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Good Emporium

Good Emporium is the pulse of social good in a city that enables funders to make comprehensive decisions related to measurable impact.

Photo of Céline Steer
27 15

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

See user experience map in attachement following the numbers in the title

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 target community are funders such as donors & impact investors. These actors are passionate about making their community a better place but there is no systemized way to collect, measure & analyze the aggregate impact in one specific issue. It is thus hard to see synergies & track how money contributes to the wellbeing of the community as a whole.
In Austin and other cities, the diversity and complexities should not be a barrier to understand key players related to social good. One interviewee told us that there are thousands of dynamic organizations active in social good, but only a couple hundred have the bandwidth to have scalable impact.
Good Emporium enables funders to make decisions with information that will allow them to assess where their money will be best invested. By making this information central to their decision-making process in a consistent manner, funders have leverage to ensure organizations are transparent and accountable by keeping their information updated

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)

Not having a systemized way to collect and analyze information also affects organizations who depend on funders to operate, scale and generate social good in a community. The lack of a centralized system means that the fund recipients have to answer different funder criteria, which adds inefficiencies to the process
Good Emporium helps funders, but also recipient organizations who now have a framework to remain transparent and accountable to themselves, funders and the community at large.

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)

Transparency and accountability generated by funders’ demands is also the baseline for other users, such as job seekers and researchers looking for a single point of access into the social impact ecosystem. Mayor Steve Adler stated that Austin will be the Social Innovation Capital of the world. 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 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)

Our first iteration of Good Emporium was thought to be a tool for many types of users including volunteers, jobseekers, researchers, funders, etc. As we obtained feedback from different members of the community, we realized we needed to focus on one primary user: funders. Through our engagement with funders, these are some of the things we learned:
- Funders spend a lot of time researching online or through personal networks to find and vet organizations to fund.
- There is no way of knowing if the research done actually captures all the information and the ecosystem of organizations operating in a specific issue.
- Coherent impact measurement is complicated but necessary challenge to address.
Experts were interested in the lessons learned from our feedback stage. We plan to continue engaging with funders and listed organizations throughout the development process with a more hands-on approach, specifically when it comes to developing common impact measurement frameworks.

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)

We’ve identified team leaders for each of the 5 teams to manage tasks more efficiently.
1. Back End - Develop and test architecture of Good Emporium
2. Front End - Develop Visual Design and User Interaction of Good Emporium
3. Data - Identify sources for data scraping, build database of information for Good Emporium
4. Strategy/Design - Provides direction to development of the concept of Good Emporium process through the engagement and user feedback received.
5. Impact Measurement - Research, develop and test tools to integrate impact measurements in Good Emporium.
We have attributed a central role to the design team to ensure synergies between the teams. Design thinking is thus embedded in Good Emporium development processes. As a whole, we meet weekly to align and share updates, challenges & ask for help.

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)

The funds will primarily go towards developing a MVP to ensure Good Emporium functions and has security protocols in place to protect the data. In addition our data science team will be working on an algorithm to automate the data collection process from different existing databases for organizations in any city.
We would also like to ensure we cover (in order of priority)
Any administrative and legal fees
Progressively start remunerating the team that is building Good Emporium

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?

Final Updates (*Please do not complete until we reach the Improve Phase*): 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)

Thanks to the OpenIDEO challenge, we embedded a human-centered design process into the development of Good Emporium. For it, we created a special team who had experience in design approach to lead that part.
The design approach has facilitated communication among the different teams and promoted team building. Most importantly, the design approach enabled us to put the users of Good Emporium in the center to ensure that we are building a tool that meets an actual need. By means of direct engagement and interviews, we obtained keywords and phrases that we can integrate into our design process and communication strategy of Good Emporium.

Note that you may also edit any of your previous answers within the proposal. Here is a great place to note any big final changes or iterations you have made to your proposal below:

As we talked about our idea, more people became interested to know more about it and to contribute to it. This not only allowed us to get feedback on certain elements while at the same time expanding our team with individuals who want to apply their skills to a project that is generating social good. As such we were able to add onto our team data scientists, front end, designers and impact measurement experts.
In addition to providing focus to our users, we realized that Good Emporium has to count on a common framework to measure the impact. Our user engagement and research revealed that many funders and organizations are using their own measurement systems and that it often measures output rather than outcome. While there are existing theoretical frameworks for impact measurements, primary and secondary research show that there is an increasing interest and need to measure social and environmental return and value, but it remains a challenge in practice. Good Emporium will lead a research piece on how best to integrate existing impact measurement frameworks into the platform and guide funders and organizations in using it to ensure comparable information can be generated and aggregate impact can be measured.

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. SocialGood.us 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. Ultimately they are the ones being served by organizations in an ecosystem. Good Emporium allows listed entities to optimize their resources, measure the social, economic and environmental returns of their efforts and find collaborating partners to amplify the positive impact on the lives of affected communities and environment.
Good Emporium indirectly serves the needs of researchers who can look at the wealth and depth of data on Good Emporium, to deepen their understanding of the causes, symptoms, solutions and challenges cities face today. These insights are key for the collective understanding to further innovate and find solutions to our global problems.
Volunteers and job seekers can also use Good Emporium to find suitable organizations matching their values. Volunteer/employee-Organization value compatibility ensures that organizational values are implemented.

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, are hard to navigate and do not have complete information, which diminishes the effectiveness of such tools to promote collaboration and action for impact and the opportunity for funders and ecosystem players to see the big picture.
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. It will be a tool to promote not only collaboration within communities but also between communities. It will be a key tool to promote and track 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)

SocialGood.us 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.
www.socialgood.us

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 and more prominent role of cities all over the world, sustainable development can only be achieved through a balanced approach when looking at environment, social and economic issues. Decisions should be made with this triple bottom line approach. This is also recognized in Goal 17 of of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development as it encompasses partnerships and collaboration to achieve the rest of the 16 Goals. SocialGood.us 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.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

SocialGood.us is very involved in the community. Every month, SocialGood.us 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, which we are engaging in our conversations regarding Good Emporium.

We also work out of Impact Hub and they have had a key role in promoting our work and talking about the global goals in their own work.

We have started forming an Advisory board that will be composed of representatives from Government, Businesses, Non-Profit, Academia, International Development Organizations, Impact Investors, Foundations and Family offices, Media, Design, Influencers, Lawyers.
We started our outreach last week and can as of today count on 4 advisory members representing government, business, and impact investor.

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, test it out with users, Populate with complete data, Develop and pilot impact measurement toolkit for one goal.
Year 2: Quality Assurance of website. Continue adding data for organizations; integrate impact measurement toolkit for one goal. Scale to other cities.
Year 3: Based on user feedback, integrate additional functionalities to Good Emporium. Develop and pilot impact measurement toolkit for other goals. Continue scaling to other citie

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

  • No

27 comments

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Photo of Christina Schwanke
Team

Hello Celine,

I really love the idea of a platform to connect funders to nonprofits though after reading through your submission I can't help but agree with Kulaniakea this seems to be another hurdle for nonprofits, especially innovative grassroots initiatives. I have worked for several nonprofits and some unfortunately are better at collecting data and 'illustrating impact' than actually serving individuals or making a positive change on society. Perhaps there needs to be a social aspect to your idea? A place where funders can learn the heart and vision? Perhaps I'm not grasping the whole project. If you are ever up for a conversation I am happy to talk through the hurdles of small/new non-profits so you can integrate those into your design.

Christina

Photo of Céline Steer
Team

Hi Christina,
Thanks for your comments and availability.
Our goal is that organizations have a better and more simplified way to tell their stories that support the data so that the ones that are doing amazing work are recognized and highlighted.
In our mockup, on the third page, the data points for organizations include the mission, as well as other organizational information that paints a better picture of what the organizations does. More importantly, we are also giving space for videos of success stories and testimony from the people being served so that users can see good in action.

Photo of Christina Schwanke
Team

Thank you for your response! I do love the idea of organizations being able to tell the story that supports the date. I believe data is important but is so irrelevant if not understood on a human level!

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