Today’s blog post was contributed by Gabriel Eichler, Director of Consulting for InnoCentive
Last week I had the pleasure attending the Economist’s Ideas Economy Conference on Information in the heart of Silicon Valley – Santa Clara, CA. As usual, the event was a star-studded (well ‘stars’, at least in the mind of this geek) event with representative leaders from government, big business, small business, public policy, not-for-profit and Academia. A correspondent from the Economist emceed each session at the conference thereby ensuring that the content was top-notch. The in-depth conversations on so-called ‘big data’, social media, crowdsourcing, healthcare and open government, just to name a few topics, were a virtual intellectual amusement park of entertainment. Rarely do I have the opportunity to imbibe such high-caliber content.
As part of the event there were some particularly notable elements that I wanted to (attempt to) recapitulate within this blog entry.
As part of his talk, Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: What the internet is doing to our brains spoke about how it is that us humans engage with information and knowledge. He brought up several interesting elements in his talk, but one struck me as particularly relevant. He said that studies have found that our brains actually have dopamine-like response to the acquisition of new data or knowledge. In fact our brains naturally crave such stimuli and the sort of high that ensues. Could this, perhaps, be one reason by Seeker and Solvers are so attracted to InnoCentive Challenges? Our Solvers love the opportunity, via a challenge, to find or create new knowledge and our Seekers love gaining new insights to solve their most precious Challenges? I suspect that this may represent some of the non-monetary appeal of our Challenges – though clearly further study would be needed. As Solvers, do you get a high out of discovering information? Do our Challenges provide that sort of an intense stimulation for you? Drop you comments at the end of this post. (more…)