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The Lowdown on Impact Phases

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The Electronster, an idea from our Creative Confidence Challenge, made impact during the challenge itself – by prototyping with school kids in California

To us, impact can take many shapes and sizes – including individual mindset or behaviour change that comes about after reading challenge conversations all the way to new social enterprises or services that grow out of early challenge ideas – and everything in between. If you’re rolling up your sleeves and finding a way to bring an OpenIDEO idea, conversation or collaboration to life – we want to celebrate your efforts, encourage others to join you and inspire folks to create impact in their own communities.

You can share your impact updates via the ‘Add Your Story’ button on our challenge Impact phases. When you click on that button, you’ll see a submission form – much like the one you use to contribute Research or Ideas entries to OpenIDEO – with a few prompts to help you get started. If you’re eager to share your story of impact with our community, here are a few tips to help your story shine:

Connect the Dots

For our challenge Impact phases, our goal is to surface and celebrate prototyping, building, implementation and impact stories that specifically relate to OpenIDEO community ideas or conversations. When you start to write out your Impact story, help connect the dots between your story and the OpenIDEO challenge that inspired you by asking yourself:  What OpenIDEO challenge motivated me to take action in my community? Which idea(s) or conversation(s) sparked my interest in taking a community idea and bringing it to life?

Then, as you fill out the submission form, be sure to be clear about how your story relates to the OpenIDEO challenge you’re posting to. Give credit and link back to ideas and conversations which inspired you. That way newcomers and OpenIDEO veterans alike can understand your vision and how it built on the input of our collaborative community.

Focus on the Journey, Not the Destination

There’s a common tendency with impact stories to want to tie everything up in a nice bow and declare, ‘It’s finished!’ before sharing it on OpenIDEO. But as anyone who’s gone from idea to implementation can attest, the road to impact is very long and very winding.

As the saying goes, life is a journey, not a destination – and we feel the same about impact. So don’t feel like you have to wait till your efforts are finished before sharing your story with our community. In fact, progress updates, lessons learned, challenges faced and roadblocks encountered are all welcome. The more we can each share our process and progress along the way, the more we can uncover and understand what our paths to impact truly look like.

Give Others a Chance to Join In

Not sure how to take your next step? In need of a hand or two to continue bringing your idea to life? The best way to end your Impact story is with a call to action: how can other members of the OpenIDEO community support your efforts to achieve impact? Our community is filled with do-ers and action-takers – so let them know what help you could benefit from or where you’re getting stuck. Whether it’s helping you prototype further, offering specific skills, joining an in-person testing session or something entirely different, we’re certain the OpenIDEO community will be eager to join your journey to impact.

Use our Impact Story Template to get you started.

And here’s to continuing our collaborative efforts toward impact!

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Join the conversation:

Photo of Isaya Yunge

The way you present your story is so good that when i finished reading I knew how my story beginnings will be and how it should end.

Photo of david silva

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