Harvard Business Review Breakthrough Idea: Toronto TransitCamp


Along with my co-authors Jay Goldman and Eli Singer, I am proud to announce the publication of our article titled Sick Transit Gloria in the February issue of Harvard Business Review. The article shares the story of Toronto TransitCamp with a general business audience and is included in the 2008 edition of HBR’s annual The HBR List: Breakthrough Ideas section. There are many great ideas in there, so do yourself a favour and pick up a copy. (TransitCamp is also nominated by BlogTO in the Best of Independent Toronto Survey. Vote here!)

This short piece tells the tale of a community and a public agency coming together to solve problems in an innovative new way, using social web technology, social media and design methods together with the Barcamp unconference framework. The approach helped to shift the relationship between the organization and its customers and community stakeholders. That organization was the Toronto Transit Commission and the event and the open creative community that emerged from it was called Toronto TransitCamp. You can read the article in Harvard Business Review, or visit this wiki page for links that provide a comprehensive overview of the background, the design, the experience, the media coverage, the conceptual foundations and the influence of TransitCamp.

The authors want to make clear that while our names may appear in the byline of the article, the ideas and the event itself come from a community of participants and peers. We were also inspired by many talented global thought leaders. We would like to acknowledge these contributions and inspirations here:

Our friends who helped make TransitCamp happen: Robert Ouellette, ReadingToronto; Tim Shore, BlogTO; David Topping, Torontoist; Matt Blackett, Spacing; Adam Giambrone; David Crow; Bryce Johnson; Joey Devilla; Madhava Enros; Michael Glenn; Misha Glouberman; Julia Breckenreid; Ryan Feeley; Kieran Huggins; Andrew Moore; Kevin Bracken & Lori Kuffner, Newmindspace; Rannie Turingan, photojunkie; Patrick Dinnen;

Friends and inspirations: Alec Saunders, Iotum; Amber MacArthur; Alex Lowy; Andrew Baron, Dembot; Anthony Williams; Arieh Singer; Audrey Carr, Between Us; Austin Hill, Billions with Zero Knowledge; Ben McConnel and Jackie Huba, Church of the Customer Blog; Bianca Goldman, A Wee Bit Skint; Bonnie, Ernie & Rachel, GreatCycling; Brian Oberkirch, Like it Matters; Cambrian House; Chris & Jessie, Istoica; ; Chris Anderson, The Long Tail; Chris Messina, FactoryCity; Colin Henderson, The Bankwatch; Colin Smillie; Cory Doctrow, Craphound; David Eaves; David Gray, Communication Nation; David Pritchard; David Weinberger, Everything Is Miscellaneous; Doc Searls; Don Tapscott, New Paradigm; Elspeth Roundtree; Eric Goldman, Napoleon’s Gambit; Ev Williams, Evhead; Greg Wilson, The Third Bit; Guy Kawasaki, How to Change the World; Howard Rheingold; Hugh MacLeod, gapingvoid; Iris Glaser, Tailor Communications Design; Jason Kottke; James Bow, Transit Toronto; James Cherkoff, Modern Marketing; Jeannette Hanna & ; Jeff Howe, crowdsourcing; Jeff Jarvis, BuzzMachine; Jeremiah Owyang; Jesse Hirsh; Jevon MacDonald, socialwrite.com; Mike Beltzner; Joe Clark; John Battelle, Searchblog; John Moore, Brand Autopsy; Johnnie Moore; Joseph Thornley, Pro PR; Karen Quinn Fung; Kate Trgovac, My Name is Kate; Kathy Sierra, Creating Passionate Users; Kelly Seagram; Kenyatta Cheese, Braintag; Lawrence Lessig; Lee Goldman; Lee Odden; Leila Boujane, Idee, Inc.; Lloyd Alter, treehugger; Maggie Fox, Social Media Group; Mark Dowds, Mark Evans, A Canadian Take on the Web; Mark Raheja; Mark Surman, commonspace; Martin Cleaver; Matt Mason; Matt Mullenweg, Photo Matt; Matthew Dewall, Maybe Sorta Kinda; Matthew Ingram; Michael Anton Dila, Torch is Wicked; Michael Lenczner; Michael O’Connor Clarke; Michael Geist; Michael Seaton, The Client Side Blog; Michelle Perras, Shot From the Hip; Mitch Joel, Six Pixels of Separation; Nicholas Carr, Rough Type; Nikki Goldman; Om Malik, GigaOm; Peter Francey; Phil Hood; Richard Florida; Riccardo Cambiassi; Rob Hyndman; Robert Scoble, Scobleizer; Rochelle Latinsky; Ryan Coleman Found in Translation; Saul Colt, The Smartest Man in the World; Scott Beale, Laughing Squid; Sean Howard, Craphammer; Sean P. Aune; Sean Wise; Seth Godin; Shel Israel, Global Neighbourhoods; Steve Munro; Steve Rubel, Micropersuasions; Stowe Boyd, /message; Stuart MacDonald; Sulemaan Ahmed; Tara Hunt, HorsePigCow; Michael Arrington and Erick Schonfeld, Techcrunch; Thomas Purves; Tim O’Reilly; Todd Defren, PR Squared; Tom Davenport, Make IT Matter; Tom Williams, the $5 philanthropist; Tom Peters; Will Pate; Yochai Benkler

5 thoughts on “Harvard Business Review Breakthrough Idea: Toronto TransitCamp”

  1. So proud of you guys! Congrats! So exciting that you’re sharing the TransitCamp work with a wider community and getting the recognition and the traction to make change. Well done!! And thank you for including me in such a group of smart, insightful people.

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