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Women's Safety Challenge Community Champion Update #6

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Karolle Rabarison is our current volunteer Challenge Community Champion. You'll see her popping up across the Women's Safety Challenge with handy tips and words of encouragement – and posting community updates here like a true champion!

Hello! It has been a quiet Ideas phase over here at CCC headquarters, in part because I’m nursing a small bout of illness. The bright side of forcing myself to stay in bed and rest? The space to mute the city hustle and to reflect on our progress with the Women's Safety Challenge.

In a low-income community in Hyderabad, a woman takes a break outdoors ahead of afternoon events to celebrate Teacher’s Day.  Photo credit: Karolle Rabarison.

The Ideas phase kicked off with more than a few contributions about tools for reacting to danger in the moment. We have Avi Solomon proposing a chili powder-filled bracelet to be used in the event of an attack. Meanwhile, Tasha Russman toys with the element of shame through a means to “tag” perpetrators as a direct and visible response to harassment. There’s even an idea, from Kenneth Walton, about applying biomimicry to design wearable security shields for women. Wild!

As the week progressed, OpenIDEATORS dabbled in ideas that would prevent gender-based violence in the first place. Highlights so far include transportation-oriented ideas like the trusted taxi service provider by Amy Lanigan and Mathieu Chevalier’s journey-share platform. In response, the folks at Design Tinkering Club (students at NYU’s School of Engineering) put forth an idea for a community concierge role called “Bindi," while Bahar Shahriari introduced Kandu, an initiative to empower women and girls through sexual health education.

It’s exciting to see such diverse inputs, yet much of the insight from the Research phase remains untapped. Moving forward, I challenge us all to explore the full range of Opportunity Areas that the Amplify team distilled from 787 Research contributions.

I’m especially looking forward to more of these ambitious attitude-shifting, community-mobilizing contributions – be they mere seeds of an idea or ongoing programs – that aim to change social norms, challenge institutions, or otherwise empower women and girls in a radical way.

The trick with such ideas though is that, unlike chili powder or a tagging mechanism, quick-and-dirty prototypes might not seem possible or obvious at first glance. Maybe the person who generated the idea doesn’t have access to a target community. Maybe an idea stalled, awaiting validation on cultural context. Maybe it’s that an organization has headway on an innovative intervention but lacks capacity or resources to take it to its full potential.

Whatever the constraints, here’s an opportunity for the collective power of the OpenIDEO community to really come into play. We want to do our very best to prototype as many ideas as possible before we shift to the Applause and Refinement phases. To that end, here are a few (of many!) ways we can support each other:
  • Communicate a specific ask. Revisit your idea to add a line that says “My team needs: _____.” Highlight where you’re feeling stuck and how the community could offer support.
  • Apply a five-minute rule. Give-and-take is powerful when we’re all busy developing our own ideas, yet all need support. As you applaud others’ ideas, also zone in on the ask(s). If it would take you no more than five minutes to help, then go for it! Examples: a relevant email introduction, a link to your favorite tool sketching a mobile app prototype.
  • Update your profile. Tell us a bit about your location, expertise, and any organizations or resources you might be affiliated with. This small move can work wonders in facilitating collaboration.
  • Connect local organizations. See someone post an idea that reminds you of an ongoing program in your community, or of an organization that could take it forward? Reach out to both parties and invite them to collaborate on the platform.

For tips on prototyping, keep an eye out for blog posts from  Cansu Akarsu, the Community Prototyper for this challenge.

Finally, remember: don’t be afraid to throw a wild card in there. In idea generation, sometimes it’s better to be provocative than right.
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Community Champions , Women's Safety Challenge

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