Imagine for a moment that you are going for a casual stroll in Washington Square Park in NYC with your friend. The sun is shining and the park is buzzing with life. Suddenly, you hear someone shout tragically, "HOW AM I GOING TO REPAY ALL MY COLLEGE LOANS?!"
*cue music/singing/choreographed dance routine/all that jazz*
A ginormous movable surface on wheels comes sliding in out of nowhere in front of the fountain. On top in big letters reads: "How might we reimagine the cost of college in the U.S.?"
What is that you ask? It's Innovation Everywhere! We are an OpenIDEO project seeking to disrupt the ordinary day in public places by engaging massive audiences in brainstorming together innovative ideas. Outrageous dance moves and cowbell included.
Embedded in the musical's lyrics are background info on the social challenge and IDEO's brainstorming philosophy. After applause, OpenIDEO actors will kickoff the brainstorm party, pass out Post-Its, and encourage the crowd to join. To make others comfortable and facilitate involvement, some OpenIDEO staff/volunteers will be immersed in the crowd. People are encouraged to take pictures of their final idea and post on social media with the hashtag #InnovationEverywhere. If people formed teams and want to post on OpenIDEO, even better! Possible add-ons: background music during brainstorming and free OpenIDEO goodies for participants (e.g. buttons, pens, drawstring bags etc.).
Our aim is to unify public masses in solving a social challenge together in an open, natural environment. The spontaneity of this event will spark the creative wirings in people's brains. We hope to break down barriers of technology and provide a space for diverse strangers to collide and engage face-to-face in coming up with creative solutions. People of all ages and backgrounds can join, from toddlers to professors. This concept will be most effective in large public gathering spaces, such as parks, central train stations, beaches, and outdoor shopping plazas.
**Shoutout to Laleh Molla for inspiring this idea!