Ever since I was a kid, I had a dream. I wanted to have a book published. Several times I have started to write one, but every time I got stuck. No more story to tell, before they had even really started. Even to the point that I basically had given up on that dream, and almost forgot about it.
Sometime, about 5 years ago, I discovered OpenIDEO. If I remember correctly, it was during the Jamie Oliver challenge, about getting kids to eat healthy. At the time, I wasn’t a parent myself, but I was really interested in making healthy dinners. Somehow, the sense of community and the amazing people in it, made me stick around for several challenges. One of note, for me at least, was the off-platform Open Planet Ideas challenge, which even brought me to London for a workshop, where I met some of the great people of IDEO and those on the platform (such as Johan Löfström).
OpenIDEO became a place for me to brainstorm, be inspired and find great minds. But what I struggled with, and what I admired in so many others from the community, was putting these great ideas into action. Very comparable to the struggle I had with writing my book and publishing it. I felt hopelessly incompetent at some points (without feeling to bad, though, because I also learned I had other strengths), especially compared to people such as Anne Kjaer Riechert, who I coincidentally met in 2014 at TEDxBerlin. Ann was not just an inspiring OpenIDEATOR, she also had some great projects going, such as Kids Have a Dream and currently Refugees on Rails.
It was from the people I met on OpenIDEO, that I learned to just do. So, one day I decided I would write an publish (on a blog) a poem every day for a year. From those 366 poems (it was in 2012, a leap year), I selected 52 which I self-published.
So, thanks to OpenIDEO, my life was not just enriched by all the wonderful minds I met on the platform, but it also got me to finally fulfil my dream.
I lost count of how many challenges I participated in. But I’m still very proud I was picked to be a community champion in the End Atrocity challenge. It was a great adventure, so far.
Oh, by now, I am in fact a parent. We have a great son, and the Jamie Oliver challenge has helped me in feeding him healthy, fresh food every day. And make a case for just that in the daycare he goes to.