Social networks and communication technology make possible the immediate feedback between people. Every time we see any kind of content on the Internet, we can reply and comment anything we like. In this matter, people are more aware of the social, technological and scientific changes and, therefore, more informed.
That is why people are raising their voices helped by new technologies, and companies and institutions are listening to them, validating the power of the crowd as a source of knowledge. This is how collaborative efforts are born, using the crowdsourcing to favor development.
In the world, we have remarkable instances of crowdsourcing for social purposes. For instance, in Mexico City, the government made an open call on the citizenship to elaborate a new constitution for the city.
Through an online platform they gathered 341 ideas and proposals from 241.000 different people. This example of open-innovation and politics shows the power of the crowd, gives a voice to the people and allows them expose their concerns and desires.
Another example of crowdsourcing, engineering-crowdsourcing to be more specific, emerged from the recent SpaceX rocket explosion. Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, launched an open question for the crowd to help him figure out why the spaceship actually exploded.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 9 de septiembre de 2016
He is now crowdsourcing answers and solutions, calling on the engineering community, NASA and USAF to solve this challenging question. NASA has also prepared robot competitions and challenges to find a solution to a specific engineering problem in the Centennial Challenge.
A great example of the use of crowdsourcing is in the military and defense. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA, is creating a new ground vehicle, called FANG, and for this purpose they have launched a competition for the entire US engineering community and companies that wish to collaborate with design ideas for this vehicle. They proposed a Million-dollar prize to motivate the crowd to deliver innovation and solutions.
As we can see, crowdsourcing is an unlimited pool of new ideas and talent, and it can be used not only for social purposes, but also has applications in many different industries and businesses. Thus, the engineering-crowdsourcing is providing companies caught up in difficult challenges with different solutions from the crowd.
This engineering solutions are the result of putting together crowdsourcing ( the source of ideas) and engineering. Platforms like Ennomotive connect a community of creative engineers with companies, therefore allowing them to showcase their talent and skills by improving the companies productivity and effectiveness.