Monday, June 22, 2009

Idea Index and changing how we look for change

(photo by psd, Flickr, Creative Commons)

The Idea Index is a great (and beautiful) example of learning from the ecosystem that prize philanthropy creates. The Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) has taken all of the entries for its recent challenge and published them in the Idea Index. BFI refers to this as "an open-source database of solutions to the world's most pressing problems."

It is similar to the way Changemakers is running its prize platform. HASTAC also works to connect the many organizations that submit to its Digital Media Challenge. NetSquared's annual conference acts as a way for applicants to get to know one another. These opportunities for networking the people behind the ideas, those selected by competition and those who weren't, is a wonderful contribution to the ecosystem for change.

I think the Social Entrepreneurs API, SocialActions, and AllforGood are great examples of how we can pull data from disparate sources and let people use it for all kinds of purposes. Imagine if we could mashup these "challenge ecosystems" into one massive index of ideas and idea-makers - from health, digital media, social enterprise, poverty alleviation, and so on - and see what they can accomplish when they can find each other....

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