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AARP "Solutions Jam Sessions" Meet Ups

The connected world moves fast, new problems arise in our communities, politics, environment and in other areas of our life daily. Along with these problems come an array of solutions for each, often these solutions are captured or recorded and then stored in some form of data. Many issues education, crime, etc.. impact both groups, but often the solutions are viewed differently by each group. The idea for this project is to hold “AARP Community Data Jams”. Invite seniors and juniors to Meet Ups, build mixed teams of each (senior and junior) thinkers. Then use the “Design Thinking” process and Big Data” to solve community problems.

Photo of Kenneth Walton

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How would you describe your idea in one sentence?

Hold “AARP Community Data Jams”; invite seniors and juniors to Meet Ups, build mixed teams of each (senior and junior) thinkers use the “Design Thinking” and Big Data” to solve community problem.
Use the “Design Thinking” and  "Big Data” to solve community problem. The data captured by local governments, universities and other sources would serve as the tools for solving problems, but also as  conversation starter to build mentor / mentee relationships.

OpenIDEOer Jacqueline Morgan raised the question "Whats In It For Me”? Related this idea. Teammate and OpenIDEOer Selina McPherson commented adding- “On the "Whats In It For Me" front...perhaps juniors could bring community-building ideas of their own to the table, and get help launching them! A community center of problem solving for various age groups” this thinking is great because both seniors and juniors receive value, the community gains by getting complicated issues addressed, and many opportunities for mentoring relationships are possible.
In last fall’s Healthy Ageing Challenge OpenIDEOer Sylvia Stein’s concept “Designing-Our-Future Participatory Pods" embedded within the mature community” was in part a reaction to a comment from another community member. That comment was “Assure that older audiences will get a chance to offer our insights, experiences and good ideas!” As an AARP member I really understand this comment. Seniors are not what usually what comes to mind when innovation is talked about. However we didn’t lose our creativity or inventiveness as we grew, in fact those thinks increase with exposure and experience. Perhaps by adding that exposure and experience to some fresh community-building ideas great changes could be made in local communities, and meaningful mentoring relationship could be developed.
Building on “Designing-Our-Future Participatory Pods”, this was a simple concept:” To bring the Design-Thinking methodology to the aging communities themselves; To empower aging men and women to build on a lifetime of experience, collaborate with others and help to create and innovate for themselves and for their communities. The concept used the Design-Thinking process / toolkit, and included a physical space (walls for sticky notes, white boards, flexible seating, storage for basic supplies / prototyping materials etc) and a trained facilitator who would jumpstart the Design-Thinking process until the community could take over for themselves.  ” The AARP "Solutions Jam Sessions" Meetups” remixes the concept by adding three new components.
  1. Local / community issues as a starting point for relationship building (mentoring).
  2. Tech Meetups as “community centers for problem solving” as the physical space.  
  3. Using “Big Data” as a basis for problem solving.
The mentoring relationships that might develop from this kind of process, have the potential to be longer lasting. Community issues often bring out passionate feelings. That passion could result in deeper mentoring experiences. 

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to test any assumptions you might have about your idea?

Test the idea by holding a Google hang out Meet Up to as a proof of concept.
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Team (2)

Kenneth's profile
Selina's profile
Selina McPherson

Role added on team:

"Thanks for the comment Selina! Meena echoed this idea too, in a earlier post. I am going to add the community center idea to the submission by remixing an idea from a previous Challenge"


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