Collaborative innovation network

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A Collaborative Innovation Network (CoIN) is a social construct used to describe innovative teams.[clarification needed] It has been defined by the originator of the term, Peter Gloor (a Research Scientist at MIT Sloan's Center for Collective Intelligence) as "a cyberteam of self-motivated people with a collective vision, enabled by the Web to collaborate in achieving a common goal by sharing ideas, information, and work."


COINs feature internal transparency and direct communication. Members of a COIN collaborate and share knowledge directly with each other, rather than through hierarchies. They come together with a shared vision because they are intrinsically motivated to do so and seek to collaborate in some way to advance an idea.

The five essential elements of collaborative innovation networks (what Gloor calls their "genetic code") are as follows:

  1. Evolve from learning networks[clarification needed]
  2. Feature sound ethical principles
  3. Based on trust and self-organization
  4. Make knowledge accessible to everyone
  5. Operate in internal honesty and transparency

COINs rely on modern technology such as the Internet, e-mail, and other communications vehicles for information sharing. Creativity, collaboration, and communication are their hallmarks.[1]

COINs existed well before modern communication technology enabled their creation and development. Peter Gloor and Scott Cooper, in their book, describe Benjamin Franklin's "Junto" organization in Philadelphia as a COIN paradigm. Franklin brought together people with diverse backgrounds, from varying occupations, but of like mind to share knowledge and promulgate innovation.

Similar is the concept of the "Self-Organizing Innovation Network" which have been described by one author, Robert Rycroft of the Elliott School of International Affairs of George Washington University as follows:

"The most valuable and complex technologies are increasingly innovated by networks that self-organize. Networks are those linked organizations (e.g., firms, universities, government agencies) that create, acquire, and integrate diverse knowledge and skills required to innovate complex technologies (e.g., aircraft, telecommunications equipment). In other words, innovation networks are organized around constant learning. Self-organization refers to the capacity these networks have for combining and recombining these learned capabilities without centralized, detailed managerial guidance. The proliferation of self-organizing innovation networks may be linked to many factors, but a key one seems to be increasing globalization. Indeed, globalization and self-organizing networks may be coevolving. Changes in the organization of the innovation process appear to have facilitated the broadening geographical linkages of products, processes, and markets. At the same time, globalization seems to induce cooperation among innovative organizations."

—Robert Rycroft[citation needed]


As COINs become increasingly popular among governments and corporations, the ethical, financial, economic, and cognitive issues which drive incentives will inevitably face challenges. Over time potential innovators may be unwilling to participate in projects merely on the basis of implied financial gain. As globalization begins to impact traditional models of planned social progress, the broader political context in which participants cooperate has become more relevant lately. This suggests an increased need for independent parties to collaborate on the basis of agreed upon principles and objectives, ultimately this could encompass the interests of humanity and the emergence of a global culture.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Collaborative Innovation". Archived from the original on 2011-08-21. Retrieved 2014-09-16.  (English)
  • Peter Gloor (2005) Swarm Creativity: Competitive Advantage Through Collaborative Innovation Networks. ISBN 0-19-530412-8
  • Peter Gloor and Scott Cooper (2007) Coolhunting: Chasing Down the Next Big Thing. ISBN 0-8144-7386-5
  • Silvestre, B. S., Dalcol, P. R. T. (2009) Geographical proximity and innovation: Evidences from the Campos Basin oil & gas industrial agglomeration — Brazil. Technovation, Vol. 29 (8), pp. 546–561.

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