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 time7. A fun and entertaining way to repeatedly engage