The collaboration effect - catalysing innovation

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To learn about collaboration I left C4DI, Hull, for the day to explore Do it Day - an annual event where hundreds of marketeers and digital experts come together to try and solve huge problems in one day. Here's a review of the event and some useful concepts and ideas that could drawn from the day, which you can apply to your own business. The event was a prime location to see what can be achieved through collaboration and various team dynamics. The tasks varied, greatly, and ranged from IBM's technology challenge which aimed to get children into technology through wearables, to Visa's challenge - aiming to help children understand finance.

C4DI Trees

C4DI Trees

After an early start and some exercise, battling my way through torrents of Londoners in the underground, I arrived at IBM's head office, where the event was to be held. Drafted into a team of around 15 members, I helped promote our campaign - a product of the former 'Plan It Day' event; "Trees for Trees". The aim of the campaign was to plant 10,000 trees (a whole forest) in just one day.

By taking a picture of a Tree or sending in a drawing to the 'Heart of England Forest team' using the tag #TreesforTrees the project ensured that as many members of the public would get involved in the action as possible. For every picture that was sent in a tree would be planted in the rapidly growing forest.  In addition, any submissions would become part of the virtual forest on the website and displayed on a huge digital billboard in Piccadilly circus during the day. For more information visit the web site www.treesfortrees.co.uk.

As mentioned earlier, many of the projects being run on 'Do it Day' were conceived initially in the Plan it Day' phase. Through brainstorming, collaboration and idea sharing teams of digital professionals created incredible projects from the briefs that were given to teams on the day. Not only were these campaigns created in record time, they probably would have eaten huge amounts of time (and other resources) to make in a more stagnant, traditional environment. The variety of perspectives and fields helped generate a buzz of ideas that led to the rapid concept generation that made the Do It Day campaigns possible. Many of these projects would not have come to fruition without this type of environment. Traditional working environments can often lead to narrow and sluggish idea generation phases since they often do not have the resources or the fresh perspective s that can drive creation through the cross pollination of ideas.

All in all, it was an exhilarating day - by combining the abilities of everyone attending we managed to achieve some truly spectacular things. Seeing the sheer caliber of projects and the varied approaches of each team was fascinating. Trees for trees surpassed over 10,000 tweets and attained the project goal of getting a whole forest of 10,000 trees planted in just one day. The success of Do it Day is a testimony for the effectiveness of collaborative workspaces, as found in C4DI, which foster leaps in innovation. This experience has proved to me that with the right type of culture and people you can create some really amazing things. I can't wait to get involved in all the projects that will arise from our very own digital hub over the next few years.

#TreesforTrees - a wonderful way to save the world.

Dee - Community and Project Support

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