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Why Should Government Leaders Invest in Open Innovation?

A podcast interview with Jarah Meador

By Quinn Slayton · July 31, 2021

Dr. Jarah Meador, Director of Open Innovation Programs, Challenge.Gov, and CitizenScience.Gov with the General Services Administration (GSA) appeared recently on the Uprisor Podcast. Uprisor focuses on the people driving open innovation, future of work practices, and crowdsourcing.

In this episode, Jarah shares how the U.S. government engages citizens to source innovative ideas, and discusses why government leaders should invest in innovation culture within their own organization in addition to seeking solutions from the outside.

According to Jarah, “We are seeing an increase in appetite for open innovation across federal agencies… Some of the greatest minds and subject matter experts exist in government. We’ve seen more agencies building a culture of innovation, so these minds can develop the runway and move forward.”

A few notable examples include:

  • The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Innovators Network which brings together over 30 VA medical centers to support a cohort of Innovation Specialists to network, share knowledge, and identify areas of collaboration.
  • GSA’s 10x Program, an innovation sourcing program to crowdsource ideas from federal government employees and develop products to improve the public’s experience with the federal government.
  • GSA’s Challenge.Gov program which provides cross-agency support to build the federal government’s capacity for using prize competitions to crowdsource innovative ways to solve problems, advance research, and improve government services.

“Open innovation in government is a continuously growing field. We are going to see more exciting things happen down the road,” said Jarah.

To learn more, listen to the full episode here.

If you’re a federal employee with a great idea or public solver who wants to share your expertise, the Challenge.Gov team is here to support you. Contact team@Challenge.Gov, sign up for our newsletter, or follow us on social media: Twitter @ChallengeGov, Facebook @ChallengeGov.