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Crowdsourcing at work: open innovation with Unilever's Foundry IDEAS

Johannesburg, 14 Oct 2015
Read time 2min 10sec
Crowdsourcing Innovation
Crowdsourcing Innovation

The world has a lot of problems. But thankfully, the people that live here also have a lot of wonderful, amazing ideas to solve those problems - whether they're to literally bring light to the developing world with soda bottles, or improve access to information and services for refugees. Crowdsourcing solutions gives us the best chance of driving real, lasting change - in fact, 85% of the 2014 Best Global Brands have used crowdsourcing in the last ten years.

One of those brands is Unilever, one of the world's leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products that launched its crowdsourced innovation program, Unilever Foundry, last year, to make sustainable living commonplace by collaborating with innovators.

The initiative is already making headlines - not to mention driving monumental change across the globe.

Ideas From the World, For the World

Unilever's Foundry IDEAS platform, powered by Spigit, enables collaborative ideation with start-ups, creatives, and inventors around the world to discover cutting-edge solutions to the world's sustainability challenges.

"Unilever Foundry is becoming a proven model for generating innovation and harnessing people's ideas," says Karen Hamilton, Unilever's VP of Sustainable Business. "Because business as usual isn't going to work anymore, we're looking to shift to a more open and collaborative business model...What we're looking for are ideas and innovation that can help to make sustainable living mainstream."

At its core, Unilever's program is about people - but it's also a strategic business move. "The Foundry internally is about the pitch, pilot, and partnering process," says Jeremy Bassett, Director of the Foundry. "But it's also about trying to drive cultural transformation to make people more entrepreneurial and opening to experimentation, risk-taking, launching, and learning, rather than planning or perfecting."

Spigit's advanced crowdsourcing technology makes it possible for Unilever to use the Foundry IDEAS platform to collaborate with innovators, discover new solutions, and help to build a better future. Participants can choose the challenges they'd like to support from Unilever's brands, submit their unique ideas, and then use the global crowd to make those ideas better.

Be a part of the crowdsourcing solution

Watch the video below to learn more, or click here to share your sustainability solutions with Unilever.


To learn more about crowdsourcing, visit the Spigit Web site.

By Arwen Heredia


Mindjet is committed to enterprise innovation excellence. It provides the first software platform with the capability to drive repeatable business innovation at scale. Millions of people, as well as 83% of the Fortune 100, use Mindjet's enterprise-ready innovation management and productivity suite, featuring Spigit and MindManager. Mindjet enables the world's leading brands to build and manage sustainable innovation programmes with social dynamics, purposeful collaboration, crowd science, and analytics, to surface and develop the best ideas and bring them to market. Mindjet is headquartered in San Francisco with offices throughout the US, UK, France, Germany, Japan, and Australia.

Editorial contacts
Mindjet Jaspreet Bhangu (+44) 0 208 231 7633
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