Title: Do-It-Together: The Role of Crowdsourcing in Innovation
Speaker: Elizabeth Gerber (ME, Northwestern University)
Date: Wednesday, Jan 30th
Time: 12-1pm
Room: GHC 8102 


Innovation is critical to our economic and social prosperity. Yet acquiring the required resources is especially difficult for novice innovators, who lack competence and confidence. Crowdsourcing has the potential to change this. I present two projects. First, I present my latest research on crowdfunding and tools to support the exchange of resources from a distributed network of individuals online. Second, I present efforts to engage the crowd in ideation and decision-making. I discuss implications for the innovation process and crowdsourcing.


Liz synthesizes knowledge from social psychology, organizational behavior, human computer interaction, and human centered design to build tools for online and offline communities. The Breed Junior Chair of Design and director of the Creative Action Lab, she is internationally known for her writing on design process, crowdsourcing, and improvisation.

Her current research focuses on understanding the work of innovators both face to face and online. This work brings a unique perspective of contemporary practices such as crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, brainstorming, and prototyping, etc. - and provides a strong foundation for designing engaging social environments that promote innovation and leadership. She received her doctoral and master’s degrees in Management Science and Engineering and Product Design from Stanford, her bachelor’s degree in Art and Engineering from Dartmouth College, and has worked professionally as a designer of educational products and experiences.