Next Steps for Free Innovation Research and Practice (Chapter 11)

In chapter 11, I suggest several next steps in free innovation research, policymaking, and practice that I think will be valuable. I begin by setting expectations for the role the free innovation paradigm might usefully play in these new efforts. Next, I compare and contrast the research lenses offered by free innovation, user innovation, peer production, and open innovation, outlining question types for which I expect each lens to be especially useful. I then propose steps to improve the measurement of free innovation, a matter that is very important to further progress on research questions related to the free innovation paradigm. Next I suggest research steps useful to incorporate free innovation into innovation theory and policymaking. Finally, I suggest how the free innovation paradigm can help us to understand the economics of household sector creative activities even beyond innovation, such as

"user-generated content” ranging from fan fiction to contributions to Wikipedia.

I conclude the book by again noting that free innovation, free from the need for compensated transactions and intellectual property rights, represents a robust, "grassroots” mode of innovation that differs fundamentally from the prevailing Schumpeterian model of producer- centered innovation. I suggest that the free innovation paradigm, presented and discussed in this book, will enable us to understand free innovation more clearly and apply it more effectively, with a resulting increase in social welfare and human flourishing.

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