The way we innovate is changing. The US is currently experiencing its largest growth in startup activity in two decades; one in three Americans now identifies as a freelance worker; and the number of co-working spaces has grown from less than 100 to over 2,100 in the past six years. My work uncovers how an increasing number of today’s innovators--including designers, entrepreneurs, and engineers--have adopted an “organization of one” mentality where they not only build new products and services, but must also act as publicist, project manager, and human resources coordinator, responsibilities traditionally outsourced to departments within an enterprise context. This increasingly independent way of working has introduced new and understudied challenges to community management, crowdsourcing, and collaboration, which I address in my research.
Julie Hui is a PhD Candidate in the Delta Lab at the Segal Design Institute in Northwestern University. Her research focuses on human-computer interaction and the design of communities for novice innovators, such as online crowdfunding platforms and makerspaces. Her interdisciplinary work spans the fields of human computer interaction, design, and crowdsourcing. Julie has a BS in Physics from MIT.
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