Friday, February 28, 2014

March 11 BostonCHI Innovation Talk: Michael Muller on Crowdfunding Inside the Enterprise


An IBM Research talk,  part of the monthly BostonCHI speaker series

When: Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 6:30 PM to 9 PM
Where: 1 Rogers Street Auditorium, IBM Cambridge


Michael Muller will walk us through a collaborative experiment led by Werner Geyer, Todd Soule, and Michael, all of IBM Research, Cambridge, and John Wafer of IBM, Dublin.

Crowdfunding is a relatively recent Internet phenomenon, in which an innovator can propose a project and solicit investments from the public. More than 450 crowdfunding sites are now in operation around the world, such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Rockethub, Kiva, and Donors Choose. Successfully-funded projects span much of human aspiration and intention, including charity, creativity, community service, new business initiatives, and financial rate-of-return.

We conducted our own crowdfunding experiment inside IBM. Our project, I Fund IT (previously “1×5″), has been run four times —  in two research groups, and twice in an IT organization. Outcomes went well beyond our original expectations, and include: employee proposals that addressed diverse individual and group needs; very high participation rates; inter-departmental and international collaboration; the discovery of many previously unknown collaborators; and the development of goals and motivations based on collective concerns at all levels of project groups and communities.

We discovered that moving crowdfunding “behind the firewall” is transformative, highlighting opportunities for new forms of collaboration among employees and between employees and upper management. We conclude with our current understanding of success factors, best practices, and implications for theory and design.

About Michael Muller

Michael works in the Collaborative User Experience group of IBM Research, which recently became part of the new Cognitive Computing organization within IBM Research. His work focuses on metrics and analytics for enterprise social software applications, and emergent social phenomena in social software. Earlier IBM work involved activity-centric computing and communities of practice. Michael is an internationally recognized expert in participatory design and analysis. His work in this area includes the development of methods (CARD, PICTIVE, participatory heuristic evaluation) and theory (ethnocritical heuristics). Michael is an IBM Master Inventor.


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