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3 Tasty Tips to Turn Ideas Into Solutions

Photo of Dave Zinsman
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Dave Zinsman is our volunteer Community Champion for the Renewable Energy Challenge. You'll see him popping up across the challenge with handy tips and words of encouragement – and posting community updates here like a true champion!


Here's to a Fruitful Ideas Phase


We’re now in the Ideas Phase in which OpenIDEO community members are joining forces to answer the question:

How might communities lead the rapid transition to renewable energy?

Experiencing sleepless nights because you’ve got like thirty super cool ideas, and you're not sure which ones to move forward? Maybe you’re more keen to identify a cool idea that has already been submitted, and help take it to the next level. Either way, this post is for those looking for tips to turn great ideas into great solutions.

What Makes Ideas Cool?

Ideas become cool when they go from being ideas to being solutions.
In short, they become human.

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Before ideas get noticed, gain traction, get investment, scale, etc., they become solutions on paper, napkins, or whatever. It doesn’t matter where ideas turn into solutions, just so long as it happens. So grab a napkin or some paper and take a minute to structure your idea to take it from your thought space into the world.

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Expanding the challenge's component parts is a good way to start.

How might communities lead the rapid transition to renewable energy?

How might = what are ways that

Communities = neighborhoods, villages, towns, etc.

Lead = could create impact that other communities would want to emulate

The rapid transition = which within the next 6~12 months could spark the transition

To renewable energy? = to renewable energy?

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Social issues are huge challenges with so many factors, it can make your head spin. Labeling the issue's macro anatomy on a social innovation tree is an easy way to start wrapping your head around the issues.

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The basic premise of this example is that consumer/citizen initiatives at the local level will shape policy and how enterprises produce. The next step is developing a root area that interests you, as well as its corresponding trunk and branch sections. Doing this will help keep your solution clear and relevant.

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With a plethora of "consumer/citizen" subcategories, it's often a good idea to focus on one area or even a specific neighborhood, and develop a solution that addresses a specific "pain point" that interests you.

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Community Champions , Renewable Energy Challenge

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Photo of Joanna Spoth

I love how your visuals highlight why getting ideas out there is meaningful. Can't wait to see these strategies in action next week!

Photo of Dave Zinsman

Thanks, Joanna--looking forward to the Ideas Phase!

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