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The Citizen Sustainability Seal Competition

An interactive way to get citizens involved in helping companies create and implement sustainable strategies with benefits to citizens, the company and the planet.

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Written by DeletedUser

Companies call upon citizens to create sustainable strategies for the company. Citizens, having researched the business (its strategy, internal and external environments, financials etc.) put forward applications based on guidelines provided by the host company.

An objective board consisting of volunteer members from the public, sustainability experts, business strategists, and company management, review applications and pick a winner. Upon commencement of the competition, business commits to implementing the winning ideas (the board will help implement those strategies in a way that fits the business). 

Once the business successfully implements the strategies it receives "A Citizen Sustainability Seal of Approval". In order for this to be meaningful, mass marketing of the Citizen Sustainability Seal would have to take place and it would need to be recognized as a symbol of quality, democracy, participation and meaningful sustainability.

In order to keep businesses on track with their intentions and implementation, their progress will be tracked and published volunteer authors on social media. The Citizen Seal can be revoked publicly should the company not meet its commitments (for unreasonable reasons). The potential negative impact on the company's reputation that this could have, should incent the company to stay on track with its commitments. 

How does your concept celebrate, identify or inspire for-profit businesses that act as agents of world benefit?

This idea inspires companies to act as agents of world benefit by receiving and implementing strategic ideas from the public at low cost. The Citizen Sustainability Seal celebrates companies who honour their sustainability commitments by "branding" the company as "Citizen Approved". Therefore the company is incented to be part of this movement because it is good for its reputation. This process would have a mutual benefit for the winning strategist, planet and for business: the winning strategist would get global recognition and the satisfaction of creating positive change (and potentially a small prize); a sustainability strategy would help the planet; the good reputation the company gains would help drive business to the company. A bonus to this idea is that it gives citizens and business a chance to meaningfully interact.

How will your concept help us create or leverage stories of world benefit that are sticky and shareable?

Because the journeys of each business will be tracked by volunteer social media authors, there will be tangible stories to share with the OpenIDEO community and the world.

What will it take to scale your concept so that its reach is global and widespread?

Public and business participation and mass marketing would be required to make the competition and the branding of "Citizen Sustainability Seal" possible. Global volunteers would be critical to creating objective boards and social media coverage.


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Photo of Meena Kadri

Great thinking around inclusive dialogue and proactive citizen participation, Terri!

Photo of DeletedUser


Thanks Meena! It's all about participation and buy in :)

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