During the lift11 conference, I participated in a workshop focused on co-creation. The workshop was organized by Felix Koch, Nick Coates and an other one whom I forget the name. The second one gave a talk the day before called « Co-creation: present and future ». Both are currently working for Promise, a company specialized on innovation based on co-creation. In the past Promise worked for BMW, Visa, Kraft Foods, Danone, Nestle, etc.
At the beginning the workshop enlightened keys elements concerning co-creation: differences between online and offline methods, how to engage audience better than a traditional customer’s panel, how to avoid recurrent mistakes, etc.
At the end, participants was involved in a series of roleplaying games. For instance we had to create a game in only three minutes. The audience was shared in three groups. Our game was a kind of imitation’s game. The second one was a sort of guess game. The last one is a bit hard to explain. The better way to catch it is to watch this video. Then I learned that it’s easier to be agree with somebody or we can be creative in a very short time.
Before this workshop, I wasn’t sure to know exactly what to expect about co-creation. I just had some examples in my mind like Local Motors or frogMob. However the workshop reminds me a very old Simpsons episode (Season 2): Oh brother, where art Thou? In this episode, Homer finds his half-brother Herbert Powell. He is the CEO of a big car company and decides that Homer have to design « a car for the all Homer Simpson ».
Of course Homer fails. I think this extract shows exactly what co-creation shouldn’t be. Co-creation shouldn’t be the direct link between people and company. Co-creation needs certainly a translator or a mediator. It could be designers. It could be also an organization, a company. No double that Promise plays this kind of role.