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You Need...I Have....

Let's create a marketplace where people can come together and swap skills, trade information/resources, and match up with others who can help turn ideas into reality.

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Written by DeletedUser

Today we held an OpenIDEO Brainstorm here at IDEO Palo Alto, using the Brainstorm in a Box toolkit for this challenge.  The brainstorm team included Sally, Kim, Yusuke, Stephanie, Amalia, Katherine and Ashley.

A popular theme today in our brainstorm was the idea of matchmaking – that is, connecting ideas, people and resources to achieve maximum impact. The "You Need...I Have..." idea is a combination of online and offline tools to help match up and share surplus skills and resources with people who want to achieve impact.

ONLINE: Imagine a Freecycle or Craigslist functionality on OpenIDEO, or another a completely standalone platform, that could help connect social entrepreneurs, innovators, and everyday people who have something to share with peers who are looking for support. 

For instance, Yusuke might need help developing a business plan for his social enterprise startup. Amalia has that expertise and would be willing to trade her help in exchange for Yusuke's input on how she might fundraise for a local community impact idea she has.

We also liked the idea that this online platform could have a Skype-like functionality to it, where people across geographies could connect for conversation, mentorship, and goal setting.

OFFLINE: Have you ever attended a block party, where neighbors get together for food and conversation? What if we could create block parties for communities that focused on matchmaking skills and talents for impact? Similar to a garage sale or other marketplace exchange, this idea could create a physical gathering space for people to barter and trade what they have in surplus for what they need.

Download your own copy of the Brainstorm in a Box toolkit and host an Impact Challenge brainstorm too! 

What kind of social impact does this concept achieve?

This idea gets at the disconnect that can occur between having a good idea for impact and actually finding a way to implement it. Each one of us has skills, talents, resources and materials that we would happily share with others, especially if we knew in turn we could have access to the input and guidance we need to realize our own ideas.

What skills are required to take this concept forward?

For the online component, we'd need to think about building this functionality into OpenIDEO or creating a new website. We'd also need to have someone or multiple people managing the site and helping to facilitate these exchanges. For the offline component, it would be a great opportunity for someone who likes to plan events!

How do you envision this concept being supported financially?

We could see this getting expensive, as it would require a bit of infrastructure and organization to really run smoothly (whether online or offline). Perhaps people could become members of the marketplace/exchange and pay dues that help to support the running of the website and/or in-person events?

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DeletedUser

Tremendous amount of thought went into this. It's truly awesome!

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DeletedUser

I love it. Brilliant. Simple, Realistic and Utopian at the same time!

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DeletedUser

Love to see when ideas like this take hold all over the place. I left Frog Design because I had a similar idea to connect people who need something with those that have it. In my case, it's centered around proximity - connecting neighbors.

My startup is called Hey, Neighbor (http://heyneighbor.com) and it creates a way for neighbors to share favors, goods, and information. Need someone to fix something quickly, like a hem on a dress or a leaky sink? There may be neighbor who is a handy seamstress or a retired plumber nearby who can help.

Like your idea for the block party, we're planning to rollout ways for our neighbor networks to connect offline as well as online. It's really exciting and we'd love to hear ideas and to get more people involved if you're interested.

There are many sites in this general area, but two that also come to mind are OurGoods.org (a creative barter network) and Skillshare, as you have in your post its.

Thank you for sharing this!

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Photo of Meena Kadri

Well, you're a story of real-world impact, right here huh?! Thank *you* for sharing this. We love folks who make a commitment to making a difference – and it sounds like you definitely are!

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DeletedUser

Thanks, Meena! We hope so!

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Photo of Louise Wilson

Barbara, lovely to meet you on here - I heard about Hey, Neighbor from Rachel Botsman. It's such a great idea and excellent to hear it's going well!

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DeletedUser

Hi Louise - Nice to meet you on here as well. I just started following you on Twitter so hopefully we can connect more. Thanks for your kind words.

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Photo of Nuno Leite

Guys,
what you present is the something like the beginning of the economy, where people trade their skills to get the most veriety of products or services.
In adiction of what was said, maybe would make some sense if there was a possibility to know peoples skills, like a HR platform.

Imagine this:
I need something related to fundraising schemes, so my first step is to go to OpenIdeo´s HR Directory to find people with match skills... and then ask for availabilty to help... present the challenge...

After identify them, present my plan and ask: Can you help me? And how can i welp you in?

Let´s try to improve altruism to another level.
Is the base of social responsability.

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DeletedUser

Interesting points Nuno - thanks for your feedback!

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Photo of Louise Wilson

Why not organise a 'Speed Dating' event for this to help promote it and get it off the ground. Giving people a few minutes say what they need/are looking for would make people be focussed and match people quickly!

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Photo of Paul van Zoggel

Note on finance : If it costs money for tool subscription, you might want to think about a first mission to help each other 'survive' easier/cheaper, and use the savings to have an online gathering account.

I could save a lot of money if I would take time comparing prices of food and drinks I need every week. Especially comparing the week sales of the 5 supermarkets in arms reach.

Collective 'block-buying' could get you the basic survival food you need that week cheaper, and the savings are put into the 'block-jar' to pay for membership at OpenIDEO you need you have tool.

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Photo of Meena Kadri

Great stuff, guys! Loving the P2P goodness on this one.