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A Network of Local Focused OpenIDEO Challenges, To Serve The Communities We Live In

One way OpenIDEO might evolve is to create a subset of challenges where OpenIDEOers can take a more local approach to solving challenges.

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There are a number of local OpenIDEO meetup groups like ours here Washington DC- OpenIDEO DC. Something that we have been discussing is having a bigger focus on working with local stakeholder groups to solve local problems.

I think a way that OpenIDEO might evolve is to create a subset of challenges where OpenIDEOers can take a more local approach to solving challenges. In that way each of the winners have a better chance of implementing their solution, and building their local OpenIDEO community.

This is a salient issue every time we work on a challenge in DC. In order for our teams to do the necessary user research involved in formulating a prototype which can be tested, we need to localize OpenIDEO global challenges to an accessible stakeholder group. It would be beneficial for local chapters to have the ability to do this formally instead of feeling like we might be off-track with the global challenge. For example, providing a way to showcase localized challenges based on the density of the population (e.g., urban, suburban, rural, etc.) and level of development (e.g., GNP per capita as proposed by a paper from the World Bank:

 Logan Powell OpenIDEO DC

It would also be a big help to have more structured conversation and resources around implementation phases as well. After effectively localizing a challenge and developing an innovative solution, it would be a huge help to continue to leverage the OpenIDEO community wisdom and network to move local solutions forward. Whether that looks like connecting to a network of potential community partners, leveraging OpenIDEO to further inroads with local government or nonprofits, or something else entirely--it's crucial that projects not be left in the "great idea! now if only we could launch a startup" phase if we're going to make a lasting difference in people's lives and in our local communities.

Jo Golden OpenIDEO DC

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Ken Walton OpenIDEO DC


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Agreed Erik, Our group has had a lot of conversation around this, Logan who's lead our team  has given a great deal of thought to the idea. There is a pretty good size group of people in our area with an interest in human centered design; involved in meet up groups like OpenIDEO. Many of these people  are looking for ways to have a positive impact on the local community. There are also a lot of non-profit and government agencies who need help solving big problems. So we are in a good position to make things happen here, with the support of OpenIDEO.

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