In the dynamic landscape of global medical relief, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders/MSF) stands as a beacon of hope and innovation. Join us as we delve into how MSF harnessed the collective talent of its members to democratize innovation and create lasting solutions.


MSF, the world’s leading independent international medical relief organization, operates in 72 countries through a worldwide movement comprising 33 offices and associations. In 2010, they embarked on a mission to leverage the expertise of their members and the organization’s flat structure to foster innovation across all domains.

A Journey of Innovation

MSF’s innovation journey with IdeaScale unfolded through several key steps:

  • Creation of an Innovation Unit: In 2010, MSF established an innovation unit with dedicated resources to capture and develop innovative ideas from all levels and sectors within the organization.
  • Early Platform: A dedicated platform was created to share these ideas, but it struggled to foster strong interaction between members, limiting its impact.
  • Dynamic Innovation Hub: In 2017, MSF revamped their approach, launching a dynamic and user-friendly platform. This platform allowed individuals to not only share ideas but also engage in meaningful debates, refine their values, and collaboratively develop solutions for the benefit of the entire MSF community.

Democratizing Innovation

At its core, MSF’s adoption of crowdsourcing became a powerful tool for democratizing innovation without losing sight of their primary mission: saving lives. By encouraging participation and collaboration, they harnessed the collective intelligence of their members to tackle complex challenges.

In the words of Abiy Tamrat, Medical Technologies Coordinator and Innovation Lead at MSF, “Campaigns, in addition to solving problems, are an excellent way of communicating achievements and improving awareness on challenges faced by the organization.”

Final Words

MSF’s journey stands as a testament to the transformative power of innovation, collaboration, and shared purpose. Together, they are creating change and saving lives around the world.

Let’s co-create the future together!

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