Nurture Your Design Courage, One Challenge At a Time

December 18, 2012

If courage is an accumulation of small steps, one way to nurture your design courage is to join OpenIDEO—a digital innovation community composed of 42,000+ creative thinkers around the globe engaged in solving real-world challenges for social and environmental impact. Each challenge offers a fun, collaborative, inspiring way to do good and reclaim your creative confidence. Over the coming weeks, I'll talk more about specific OpenIDEO challenges.

Since 2010, OpenIDEO has hosted 16+ design challenges sponsored by companies, nonprofit organizations, universities, and governments. Community members can contribute in a variety of ways, from inspirational observations to snippets of code. Members themselves take the winning ideas forward. Anything added to OpenIDEO is available for remix and reuse.

One example of what the OpenIDEO community can do is the new Amnesty International "Panic Button" app, which recently launched in Kenya. Inspired by human rights workers, detainee experiences, and social movements around the world, the Panic Button app began as an OpenIDEO community response to the question: How can technology help people working to uphold human rights in the face of unlawful detention?

The concept was then brought to life by coders and makers in less than a year. You can learn more about this design's journey here and here.

Check it out—and then check out one of OpenIDEO's current challenges: How might we inspire and enable communities to take more initiative in making their local environments better?

There’s also a new OpenIDEO University Toolkit available for download; learn more here.

(posted also on my LinkedIn Thought Leader blog)