Crowdsourcing at Work: Open Innovation with Unilever’s Foundry IDEAS™

By Arwen Heredia | Crowdsourcing
October 2, 2015

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

road to success - unilever

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.”

Screen Shot

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
To learn more, read this recent piece from Fortune Magazine and watch the video below.

Click here to share your sustainability solutions with Unilever.

Recommended For You
The Spigit Innovation Blog
The best innovation ideas, advice, and news in your inbox.