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So Deepthi's great Idea about waiting in Airports sparked off a thought on 'waiting, traveling, spare time put to good use' Then I thought TUBES! 'On an average day in 2007, 23.8 million trips were made in, to or from London.' (Transport for London, Travel in London, Key trends and developments, Report number 1, Page 28) Ok granted, that fact is slightly out of date, however this report also suggests that the amount we are traveling is on the increase - so today it would be even more relevant! WHY BE BORED ON THE TUBE WHEN WE COULD BE SHARING IDEAS?!?

Photo of Tanya Wigley

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We all know how boring the tube is - because there is no-where to look, our phones are out and our brains feel redundant (unless we're clever and bring a book/kindle/ipod anyway). Could there be an opportunity to give our penny's thought, even if we just pop on the tube for one stop?

HOW?  'Post It's'!

- In each tube carriage, in an allocated 'Advertising Space' (you know, where you see the current 'LOSE 100lbs in 3 DAYS!!!' Adverts), Open Ideo would post it's DAILY QUESTION. These would be similar to those posted on Open Ideo online, with the additional angle that they can and could gain QUICK, FAST answers and responses (so potentially questions that inspire shorter answers). It could also be used as a 'Judging panel' for existing concepts/ideas/inspiration. Pretty much anything would go, as long as required the opinions of the public and it was working toward the better good! The advert would have the opportunity to visually draw attention and appeal to the eye, representing Open Ideo in a very positive way.

- Post-It's would be made available and withing reach for all passengers to have access to (even when the tube is extremely full), where each passenger/he or she who chooses can input their thought/answer/opinion. We're all familiar with Post-It's , so know what to do when we see one! (Others can be explained to...!)

- Additional Post-It's with Open Ideo's website and follow up details (where they can follow up their challenge if they wish) will also be available to take.

- Upon stepping off the tube (and this would need to be made clear to the passenger whilst on the tube somehow)/or alternatively on the inside of the tube, there would be a deposit box. The Post It get's scanned upon being posted in the box, allowing the information to be electronically received by the Open Ideo member who retrieves the USB (and replaces with a fresh one) daily. The box's external (as a fun, inspiring element) would electronically display highlights of the daily answers (thus showing other answers and inspiring to add more - acting in the same way as 'filled scattered post-it's' )

- The ideas, thoughts and public opinion is then in the hands of Ideo! they can post it on their website to continue the loop, discuss, and continue solving problems!

This concept's strength would lye in the 'short answer' fire round - with the potential for longer commuters to develop and give more detailed responses. The next challenge would be looking into how the journey can be continued... i.e. Open Ideo is currently brilliant for being able to 'drop in' whenever is suitable, and still have a valued input, and grasp on each project and it's timeline. There could also be an interest and potential for this on the tube, due to the different types of commuters i.e. some people do the same journey daily, so if they could give a valued Idea one day, add another on their journey home, then (if they go on holiday for a week) on their next journey vote for their favourite concept (all attached to the same brief). this could also encourage a higher level of commitment, as being involved in a project makes you feel valued and useful - especially with an inspiring brief (I can see it now - 'check out how your concept does on'!

Later stages:

As this system is put into action and becomes more established, and economically viable; digital elements can be introduced (also based on how the system is working with the current Post It's). Features to introduce could include:

- Digital Screens for THE DAILY QUESTION - this would be easier to update, ideally from the Ideo office.

- A smartphone Ap - giving people the option to give their input to the posted question through their phone - the information would automatically get submitted digitally as soon as the phone is within signal. The issue with this would be 'how to enable people can download/retrieve the Ap when they are underground and out of signal?' As this is the time they have available - potentially busy lives commence as soon as they step off the tube.

- Touch screens - accessible to all passengers - enabling passengers to write their answers/touch concepts to vote. (It would be an extremely simple system, that is also intuitive to use). These would be in a location that is accessible to all passengers and protected from vandalism.

- Once established in London, and working well, the system can be spanned out to pretty much any underground in the world (within some kind of reach to Ideo/an Ideo member of staff).

So what would your Penny's Thought be...???

What kind of social impact does this concept achieve?

It takes Ideo out there, to where people are, when they are not at a computer. It increases the awareness of Ideo and the current challenges/Ideas/and problems that (if paid attention to) we have the power to change.

People like helping, so to feel that they are giving something useful and having a positive impact on the lives of others in the time they have to spare is an uplifting thing. Those who travel regular journeys (to work) would be able to update on the daily challenges/comment, keep the thread of the project, therefor having a more valued input.

This could have impact wherever there is underground travel, London, Stockholme, New York to name a few, so I would say potentially collective global impact.. As mentioned in a very useful comment, it can also extent out to further public spaces where people 'wait' i.e bus stops - extending it's wings further!

What skills are required to take this concept forward?

Implementation of the details.

A few issues come to mind when considering the details of how this system would become implemented. Firstly ensuring that the questions/topics posted each day are interesting, so that daily travelers, still get inspired to stay involved. The post-it's would need to be protected somehow - in some kind of dispenser (a cool one, it has to be cool and novel...?). The space of where these post-it's go would need to be considered - imagining the worst case scenario of a packed tube. Overhead/on the tubes. they also need to be visible and clearly branded so that they are instantly associated with the DAILY QUESTION. Would pens be provided/would we assume that every clever human being who has a useful brain would have one...?

Specific skills required to take this forward:

1. Installing the physical components to the tubes
2. DAILY Open Ideo staff/members to a) Post the question and b) retrieve the post it's/digital answers via USB. these could both be done at the same time i.e. very early in the morning. It would become a routine.
3. The digital information would also need to be organised, so a potential new job role, within Ideo to oversee this, and feed the information back into the Open Ideo website/workshops.

Future thoughts:
- Ensuring collaboration - could something about the nature of it inspire discussion on the tube? Break that ever so stony silence...!

- Seeing other peoples thoughts - it's always interesting and inspiring to see what other people thought, take in, build on, or even vote on - just like on Open Ideo - if that could be the case with this then that would be great, as it would gain fuller, more fruitful answers to the important questions!

How do you envision this concept being supported financially?

Sponsored by (relevant) charities or brands to the questions posed, as the ideas would be bringing very positive solutions to current problems. Large sponsors would be established in the early stages, no doubt continuing on as a reliable source. The brands/charities would do well with the publicity of being associated with a good cause that is pushing forward into a future that we can change.

The set up costs wouldn't be huge: Advertisement space on the tube, Post It's, Ideo Employees to collect and discuss the post-it content.

Costs for digital components would be higher, due to the installation, sheer numbers needed. Although they can be batch produced and programmed, or built on existing machines and components.The machines would need to be vandal-proof and, maintainable, accessible by Ideo digitally, and easy to use.

Virtual Team:

Deepthi Barrett. His idea inspired me for this.

Thanks to all of the amazing comments to the initial concept post, as they have been absorbed and fed directly into this fuller concept :)!


Join the conversation:

Photo of Paul

Not having taken a 'Tube' ride for nearly 40 years (Im on the other side of the world) I immediatelt wondered if the paper component of this idea could somehow be the travel ticket issued. Back when I travelled there tickets were issued for travel and collected at destinations. Perhaps all has changed now but if not the opportunity might be there to incorporate the idea into an existing process. Where I live the car is presently king so a similar scheme for processing ideas noted on car park tickets might be feasible. In fact anywhere that a ticket is issued and retrieved.

Photo of Tanya

hmmmm - I like this - Well Oester cards tend to be what a lot of people use now - but tickets are also used - definite possiblitly to integrate though - thanks for that thought :)

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