The Global Innovation Barometer, which GE brought to Davos this week, confirmed that crowdsourcing and collaboration have become potent tools for stimulating new ideas. GE ought to know. Its $100 million healthymagination challenge, which seeks to advance early breast cancer diagnostic technology, netted over 500 ideas submitted by thousands of students, researchers, businesses and other innovators. The ecomagination challenge, a GE partnership with a group of prominent venture capital firms, set aside a $200 million purse to improve home energy management and hauled in nearly 800 proposals.
This Monday, GE brought crowdsourcing to the art crowd gathered at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The company teamed up with the New York video publisher Cinelan and challenged documentary filmmakers anywhere to produce three-minute films telling “end-to-end stories about people or organizations whose innovative efforts in medicine, computer science, robotics, engineering and other fields of applied technical knowledge have had a significant positive on humanity.” The winner will walk away with a $100,000 cash prize. Equal amount will be divided among the four runners-up.
The challenge idea builds on the success of a documentary project called Focus Forward – Short Films, Big Ideas, which was launched at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival. It produced a series of 30 three-minute movies by a global group of documentary filmmakers about “the incredible power of human ideas and invention.” The films will be screened at festivals around world. The first five documentaries made for Short Films, Big Ideas are now available on Vimeo.