From Solving Crimes to Solving Open Innovation Challenges

Interview with IdeaConnection Problem Solver Felipe A. Papa
By Paul Arnold
Felipe A. Papa is a retired former police colonel from the Philippines who served in the force for 27 years. In retirement he has turned his attention to farming, but he is no novice at this.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and animal husbandry and a master’s in animal livestock/husbandry and production.

He is also putting his knowledge to good use by signing up to IdeaConnection problem solving teams, enjoying success with his very first challenge.

In this interview, Felipe talks about his experience with IdeaConnection, his background and how his farming projects are helping poor people in his native country.


Filipe A. PapaI am graduate of Bachelor of Science in agriculture. I was able to work for an international company, called the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction and we were doing field work and talking to farmers about how they farm in different products like coconut and coffee.

Why did you make the switch to the police?

In the Philippines, the salary is quite low as compared to military or police. That was the reason I transferred.

How did you hear about IdeaConnection?

I came across them by browsing the internet. There was a subject that interested me and I told them I will apply, so I applied and they gave me a little interview about my resume and I was accepted.

This was my first time working on an IdeaConnection challenge, especially with people from foreign countries where the culture is very different from here in the Philippines.

In what ways different?

Well, the Philippines is considered a third world country and the technology, especially in scientific work is somewhat slower. Having said, the people here in the Philippines are well educated and have obtained degrees and doctorates as well.

How did you find the experience of working on a team with colleagues from different backgrounds and countries?

My colleagues are very kind people and can easily express themselves. They have good knowledge of their research work, especially in biology and other aspects that pertain to agriculture and plants.

Did you enjoy anything in particular about working on the team?

I enjoyed chatting with my colleagues and exchanging ideas.

What do you feel you learned by working on the challenge?

I learned a lot about how these people work and how they operate and how to bring lots of different aspects together to solve the problem.

What do you think of open innovation as a way of solving challenges?

The concept is very good, because it can help mankind and can be used throughout the world.

What did it feel like to win a partial reward?

I was very happy to know that we were given a partial award, and we are now waiting for it so we can use it.

Do you know yet what you'll use it for?

No, I haven't decided yet.

As you mentioned you are retired, but are you still involved in scientific work in some way?

I and my friends are planning to plant coconut, coffee and other crops and we are acquiring around 2,000 hectares here in the Philippines. I am doing negotiations with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources so that we can start the project and help locals and other jobless people in our province.

I am also chairman of a cooperative here (Green World Farmers Producers Coop) and right now we have been given a project by the Department of Agriculture. Although it is very small the proceeds will be given to marginal people in our area.

I have also planted around 20 hectares of rubber and I would like to help native people in our area because they are not educated and their incomes are very low.

And finally, will you do more team challenges?

Yes. IdeaConnection is very amazing and I am a subscriber, and I would like to take part in more challenges.

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