transparent conductive film. The algae are charged by sunlight. This is a great sustainable and self-renewing source of electricity. The only problem is that it sits on the borderline between two sciences: nanotechnology and biotechnology. This needs a lot of time and investment to be developed into a feasible product. What do you think?
Such a simple idea but a really good one! The best way to ensure that the next generation continues living an eco-friendly lifestyle is to teach them to think “green” while they’re kids. The folks have come up with all sorts of great ideas for green toys but I guess Postman Pat charging his electric car is my favourite!
You can still take part. Visit E.ON Innovation (you can log in using your Facebook credentials with two easy clicks) and vote for your favourite innovation. The Wellbeing and Play challenges are still open for discussion for another week. After the closing, the best ideas will be presented to senior decision-makers at E.ON. The winning ideas will be taken into development, and there’s also a £2,000 worth makeover package to be offered to winners of the five separate challenges, and a £10,000 home energy makeover for the worthiest of the winners.
All in all, the E.ON Innovation has been a great success. I can certainly see more and more crowdsourcing projects springing up. Especially in an uncharted territory like green innovation!
A lesson that other businesses can draw from this is that joint ventures work better than something that is done on its own. The link between the E.ON Innovation and the Channel 4 Show Home of the Future (co-funded by E.ON) really got people talking and thinking. It also motivated an interesting discussion on Twitter. After you’ve looked at the ideas presented by the community why not follow @talkingenergy and join the conversation? If you tweet something about the E.ON Innovation, don’t forget to use #eoninnov hashtag so that other “tweeps” can respond.
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