Open Innovability, the challenge of crowdsourcing

Published on Thursday, 20 July 2017

“Open Innovability is Enel’s digital open door of sustainable innovation. It is open internally, as anyone can propose an idea or a project, as well as externally to meet the relevant challenges for Enel’s future. What’s thrilling about innovation is that it can come from anyone”

– Ernesto Ciorra, Head of Innovation & Sustainability in Enel

Enel has already launched ten “Challenges” on its new platform, many of which were inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the UN’s 2030 Agenda: “Water as a way to fuel development”, “Education as a global right,” “Clear the way for clean energy,” “Turning the tide on climate change,” “Energy for those in need.” Other “challenges” are meant to gather ideas that might help us meet business requirements - such as ones for renewable energies (Technologies for renewable generation) or new technologies (Development goes online) - in addition to targeted proposals for inclusive development (Ideas for social progress, Growing the economy and job quality, Open minds to the future.)

Enel’s formal commitment to four of the UN’s 17 Goals is already a reality: ensuring access to affordable and clean energy (SDG7), supporting quality education (SDG4), promoting decent work and economic growth (SDG8), putting targeted decarbonizing actions in place by 2050 (SDG13). Enel was among the first companies in the world to integrate the UN's Sustainable Development Goals within our definition processes of both strategies and reporting. One only has to flip through the recent 2017-2019 Sustainability report to find actions as well as targets set according to those 17 SDG milestones.

“The challenges we have launched also refer to the communities in which we live: our task is to make those communities grow. We will propose challenges that are congruent with the four SDGs we have adopted so far as well as others that can be useful too. Therefore, they might not only be technological, but social, environmental, and economic too so as to create value for the communities in which we operate”

– Ernesto Ciorra, Head of Innovation & Sustainability in Enel

The “challenges” of Open Innovability are open up to all in true Open Power spirit, and they are easy to share across the main social networks to allow the community to grow. Among those new challenges to be published in the near future, some will foresee a money prize for the best contributions. To send solutions and project proposals people need to sign in on the platform so they can interact with Enel’s team. The team will then make its evaluation.

Another section of the web site, “I have a project”, was designed for all those who - among Enel’s employees, startuppers, researchers, independent innovators, and companies alike - deem their contribution to be interesting even though it does not meet the requirements of the current challenge.

Though the platform was just launched on 30 June, already 23 ideas and projects are being evaluated by the Innovation & Sustainability team.

“Enel's Innovation was launched to improve business. It is the main tool to make Enel sustainable, and is thus strategic,” Ciorra explains.

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