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Good Emporium

Good Emporium’s main purpose is to serve as the complete repository for positive impact and good in a city to enable smart decision-making.

Photo of Céline Steer
20 11

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*Please Upload User Experience Map (as attachment) and any additional insights gathered from Beneficiary Feedback in this field

Why does the target community define this problem as urgent and/or a priority? How is the idea leveraging and empowering community assets to help create an environment for success? (1000 characters)

Our primary users are funders (impact investors and donors) because they can use the Good Emporium to make funding decisions and they have the most leverage to ensure organizations are transparent and accountable by keeping their information up to date.
In Austin as in other cities, the diversity and complexities should not be a barrier to understand who is doing what in any area related to social good. In Austin, one interviewee told us that there are thousands of dynamic organizations active in social good, but only a couple hundred that have the bandwidth to have scalable impact. He defined this set up as a pyramid where the bottom was wide and the top narrow. We discovered that there is no systemized ways for funders to understand the ecosystem they're in and assess individual organizations. This poses barriers to a fast and efficient process both for funders/investors but also for organizations that need funding who have to answer different (yet similar) funder criteria.

How does the idea fit within the larger ecosystem that surrounds it? Urgent needs are usually a symptom of a larger issue that rests within multiple interrelated symptoms - share what you know about the context surrounding the problem you are aiming to solve. (500 characters)

A city is an ecosystem made up of diverse communities. We found that funders & impact investors are passionate about making their community a better place but there is no systemized way to collect & analyze the aggregate impact on a community in one specific issue. It is thus hard to see synergies & how capital contribute to the wellbeing of the community as a whole. Similarly, other users (not just funders & investors) are looking for a single point of access into the social impact ecosystem.

How does the idea affect or change the fundamental nature of the larger ecosystem that surrounds it (as described above) in a new and/or far-reaching way? (500 characters)

Since 2012, has built and promoted a social innovation community: We’ve organized events with 1,000+ attendees annually and have made international connections to foster a “think global act local” mentality. Mayor Steve Adler stated that Austin will be the Social Innovation Capital. Good Emporium is poised to facilitate that by gathering the community in one place and enabling synergies within and between ecosystems to generate measurable collective impact across time and space.

What will be different within the target community as a result of implementing the idea? What is the scope and scale of that difference? How long will it take to see that difference and how will it be sustained beyond BridgeBuilder support? (500 characters)

Funders will spend less time on due diligence to vet organizations and they will focus on better understanding and coherently advancing the type of impact they are generating through data. By the end of the year, we anticipate to have a working prototype that will include a limited amount (150) of organizations in Austin which we will test with the ideal user. Simultaneously, we’re exploring business models to sustain and scale Good Emporium to hold more organizations and include other cities.

How has the idea evolved or responded to your user research during the Beneficiary Feedback Phase and any further insights provided if you participated in the Expert Feedback Phase? (1000 characters)

In our first iteration of Good Emporium, we thought it would be a useful tool for many types of users including volunteers, jobseekers, researchers, funders, etc. As we obtained feedback from different members of the community, this is what we learned:
 Focus on one primary user and establish a user hierarchy
Coherent impact measurement- Many interviewees explicitly told us that it was a complicated but necessary challenge to address
Investing or donating funds to an organization for social good is often an emotional decision tied to an interest in a specific topic.
Most funders are willing to collaborate and to streamline processes to amplify positive impact in a community. However, they spend a lot of time researching on google or through personal networks for due diligence to find organizations to fund. Even then, there is no way of knowing if the research they have done actually captures all of the information and the ecosystem of organizations operating in a specific issue.

What are the key steps for implementation in the next 1-3 years? (You can attach a timeline or GANTT chart in place of a written plan, if desired.) (1000 characters)

Describe the individual or team that will implement this idea (if a partnership, please explain breakdown of roles and responsibilities for each entity). (Feel free to share an organizational chart or visual description of your team). (500 characters)

Structure of the Good Emporium team:
Strategy: business development + resources
Data Science: data scrapers and visualizers + R&D for metrics
Developer: back-end + front-end
We’ve identified team leaders for each of the teams to manage tasks more efficiently and we’ve given a central role to a design team to ensure synergies between the teams. Design thinking is thus embedded in Good Emporium processes. As a whole, we meet weekly to align and share updates, challenges & ask for help

What aspects of the idea would potential BridgeBuilder funds primarily support? (500 characters)

Developing Good Emporium through ideation, design, research, feedback gathering, production, beta-testing, & launch, takes a lot. The current team is made up of a diverse band of volunteers. Building and maintaining the website, administration, travel, scaling the usage, creating a mobile app, will all be start-up & to a lesser degree, ongoing costs. Funding from the OpenIDEO BridgeBuilders Challenge would quickly lift Good Emporium from a local resource, to a tool used globally.

In preparation for our Expert Feedback Phase: What are three unanswered questions or challenges that you could use support on in your project? These questions will be answered directly by experts matched specifically to your idea and needs.

1. How should we go about developing or aggregating existing metrics that measure collective impact in one issue and/or sustainable development goal?

2. While we're still obtaining input from our users, who do you think would/could pay for Good Emporium and what would they be paying for (access to data, services, being listed on Good Emporium, etc)?

3. Should we focus on gaining market share first and then monetize or grow slow and tested and eventually scale with the risk of another solution/player with a lot more money coming to monopolize the space?

Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

Good Emporium was created to erode silos and help a community at large understand the conditions, dynamics, and blind spots that a city faces when working towards social, environmental and economic well-being. Using the international framework of the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development (Global Goals), Good Emporium is the starting point for a city to make an impact and enables organizations and individuals to work collectively towards one common goal of making a city a better, healthier and more inclusive place for all.

Non-profits, government agencies and businesses do not always converge with and among each other, which results in redundancies in the network and inefficiencies. Good Emporium offers an index for all types of organizations. By creating a platform that aims to not only map out the constellation of impact in a city but helps find gaps that will help drive attention and action towards neglected areas, cities are able to push a brighter future for all.

Just like a “Food Emporium” the Good Emporium helps you find your area of interest and create connection and community. This is “Where Good Goes to Work”.

The Global Goals provide a common framework for all to speak the same language and understand the issues that we are addressing. Using the Global Goals framework yields to collaboration, can attract funding, tracks collective impact. wants to put Austin on the world map as a city that is addressing the world's most pressing challenges from a "Think Global, Act Local" approach and offer the possibility for other cities to use the same framework.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Local communities and those directly affected by the most pressing global challenges benefit from Good Emporium. It allows entities who work to address global challenges to have information to optimize their resources to improve the lives of affected and at-risk communities:
Non-Profits have access to information in one place about other non-profits working in the same or similar areas, so they can focus on differentiating themselves while at the same time finding common areas to collaborate.
City government gets overview of the city and the topics currently being addressed by which organizations so it can allocate resources accordingly.
Business Representatives - Offer visibility and connection to partners to collaborate and grow the level of impact in one or more specific areas.
Investors -Increasingly looking to invest in organizations with social return on investment
Volunteers and job seekers - can find organizations whose values are compatible with their own.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

While there are many databases of organizations working on positive impact, there are less than a handful that aggregate the information for businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies in one place. Those that do, are not very user-friendly, they are hard to navigate and do not always have complete information, which diminishes the effectiveness of such tools to promote collaboration and action for positive impact.
Furthermore, some platforms that want to promote positive impact are not aligned with a global framework such as the Global Goals and are hard to scale. Good Emporium will be built in a way in which the framework can be replicated for any city around the world for it to populate it with its own information. As such, It will be a tool to promote not only collaboration within communities but also between communities. It will be a key tool to track global advancements towards reaching the Global Goals.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Prototype: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL) is a community platform to advance social innovation, impact, and entrepreneurship in the US. Through community workshops, our accelerator, and media content we help shape and provide a space for learning to help advance our world forward in a more conscious manner.

Expertise in sector

  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • No, but we are a formal initiative through an accelerator, hub, or other entity.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

Austin strives to be the social innovation capital of the world. However, there is one major obstacle to make that a reality: silos-thinking and lack of collaboration. There are more than 6000 Non-Profits in Austin, many of which are working on the same or related issues and they don’t know about one another or are not actively seeking to collaborate. We saw a real need to enable collaboration and empower citizens and organization to make decisions if they had the big picture.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

With the growth of cities all over the world, sustainable development can only be achieved through a balanced approach when looking at environment, social and economic issues. Underpinning all three is how decisions are made. For this reason, Goal 17 of of the Global Goals Framework addresses the importance of partnerships and collaboration to achieve the rest of the 16 Goals. strongly believes in this and seeks to actively engage in promoting collaboration within communities and to share best practices with the world.

For the case of Austin, it is a city that like others is rapidly growing with many newcomers arriving from all four corners of the country. Austin has a strong localist movement and as the city continues to gain recognition in the international stage, it becomes increasingly important to grow in a smart and sustainable manner and adopt the “think global, act local” approach to remain competitive in the national and global arena.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters) is very involved in the community. Every month, organizes meetups to raise awareness about pressing issues, foster conversations and find solutions to challenges that affect the local community. These events are attended by a variety of community representatives.
2018 meetups have bee focused on raising awareness about the Global Goals and how they apply to Austin. For a summary of the past two events, please visit and

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Austin is a very active and progressive city. As previously mentioned, there are more than 6,000 Non-Profits and citizens genuinely care and are actively engaged in making the city a better place. It’s also a place that is growing and developing fast so there is a high imperative to ensure that the growth is inclusive and sustainable.
Austin is a tech hub, so the development, maintenance and improvement of a tech platform such as Good Emporium can be upkept and shared to the rest of the world.

Geographic Focus

Initally, Good Emporium will be developed and piloted in Austin to ensure it functions correctly.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

Year 1: Make the website fully functional, Populate with data, Add the action and engagement functionality and test it out with users.

Year 2: Continue adding data for organizations; Add the functionality to add individuals (and not just organizations) as agents of change who can have a role to play; Scale to other cities

Year 3: Add the functionality to track and measure each organization’s contributions towards the Global Goals ; Continue scaling to other cities

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No


Join the conversation:

Photo of Anubha Sharma

celine this is a great idea, I love the think global act local twist, i do believe that if we all take care of our own surroundings, the world will be less of a mess. My idea too is all about building bridges between communities, we dont believe the wheel should be reinvented and actively seek tie-ups with other NGOs for a variety of services and opportunities for our beneficiaries. Would you know of anyone who is working on a similar collaborative social platform in the Asia region? I would love to drive something similar in my city if your prototype is in a position to expand globally.

Photo of Céline Steer

Hi Anubha Sharma ,
Thanks for your comment. I'm not aware of any collaborative platforms in Asia. After we develop and refine Good Emporium as a functioning platform and we go through some pilots in our homecity Austin, our goal is to find local partners to to deploy it to other cities to populate with their respective organizations and ecosystem.
We're exploring a way to populate data in a quick manner to make the use of the platform as efficient as possible and stakeholders can find relevant information about organizations they want to engage or collaborate with. In the second phase of this challenge, we decided to focus on impact investors and donors as the main users of the platform because they are spending a lot of time trying to understand the impact ecosystem and research organizations they want to fund. Furthermore, they have a great potential to drive transparency and accountability from organizations, which in turn benefits all other users of Good Emporium.

Photo of Anubha Sharma

thank you for sharing.

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