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OpenIDEO is an open collaborative platform for social design and innovation. The site allows for projects, called challenges on the platform, to be submitted by partnerships between leading organizations. These challenges are posed as questions in order to find solutions to better the world, such as reducing plastic waste or improving education for youth in emergency situations. In order to facilitate the innovation process, each challenge is divided into a number of phases, each lasting roughly a few weeks:

  1. Ideas: OpenIDEO launches an open call for ideas to their global community to submit proposals or current projects related to the challenge question. Each challenge question is linked to a Challenge Brief and Submission Criteria that participants can refer to in order to find out more about the question.
  2. Review: A panel of “experts and advisors review and shortlist leading ideas to move onto the Feedback stage.” The comments section is still open for participants to continue engaging with each other regarding the challenge topic.
  3. Feedback: Shortlisted contributors are asked “to get feedback from their communities and apply those learnings to their proposal. At the same time, their ideas will be reviewed by issue experts to help the ideas grow.”
  4. Refinement: “Shortlisted contributors have two weeks to incorporate learnings and strengthen their idea in advance of the final evaluation.” Anyone on the site is encouraged to submit comments and leave feedback for the contributors.
  5. Top Ideas: The earlier panel of experts and advisors will choose several ideas as the top ideas that may receive funding or partnerships from outside organizations to support the realization of the projects.
  6. Impact: The OpenIDEO Team will “capture post-challenge stories” on their blog for contributors and the community to stay updated.

In addition to the social innovation process for challenges on the site, OpenIDEO also has location-based chapters in 30 cities around the world designed for interested participants to:

Find Community: Connect with creatives, entrepreneurs, educators and leaders in your city and collaborate to solve meaningful local and global issues.
Gain Insight:Attend local events to hear inspiring speakers, build entrepreneurial skills, and learn human-centered design.
Create Solutions:Design and support projects that address issues in your local community and access resources to expand your impact.
Ignite Action:Collaborate with other Chapters around the world and take collective action on social or environmental challenges.

OpenIDEO is developed by design firm IDEO, headquartered in Palo Alto, California, United States.

Additional information

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Additional information and materials about OpenIDEO: