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The Renewable Energy Challenge has acted as a powerful catalyst for devising innovative solutions to a long touted problem: transitioning to renewable energy. Join us in celebrating our eight top inspiring solutions that will help communities become rapidly renewable and all of our contributions throughout the challenge.

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Now that we're at the pointy end of the challenge, it's time to prototype our ideas so that we might build products and services that will really empower communities to become #RapidlyRenewable. But it's not always easy – read this post for suggestions on how to make your idea as real as possible without the actual materials.

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During the Renewable Energy Ideas phase our community generated a whopping 173 ideas and over 3,000 comments. Teams for were forged, unexpected collaborations came to light, and inspiring efforts were illuminated around one of the must urgent topics of our time: rapidly transitioning to renewable energy. As we turn towards refinement we're thrilled to share more about our Refinement process and pass along some tips for where we see these ideas going.

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The process of refining an idea may be different for everyone. Some may be drawn more to feedback, collaborative brainstorming, building prototypes, market research or, better yet, all of the above! This post offers ideas from OpenIDEO contributors on ways to collaborate and refine your great idea.

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The Renewable Energy Challenge is rooted deeply in communities – so the stories and voices of community leaders and organizations are vital to our solutions. For this reason, we’re excited to attempt to draw more directly on those stories through our new, experimental volunteer positions: Community Outreach Leaders.

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With the launch of the Ideas Shase, we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the evaluation criteria for the Renewable Energy Challenge. Our hope is that with these elements in mind, ideas will be community-centered, implementable and transition one or more communities to renewable energy.

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With over 400 challenge followers, nearly 1,500 comments and almost 2,000 applause in the Research phase, our Renewable Energy Challenge is already proving to be an exciting global call to action. In preparation for the Ideas phase, the OpenIDEO Team, The 11th Hour Project and our advisory panel sat down to gather insights around all of the rich contributions from the Research phase. Together we identified emerging patterns and themes that clearly resonated with the community, driving action and momentum around renewable energy.

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OpenIDEO is particularly excited about the Renewable Energy Challenge because it invites contributions that focus on community needs and inspires creative solutions that reflect the diversity of those needs. We sat down to chat with Jamie Dean, Program Director for The 11th Hour Project, about what renewable energy means to her on a personal level. Check out her thoughts on energy and her Research highlights from our community so far:

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