Monday, October 19, 2009

Crowdsourcing ideas

There are at least three efforts underway that I am aware of that could serve as useful, crowdsourced idea lists for funders and or policymakers interested in leveraging someone else's due diligence. In my mind, these are good examples of being able to "listen in on" the criteria, legwork, and due diligence of grant makers PLUS get some crowd wisdom.

First, the Google 10^100 project - 16 "ideas that can change the world" and an open voting platform to let anyone register their opinion. These are big ideas - from socially conscious tax policy frameworks to scaling social enterprise to better banking tools for everyone.

Second, the Purpose Prize. If you are planning on getting older (and really, consider the alternative) then this is a group to watch. Each year a $100,000 Purpose Prize and several $50,000 grants are given out to individuals who have made major social contributions in their "Encore Careers." This video is a tease - the winner will be announced on October 26.

Third, The Buckminster Fuller Institute Challenge. This is one of my favorites - my dad is a huge Bucky Fuller fan. This prize goes to "support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems. Entries are now being accepted and the deadline is midnight, Eastern Time on October 30, 2009." I love the ideas they get and I love the IdeaIndex that they share with everyone. (and this year @sashadicter of @acumen fund is a jury member!)
Other prize platforms -NetSquared, Ashoka's Changemakers, the HASTAC Digital Media Competition, - also share their entries. In my opinion, as I've written before, this is the real power of good prize philanthropy - the ecosystem of ideas and innovators that they attract. If you are looking for good ideas, wondering what people think is important, or looking for ways to piggyback on someone else's strategy - these tools make it easy to do.

Prizes aren't the only way to share this kind of information. The Cloud helps. In response to my post "why don't foundations build a document cloud?" I was reminded of ConnectiPedia, an initiative of the Meyer Memorial Trust in Oregon which does share a lot of information that the foundation has organized for anyone to use and share. This falls more in line with online resources such as the Pennsylvania Cultural Data Project, the Repository of Equivalency Determined Organizations (hey @TechSoup - got a new name yet?), the Media Database of Grantmakers for Film and Electronic Media, or Global Philanthropy Forum's International Resources Database (actually a list of organizations).


Unknown said...

And here is another one, hot off the press: New incubator fund launches for mobile projects in Latin America:

Deadline for 'call of problems' November 19.

The Mobile Citizen Project, which aims to fund and support mobile initiatives for social change in Latin America, launches Oct 20th.

Unknown said...

I just argued that organization should also consider crowdsourcing their organizational structure. This could be done using established tools from the information architecture field and might lead to better structures. This is mainly for big organizations.

Anil Rathi said...

Idea Crossing has an automated prize platform that's currently powering a $1.5MM Renewable Energy Prize in Abu Dhabi for the Royal Family's Masdar City project and smaller prizes as well.

Anyone interested in prize philanthropy best practices can download...

8 Keys to Successfully Running a Challenge:


McKinsey & Co's report on Philanthropic Prizes: