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Can we bootstrap R&D management and Drupal?

This post is first and for all about my experience on the R&D management conference, but it builds up to a story on Drupal too.

The conference had several good presentations and I had several good discussions, it was again an inspiring moment. I’m hoping that some of it may lead to interesting publications, but what stuck me the most during the conference is a feeling of urgency and responsibility. This comes from the very last workshop where we discussed the pre-publishing idea. I first started discussing this idea almost a year ago with Jeff Butler, Boris Bend and Bart Van Looy on the EIASM summer school 2009. Jeff, Boris and I start discussing it over mail, but it is particular Jeff how has been working on this idea for years. During the workshop Peter Robins gave a strong summary, describing it as applying open innovation to the R&D management journal. The summary didn’t miss its effect. Of course ideas are cheap, putting them in action is what matters. Indeed this gave me a feeling of urgency and responsibility. Remark that it is Jeff’s pet project. He is committed to make it work though it failed before. I’m eager to contribute to this project. I belief a social-technical effort is needed to develop an idea along the way.

OS software project are capable of develop an idea along the way as they have the social-technical attitude and the skills to conduct action-research. Recent development shows how Drupal start focusing on innovation, where Drupal is the framework and R&D is emerging. I see both communities having complementary skills and an urge to experiment towards the other community. We may bootstrap the R&D management needs and Drupal needs by building bridges and stimulating collaboration. There I feel urgency and responsibility, but I’m humble about my part in this too. There are many great people involved, if I succeed in building some bridges it will be more their contribution then mine. I suggested a proposal to the coming Drupal conference for first steps towards a drupal-lab initiative. But I guess both pre-publishing and drupal-lab can be bootstrapped. Meaning that by creating bridges the one will reinforce and help create the other. Of course this has to happen by keeping each other integrity. Most recent talks with Jeff gives some idea on how preserve integrity. It is just trilling to see how open innovation meats open sources. Feel free to give any comments.