Crowd Innovation Feature

This page explains how the Ideation feature works for regular users, site managers and content managers.

Note: this feature is not part of the default Open Social product (basic/premium/distro) but can be ordered as an optional module for Enterprise customers.

1.Crowd innovation Feature - Structure

The crowd innovation feature creates solutions via a crowdsourcing process. It provides the framework to build a customized flow of idea creations within your community platform. 


The components:

  • Challenge: The Challenge is the overarching entity that gives the whole process a home. The Challenge poses a question that has to be solved to the community members. The creator of the Challenge can determine the flow of the process. Challenges can be found by default under the “explore” menu item, the search. The challenges a user takes part in or has created can be found under the user menu “my challenge” tab. The challenges are constructed in a similar way as a group. That means they have a sub-menu with:
    • An “About” tab, which gives the general information about the challenge, the phases and newest ideas.
    • The “Ideas’ tab, which is an overview page of all ideas that are sortable by phase.
    • The “Stream”, “Events”, “Topics”, “Participants” and for CM+ The “Manage participants” tabs are similar to the group functionality.
  • Phases: The Phases determine how Users can interact with the challenge. A phase can limit the permission for:
    • Creating Ideas
    • Editing Ideas
    • Viewing Ideas
    • Commenting on Ideas
    • Voting on Ideas

Phases have an start and end date, which allows the challenge to go through different stages.  



  • Ideas: The Ideas are the heart of this feature. Users can create Ideas in challenges as a way to suggest solutions for the posed problems. Those ideas can be promoted to the next phase. This results in a selection process until the best idea(s) for a challenge is found.



2. Managing a Challenge: Create, Edit and Delete 


  • You can add a Challenge as a Content manager or Site manager by using the ‘+’ button in the header menu.
  • You can add normal users as Challenge admins to provide them with control over the settings and content of the challenge.
  • The challenge admin(s), content managers and site managers can edit the challenge information, and delete and manage the challenge memberships (for CM+ for all challenges).
  • Content managers and site managers can manage the content within the challenge as well.
  • You can only delete a challenge managed by yourself.
  • A challenge can be deleted on the edit challenge page.
  • Note that deleting a challenge will also delete all of the ideas, posts, events and topics created in the challenge.

How to create a challenge

  • Fill in the general information of the challenge. This includes:
    • The name of the challenge
    • An image
    • The description of the challenge
    • The URL alias
  • Create the different phases.
    • You can create any amount of phases for a challenge.
    • Set the name of the phase. The name field is an autocomplete taxonomy field to help keep the copy of the phases consistent throughout the page.
    • Set a start and end date for the phase. Start and end dates for phases do not have to follow right after each other. Make sure you don’t have overlapping dates!
    • Enter a short description of what is expected of participants in this phase.
    • Set the permissions for the phase.
    • Click on “create phase” to save the phase.


This process allows you to create different flows for challenges. E.g., it is possible to create different phases for creation, discussion, voting and improvement of ideas to make sure the interaction of the participants is streamlined. 


During a Challenge (and Phase)

Ideas can only be created when the active phase allows “Create ideas”. Ideas created in this phase are tagged with the corresponding phase. This is displayed with a label.

The challenge admin+ can tag ideas with any other phase by going to the “edit idea” form. When entering a phase, the label of ideas tagged with this phase will be updated.

This way it is possible to “proceed” ideas to the next phase and create a funnel to find the best idea(s).  


Managing Participants

The managing of participants is similar to the manage member functionality in groups. You can give any participant the challenge admin role. 

3. Crowd innovation Feature - Regular User

As a participant of a challenge, your interaction is tied to the permissions that the creator has set for the current phase. You can find Challenges in the challenge overview. The label shows if the challenge has an active phase and/or if you already joined


Following a Challenge

Any interaction with a challenge or underlying ideas will add you as a follower. You can manually follow or unfollow anytime by clicking on the arrow in the yellow box in the hero area. 

When following a challenge you will get informations over new ideas, topics or events that are created in the challenge. 


Creating an Idea

If the phase allows creating ideas, all logged-in Users can create them. 

  • You can edit your own idea, but site managers and content managers can edit any idea created by others, unless they are unpublished.
  • Same goes for deleting an idea. This can be done at the bottom of the idea edit page, or Mgmt roles can delete it from the content overview.
  • You can only create ideas within the challenge via the buttons in the Hero area and the challenge’s idea overview page. This is not possible via the plus button nor is it possible to move ideas to different challenges.
  • Ideas contain:
    • A title
    • An image
    • A summary; which will be shown in the teaser. There is a 200 character limit.
    • A description field
  • The idea gets automatically tagged with the current phase label.



You can add multiple authors to the Idea. There are two different roles:

  • Owners: As an Owner you can add and remove co-authors. Also, only owners are able to delete an idea.
  • Co-Authors: As co-author you can edit the title, summary and description of the idea.

The owner and co-authors are shown in a block on the right. 


You can request to contribute to an idea as a co-author by clicking on the co-authoring button on the detail page of an idea. This will send an automatic request to the owner of the idea.

Keep in mind: The owner has to add the user manually 

If the owner does not want to open an idea for Co-authoring requests he can remove the request button in the edit form via the checkbox. 

Keep in mind: All co-authors added to the idea beforehand will be able to access the idea. If needed they have to be removed manually by the owner


If the permissions of the phase allows it, you are able to upvote ideas. This feature replaces the like functionality. 

As mentioned in the “creating idea section” it is possible to add a short summary.  This has a 200 character limit and will be displayed on the detail page bold above the main text. It will be also shown on the teaser to give users a short impression what the idea is about.  


Community Aspect

Just like with Groups, you are able to add posts to the stream, create events and topics relevant to the challenge. Those functionalities are independent of the phase and the permissions of the phase.