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The eXchange - A platform for different generations to trade experience, expertise & abilities

Each generation has unique points of view, talents and needs. As we age, how might we leverage our gained wisdom and varying abilities to help other generations? the eXchange is a platform where different generations help each other in different ways

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the eXchange is a social platform where different generations pose and respond to challenges from other generations. This idea builds upon inspirations which promoted empathy for the elderly, connections to sense memory and the exchange of expertise. 

Need tips for dressing for a job interview?  Get tips from someone older and wiser. 
Need to get to the doctor, but don't have a ride? It might be on the way for someone younger who can take you. 

As Christopher illustrates: 
Example: John the retired engineer has been making furniture in his workshop for the past 20 years. John can offer: advice on engineering, how to use hand tools, how to use power tools.
John needs: help unloading wood from the lumberyard
3 people are interested and provide times: John can select the most convenient time offered. 

Rachel's idea of a senior knowledge bank highlights an example of aiding through expertise: 
The idea is to create an online searchable and interactive database using simple library search/community forum type technology to allow seniors to input information-- both written testimonials of various experiences and topics or simply "specialties" and contact info-- that is then searchable by anyone who needs that specific information.

Rewarding helpers: Users can post challenges, or questions and rewarded for collaborating on meeting the challenges and answering questions, particularly when their cross-generational abilities and perspectives are an asset. For instance, a younger person providing a ride  gains points for helping complete the challenge. An older person sharing expertise, or their own abilities would also gain points. As Meena points out, the OpenIDEO DQ system is an ideal model. 

While a point system provides a satisfying visual reward, the fundamental incentive is based on unleashing small feel good moments for everyone. Sharing expertise and helping someone with a challenge trigger the same sense of rewarding satisfaction. the eXchange allows people of all ages and abilities to share in those feelings by trading on the different abilities and experiences each generation brings to the table. 

Users assume one of two different roles: sage and grasshopper. Regardless of age or generation, a user is a sage when they provide wisdom or pose a challenge. For example, an octogenarian may respond to a twenty-something's request for help on cooking. The octogenarian is the sage. A grasshopper, on the other hand, is someone who provides assistance, or helps complete a challenge. For example, a retiree may ask someone traveling to China to video the steps of the Great Wall. If a student traveler completes the request, they are the grasshopper. 

Discoverability and Categories:
  • food & cooking
  • health & wellness
  • technology
  • travel
  • odd jobs
  • transportation
  • memory recall
  • research assistance
  • experience
  • "I remember when…"
  • Mechanical know how

Triggers may include:
  • date / time - I need help on Saturday at noon | I'm available on Sunday from 1-3p
  • geo-location (smart phone) - I'd like someone to pick up my meds at 1234 Main Street | I'll be in Chicago, who can I help while there?
  • Online vs Real World - I could use a hand with shopping on Amazon | I can come to your house


From the early draft / ideas for future iterations (version 2.0)
Entire experiences could be shared:
For instance, if you are traveling, your phone's GPS can alert you to a challenge near by. Perhaps someone older wants a video of a local attraction, or even a live Skype call from that place? Maybe you can use your Google Glass to let them experience the place first hand.
Another area of discoverability might include sorting by area of expertise or wisdom. An retiree may still wish to share their accumulated professional and personal skills. They could search the system based on tags and categories. 

How might your idea scale and spread to reach as many people as possible?

While the core of the idea is an online platform, it would also include the role of proxies. Caregivers of less-tech-savvy elderly could post challenges, questions and wisdom on behalf of their elder companion. The system could also be accessible from community centers and libraries for those without online access at home or via a mobile device. updates: A paper-based inventory of skills, expertise and needs could be used by home health aids and caregivers to help bridge the digital and real world; particularly for those without internet access or tech savvy.

How might your idea attract and involve partners from health care, business, government, nonprofit or other sectors?

Healthcare organizations and other entities could serve as sponsored and sponsoring users. They could post questions and contribute answers. For instance, a medical device manufacture may be designing a new product and may want to know how their target audience deals with certain challenges. A "grasshopper" could sign up to take photos and videos of an older "sage" to help the device company. Similarly, a hospital or physician may chime in on a challenge or question with their own professional expertise. Update: The PACE model may offer an additional avenue. http://daws.in/15BDH6R PACE is a medicare program where organizations agree to provide comprehensive care for seniors for a fixed rate. A cornerstone of most PACE programs is a modern center where seniors come for the day and have access to a wide range of arts, health, beauty, and fitness programs. PACE centers could serve as a hub for the program where seniors identify areas of expertise and ability. The PACE centers could then invite in younger generations and help then identify their own areas of expertise and ability, and then match up pairs accordingly. Area aging boards, like the Jefferson Area Board or Aging in Virginia, may serve a similar hubs: http://www.jabacares.org updates: The system could be deployed in hospitals and rehab centers using touch screen tablets and in-house systems. Patients could identify areas where they expect to need help base don their diagnosis and prognosis. They may also wish to serve as sages after their experience, sharing recovery and health tips with others. (EG joint replacement surgery - patients become experts after completing the process)

How might you design an early experiment or prototype to further develop your idea?

A "sneaker net" version is an easy prototype. We might begin by asking different generations around us what challenges and expertise they have. This might be an ideal way to test the matching system in a PACE center. We could start with providing a quasi-structured format for the exchange of expertise, mobility and wisdom. Perhaps a paper document. For instance, my grandmother may have a list of needs, but I may not be able to fulfill them all. Having a document to help structure the list based on area of expertise or geography might help us sort through what I can help with versus someone else. The inverse could be true as I list areas I may have questions about. A older relative may not be able to tell me how to write a mobile app, but they might know how to teach me to bake bread. The paper simulation would provide insight into the process and its rewards.

Evaluation results

12 evaluations so far

1. How well does this idea enable people to maintain wellbeing and thrive as they age?

Really well. There's clear value in this idea for people of all ages - 66.7%

This idea is getting there but the connection to healthy ageing isn't quite clear - 33.3%

Not so well – there were other ideas that provide more real value for people as they age - 0%

2. Does this idea outline a clear mechanism or strategy that would enable it to scale and spread around the world?

Yep – it's really clear how this idea would get diffused and adopted by people from all over - 50%

Seems like the mechanism for diffusion still needs some fleshing out - 50%

No, it doesn't really look like it takes scale and spread into account. - 0%

3. How attractive is this idea for partners from health care, business, government, nonprofit or other sectors to get involved?

This idea is ready for partnership! It's easy to see how and why different sectors would want to get involved - 33.3%

There's some opportunity for partners here but it would need more refinement to really attract other organisations or people - 66.7%

It's not clear to me how or why partners would be motivated to get involved - 0%

4. How easy would it be to pilot an early version of this idea for continued iteration and learning?

Really easy – ways that we might test this idea in a pilot are already springing to mind - 41.7%

A pilot would be doable – but we'd need to spend quite a bit of time to figure out how to do it - 58.3%

An early pilot doesn't seem too easy at this point - 0%

5. Overall, how do you feel about this concept?

It rocked my world - 41.7%

I liked it but preferred others - 58.3%

It didn't get me so excited - 0%

59 comments

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Team

We're excited that many OpenIDEO collaborators on this challenge have been talking about prototyping their ideas going forward. Awesome! If you take things further, be sure to let us know at key milestones via our Share Your Story feature: http://bit.ly/action-stories so we might help celebrate your progress and inspire others to transform ideas into action and social impact.

Photo of Luciano Oviedo
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Hi, Nick: 1) thx for adding me to your virtual team. 2) thx for your patience, been busy w/ life. 3) the break has actually been useful because now that I've re-read the description and some of the recent posts, i have some thoughts:

A) what Is the vision of "eXchange"?
B) is it to be the matchmaker of choice for Grasshoppers (people who are seeking to learn X) and Sages (people who are willing to teach/share Y)?
C) Is it intended to focus on a type or class of sharing - data vs, information vs, knowledge vs. all of them?
D) Does it matter in what shape/form its in - txt vs. audio vs. img vs. video vs. all of them?
E) Either way, what does success look like? and, how do we measure it?

For me, the answer to these class of questions is key since right now, it seems to me that the eXchange is trying to be everything to everyone. I think it needs focus, clarity and a choice on what is vs. is not part of the matchmaking experience. For example, based on what I think would be compelling to Sages (the driver of success in my opinion), I think eXchange should focus only on their knowledge and that's it. Leave the sharing of data and information to other social spaces. The implication on this choice is that you may have the same categories listed above but now the content is specific and focused and makes the types of platform services much easier to determine.

F) Circling back to some questions you posed previously and recvd some answers:
You-> Is there an entirely different approach to the same goal? How might we find a way, using existing platforms or another method, to enable different generations to exchange expertise and abilities?"
Me -> Depending on above, you could re-use existing social platforms to run a pilot then eventually build custom.

You->1) what's the right platform? Is this maybe something built on top of Facebook? Or something new entirely? Or not a social platform at all?
Me -> See above

You->2) How do we continue to refine and simplify? It seems like there are already some established concepts around Time Banking and even a similar platform from PAMF (thanks Sarah!) - what guidance do they offer?
Me -> Different goals/vision/etc. Extract ideas where appropriate but don't assume copy/paste works.

You->3) What other ways might we partner with healthcare orgs, non-profits and other businesses?*
Me -> My hypothesis is that Sages participating in this type of activity will increase their quality of life and therefore health and happiness. I have no idea how to measure that but think framing a prototype.pilot with a health care partner to figure it out would be ideal. They could offer discount on health care services to get them to opt-in or other carrot to participate in order to learn whether this has legs or not.

Photo of Paul Reader
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Some very insightful comments here Luciano on a very comprehensive concept that, as Kenny Arnold suggests in another thread, has common ground with the Knowledge Tree concept that deserves exploring.

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DeletedUser

If only there was a way to join distant threads that could keep the conversation going across concepts! Perhaps use of a hashtag with the concept name?? ..just a thought @openideo

Anyway those are great questions Luciano! As Paul mentioned I have a similar concept up that focuses on knowledge sharing as well.

While it's great to have an online presence (and a necessity these days) meeting up in person creates relationships organically and potentially real mentor friendships that bridge the age gap and distance between Sages and Grasshoppers.

Here is an interesting thing a friend share to me called Service Break Connect (www.servicebreak.org) Now this is exclusively focused on providing a way for people to volunteer and raise money to help support volunteering... But I thought it was comparable in the sense that they have a website where people can congregate, a Facebook page to tap in to the larger social network, and they are meeting up in real life! Those three things would be VERY handy for any knowledge sharing concept

On another thought that came out of an openIDEO meetup (a fellow openIDEOr) John Fullard envisioned that the knowledge bank that would be created out of this sharing and learning exchange could even potentially be used as a for-profit consulting (i.e. based on a lifetime of knowledge THIS is the best way to solve problem X)

Anyway even though there are only a couple hours left on refinement, I think were on to something!!
and thanks for the virtual team invitation Nick!

Photo of Sabine Kuznik
Team

Great discussion! I think the bridge between an on-line platform and real-life meetings is an interesting aspect. It is a challenge to serve the different ways of using media and to build a bridge between the lifestyle of generation a, generation b, generation c, ...

Photo of Paul Reader
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Thanks for the honour of being included in your virtual team Nick. I might take this opportunity to ask the tool you used for the MindMap and whether you have a platform for sharing that?

Photo of Nick Dawson
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Thanks for your wonderful contributions Paul - I'm sorry I haven't had more time to devote to this phase of the project. Life has a way of throwing curveballs at unexpected times.

The software is Mindnode Pro for OS X http://mindnode.com

Photo of Paul Reader
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Thanks Nick - I understand as I am just returning after an absence of 9 or 10 months.

Photo of Nick Dawson
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Greetings OpenIDEO friends. I'm sorry for my absence lately. I've been balancing a family emergency with the many other aspects of day-to-day life. Regrettably, I haven't had much time to devote to passions, including this one.

That said, I'm excitedly digging into your comments, feedback, suggestions and help today. Thank you all for your continued interest and help.

I'm not much of a web coder (by which I mean not at all). So my first place to prototype has been paper and discussions. I've been running the idea past friends and family and have received some helpful feedback. In general, people seem to think this may be a nice way to crowdsource some of the smaller tasks often done by for-hire home care agencies.

I'm particularly interested in the continued thoughts and feedback from this group.

Does anyone have the ability to prototype some parts of the idea? I can send you a web form which can be filled out on an tablet, phone or computer. It's a very basic mock up of what an enrollment process might look like. If I can figure out how, I'll post the link here later.

Photo of Nathan Maton
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Hey Nick, great to hear from you and awesome job! Sorry to hear about the family emergency, hope all's well. I think you could prototype some of this really easily without coding on Facebook. The key question is what are you trying to learn from the prototype?

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Nick,

sorry about the family emergency. I have also been off this challenge for a while and I'm very impressed by how much you developed your idea.

Nathan has a very good point: you need to think about what do you want to learn from the prototype? Is it the function: what needs will it answer to? What are the assumptions that are at the core of your idea
Form: what will be the experience of users?
If you focus on the function, a very basic paper prototype or something like a blog or Facebook could provide you with an answer to this question. a small video could work too.
For the experience, you can still do something simple with paper by providing a user scenario.

On prototyping, you might find this article by Diego Rodriguez from IDEO useful: http://metacool.com/anything-can-be-prototyped-you-can-prototype-with-anything/

Photo of Luciano Oviedo
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I think the purpose would be to learn what does/does not work and to get a feel for the value that this concept can potentially create. I propose rapid 'prototyping' by using existing tools. For example, here are some thoughts that would be easy to do technically but the real work is in getting the Sages/Grasshoppers connected in a minimal way to observe and learn:
1) setup a Wordpress account and then build a simple front facing presence w/ the relevant parts of the description you have thus far
2) approach some local retirement communities and make a pitch for volunteers to be video taped for telling a historical story and experiences and skills/competencies. they also agree to go on-line w/ their experience/info. I think 2-3 people volunteering per category would be highly successful.
3) for each of people that volunteer, setup a LinkedIn account for them and put up their related info (interesting experiences, skills, competencies, etc)
4) video tape volunteer telling story about their experiences, skills, competencies and upload it to YouTube. create links between the YouTube videos and the LinkedIn account profiles.
5) approach some local K-12 schools (perhaps a sampling of each level) and pitch to the appropriate teacher to create an assignment to research certain events/periods/etc. Collaborate w/ the teacher to ensure that at least 75% of the potential assignments overlap w/ the experiences/competencies that the retired volunteers submitted. also, negotiate that the students use the wordpress frontpage that you created to perform the 'research'.
6) hold "Meet ups" where you matchmake the "Sages" with the "Grasshoppers" and document/videotape/interview what is/is not working and how to make your wordpress presence better. or have the Grasshoppers and/or Sages document their experience on trying to use the frontpage and/or interview them after they use it to see what is/is not working.
7) feedback all the key learning's into the next rev. ;-)

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DeletedUser

Hey Nick!
This is an fantastic idea and I think my concept would combine well with it.
As I understand it, The eXchange is focused on creating the relationship between Sages and Grasshoppers and completing challenges/check lists for mutual satisfaction.

My concept is extremely similar except the only difference in my mind is that Knowledge Tree is focused on sharing skills and hobbies to generate engaging relationships with the hope of creating an extended family-like mentor. (We all have aunts and uncles that are not actual aunts and uncles.)

Sages and Grasshoppers in my mind could become new forms of family given the right environment.

What we're both hitting on and what other concepts have centered around is the fact that the elderly are full of lifelong knowledge and the exchange of that knowledge is meaningful and empowering to all involved.

To really reach people I think this type of idea would need to be grounded in physical places such as schools or community centers.
However a digital presence will also be key. I think the result could be a hybrid between Facebook, craigslist, Meetups, and Yahoo Questions.

Look forward to hearing your response.
-K

Photo of Kenneth Walton
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Nick,
This is a great idea. I have a daughter about to go off to college, and the cost is staggering. The exchange; and transfer of knowledge and information from seniors to younger generations as to be of at least an equal amount to traditional education. Imagine the amount of waste without some kind of exchange. Good Luck with your concept.

Photo of andrea schneider
Team

Hi,
I'm not sure if my idea is a fit, but maybe. I love the exchange between generations. A lot of seniors live on a limited income and are living life in an increasingly hard context. We also know that stress is a health hazard, one of the biggest is financial. I would like to see the exchange of wisdom, expertise and experience consider "what's an idea worth"?
Maybe the grasshopper and sage become teams and are incentivized in some way. Especially if they are doing work that would normally cost a company money to do.
Just a thought.

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DeletedUser

Dear Rachel Krausman,
I am very interested in contact you because your article is quite related to my Ph. D. Thesis in Education. It will be very nice if I may possible chat for a while maybe by skype. I would like to comment about my research.
Regards

Photo of DeletedUser
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DeletedUser

Carlos,
I apologize for not having seen this earlier. Your research sounds fascinating! Please feel free to email me at rachelkrausman@gmail.com to chat.

Photo of Nick Dawson
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Rachel - you are a hot commodity right now.I'm also hoping to pick your brain.

As we start to think about prototypes, can you offer some insight into how you've conducted interviews of elders? I'm thinking back to your idea and want to build on it. How can we prototype the process of collecting the skills and needs of the elderly generations (sages)?

Should it be on paper? Should it be an interview or self-submitted? What does your research experience suggest?

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DeletedUser

I think it could be handled in two different ways to bolster the prototype or "pilot testing" if you will. I think we should have a core group of team members working on the refinement of this idea and each commit to interviewing a specific number of seniors-- 2-3 or maybe more-- and in those interviews, ask for both stories and experiences of things that would be helpful to younger generations (based on my earlier idea) but also ask for things like needs, expertise on daily life things, etc. for the more grasshopper/sage idea. Then we could put all of our collections together as the prototype "database" and figure out what organization makes the most sense. We can also then all discuss which collection methods worked best, what seemed to be confusing to seniors and what was exciting or beneficial, etc.

I think, in general, it will work best for us to be actively collecting information through interviews-- either email, phone, or in person depending on the individual-- and then create a self-entry portal once the idea gains structure and momentum, i.e. once there are enough examples for individuals to more adequately self-enter information or stories.If we start with mostly self-entry, I'm concerned the content and value of content we're pursuing may not be as great because there'd be so little direction.

Does that make sense?

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congrats on making the Healthy Ageing Challenge Top 20! We've loved seeing you work with the community to help your idea grow and iterate over time. You've clearly thought about many of the elements of your idea – now, how might you start testing it and bringing it to life during Refinement? Might you prototype this idea by reaching out to potential sages and grasshoppers and sharing your mockups with them in a feedback session? We're also curious to know about the business model behind this platform – you've identified that companies might sponsor challenges but are there other avenues for making this kind of service financially sustainable? For more tips on how to iterate and prototype your idea during the Refinement phase, read here http://bit.ly/agewell_refinetips and check this Lowdown: http://bit.ly/oi_refine

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DeletedUser

Sure I have some anecdotes of retired CEOs. Try "Programa diez en diez" in YouTube. Problem is that interviews are in Spanish, but I can tell you some interestng happenings asd research done if you or anyone may want.

Photo of Fatma Korkut
Team

Hi Nick,

Impressive work! I think communication is at the heart of your concept. Diversifying communication channels may also help. A local toll-free phone number run by volunteers can support your system in different ways; since it is low-tech, some people may feel more comfortable about using it.

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DeletedUser

Quite interesting. My Ph. D. Thesis is related to these subjects!

Photo of Nick Dawson
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Wow Carlos - any research or anecdotes from your thesis you can share?

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DeletedUser

Nick, I had a couple of questions:

First, how would the exchange keep the nefarious elements out? Think about the numerous problems Craigslist has had with attacks, etc.

Second, if you institute a Care.com style vetting process, how would you handle covering those costs?

Photo of Nick Dawson
Team

Thanks everyone for the continued input! I've been thinking about the feedback from many regarding "yet another social network…" and the potential saturation there already.

I agree, one option might be to test the idea on an existing network. We should explore that.

What about getting very simple, somehow. Maybe have senior centers and caregivers populate a tool with skills and needs. Then a mobile app can match up willing "grasshoppers" based on time, location, interests, etc?

Photo of Luciano Oviedo
Team

hi, dig the intersecting, quick clarifying question - are you essentially proposing a meta-social platform that merges what openideo, google+, craigs list and linkedin do? seems to me that the meta-challenge would be the same: how to get a critical mass of people motivated enough to be interested enough to post content so that when other people show up, they feel like they should stick around and also post

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DeletedUser

I've heard a lot of people pitch ideas about creating a new social network, or new platform where people can go to do "x", and I agree with Luciano that trying to get an audience is the main/common problem. It's the chicken and the egg conundrum - you want content on the site, but to get that you need people, and to get them you need a reason for them to use your site - aka content.

Refining your idea and targeting one or two key problems is a good way to try to get initial users. It's much better to solve a HUGE problem for a small audience, than kinda solve a problem for a large audience. You need to find your brand champions, your early adopters, the people that can't live without your service. Even if that is a super small subset of people. From there, you can incorporate other features and functionality and grow the platform to attract more users.

Having said that, I like what you are getting at with this idea - connecting older and younger generations by showing that they can help each other. It will come down to building the right MVP (minimal viable product) to attract your initial users, and then growing from there.

Photo of Nick Dawson
Team

Thanks Luciano and Jaclyn - I agree with you both. A) there are already a lot of social platforms and B) its hard to build a critical mass on new one.

Is there an entirely different approach to the same goal? How might we find a way, using existing platforms or another method, to enable different generations to exchange expertise and abilities?

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

One idea would simply be to start a campaign on an existing platform. Whether that is building out a Facebook Page or starting out on Google+. At first it might seem like building your own platform would be ideal because you could customize it to fit *exactly* what you want. Although this is an attractive idea at first, the pains that come with trying to start a new platform outweigh this benefit when just getting started, in my opinion. Eventually you might reach a stage where it makes sense to build out your own platform, but I would start with trying to get a critical mass interested in what you are trying to achieve, then see where it takes you.

I love the OpenIDEO platform - and I think that it's success is largely attributed to the fact that it came after IDEO had already built a brand and a movement.

If you can use current platforms to build an audience, you can then move that audience to your own platform at a later time if that is what makes sense.

At the core of it, your idea is about allowing different generations to communicate. Pick a platform and spend time making a brand for yourself and getting your goal across. My grandma is on Facebook and I think that is still the most ideal place to start when trying to reach people. Google+ is great in its own way, but I don't think it is the right audience for you. I also think LinkedIn is a little too formal for what you are trying to build. Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram - those could all be used as secondary profiles to help you add content. It might also help to set up a blog where you can write about the stories of people in your growing community.

Focus on getting people excited, then work on scaling it later. The last thing you want to do is sink endless hours into building a platform that people may not end up using - so iterate fast, test out ideas, and make use of current social networks that can help you get your idea out there and build a following!

Photo of Nick Dawson
Team

Hey all - I've been working on incorporating many of the great ideas and feedback into the content above.

I'd love some help thinking through a few particular areas:

1) what's the right platform? Is this maybe something built on top of Facebook? Or something new entirely? Or not a social platform at all?

2) How do we continue to refine and simplify? It seems like there are already some established concepts around Time Banking and even a similar platform from PAMF (thanks Sarah!) - what guidance do they offer?

3) What other ways might we partner with healthcare orgs, non-profits and other businesses?*

* I added some specific ideas around Aging agencies and the PACE program above.

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DeletedUser

To answer just number 1, I think this should be a separate, independent platform based on the specific target populations and problem. Facebook is too expansive in an unhelpful way-- not allowing for deep specialization and causing social circles that close more often than expand openly through the platform (rather than real life) itself. What we want, I think, is the opposite, possibly something that looks more like LinkedIn but that is still separate. The value of this idea is to focus on specific specialties/experiences/topics of advice rather than on the entire individual so as to match sage-grasshopper and foster meaningful dialogue past the superfluous social profile. I would build something deeper that supports extensive search abilities as well as the more social face.

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DeletedUser

I idiotically just realized this concept is YOURS! I had read it right after posting my original one and thought it would be an amazing partnership-- to have basically one joint venture that included both types of sites.

Let's definitely work on bringing the two together? I love the social networking "grasshopper" idea here and I think it could work incredibly alongside my more "academic" searchable database.

Photo of Carole
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I really like this idea of merging Nick and Rachel's concepts! For sure there is no need to duplicate their common functions while at the same time they complement each other well. Definitely looking forward to seeing what will come out of it!

Photo of Nick Dawson
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So inspired by Rachel's project - been thinking about how to do a 'both and': merge and explore in parallel. Rachel, I'm going to 'borrow' some of your idea's verbiage and update this one, if that's ok.

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DeletedUser

Go ahead! I'm new to OpenIdeo so please let me know how I can/should help morph these ideas into a bigger concept.

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DeletedUser

This is a great idea and reminds me of a couple other conceptually-related projects I've recently come across. One is timebanking, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_banking), where community members provide services they have skills in and can request services they are in need of.

A Palo Alto hospital just launched a multi-platform project called LinkAges, which combines timebanking with in-home sensor detection and yelp-style reviews; all aspects work together to provide the elderly with the help they need to stay healthy and in their homes.
http://innovation.pamf.org/our-work/linkages-ecosystem/

Photo of Nick Dawson
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Sarah - wow, I think PAMF has pretty much done it!

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DeletedUser

Is this a barter system? Apprenticeship system? Gopher system? I would try to simplify it to a single categorical exchange and then work out from there.

Also I would make it a priority that users offer more skills and expertise than needs. It might be interesting to make it more localized instead of international. In my personal experience, an elder is willing to give advice for the social interaction and the satisfaction of being able to help someone (in a time when they feel as if everyone is helping them). Just some thoughts...

Example: John the retired engineer has been making furniture in his workshop for the past 20 years. John can offer: advice on engineering, how to use hand tools, how to use power tools.
John needs: help unloading wood from the lumberyard
3 people are interested and provide times: John can select the most convenient time offered.

Consider looking at www.skillshare.com (more tech and monetary driven) and perhaps the Viennese apprenticeship system.

Photo of Nick Dawson
Team

Thanks Christopher - there's a lot of feedback about simplifying. Your suggestion of categories is really helpful there. I love your example of John - going to add it to the idea!

Photo of Koen De Lombaert
Team

Would also be great to keep certain skills, crafts, and dialects that are on the verge of going extinct alive.

Photo of Nick Dawson
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Koen - oh wow. You might consider proposing an entire concept around some way to keep those things protected and alive. That's powerful!

Photo of Ashley Jablow
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Like Meena said, I'm loving the categories of sage and grasshopper – suitable for anyone at any age! Also excited about the paper prototype to test out how this would work.

And a quick build: I saw your point about hospitals sponsoring questions....what if there were a way to showcase this eXchange on TVs or touch screens in hospital lobbies, doctors offices or other similar locations? Maybe not everyone (particularly older adults) would be internet or tech-savvy enough to do this on their own, but they might be interested in seeing the eXchange happening right before their eyes? Oh, and did I mention that a real-time map showing eXchanges happening all the time would be cool, too?! :)

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Ashley - I love your idea of using hospitals as touch points! Oh wow!
Quick question, is it appropriate to edit the concept to include ideas from commenters and teammates?

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Ashley, funny as I also mentioning using locations such as doctor offices, pharmacy to expose or provide access to the platform. I did not think of showing videos but I think it'd be great. I also love the real-time map.

Nick, it is completely appropriate to edit the concept to include ideas from others: this is in fact the beauty of openIDEO... looking forward to the updates...

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Great minds think alike A-L! :) And Nick, absolutely – edit and update away. And thanks for adding me to your virtual team!

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DeletedUser

On the larger perspective, It needs work on two fundamental elements:
1. The hardware, e.g. Smart mobile phones to be more suitable to elderly with Minimal features to make it NON confusing and not making them remember a lot of Action-Reaction relations.
2. The software: in terms of User Interface, simpler and minimal Operating Systems for Elderly for Phones, Tabs or even Computers.

Many elder people have trouble with reading and shaky hands. . .and if they feel that making a call to a number (of any person/group/agency which they want to contact) advertised in a newspaper is more convenient, they might wanna avoid peeping in to screens. . .


for the interface part for this particular idea,

BIG icons of categories
-> you go inside one and you see BIG icons of Sub Groups (People around you, Places, Discussion Groups, Requests, Proposals. . . can be refined with some user research)
-> in these subgroups the information would be short and sweet with BIG SORT BY BUTTONS

I am not sure of how much elderly would want chatting options. . . They might want contact numbers first. .

How do you guys look at it?

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Shaival, Great points!

I completely agree to think about the different devices as well as touch points (see Ashley's suggestion of having videos in hospitals). As the network will include both grasshoppers and sages, one might need to have a variety of devices and touch points. When it comes to the user interface, I think we should go for universal design and design for the elderly.

Beyond the design and the devices, I also think that there might be a difficulty to "trust' the network or even understand what it means (hence I'm not sure indeed chatting might be an option), so it might be important to have an offline component. (I made a few suggestions in one of my comments below).

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Way to go, Nick. Loving the notion of 'sages' and 'grasshoppers' ! Also digging the points system – a bit like our very own DQ points, right?

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I wonder if, during the Ideas phase, folks might like to join you in creating an initial list of topics which could be covered? This might help us consider how the network could be organised (You could keep updating the list on your post via the Update Entry button up there on the right) Some starters I can think of from what you've outlined already are:
Food
Health
Travel
Technology

What else, guys? Could there be other ways of categorising avenues for participation? Let's collaborate and build out this fab idea!

Something else Nick might consider as conversations develop and the idea crystallises, is to suggest an example scenario to help people better grasp how your idea might play out (perhaps one for grasshoppers and one for sages?) Check this example: http://www.openideo.com/open/vibrant-cities/winners-announced/opencity-bringing-open-source-princi/ where a written scenario is given to get people digging the goodness on an idea.

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Thanks Meena - I'm so new to this, and tips like being able to edit the idea are really helpful!

I love the idea of a list of topics and categories. It's a great way to identify places where people feel strongly capable of helping.

I keep thinking about my recently retired father. If there was some easy way for him to say to the world, "I know about X, Y and Z and I'd love to help anyone starting their careers in that area," I think he'd do it in a heart beat. Then someone searching for a "sage" in the areas of X, Y or Z could connect.

Thanks also for the link to the idea crystallizes. Reading up on that now!

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You're certainly wowing us for a newbie, Nick!

Just realised the the link I gave you on scenarios might be a bit daunting because of the video (we know creating a video may be too challenging for some folks in our community) Here's another example from an old concept of mine where a few simple scenarios are used at the opening: http://www.openideo.com/open/e-waste/concepting/neighbourhood-e-waste-champion/

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Nick, I like the idea. To follow on Meena's suggestion, I think it'd be great to start with some topics or categories as for now it seems to me very broad and thus difficult to imagine how the network will develop.
There were also different types of relationships you imagine, for example:
the sage helping the grasshopper with 1) tips for an interview 2) as source of information for a research project.
The grasshopper helping the sage with 1) doing practical tasks for them (e.g. skill shares) 2) taking a photo of Paris.
All of these relationships are different and fulfill different needs. It is not sure you can create a community including all these different types of needs and relationships at least from start.

Maybe you could start with your grandmother and father's needs and your needs to make a decision on what you want to focus upon. From there you could choose one or two topics and then invite some friends, people you know and the OpenIDEATORS to participate to the first prototype.

I think it might also be important to think of the access to the online platform by some of the wise.

Looking forward to the development of this idea.

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Thanks Anne-Laure. Your comment is a tremendous help in focusing this idea down. I tried to explain it to my wife during a run last week and she pointed out how complicated it sounded.

Any thoughts about access the the platform? I'm worried about that as well.

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Hi Nick,
I'm glad you found my comment useful.

I can understand why your wife found it a bit complex. There are a lot of options in the idea. You might need to "let go" of some of the options... maybe create a second concept.

Regarding the access to the platform, it might be problematic for some of your target audience. Although I think that people are now increasingly accustomed to using computers. So maybe your grandmother would need help to access the platform (or maybe not), but your dad won't.

I think trying to have a very simple interface is the key. Keeping in mind the usability principles for universal design is important: http://www.openideo.com/open/mayo-clinic/inspiration/universal-design-include-everyone/

Maybe you could think of very basic interace to get started, e.g. craiglist.

It might be worth looking at something like Southwark Circle and think of a membership and a community with possibility to have local chapters (and maybe start with a local chapter): http://www.openideo.com/open/mayo-clinic/inspiration/southwark-circle-supporting-50-year-olds-to-lead-the-lives-they-want-to-lead/

I'm also wondering if you could also think of using some locations as places where people could be exposed/ have access to the platform (e.g. pharmacy, doctors, etc.)

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Thanks Anne-Laure, brevity is not a strong suit :) but this does need some trimming and refinement for sure. I'll study up on the universal design link you sent - I know a little from some personal construction projects (strangely enough).

In the mean time can we crowdsource some ideas for what to cut and what to focus on? Anyone have suggestions?

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Thought you might enjoy the Havard Business School Elevator Pitch Generator: http://www.alumni.hbs.edu/careers/pitch/ Could help you get folks like your wife more engaged with your idea? ;^)

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Thanks Meena for the link. It would be useful but I also usually feel that if I can't explain my idea succintly it needs more refining.

Nick, regarding what to focus on, I think you might want to choose one or 2 topics based on your own experience and ask people around you. You can in parallel ask openideators for feedback. I think that it would be great to try to prototype the concept in a small group and see how it goes.

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Congrats on this post being today's onsite Featured Idea!