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Espresso of Innovation: Digital Hippies


By Dan West, innovations manager, Draftfcb UK


Hello and welcome to this week’s Espresso of Innovation; the hottest news and strongest stories from the world of creativity and technology filtered into a quick shot of inspiration. This week we’re discussing digital hippies, man.
 
“Digital Hippies” was recently announced as the topic for this years’ LeWeb 2013 conference in London. It’s a topic that got me thinking. As someone who wouldn’t describe myself as a traditional hippy I found I am definitely a digital one as I use a lot of ‘change-the-world-for-the-better’ technologies.
 
The Hippy Trail 2.0
Whilst I travelled around South America I used Couchsurfing – a community accommodation site that pairs travelers with homeowners willing to give up some space to a backpacker for a couple of nights. Airbnb has taken this one step further to allow their community to stay in anything from a flat to a castle depending on their needs.
 
Shareconomy
The internet was created on the basis of information sharing and trailblazers like Wikipedia are taken for granted nowadays. Thanks to their free information platform we no longer have to reach for an encyclopedia.
Sharing information can have commercial benefits too, as we touched on in our New Hacking Espresso. Ford is hoping for success with OpenXC – its open source hardware and software toolkit. By creating this toolkit they allow consumers to have a greater say in their car development as well as Ford getting free innovative ideas and apps. Toyota even used it to improve the world at large with their ‘Ideas for Good’ project last year that tasked designers to create a new non-automotive application for the greater good.
 
It is easy being green
Lyft is a ride-sharing app that allows you to share a lift with someone to keep your costs down in a safe environment. Even big oil companies like Galp Energia, Portugal’s largest oil and gas company, have a car share app – Galpshare.
 
Final thought
Companies need to see the opportunities that the digital hippy movement brings, and the challenges. These digital projects can soon become competitors; as the car hire market found with the launch of zipcar. But they can also offer huge opportunities to allow companies to improve their business through innovative ideas, expand into other areas such as service (e.g. Charmin) and above all do something for the greater good and show real CSR.
 
As always, for more great tech, trends and insight head to our Facebook page and if you come across anything innovative, amazing or just plain fun please email them to us.