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Roughly 14 weeks ago, OpenIDEO – along with Brazilian bank Itaú, the US Department of State, and the US Environmental Protection Agency – posed an important, new challenge question to our global community: How can we manage e-waste and discarded electronics to safeguard human health and protect our environment?

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Recently OpenIDEO, our challenge sponsor Itau, and our partners at US Department of State and US Environmental Protection Agency (many of whom work directly on issues of e-waste management and recycling) came together to review the challenge concepts and choose our shortlist for the Refinement phase. Together we developed a list of 20 concepts that we feel are well-positioned for further iteration and future impact.

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Our E-Waste Challenge Concepting phase is brimming with fresh thinking, new ideas and plenty of inspiring conversations. To round out our understanding even further, we checked in with Marcio Oliveira, head of innovation at Itaú, to hear more about why his team and Itaú believe e-waste is an issue worth tackling — and to get a sense of the kinds of community concepts he's most excited to see.

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Our E-Waste Challenge is buzzing, beeping and humming along – with insights and inspirations posted from around the world to help us learn more about the topic and start thinking about potential solutions. Now it's time to dive into the ever-collaborative Concepting phase, and to help you get started, we thought we'd share a bit more about our Challenge Themes.

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Have you ever stepped outside your front door to find a flyer – attached to your doorknob or mailbox – advertising free and convenient e-waste recycling pickup? This was the question posed to us recently by James Kao, Founder/CEO of Green Citizen, a California-based e-waste recycler and reseller.

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The Inspiration phase in our E-Waste Challenge is off to a great start, with folks around the world adding their insights, stories and questions for us to ponder together. For many of us participating in this challenge, the topic of e-waste is new and unexplored. To help uncover some of the story behind e-waste, we caught up with one of our challenge partners, William Sonntag, from the Office of Environmental Information at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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