For innovation to succeed in your organization, it’s not just other companies that need to be involved—you need to tap into the entire ecosystem. That means partnering and co-innovating with customers, suppliers, academia, non-profits, cities, governments, and more. Not all innovative ideas are born inside the offices of traditional companies. Countries, cities, and municipalities are actively driving new policies to become more innovative on their own and attract new businesses and residents. Academic institutions are expanding research programs toward entrepreneurs. And consumers are starting to feel that their voice is valued unlike ever before, as they have so many ways to connect with companies and make an impact on them.

Engaging with the entire ecosystem leads to a larger pool of opinions and vantage points. And diversity creates the best teams. Working with other organizations and groups builds a collective knowledge in an ever-expanding innovation atmosphere. Innovation’s not the domain of only one person, one initiative, one company, one industry, or one country. Just like open source, innovation has no borders, no owners—it’s everywhere all the time. You must think creatively and partner with people and groups far and wide, including customers, cities and governments, academia, and non-profits.

There are plenty of opportunities to partner with others and exchange valuable knowledge and ideas. These relationships will help you achieve your set strategy and continue to grow, but they’ll also make your community, locally or globally, a better place. Companies, nonprofits, cities, and other organizations willing to share knowledge and embrace the concept of building the innovation ecosystem will certainly see their impact metrics improve, but they’ll also be working toward a greater good.

Read the full article about truly impactful innovations by Alex Goryachev at Stanford Social Innovation Review.