OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

The War Room (for peace)

The War Room (for peace) is a graphically designed tool that allows inquisitive users to quickly get an idea of social innovation on a global scale while navigating individual issues, locations, and projects in an engaging, intuitive, and fun way.

Photo of DeletedUser
2 6

Written by DeletedUser

Solving the world’s problems is a big task. Just recognizing major issues and what may or may not be being done about them is daunting. The War Room (for peace) is an online, interactive tool that tracks global social issues and the innovative projects that are helping to solve them. The War Room is a graphically designed resource that allows inquisitive users to quickly get an idea of what is happening on a global scale while navigating individual issues, locations, and projects in an engaging, intuitive, and fun way. It not only inspires and educates the general public, but also creates a way for potential innovators to find and collaborate on issues in need of solutions in their respective field.

This idea is in essence, a graphical based wiki, inspired by Vincent Cheng’s brilliant wiki concept which is also posted on OpenIdeo. The intention of the War Room project is to provide a site where people can visit without necessarily having knowledge about social innovation or any specific issue. Social innovation, i.e. “solving the world’s problems”, is a large task with a long list of issues, but it does have central contexts around geography and people’s well-being, among others. These contexts can inform a visual design that communicates the enormity and relationship of global problems as well as the efforts to solve them. Visual design could be inspired by projects like the Feltron report (feltron.com). One option for this design could be a geographic interface not unlike NASA Mission Control and the war room from the film Dr. Strangelove. However, instead of tracking Slim Pickens riding an atomic bomb, the interface tracks Merk’s efforts to cure river blindness or promotes new, under reported issues.

Like a traditional wiki, the content could be populated by the public with moderators and graphic designers. It could also be fed by a traditional wiki, which is a proven format for collecting and sharing large amounts of specific information. The War Room acts as a gateway for general browsing of this content, enticing visitors to return to the site as new issues and projects turn up. If a visitor discovers a project, issue, or location they want to learn more about, they can follow it to a wiki for more robust descriptions and resources.

The War Room allows the following:

1. The ability to get a global perspective on world issues and progress quickly and visually

2. The ability to discover new issues and projects

3. The ability to quickly navigate to projects and companies of interest

4. The ability to visually compare and relate issues and progress

5. The ability for companies to find issues they can help solve

6. The ability for companies to transparently tell a story in real time

7. A fun and entertaining way to repeatedly engage

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

The concept allows businesses to find issues in need of their expertise. It also helps find collaborators such as local NGOs. The site tells this story in real time. For instance, say a company makes an extremely water absorbent material. A CSR officer from the company happens to visit the War Room site one day and notices that desertification is becoming a big issue in an area close to where the company has recently opened a manufacturing plant. The CSR officer contacts a local environmental group which originally posted the entry on the War Room and the two groups work together on a project restoring vegetative buffer zones using the company’s water absorbent material. The story is recorded in real time on the War Room with graphic and text updates and viewer posts. Later, another environmental group working on desertification in another part of world notices the success of the project and contacts the company to expand the project. In this way, the site is intended to be both a marketing/storytelling resource for companies as well as a tool to find and create new stories.

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

The site aggregates stories across the world and shares them in a visually interactive and compelling way. The site is simply more fun than reading a CSR report from a Fortune 500 company. It provides a snapshot of all the CSR reports and activities of the fortune 500 while discovering new issues and smaller projects. In this sense the site is sticky, because content is based on new discovery and repeated exploration rather than focused, one-time research on a specific company or issue.

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

Strategic partners like UNICEF, and large socially active companies could help populate a critical mass of initial content quickly. The project could also be run in tandem with a traditional wiki like Vincent Cheng's idea, which could help feed content. Media partners like Google Earth, Facebook, and other platforms could also strategically engage to provide integrated features.

2 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Interesting thoughts on fighting the good fight, John!

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Thank you!