Two Communities, Thousands of Contributions
Mobilize New York and Go Detroit were crowd innovation communities designed to stimulate new ideas to help residents and visitors get around faster and more easily. Over the course of several months, participants were guided along an innovation path that first helped identify universal problems, then encouraged rough proposals, and finally leveraged the community to expand and improve the ideas that were contributed by community members.
The communities generated over 6,000 ideas and contributions from over 1,700 participants. In New York, Ford collaborated with promising innovators in live prototyping sessions before bringing the ideas back to the community for a vote. The winning teams shared $30,000 in prize money, and conversations are ongoing with several of the finalists about implementing their solutions, with the support of mentors from Ford and transport partners. Product and service innovation ideas ranged from an app consolidating major ride-hailing apps, to portable vehicles with mobile power sources.
Go Detroit participants offered solutions to a wide array of issues. These included improving access to employment, schools, and healthcare providers, especially in inclement weather; providing affordable transportation to grocery stores and leisure activities; and facilitating easy access to reliable information about mass transit options. Leading ideas were further explored and improved in live sessions with mentors and experts. The individuals and teams behind winning ideas shared in a pool of $60,000 and were offered on-going support after the challenge to further pursue their concepts. Successful ideas ranged from technology solutions like apps for ride sharing to shuttle services transporting Detroiters to and from work.
The open innovation campaigns were an exciting way for the brand to connect with customers, and highlighted Ford’s transformation from traditional automaker to innovative, mobility provider offering services, solutions, and programs beyond their conventional business. Programs like Go Detroit and Mobilize New York support their strategic vision and market position.