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Appreciative Inquiry

To match those with assets to those with needs accurately, effectively, and quickly.

Photo of Jason
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What problem does your innovation solve?

Our goal is to re-balance sharing economics to better meet unexpected needs for families in emergency situations. This provides social stability, on which education can occur.

Explain your innovation.

A group of peers commune to learn from one another what assets they have at the moment, such as medical or technical skills, ability to perform labor, available time, items to barter, etc. The 3-tep process is IDENTIFY, MATCH, and DELIVER assets. The time together also builds the necessary trust to allow the transaction to take place. The outcome leads to reciprocity, and a virtuous cycle picks up momentum and grows involving more more members of the community sharing and providing more stability. In addition to these "hearth-sessions," matching databases can be built by employing a "journalist" whose role it is to observe and report all available assets in the community. Or in some locations a smartphone app could be built to assist. Think of TINDER for TUTORING where an individual makes a profile and others scan those filtered profiles for a match in want/need to provide stability. For example, a family has a child who is able to make it to school, but then breaks an arm and is unable to attend. They make this need known and offer to assist with homework in their profile. They find a match of someone who has a little time and can help carry books who could use some help with the homework. This quid pro quo relationships builds trust, and they are more likely to rely on one another again in the future.

Who benefits?

All participants in the program have the potential to benefit in some way at some time based on need. Since the program is designed to provide stability, the family unit itself is the entity the program is built on.

How is your innovation unique?

There is precedent for a sharing economy, but our solution respects the unique social dynamics of an emergency situation. There is often instability, distrust, and a closed posture. Solutions need to be sensitive to this, provide real solutions quickly, and be powered by individuals from the bottom-up.

What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?

I'd like to build a QFD for the different methods available to IDENTIFY assets and needs as mentioned above in order to roll the program out in a pragmatic and effectual way in any socio-economic situation. I'd also like to explore what categories of assets are most valuable in an emergency situation. Lastly, I'd like to build a method into the system to provide feedback to use some data science to improve matching precision, as well as encourage reciprocity and momentum.

Tell us more about you.

We are a coworking space in Lafayette, IN called MatchBOX Coworking Studio. We are a small group of educators, researchers, engineers, and artists working with Purdue University. We have various ties to Mexico, Southern Africa, and India.

What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?

  • Prolonged displacement

Emergency Setting - Elaborate

Our objective is to create a systemic solution to the instability that disrupts regular childhood education in a prolonged displacement situation. Wherever there are families with children in a post-emergency situation trying to provide stability and school-based education.

Where will your innovation be implemented?

We feel our idea is very flexible and could easily be adapted, especially with the aid of a Quality Functional Deployment, in any region experiencing instability due to any prolonged emergency situation. However, we have direct ties to South Africa and Tunisia in particular, so it would make sense to pilot a program there.

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for less than one year.

In-country Networks

We are closely connected to an existing NGO in South Africa, and a team member has built an NGO in Tunisia. These have both been in place with teammates on the ground for at least a couple years.

Sector Expertise

  • I've worked in a sector related to my innovation for more than a year.

Sector Expertise - Elaborate

We have teammates that are professional educators, education researchers, and PhD candidates in resilient systems and social networks.

Innovation Maturity

  • Early Stage Innovation: I am exploring my innovation, refining, researching, and gathering inspiration.

Organization Status

  • We don't intend to register / don't need to in order to implement our innovation successfully.

Organization Location

Lafayette, Indiana, USA



Join the conversation:

Photo of Ashley Tillman

Hi Jason thanks for contributing to the Challenge! Would love to learn a little more about your plans for implementation in the next 1-2 years?

Excited to learn more!

Photo of Jason

Hi, Ashley!

Thanks for your interest. We feel like our idea is so flexible, it would be most practical to create a QFD for deployment. We would research the traits of a post-tragedy community necessary to employ a sharing economy like ours, and compare and contrast those traits to tailored versions of the implementation. For example, in a location where smartphones may be prevalent for a majority of affected persons we would recommend using that tool to carry the content of the marketplace of shared resources. If smartphones weren't available, an ascii-based text marketplace could be developed for older mobile phones. If mobile devices weren't available at all we might implement a centrally-located bulletin board in a weather-resistant enclosure. If there was not a predominantly shared language in a particular community, we might implement a pictorial system of communication. But in all 4 of these example implementations the concept of sharing resources accurately and quickly to provide stability to education would be consistent. These core traits could be charted to inform which version of the implementation would be most effective given each unique situation- a Quality Functional Deployment as the engineers call it :)

Let me know if that's what you were looking for or if you have other questions!


Photo of OpenIDEO

Thanks Jason, for sharing. Can you share a little more about the backgrounds of the team that will be implementing this idea?