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Financial Empowerment Challenge: Announcing Top Ideas

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Throughout the Financial Empowerment Challenge, we were blown away by the number of unique and creative ideas submitted to answer the question: "How might we use the power of communities to financially empower those who need it most?"

After months of thoughtful collaborations, exciting prototypes and thousands of comments across the challenge, we're now honored to announce the 5 Top Ideas that have been selected to share the $10,000 THINK Prize, furnished by challenge co-sponsors CO-OP Financial Services and Mastercard. Please join us in congratulating these ideators for a job well done!


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Community Coin provides an online and mobile app platform for the exchange of goods and services between individuals. This system rewards high value work and avoids fraudulent transactions. This team leveraged the power of the community, conducted an impressive amount of research, and demonstrated dedication to collaboration.


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Libraries as Financial Literacy Hubs create a central space to teach skills and expose community members to tools that will help them gain their financial goals. Through a dedication to human-centered design, teamwork and community engagement, this team pushed this idea to the next level and embodied the deepest of OpenIDEO values.


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Re.look turns credit union members’ declined loans into approvals and helps community members overcome the inherent confusion involved in financial borrowing. Rallying the OpenIDEO community both online and offline for feedback and support, Re.look is easy to understand, meets a real need, and has the potential for wide scalability.


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A Grassroots Youth Campaign aims to change the stigma of money among high school and university students by launching an awareness-building social media campaign. Joining the challenge early with a thoughtful Research post, this idea evolved steadily through the power of human-centered design, community collaboration and feedback.


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Harnessing the Power of Volunteerism empowers community literacy and financial inclusion through volunteerism and partnerships with academic institutions, embassies and other nonprofits. This team is simultaneously dedicated to building the Bridge Project, a Top Idea from our Youth Employment Challenge.


The OpenIDEO Team would like to thank the entire OpenIDEO community for your generosity, time and thoughtful feedback. All of the ideas submitted in this challenge benefited from the enthusiastic input of collaborators like you.

For their extraordinary dedication to this challenge, please join us in recognizing a number of Community Champions, Mentors and Collaborators. These inspiring individuals exemplified our philosophy of creating better, together, by lending their expertise and wisdom to community ideators throughout the process.


Community Champions:

Andre Fernandes
Andy Witt
Alper Yaglioglu
Wekesa Zablon

Community Mentors

Dave Zinsman
Priyanka Botny
Shuting Zeng
Sergio Marrero
Ramiro Sanchez-Cabellero
Gavin Cosgrave
Jake Schual-Berke
Bettina Fliegel

Community Collaborators:

Nicole Stempak
Joe Silva
Kristiaan Gumley
Mansi Parikh
Patricio Toussaint
Jared Bybee

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