Open innovation (OI), also known as collective intelligence, has close ties with corporate social responsibility (CSR). Companies involved in OI activity engage with diverse stakeholders such as customers, suppliers and even competitors to foster creativity and strengthen their problem-solving skills. This collaboration aligns with CSR principles as it promotes transparency, inclusivity and sustainability. By extracting value from external expertise, businesses practicing OI are able to address societal challenges more effectively. Moreover, the focus of OI activities on shared values and ethical considerations resonates with CSR goals, which positively contributes to both business and society. In essence, the fusion of OI and CSR is a powerful strategy for businesses that aim to drive innovation responsibly and create a lasting positive impact on a global scale.
OI serves as a catalyst for positive change within businesses as it fosters a culture of continuous learning and adaptability. Companies practicing OI actively seek external expertise and technologies to enhance their innovation capabilities. Their OI activity also aligns with CSR objectives as it promotes a knowledge-sharing ecosystem. Through collaboration with external partners, companies can explore diverse ideas. Access to external know-how ensures that their innovations address a broad spectrum of societal needs and challenges. Moreover, it enables companies to effectively respond to societal demands, contributing to a sustainable and responsible approach to innovation.
Moreover, OI plays a crucial role in driving sustainability initiatives. As businesses have to confront complex environmental and social issues, they increasingly recognize the importance of integrating sustainable practices into their innovation process. OI gives companies access to external expertise in sustainability, which in turn facilitates the development of eco-friendly products, processes and technologies. OI-based collaboration contributes to the global sustainability agenda, and reinforces a commitment to responsible business practices. In essence, OI facilitates a dynamic exchange of ideas, directing companies toward a more sustainable and socially responsible future.
In the context of CSR, OI fosters social impact and community engagement. Through collaboration with non-profit organizations, educational institutions and local communities, companies can address social challenges and contribute to the well-being of society. This collaboration strengthens the company’s reputation and a sense of shared responsibility. OI allows businesses to actively participate in the process of building resilient and inclusive communities, thus reflecting the broader objectives of CSR. On top of that, OI-based collaboration reinforces the image of companies as proactive contributors to the well-being of society.*
OI encapsulates constant change. Positive change in a very broad sense. Having in mind OI’s close ties with CSR, I have launched NDX FLUX, a visionary research project which utilizes OI challenges to enact startup social responsibility (SSR). It focuses on challenges which have not been addressed yet in the Nordix innovation region, which comprises the Nordics and the Baltics. There are issues of strategic importance both in terms of business and its socio-economic impact. NDX FLUX aims to encourage Northern innovators to conduct socially responsible business that will benefit the society of the Nordix region.
Birute Birgelyte | #BRG
Infopreneur, BrandComms Consultant and BX Creative