On January 30, 2017, we had our first event of 2017. In many of our events, community members asked us what happened to ideas posted on OpenIDEO. So we invited 3 OpenIDEO members, all based in NYC, to come and share their ideas. Our questions for that evening was:
How to make your social impact idea a reality?
How to go from an idea to piloting it?
We invited 3 speakers, and Anne-Laure, OpenIDEO NYC Chapter co-organizer also shared her experience:
Jaskeerat Bedi's idea in The Higher Ed Challenge
Eric Ho (www.miles.city)
emerged from my Vibrant Cities: https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/vibrant-cities/realisation/made-in-lower-east-side-the-beginning
Bertha Jimenez in the Food Waste Challenge
Anne Laure and DFA NYU in the Women Safety Challenge: https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/funded-impact/bindis-community-concierges-to-inform-connect-and-empower
All stories were different: there's unfortunately no simple-to-follow recipe, but all included passion, collaboration and also a lot of work and iterations -- during the challenge but most of all after the challenge.
Eric merged several ideas he found on the platform and went through the process again in the local context of Lower East Side. Jaskeerat posted an idea that emerged from her participation to the challenge and was selected as winning idea. She received some support from an IDEO designer but then got a job and left her idea on the side. Bertha (who unfortunately could not join us) posted an idea she had been working on for a while (and in fact posted on a close challenge using the OpenIDEO platform). Her idea was selected and she's now working on a pilot. Anne-Laure and the Design for America of NYU team posted an idea that emerged from a challenge and partnered with a local NGO in Nepal (that they contacted through the platform). They received some funding from IDEO.org, which was used by the NGO to pilot it. She went with a few students to Nepal on a research and prototyping trip.
The OpenIDEO platform plays multiple roles -- triggering an interest by proposing a challenge question, a source of inspiration with the multiple research and idea posts, a sounding board with the feedback and suggestions from the community managers and the community members, a resource with the process, various experts on the platform, some toolkits. Yet at the end of the day, in all cases, it is up to the passion and resilience of the people posting the idea and their desire to see impact. The model is not about posting an idea and hoping to see the sponsor implement it (it's rare and it takes time). If you really want your idea to be implemented, you definitely should go out there and try to make it happen.
Social impact matters to our community members and they all were eager to find ways to have some in one way or another.