New publication: “It’s the Conversation, Stupid!” – Social Media Systems Design for Open Innovation Communities

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My joint book chapter with Mark Aakhus, “It’s the Conversation, Stupid!” Social Media Systems Design for Open Innovation Communities was just published in J.E. Lundström et al. (eds.), Managing Open Innovation Technologies, Springer, Berlin. ISBN 978-3-642-31649-4.


Open innovation is about crossing boundaries to create networked synergies in/across collaborative communities. Conversations are the lifeblood of communities, building the common ground of shared meanings, beliefs, interests, norms, goals, trust and social capital. A fundamental challenge for open innovation lies in the successful crafting of the social media systems supporting the community conversations. Innovation communities (which are not limited to business interests but also include public and civic organizations and communities) therefore need to continuously make sense of the conversation context of the tools they use. We provide a conceptual lens with which to examine this socio-technical conversation context. We illustrate the use of this lens with a plausible scenario of open innovation in the societal stakeholder networks around climate change research.

Posted by Aldo de Moor


The link in footnote 3, page 6 is no longer valid (when will large – especially scientific – organizations learn that they should use permalinks, so that references remain valid over time… A related article can (still) be found here:

Pamela_McLean (@Pamela_McLean)

This title “It’s the Conversation, Stupid!” – Social Media Systems Design for Open Innovation Communities” gives me some renewed hope.

There is so much need for effective, mutual-respect conversations across cultures. Social Media Enables us to have new kinds of conversations and to create completely new kinds of online collaborative communities. These combine theory, research and practice. In these communities we are learning-from-each-other and also (at the same time but in our various locations) learning-by-doing.

In Dadamac we have been doing this kind of Internet enabled conversation-and-collaboration on a small scale for almost a decade (and seeing the growth of better communication options over that time). Our core group is UK-rural Nigeria. Our wider group is located in other high-bandwidth countries and also in other bandwidth-challenged locations in Africa.

We welcome new conversations and collaborations. Contact me at

Excellent, Pamela, keep up the good work!

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