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Realisation Project: OpenUNI

Throughout our Impact Challenge, the idea of increasing participation from university and graduate students was a common topic, and Charlotte Fliegner’s winning concept, OpenUNI, encapsulated a lot of that.

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Charlotte Fliegner's OpenUNI Concept
Our Impact Challenge focused on finding ways for each of us to achieve positive social impact, whether on the OpenIDEO platform or out in our local communities.
Throughout the challenge, the idea of increasing participation from university and graduate students was a common topic, and Charlotte Fliegner’s winning concept, OpenUNI, encapsulated a lot of that. Her idea is for university students and professors to essentially “adopt” a winning OpenIDEO concept and, with the involvement of a local partner, build and implement it. As she puts it:
“Universities will have the ability to partner with OpenIDEO + a local client to adopt a winning concept and teach it as a practical subject for students to develop the concept further and take it into implementation. Through courses such as Architecture etc, students will have the opportunity to work on real life projects with a real client and a built outcome.”
We loved Charlotte’s concept for a number of reasons, including that it leads to the prototyping, experimenting and implementing of concepts, and that it taps into university and graduate school networks to help spread the word about our collaborative process for social good. While we’re not yet at the stage that Charlotte envisioned, we have made some fantastic progress that we like to share.
Over the past few months, we’ve connected with 3 university professors and 7 college and graduate students who are actively exploring ways to bring OpenIDEO to their campus. Just a few stories:
Professors Tracy Brandenburg from Wells College (whose story we shared on Field Notes) and Anne-Laure Fayard from NYU-Poly are using our Amnesty Challenge as a teaching tool in their innovation and creativity electives. In fact you may have seen some of their students participating on the platform as part of their coursework, either in teams (like  Team SACK) or as individuals.
University of Michigan MBAs Michelle Lin and Sara Borowski, two leaders of their on-campus Design + Business club, are exploring ways to share OpenIDEO with their classmates, including hosting Amnesty Challenge brainstorms.
And Ashwin Gopi, our Featured OpenIDEATOR this month, is so excited about OpenIDEO that he’s starting a brand new club on his campus at NYU-Poly. He’s recruited classmates and officially registered with the grad center, and together the club recently submitted its first concept.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Students and professors from around the world have expressed their interest in bringing our social impact challenges to campus, and in true OpenIDEO spirit, we’re hoping that each and every one of them can connect and collaborate. To help facilitate that, we’ve started an OpenIDEO + Universities User Forum to make it possible for everyone in our community to leave a note, ask a question and share lessons – all with the goal of bringing OpenIDEO to campus. 
As you can see, there are threads for different conversations, with places for both students and educators to connect and share. We hope you take time to check it out and add your input so that we can continue to learn, grow our university efforts, and involve even more smart and social impact-focused community members in our global efforts. 
Congrats to Charlotte on her fab concept – and cheers to all of you for helping us realise it!

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Having a worldwide approach and inviting universities to work together would really accelerate the implementation of the idea

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