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Evaluating the Bone Marrow Challenge

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Everyday our OpenIDEO community grows, and with that growth comes more enthusiasm and energy for what OpenIDEO is all about: designing together, better for social good.


We love seeing so many new and friendly faces on OpenIDEO — and in an effort to welcome all of you onboard, we’ve decided to take a step back and explain what happens behind-the-scenes during a challenge. We recently wrote a post about Synthesis, or the switch between Inspiration and Concepting. Now, as our Bone Marrow Challenge switches to Evaluation, we thought we’d shed a little light on how this next phase works.


Each challenge generates a unique number of concepts during Concepting; in the Bone Marrow Challenge, we were thrilled to see almost 300 innovative ideas to spread awareness, encourage donor registration, and help save lives through bone marrow transplants. So how do we go from nearly 300 concepts to a Top 25?


In short, it’s a process that relies on equal parts community guidance and help from some well-trained experts.


To get started, the OpenIDEO Team read through all of your concepts and comments, took stock of your applause, and even checked out the Challenge’s Collaboration Map — all with the goal of understanding the priorities of the community. Which concepts got you excited? Which ones inspired you to swab your cheek or tell a friend? We also tried to find some “hidden gems” that we thought held a lot of promise but might have gotten lost in the shuffle.


It was a tough job, but with time we identified a list of 40-50 concepts that we felt represented the community’s picks. From there, we took these concepts to our panel of experts — in this case our friends at Stanford University’s Haas Center for Public Service and the students of 100KCheeks — to see what they thought.


As a group, we went through each concept one by one. We asked questions, we got inspired, and we even had a couple of heated debates! In the end, we developed a list of 25 amazing concepts that we felt best addressed the Challenge while also wowing us with creative, exciting and smart thinking.



And now it's your turn weigh in during the Evaluation phase! We hope you’ll take some time to read through the Top 25 and consider which ones you think best answer the question: How might we increase the number of registered bone marrow donors to help save more lives?


Winners will be announced on April 18th. We can hardly wait to see what you think!



The OpenIDEO Team

PS: We were so impressed by everyone's great work during Concepting that we actually identified some concepts that deserved Honorable Mentions. While we won't be evaluating these ideas during Evaluation, we want to congratulate the following OpenIDEATORS for their inspiring ideas!

Nick-Naming Bone Marrow by Justin Kim

Q-Tip Partnership and Fortune Swabs for South Asian Restaurants by Marie Leznicki

Give a Lifetime for Eid/Diwali! by Raja Ashraf

Sweeping the Clouds Away by Michael Bertolina

The Q-Tip Prize by Kara Pecknold

Social Medical Network by Sarah Fathallah

Sponsor Me with a Swab by Sarah Bird

Linking Annual Physical, Blood Donation and Marrow Registration by Vincent Cheng

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Bone Marrow Challenge


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Photo of Anuja Singhal

This is just awesome! Love the transparency and all the hard work you guys have been putting into this, Ashley. I am almost very proud and happy to be a part of this amazing community! Thanks for sharing it. Cheers! :)

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