Public floods BP with oil response ideas

Monday - 11/15/2010, 1:47pm EST

The Gov 2.0 movement could learn a lesson on innovation through what happened during the BP oil response -- get ideas from the public.

BP received about 123,000 ideas of how to plug the leak and clean up the oil spill.

Although many ideas were infeasible or already attempted, more than 100 ideas were good enough to test. More than two dozen were deployed to help clean up the oil, USA Today reports.

The use of a cap to stop the oil flow originated with BP engineers, but hundreds if not thousands of similar ideas came from the public, said Hunter Rowe, a BP senior manager who worked since May on vetting the submissions, in the article.

The oil spill was the first large-scale disaster to occur in an open government world.

Adm. Thad Allen, who led the government response to the oil spill, told the DorobekINSIDER that being part of the response team was like being on reality TV, as the public intently watched. Thad said he pushed to make the agencies' "means and ends" as transparent as possible.

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