The Co-Creation Initiative began as a research program in the School of Design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. From 2013-2016, a team led by Dr. Bryan Rill explored the “secret sauce” of co-creation. Through collaborative research with some of the world’s best designers and organizational change facilitators, we sought to define and understand the mechanisms underlying co-creation. Our efforts resulted in the development of a cross-disciplinary theoretical model to design and facilitate co-creation. The model illustrates how to create the “space between,” an experience of collective insight and potential breakthrough. We also found what seems to be a universal grammar – or process architecture – underlying several approaches to co-creation. We depict this as an artistic journey that captures the knowledge, learning, and experiential aspects of collective creativity. Based on our experience, we are currently writing a book titled “The Art of Co-Creation.” The book uses a performance metaphor to reveal how such moments of collective creativity can be designed for, engaging the reader with colourful vignettes and practical tools for professional development. After its release we will focus on the development of masterclasses and other training workshops for those interested in practicing the art. The potential for co-creation is also highlighted in a forthcoming article called “Co-Creation as an Approach to Strategic Innovation,” coming out in the December issue of the Journal of Organizational Change Management.
The Origins of Community
The CCI community of practice evolved organically out of events at the University and virtually. CCI hosted weekly and monthly gatherings with catalysts, students, and scholars interested in organizational transformation and innovation. These journeys of discovery delved deep into the underlying grammar of facilitation and transformation of organizational culture, leadership, and the space within and without needed to fuel meaningful innovation.
Participants have said, “I could be myself at last. I could actually contribute.”
“For me it was an energizing process, and I actually feel more energized at the end of the day. So that was a pleasant surprise.”
“We were giving things to each other, rather than to an external client. So this one was more like a love-in than a love-out.”
In our weekly CCI Sessions we gathered and held space for a dialogues on co-creative philosophy, techniques, and case clinics. Weekly Sessions were an exploration and sharing of wisdom. We structured the Sessions around specific themes that we previously co-developed, and each week we addressed one of our themes in the context of a real world case.
Once per month we held Intensives- Programs where we applied the co-creative framework to help a team or organization transform LIVE (Leadership, Innovation, Vision, Environment). Intensives were also research case studies that we learned from and improved upon our process design.
The CCI research program ended June 30th, 2016. After years of hard work and amazing collaborations, the team felt it was time to close the initial inquiry and publish the findings. We had answered the questions we came in with, and were ready to give that knowledge to the world. This is not an end, but rather the beginning of a new era. CCI is now evolving into a community of practice that, as co-creation often does, transcends its original mission. CCI was founded in rigorous scholarship, and will retain that voice as it represents co-creation globally through this website and the actions of its community members. Where we go from here will depend on the wishes of the CCI community. After a summer hiatus, we will resume the CCI Sessions to hear your voices. Information on the timing and how to join will be posted shortly. Please feel free to join us, or just drop in to listen, anytime.