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The Power of People, an Expert Opinion on Crowdsourcing Innovation

The Power of People, an Expert Opinion on Crowdsourcing Innovation
Maggie Franz

Maggie Franz

Dr. José Morey on ideation, innovation and the crowd

Idea Hunt had the opportunity to spend some time with open innovation expert Dr. José Morey, who holds positions with both Hyperloop and NASA.  He’s a busy man, so we were thankful to catch a few moments of his time as he drove (handsfree) to DC to speak.  

Just who is Dr. José Morey? As a medical doctor with a specialty in radiology, José met and fell in love with the intersection between technology and medicine early in his career.  Morey is on the Hyperloop Global team, serving as a part of the Chief Engineer Council, as well as, NASA’s iTech group as their Medical Technology and Artificial Intelligence Advisor.  In addition, Dr. Morey serves as the Associate Chief Health Officer for IBM Watson Health and Chief Medical Innovation Officer for Liberty Biosecurity.

After hearing all that Dr. José Morey has going on, we were left wondering when the man finds time for sleep, let alone to talk to us about open innovation, but talk to us he did.   Morey’s passion for innovation stems from the potential of the human mind, and what it can achieve when asked the right questions, in the right environments and with the right cohort of co-creators.  Morey often speaks on the potential for innovation that can be derived from gathering together people of different demographics, backgrounds and specialties.

On our call Morey spoke of the great innovators of the past such as Leonardo Da Vinci, who surrounded himself with people smarter than he was on certain topics and how he strived to stretch himself beyond his comfort zone in order to continually learn and grow.  He also spoke of Ada Lovelace, a mathematician who was an associate of Dickens and referred to herself as the poetical mathematician.  Or Einstein who played the violin when faced with a challenge to access a different side of his brain. 

The power or potential that is held by open innovation, which is literally the cross pollination of minds, is what will take human civilization to new heights.  Through both of his roles with Hyperloop and NASA, Morey works with his respective teams to crowdsource ideas, to identify the brightest ideas, and then put them to test - achieving open innovation on a daily basis. 

Hyperloop started as a crowdsourced project, working with open source technology and ideas with the goal of moving people, at the speed of airplanes, without ever leaving the ground. Today the company works as a hybrid, a team of experts now coordinates with the crowd, guiding the work of the collective body of minds.  It’s not boasting if it’s true, and some of the stats to which they are able to lay claim are impressive - they work with over 800 experts across different organizations including for profit companies and universities, currently manage of 40 relationships with professional organizations to develop the technology to make this mode of transportation possible and all the while, manages over 50 multi-disciplinary teams that stretch across six continents!

NASA has also been crowdsourcing ideas for their iTech program, with the dual mission of developing technology to solve problems or challenges here on earth, and also helps to achieve life in space.  The iTech program runs various innovation challenges for which individuals, startups, large companies and even other government groups/agencies can enter with their ideas.  From there, a jury, including Dr. José Morey, will select finalists and work with them to build and test the technology.  With NASA, open innovation could very literally take us to new heights, in this case, even Mars and beyond.

While not every company is quite ready to throw off the protection of their patents, and open their doors to qualified co-creators, there is definitely an emerging trend of those following in the footsteps of Hyperloop and NASA, especially after seeing the success of open innovation experts like Dr. José Morey and his teams.

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