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A New Year Brings a New OpenIDEO Experience

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A collection of images from our Impact stories. Check out more stories and refelctions in our new interactive book: Celebrating 3 Years of OpenIDEO Impact.

Welcome to 2014, OpenIDEO! We hope each of you feels rested after the holiday season and ready to dive into some fresh OpenIDEO collaborations in the New Year.  

A new year is often a time for a new start – and that’s very true for OpenIDEO today. Over the last few years, our global community has come together not only to create new solutions for social change but to also bring these ideas to life around the world. From creating early prototypes that test out a concept to forming completely new social enterprises – and everything in between – each of you has shown how eager you are to take action to improve the world around you. As you can probably guess, the OpenIDEO team has been wowed by your passion and dedication to create this kind of impact – and we want to support you to achieve even more impact in the year ahead.
With this in mind, at the end of 2013 we took a pause as a team to reflect and explore how we can re-orient our platform, our challenges and ourselves towards even more impact in the year ahead. Here are three examples of where we’re focusing our efforts in 2014:
Redesigning with Impact in Mind
To kick things off, we’re excited to share our completely rebuilt platform. OpenIDEO has a new look and feel, some new features and has been rebuilt from scratch, meaning it's faster and much more stable. We’ve also redesigned our homepage, improved our search function, refreshed our blog and more – all to make reading, exploring and collaborating even more fun and easy for new visitors and veterans alike.

As we begin new challenges in the coming weeks, you’ll also see some changes to the vocabulary we use, including renaming ‘Inspiration’ to ‘Research’ and ‘Realisation’ to ‘Impact’ – all to better capture what those phases are really about. Functionally, we’ve traded Themes – the tool we used to understand opportunity areas for ideas – for Missions in the Ideas phase. Our hope is that, like Research Missions, Idea phase Missions will help increase our collective social impact. Also, be on the lookout for new features in our new Impact Phase which we'll be rolling out over time. We look forward to collaborating with everyone in our community to prototype these features and more.

Finally, we’ve revised our Terms of Service to more explicitly recognise that any ideas submitted to OpenIDEO challenges can be built upon and realised by others – no matter who posted the idea on OpenIDEO. 

If you have any questions or feedback about any of these changes, share them with us in this  User Forum. We’d love to hear what you think.
Celebrating Community Impact
When OpenIDEO launched in 2010, we couldn’t have envisioned how our community would grow, let alone how much real-world impact we could create together. The truth is that there are more impact stories – examples of community members finding inspiration in our challenges and bringing a challenge idea to life – than we could ever keep track of! 

Still, in an attempt to showcase even a slice of the impact the OpenIDEO community and our challenge sponsors have achieved, we’ve compiled a collection of impact stories that will be posted to OpenIDEO and available for download in the next few days. It’s an inspiring catalogue of the impact we’ve achieved together, and we’re incredibly excited to see what we will achieve together in the year ahead. Check out the book here. And if you're taking an OpenIDEO idea forward in your own community, we'd love to hear from you.
New Programs and Experiments for Impact
As we say on OpenIDEO, we’re always in beta. While we've gotten the hang of some things, we’re still keen to explore how we can push the limits of how we work and who we work with. In the coming weeks and months we’ll be sharing more about these initiatives and experiments, including an exciting new partnership with our friends at and the Department of International Development to run a series of challenges around global poverty alleviation. In parallel, we’re also going to continue finding ways to empower our community to connect and collaborate both online and offline. From growing our Meetups program to creating new tools that help everyone practice their prototyping skills, we’re refocusing all of our efforts around our priority for impact – and we’re excited that you’re along for the ride, too.

It’s safe to say our New Year’s resolution is impact – and we’re feeling energised and excited about the changes we’ve made and the new things to come. Stay tuned to OpenIDEO for our  next challenge launching in mid-February – it’s our first with and DFID and it’s focused on safety for women and girls in low-income urban areas. In the meantime, check out the changes we’ve made to the platform and get ready to dig into our new impact book when it’s published early next week.
Here’s to a high-impact, world-changing and collaborative 2014!
The OpenIDEO Team
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Great challenge. Personally, I do like OpenIDEO because I could read lots of great challenges. Some of them are really interesting and important, which I could learn something from it.

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