Shamelessly cut-and-pasted from Slashdot: eaglemoon writes “Many people still have difficulty understanding why open source software projects are successfull. The Boston Globe has an interview with Eric von Hippel, a Professor at MIT Sloan School of Management, on users as innovators. In his new book, von Hippel, discusses how open source projects draw on the creativity of ”lead users,” who are often ahead of the curve on technology and marketplace trends. Von Hippel shows the trend already is more advanced than is generally known, and users often freely reveal their innovations for the common good. The social efficiency of a system in which individual innovations are developed by individual users is increased if users somehow diffuse what they have developed to others…..he also notes that the transition to user-centered innovation is hard for some companies to swallow. The online version of the book is available under a Creative Commons license.”
Can this same principle be applied to the creation of knowledge in universities, where individual members of the university community use technology to diffuse new knowledge generated; thus propelling innovation and continuous, new context creation for knowledge production and innovation?