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Inspiring content, tips and stories from our community

Blog list

Let's reflect on what's been happening in the Research Phase of the Financial Empowerment Challenge.

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This week OpenIDEO relaunched with a responsive, mobile-friendly platform. As our community continues to grow and diversify, we know that our collaborative space needs to keep up. This new iteration allows more people to participate, regardless of where they are and what devices they are using. Twice as fast and mobile-friendly, we hope to see more people joining the conversation, whether they are inspired on the go or live somewhere with limited internet.

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The Renewable Energy Challenge has acted as a powerful catalyst for devising innovative solutions to a long touted problem: transitioning to renewable energy. Join us in celebrating our eight top inspiring solutions that will help communities become rapidly renewable and all of our contributions throughout the challenge.

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Now that we're at the pointy end of the challenge, it's time to prototype our ideas so that we might build products and services that will really empower communities to become #RapidlyRenewable. But it's not always easy – read this post for suggestions on how to make your idea as real as possible without the actual materials.

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During the Renewable Energy Ideas phase our community generated a whopping 173 ideas and over 3,000 comments. Teams for were forged, unexpected collaborations came to light, and inspiring efforts were illuminated around one of the must urgent topics of our time: rapidly transitioning to renewable energy. As we turn towards refinement we're thrilled to share more about our Refinement process and pass along some tips for where we see these ideas going.

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Welcome to 2015, a year when scientists have documented the hottest global temperatures since record keeping began, analysts have recorded the most solar industry jobs since record keeping began, and Congress has begun its assault on clean air, clean water, and clean energy -- perhaps the most misguided policy-making initiative since -- well, you get the point.

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The process of refining an idea may be different for everyone. Some may be drawn more to feedback, collaborative brainstorming, building prototypes, market research or, better yet, all of the above! This post offers ideas from OpenIDEO contributors on ways to collaborate and refine your great idea.

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​For over three and a half months, OpenIDEO has brought together ideators from around the world to take a human centered approach to solutions with the potential to improve the lives of parents and young children. We have been so impressed with the quality of the ideas that have been generated and the rich conversations that have been a part of this challenge from the very beginning. Join us in celebrating these inspiring solutions for early childhood development:

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The Renewable Energy Challenge is rooted deeply in communities – so the stories and voices of community leaders and organizations are vital to our solutions. For this reason, we’re excited to attempt to draw more directly on those stories through our new, experimental volunteer positions: Community Outreach Leaders.

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With the launch of the Ideas Shase, we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the evaluation criteria for the Renewable Energy Challenge. Our hope is that with these elements in mind, ideas will be community-centered, implementable and transition one or more communities to renewable energy.

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With over 400 challenge followers, nearly 1,500 comments and almost 2,000 applause in the Research phase, our Renewable Energy Challenge is already proving to be an exciting global call to action. In preparation for the Ideas phase, the OpenIDEO Team, The 11th Hour Project and our advisory panel sat down to gather insights around all of the rich contributions from the Research phase. Together we identified emerging patterns and themes that clearly resonated with the community, driving action and momentum around renewable energy.

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The Refinement phase is an opportunity to start thinking about how our great ideas might play out in real life. Questions like how might we test the assumptions that underly our ideas? play a really important role in this process – but it can be difficult to know where to start. We asked designers from IDEO’s New York and Shanghai studios take a look at the first five ideas that were selected for the Refinement Shortlist, and they offered thoughtful feedback on ways to push these ideas forward. Some of the tips they gave apply to many ideas on the platform – so we’re sharing some highlights with the whole community.

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