At OpenIDEO we build communities that work together and design solutions to our world’s big challenges.

Contribute to Challenges

We partner with leading organizations to drive collaboration, innovation and impact around the world's toughest problems, through launching challenges, programs and other tailored experiences.


A challenge is usually a three to five month collaborative process that focuses our attention on a specific issue and creates a space for community members to contribute, refine and prototype solutions.


Programs are long-term partnerships where we tackle a specific issue area—like climate change or international development—by launching multiple challenges, events and other activities that lead to the creation of far-reaching, innovative solutions.

What Else Is Possible?

We are excited to dream up new forms of partnerships. This could mean tapping the knowledge of specific thought leaders in your sector, integrating our process into an event, fostering more collaboration in your field, or something we haven’t yet imagined. Open innovation is a new frontier. We look forward to exploring it together.


We aim to create 3 types of impact through our work.

Build Awareness and Inspire Action

Bone Marrow Challenge

During our Bone Marrow Donation Challenge, OpenIDEO partnered with the Stanford University Haas Center to find creative ways to expand the global network of potential bone marrow donors. Participants dispelled myths and confusion about bone marrow donations and collaboratively designed concepts that would encourage bone marrow registration and donation around the world. With support from the challenge, more than 115,000 people swabbed their cheeks and joined the donation registry.


Ebola Challenge

In the fall of 2014, amidst growing urgency around the Ebola crisis, the White House and USAID called upon OpenIDEO to support the Fighting Ebola Grand Challenge with an open innovation challenge. OpenIDEO responded by launching the challenge in under a week—showcasing the potential of open innovation to rapidly respond to evolving crises. Seven of the challenge’s Top Ideas were invited to pitch in-person to USAID for funding and implementation support.


Support Project Development and Implementation

The Renewable Energy Challenge

The 11th Hour Project sponsored the Renewable Energy Challenge to raise awareness and support new ideas. During the challenge, OpenIDEO’s Meetup community and IDEO designers provided product and business design support. Ultimately, The 11th Hour Project funded three promising ideas that emerged from the challenge.


Human Rights Challenge

During the Unlawful Detention Challenge, sponsored by Amnesty International, the OpenIDEO community shared and prototyped ideas to protect human rights workers. One of the ideas that emerged from the challenge was prototyped by Amnesty and ultimately became the Panic Button App, which allows human rights activists working in risky situations to alert their support network when they are in danger.


Strengthen Ecosystems Through Long-Term and Focused Efforts

The Amplify Program

Together with and DFID, we’re focusing on improving the lives of the billion people living in extreme poverty around the world. Amplify is a series of ten challenges over five years focused on international development that offers funding and design support to selected organizations.



We’re out to support innovation related to climate change and sustainability. Through a series of challenges, in-person events and implementation support for new ideas, we’ll be building a community of funders, organizations and individuals passionate about innovation for the planet.