Open source your strategy? Chapter 8 focuses on the application of open innovation and crowdsourcing to sustainability strategy formulation. As such, it examines initiatives by companies, government agencies, NGOs, and intergovernmental organizations; it also bridges engagement from many different stakeholder groups – employees, customers and consumers, suppliers, sustainability experts, communities, and critics. The author asserts that crowdsourcing and open innovation approaches offer an opportunity to transform and enhance the effectiveness of every step of strategy formulation, while simultaneously building the needed awareness, understanding, and commitment of key stakeholders essential to implementation. From a more social-political viewpoint, it contributes to depth of stakeholder understanding of the vision and plan, employee engagement, deepened relationships with customers, critics and stakeholders, trust that comes from knowledge and transparency, and connections and partnerships with the broader business/organizational ecosystem. Open innovation can help build a culture of innovation and a sense of shared destiny, not only with employees, but with other stakeholders in the enterprise, value stream, and local and global community.

This chapter covers in-depth case studies:

1. Sainsbury’s taps the wisdom of the crowd: Engaging an expert crowd in critiquing Sainsbury’s Sustainability Strategy

2. ONE: Championing a people-powered agenda for the “World We Want”

3. HP’s Living Progress Exchange: Linking corporate citizenship to business results through crowdsourcing

Additionally, several annotated examples are described.