McKinsey Quarterly has published an article on Open Innovation: The Internet and new social-networking technologies are allowing companies and their customers to interact with unprecedented levels of richness. Some leading organizations are using this opportunity to draw customers into the heart of the product-development process.

Co-creating products and services with customers, however, is uncertain territory fraught with challenges and questions—for instance, who owns the resulting intellectual property? Nonetheless, smart companies are now beginning to encourage their customers to help them develop the products and services consumers really want.

Those words "intellectual property" are enough to set any university research manager's teeth on edge, but it got me thinking about two things - (i) how open innovation is what futures work is really all about - co-creating the future - and (ii) how can educational institutions use open innovation to strengthen their strategy and change processes?

Co-creating strategy in authentic ways with staff and students is one possibility, setting up an online space for students, staff, developers and vendors to build the specification for a new student system is another thought, co-creating curriculum is something that I experienced a little of, as one of the first group of students at Griffith University in Brisbane way back in the 1970s...how would this sort of trend affect how we work in educational organisations today? Let me know what you think.