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Now that we're at the pointy end of the challenge, it's time to prototype our ideas so that we might build products and services that will really empower communities to become #RapidlyRenewable. But it's not always easy – read this post for suggestions on how to make your idea as real as possible without the actual materials.

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The process of refining an idea may be different for everyone. Some may be drawn more to feedback, collaborative brainstorming, building prototypes, market research or, better yet, all of the above! This post offers ideas from OpenIDEO contributors on ways to collaborate and refine your great idea.

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This week, I've engaged with several of our fantastic contributor off the platform to see how they might bring their ideas to life with the development of new experience maps. These experience maps/ user journeys are effective ways of prototyping a concept by breaking it down into smaller steps to visualize what the end-to-end experience might feel like for specific users over time. As we have learned from the Office Hour with Tim Brown, it's all about how we can learn as much and as fast as possible!

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As we move closer towards Refinement, it is important to consider how we can continue to work together in order to make our ideas more concrete and focused. For this blog post, I've decided to highlight how some of our Ideators have been diving deep to flesh out their concepts in a very systematic way.

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For this week, I wanted to highlight some of the voices and faces behind the contributions. More specifically, I wanted to share some of the amazing collaborative exchanges that have been weaving together the research threads on the platform. In many ways, this is where the real innovation starts to happen!

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Greetings and welcome! Less than week into the Youth Employment Challenge, we have already amassed a phenomenal collection of research contributions that are both broad in scope and rich with insight. During the early stages of researching a complex issue it often helps to expand our understanding of what’s possible. So for this blog post, I've decided to explore a handful of contributions that give diverse insights into the challenge.

Photo of Shane Zhao
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The OpenIDEO community has already stepped up in a big way for the Research phase of our new Youth Employment Challenge. Today, we’re excited to introduce you to two awesome members of our community who you’ll see contributing and collaborating quite a bit over the course of the challenge as volunteers.  Meet Shane Zhao, our Challenge Community Ambassador, and Matthew Bird, our Challenge Community Advisor.

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İstanbul calling! In this blogpost I share how to prepare and run a prototype. I have been working on the idea, Women’s Pool: Journey Sharing Platform, where women connect with each other in an easy and safe way and share their journeys! In this prototype we set out to test the following questions: Do women feel safer when traveling together?’ and ‘How might users easily identify the meeting point and other participants?’

Photo of Cansu Akarsu
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