We launched this online conversation in September to prepare for our 150th anniversary in 2015. Since then, employees and external partners have been asking me what the site is all about, if they should get involved and what the benefits are. I see Creator Space online as an experiment of sorts. It’s part of a year-long lab that aims to connect people, materials and ideas to co-create solutions to some of the world’s toughest challenges. During our anniversary year, these connections will be made here, online, as well as at dozens of collaboration events around the globe.
Take access to sufficient water in today’s megacities: The BASF team in Mumbai will connect people around this challenge during a week-long celebration and co-creation program in January. Before and during the program, we will be soliciting your insights and ideas on this topic here at Creator Space online. Why? Einstein is often quoted as saying that understanding the problem is the key to finding a solution. That’s where you come in: You may help us and our partners understand the water challenge from many different perspectives: A user, an engineer, a water expert, an NGO or a member of the municipal authority.
Our anniversary co-creation enterprise is about solving societal challenges, but it’s also about business, it’s about making our innovation pipeline more relevant for users. This will be key for 21st century innovation. In the last century, BASF pioneered industrial R&D and built up engineering competence that enabled mass production of scientific breakthroughs. But the successful innovation labs and industrial production sites of the future century will look very different from those of the past. The new labs will need to be connected to technology and societal trends in almost real time. And they will need to find creative ways to tap the growing universe of high-quality social networks that will enable us to bring together diverse, insightful people from around the globe.
I invite you to participate and follow our anniversary experiment, here online, or at one of our many events worldwide next year.