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Challenge brief

What global challenge do you think innovation leaders should work to solve right now?

153 contributions
103 ideas
103 final ideas
35 final ideas
Announced!

Early in 2011 a group of global innovation leaders – known as the i20 – will meet for a global innovation summit. They are the principal drivers of national innovation strategies across thirty countries. You can influence their summit agenda. OpenIDEO contributions will be used to help determine priorities and directions for the conference.

Congratulations to all our contributors!

BRIEF

Introduction

Have you ever wanted to tell global leaders what you consider to be the most important issues facing the world today? This is your chance. On January 13 and 14, 2011, the Institute for Large Scale Innovation will host its i20 community at a summit that will gather seventy top national innovation leaders whose common goal is to address large-scale global challenges. The ILSI invites the OpenIDEO community to help set the i20 agenda by suggesting which challenges are most in need of innovative solutions. 

 

 

What global challenge do you think innovation leaders should work to right now?

 

In this OpenIDEO challenge, we aim to understand two things:

1. Inspiration. What are the most interesting or innovative things that are going on where you live?

2. Concept. What do you think the i20 global leaders should be talking about? In other words, what would you like to see on their agenda?

Although citizens of many countries can appeal to their own publicly elected officials, people rarely get to help shape the global conversation, particularly at a forum of world leaders. This OpenIDEO challenge and the i20 summit mark one of those rare opportunities to speak your mind — and be heard — on the important issues of today.

The i20 summit is being hosted by the Institute for Large Scale Innovation (ILSI), founded by John Kao. Learn more about John and ILSI here.

 

What’s the detail and the opportunity?

 

Formed in 2009, the i20 group consists of some 35 'chief innovation officers' from different nations who demonstrate leadership in innovation. Its members hold positions of power from which they can drive their respective countries’ development over time. They strive to identify and address some of the grand challenges faced by civil society worldwide.

 

The January 2011 summit marks the first time that these innovation principals will convene to design a global agenda for innovation. The summit’s overall goals are to:

 

· Create a common, relevant framework for addressing global 'grand challenges'

· Align US and global agendas on how to foster engagement

· Sponsor global challenges by offering prizes, incentives and novel funding methods

· Introduce the i20 to the US government innovation community and vice versa 

· Outline specific ongoing goals and strategies

If you want to see our outdated terms and conditions from this challenge, look here.

Challenge team

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On a global scale, it is critical that leaders direct attention towards fixing broken transportation networks to ensure that prosperity can spread through the world fairly, efficiently, and sustainably. In many regions of the world, congestion is hitting untenable levels due primarily to increasing urban populations, poor public transport options, increasing numbers of single passenger cars on the road and an expanding trucking/delivery sector driven by ever-increasing global demand for goods.

When considering how to best address this problem it is important not to just think of big data solutions. ‘Smart Cities’ have gain significant attention in recent years and companies like Siemens would like to have you think that a city operating entirely on their system would be the most efficient*. Metro system improvements to increase efficiency are certainly an easy answer and definitely play a part when solving our transportation issues.

However, this is why we need innovation leaders to take a holistic view of the needs of citizens and riders. The ultimate goal should be to develop a diverse and flexible network of transit options to provide for the varied needs of a region’s inhabitants.

London is a great case study for exploring this idea of an innovation leader developing a large network of transit options based on the principles of human-centered design.

The reason this occurred is due to the fact that London has a powerful global leader, elected directly by London's citizenry, dedicated almost entirely to improving London’s transportation system. That person is the Mayor of London, currently Boris Johnson. The city of London did not have a mayor until 2000 when Parliament created the position due to strong political and public pressure, but they were careful not to vest too much authority to the Office. Unlike mayors in America and many other regions of the world, the role of London’s Mayor is largely to serve as an advocate, not an executive or administrator. The ongoing debates surrounding the location of London’s new airport and Boris Johnson’s inability to get his plan passed highlights some of the limits of the UK’s version of a mayor. HOWEVER, the Mayor of London has total authority over London’s Transportation System (TFL).

In a position that is largely ceremonial, London’s mayors have rightfully focused much of their attention on the transit system and have created a magnificent hodgepodge of transit options (including the Tube, Overground, High Speed Rail, Busses, Gondola, Ferries) in efforts to connect desperate sections of the Greater London Area. By working with an interdisciplinary team and embracing the physical realities and limitations of London’s urban landscape, Ken Livingston (former mayor) and now Boris Johnson have nurtured a web of interconnected modes of transportation that appropriately fit into the built environment.

No system is perfect and many Londoners would begrudge TFL and complain about the frequent Tube strikes. Yet, in a world filled with broken transit systems, London emerges as one of few global ‘winners’ in terms of proactively addressing transportation concern in their greater metropolitan region in an effective way.

There are many global challenges related directly to human survival that demand pressing attention from world leaders. But it is important to also keep in mind that issues surrounding transportation are central to the long-term economic and social success of regions across the globe. In this context, innovation leaders should embrace a more human-centered approach to transit design and follow London's lead in developing a wide range of modes of public transportation.



* The Crystal by Siemens, http://www.thecrystal.org/visit-the-exhibition/exhibition-zones/

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