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Green Energy Social App

A Social App to engage communities into the use of green energies, through a friendly competition. For example, Peter installs a solar panel at home and gets 100 "green points" reaching the top of his community's Green Ranking and becoming the "Green Mayor". Peter's points will accrue for his Community that will ‘compete’ against other Communities.

Photo of Ramiro Sanchez Caballero
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Through this app, people can track their use of Green Energies and accrue it to their community’s efforts. Communities will ‘compete’ against each other resulting in a ranking and thus feel the social media pride through Facebook and other digital platforms.

People will record the efforts they make to transition to green energy, which will translate into points. The person with more points within a community will become the ‘Green Mayor’. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th person on the ranking will also have specific status recognitions (e.g. badges). Only the people of each community can see the community’s internal ranking.
How will the app look like? 4 simple screens:
1) Personal Profile: picture, name, motto and points
2) Add effort: install solar panels at home (100pts), go in bike to work (2pts), buy a hybrid car (60pts), etc. People should upload a picture as a proof of performance’. Efforts will translate into points!
3) Community ranking: among the participating communities, and progress made
4) Conversation/blog: people can post tips and make comments 

Define the Community:
More people participate, the better this app will work. Therefore, a way to start making buzz could be by defining the Community as high schools or universities.
Other alternative for the Community could be Sports teams. For example, Chicago Bulls Fans could be the greenest of NBA.
We can redefine the communities however we want!
Ultimately, Communities would be definied as cities accross the world.

While I was thinking about the "Green Energy Social App", I came across  this idea that served as inspiration. 

What community does this idea benefit and who are the main players?

As the App becomes more popular, we can define larger Communities. This app is thought for young people, with a clear concern for sustainability.

How does your idea specifically help your community rapidly transition to renewables?

The friendly competition will accelerate the transition into renewables. The "social status" will trigger people's pride and desire to top the ranking. Similar to what happens with other apps, such as foursquare.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

The app should be relatively easy to prototype. Then, we can try it with small predetermined communities.

What skills, input or guidance are you keen to connect with from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

All feedback is welcome! Please write your thoughts and help making this idea better.

Please indicate which type of energy is most relevant to this post:

  • My post doesn't mention a specific type of energy

This idea emerged from:

  • An Individual


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Photo of Jes Simson

Hey Ramiro, fab idea.

It could also be interesting to enable people to be part of multiple communities (so an individual is at once a member of a family, workplace, sportsclub, building, neighbourhood, city etc). By building in multiple points of engagement and social pressure from multiple facets of a user's life, you could enhance the likelihood that people participate.

I really like your point about sports teams' ability to engage their fanbase - for a similar hack of a soccer team's fanbase, see this great campaign by a football club in Brazil:

You could also play around with different rewards (although you have to be careful with extrinsic and intrinsic rewards on gamified solutions). Perhaps you could offer the 'mayor' a chance to talk renewable energy with their town's mayor.

Photo of Carles Guerrero Santiago

Nice Ramiro.

I agree on the need to make "more community" out of the challenges. Fostering individual competition might make loose the power of the idea.

I am in talks with some guys in Barcelona whose purpose was to gamify the energetic behavior of people (the company is called Enerbyte). However, I think OPower, in California, shares something with your idea.

Thanks for sharing!

Photo of Ramiro Sanchez Caballero

Hi Jes, thanks for your comment.
Yeah, it is a good idea to let users participate in different communities at the same time! will include it when i update the post
The rewards part is a difficult aspect, because it could mislead the whole spirt of the 'competition'. However, giving talks could work just fine. If we manage to have sponsors, they could donate something, or even offer the mayor to talk at their office...

Photo of Ramiro Sanchez Caballero

Hi Carles, thanks for your comment!
I didn't know Enerbyte nor OPower, they look awesome, thanks for sharing :)

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Hi Ramiro, Jes and Carles.
Great idea Ramiro and I really like the build to open this idea to layers of communities. (go Jes!) I particularly like this because it has the potential to bring together people of different ages, for example families. You describe your target with this app "young people with a clear concern for sustainability."
In what ways can your Idea expand and reach beyond this group? There are many older folk already engaged with this issue and there are many concerned youth that can use the App to engage family members that may be less involved. Apps and competitions like this might appeal to youth in particular but working within communities, pitching in and working towards a goal, extends to folk of multiple generations and within different communities. Lots of possibilities here! Good luck prototyping!

Photo of Ramiro Sanchez Caballero

Bettina, thanks for your comment!
I agree that we should go beyond concerned young people, we can think of such group as the entry level, and -as you say- pitch their close group into collaborating.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Great Ramiro! One reason I think it would be good to engage other family members as an example is that one of the obstacles to renewable energy solutions at this time is cost. Some of the items you suggest, such as biking to work, have no monetary cost (if you already have a bicycle). Other options can be expensive. Families may need to help each other financially when making these choices and in some cases it will be parents and grandparents that can help younger people invest in these items, helping them secure better futures. Youth who are concerned, knowledgable, and informed can help others make informed decisions about energy choices, transportation options etc. Combining resources can help all around. What do you think?

A thought about Sports Teams and their Fan Bases -
I wonder if you can engage a team to offer a "match" to their fans. In the US many corporations offer matching programs as a way to incentivize employees to contribute to certain causes. Example - If an employee contributes $25 to The American Cancer Society the employer contributes the same amount. I wonder if a sports team can be persuaded to offer a challenge to their fans - Ex) When our fans earn 100,000 points on the Green Energy Social App we pledge to supply solar panels for the roof of " The .....Youth Sports Club of ........" - something along those lines, so the power of the App amplifies.

This also might work as a local community/business initiative. In some communities local businesses support children's sports leagues - providing funds for equipment and uniforms. What if a community/neighborhood came together as a team using your App and a local business did a match - pledging to put solar panels on their own roof, or on the roof of a local school, when the community earns a set number of points?
I am not sure if these ideas align with your thinking seeing the comments above about rewards - what they may or may not be.
What are your thoughts?

Great project! Have fun working on it!

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