How to Open-source the Creative Process: Democratizing Innovation, Product Design and Development, and Technology Strategy


MIT SDM Systems Thinking Webinar SeriesAli Almossawi

Ali Almossawi, Data Visualization Engineer, Mozilla; Author, An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments; and SDM Alumnus

Date: February 23, 2015

Download the presentation slides (PDF)

About the Presentation

The creative process is a combination of engineering and design decisions, experimentation, iteration, integration, informed decisions, and luck—all of which hopefully culminate in a marketable artifact. The creator, with all the tools and knowledge available to him or her, is often presumed to know best. But, that’s not always the case.

In this webinar, SDM alumnus Ali Almossawi will discuss the benefits of expanding the creative process through open-sourcing on the Internet, where there are more creators, fewer industry gatekeepers, and endless opportunities to engage directly with users. He will:

  • describe a model for open-sourcing the creative process and how it can be used to build a self-sustaining product or business;
  • outline the key players—often a combination of professionals with expertise in technology, business, and/or design;
  • discuss what is needed for team members to work together effectively—and the pitfalls to avoid;
  • provide examples of failure, success, and failure leading to success; and
  • offer next steps that can be adapted and applied across all industries.

A Q&A will follow the presentation. We invite you to join us.

About the Speaker

SDM alumnus Ali Almossawi holds a master’s degree in engineering and management from MIT and a master’s degree in software engineering from Carnegie Mellon. He has spent time at Harvard, the Software Engineering Institute, and the MIT Media Lab, where his research involved creating predictive models of source-code quality as well as investigating architecture adaptability in software.

Almossawi currently resides in San Francisco, where he works on Firefox data visualization for Mozilla. He is the author of An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments, which has been read by 1.4 million people, and is currently writing a novella about computer algorithms. His work has appeared in Scientific American, Wired, Fast Company, and more.

About the Series

The MIT System Design and Management Program Systems Thinking Webinar Series features research conducted by SDM faculty, alumni, students, and industry partners. The series is designed to disseminate information on how to employ systems thinking to address engineering, management, and socio-political components of complex challenges.