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About Us

Welcome to the Open Forum, an initiative sponsored by Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria. The Open Forum exists to provide a way for Harvard students, faculty, and staff to expand their impact on the world by creating a collaborative community focused on solving the vexing social problems that lie at the center of their ambitious work. While the impetus for each challenge originates at Harvard, we are eager to engage and involve communities around the world. The logic for this crowdsourced, open innovation approach is based heavily on the work of Professor Karim Lakhani of HBS. Professor Lakhani’s research focuses on the dynamics of crowdsourcing, both in community and contest formats.

Professor Lakhani is a core member of the faculty board for the Digital Initiative at HBS, which runs the Open Forum. The Digital Initiative is an academic start-up that aims to understand and inform the digital transformation of business through research, teaching, and engagement. Matt Tucker, the Platform Manager, and Adrienne Debigare, the Community Engagement Manager, run the Open Forum and partner with different teams from around the school to run challenges.

The software behind this platform is built and maintained by OIEngine, a company founded by Tom Hulme (HBS ‘07). Hulme formed the idea behind OIEngine while at Harvard Business School in Professor Clayton Christensen’s course, Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise. When asked how he might disrupt a familiar industry, Hulme started to consider the use of the internet and the wisdom of crowds to disrupt design and innovation consulting.  This seed of an idea evolved into the successful and inspiring website called OpenIDEO, which claims over 60,000 community members focused on designing solutions to social challenges.

As the Open Forum grows, we will engage stakeholders from around Harvard to create compelling challenges that will provide ways for alumni to reconnect with the school, for professors to form communities around their work, and for the public to engage with Harvard as it strives to enable even more good in the world. 

The site is a work in progress, and we'd love to hear from you.  If you would like any additional information, or want to make suggestions, please email Matt Tucker at mtucker@hbs.edu.