OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Active challenges

Completed challenges

How might we rapidly equip and empower the care community to fight Ebola?

Welcome to the OpenIDEO Fighting Ebola Challenge! On this page you will learn about the challenge itself, the history of the epidemic, how we can make a difference together and how you can participate. Ready to dive in? Start by clicking on the "Research" and "Ideas" phases above and learn about what your fellow community members have been adding to the conversation. New to OpenIDEO? Find out how it works below!
How might we build better employment opportunities and pathways for young people around the world?

In the wake of a global economic crisis, rising youth unemployment has reached critical levels that demand our urgent attention. A startling number of 16 to 24 year-olds are facing unemployment, part-time employment or insecure, low-wage jobs. This situation increases instability and cripples economic growth as it limits young people’s capacity to contribute to the economy and society. The Clinton Global Initiative – an initiative of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation – and OpenIDEO are asking the global community to help design solutions to improve opportunities and pathways to employment that will unleash young people’s potential around the world.
How might we inspire and engage young people to support older adults through mentorship?

Together with AARP Foundation and Mentor Up, we’re asking the global OpenIDEO community to learn about and design ways for youth age 15-24 to harness their talents, know-how and energies to amplify a positive shift in ageing and make a difference in the lives of older adults. What role might young people play helping older adults connect to community? What contribution could young people bring to people aged 50+ looking to re-enter the workforce? What tools, programs, incentives or campaigns might empower young people to see themselves as mentors, capable of enhancing the lives of older adults?
How might we make low-income urban areas safer and more empowering for women and girls?

Safety is a basic human right. But for the millions of women and girls living in low-income urban communities across the world, personal safety can be difficult to achieve – giving way to gender-based violence, social isolation or a lack of basic social services. With this challenge, we are asking the OpenIDEO community to help design solutions that enable women to feel safe and empowered, by contributing research, sharing ideas and collaborating with others during the challenge.
How might we inspire young people to cultivate their creative confidence?

As young children, we’re all creative. We draw, sing, build, and dream. Yet somewhere along the way – due to the influence of others or our own insecurity – many of us put down these creative instincts. Together with IDEO and our partners – and in celebration of Tom and David Kelley's new book, Creative Confidence – we’re asking the OpenIDEO community to design fun, inspiring and new ways to help teenagers and young adults around the world preserve and nurture their own creative confidence. At a time when our world faces unprecedented challenges, how might we ensure that young people practice their creative confidence today so that they have a shot at becoming successful leaders tomorrow?

We will all age and we all have people in our lives who are ageing: parents, grandparents, friends. Most of us wish to retain our wellbeing and autonomy physically and mentally – to remain in our homes, in our communities. Within widely varied social, economic and cultural contexts, how can we help people understand their options, make informed decisions and activate themselves towards a state of wellbeing as they grow older? How can we help people thrive and live the lives they wish to live as they age?
Elaine Mukahirwa and Alexis Kamanzi sit together as friends following their reconciliation [credit: International Alert, Rwanda]

USAID, Humanity United and OpenIDEO have partnered to pursue ways to prevent mass atrocities – that is, deliberate mass violence against civilians. Examples of mass atrocities include genocide, ethnic cleansing and mass rape. Often the perpetrators of these crimes try to conceal their actions – barring journalists and humanitarian organisations from entering the area, blocking internet and mobile access, etc. How might we better listen and respond to the needs of of victims in these situations even though physical access may be limited? How can we help gather information from these regions, given the challenges of actually being on the ground? Let's collaborate to explore this topic and propose solutions – which might include services, platforms, tools, products or approaches – to tackle this critical yet complex issue.

Our daily lives – what we eat, how we travel, how we look after ourselves and especially our work – can have a profound effect on our own health and wellness, and that of the people around us. Together with Bupa and the International Diabetes Federation, we're asking our global community to help us explore how people can best be supported in the workplace to make positive changes to their health and wellness – and what skills and tools are needed to pass these positive changes onto their networks of co-workers, family and friends.

Singapore started out as a small fishing village but, rather quickly, turned into a sprawling metropolis. Like many other countries, it has reached a highly developed state. Public agencies such as Singapore's National Environment Agency would like to envision how to rejuvenate our local environments to inspire and enable communities to make our living environments better – and are eager to collaborate with the global community to explore solutions which resonate in Singapore and across the world.
How might we identify and celebrate businesses that innovate for world benefit – and inspire other companies to do the same?

Imagine a world of nine billion people with clean water, quality food, affordable housing and education, top-tier medical care, ubiquitous clean energy, dignified opportunity, thriving economies, and global peace and security. Now, how might we get there? In this challenge, we’re examining the role that business – one of the most powerful, transformative forces in our world – can play as a driver of innovation and greater prosperity. How can business become an agent of world benefit and shape our society, our environment and our economy in positive, sustainable ways?

Ever wondered what happens to your outmoded cell phone when you replace it with the latest model? Or where a battery goes when you toss it in the trash? Around the world, end-of-life electronics that are waste, also known as e-waste, present a significant challenge for our environment and our health. Together with Brazilian bank Itaú Unibanco, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, we’re asking the OpenIDEO community to help us find ways to manage e-waste to better safeguard human health and protect our environment.

As young people transition through various stages of education into the workforce, they face increasing hurdles to secure gainful employment and career opportunities. Today, seventy-five million young people are unemployed globally and within the UK over a million 16 to 24 year-olds are looking for work. Together with your help, OpenIDEO, Barclays and The Work Foundation are eager to explore these issues and identify solutions to help young people move into employment.
startup session

Web entrepreneurship is emerging as a key building block for economies globally. Against a backdrop of challenging financial landscapes, increased adoption of technology is providing opportunities to connect, co-ordinate and catalyse. In this OpenIDEO challenge, the European Commission’s Digital Agenda Assembly is looking for help identifying ways to improve the environment for online start-ups.
The election experience differs in countries around the world.

For many citizens in democracies around the world, the ability to cast an election ballot is often a given. But what if you had a disability, difficulties with language or reading, limited mobility or other conditions that excluded you from participating in the election process? In fact many people face a variety of social and technological barriers that impede their ability to cast their ballot privately and independently. In this challenge, OpenIDEO and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation are asking our community to find ways to improve election accessibility for people with disabilities and other limitations. With your help, we’re eager to design new solutions that make the entire voting process – from registering to vote to casting a ballot – accessible for everyone.

OpenIDEO has partnered with Steelcase to explore the topic of revitalising struggling cities around the world. Together we’re looking to design solutions – from entrepreneurship and education to community mobilisation and campaigns – that reinvigorate and help restore areas facing economic decline, population loss, unemployment and erosion of social/civic services or other critical issues. As our global economies become more intertwined and interconnected, we have a unique opportunity to consider ways that we can each bring vibrancy and prosperity to our own neighborhoods, towns and cities.
How can technology help people working to uphold human rights in the face of unlawful detention?

OpenIDEO has partnered with Amnesty International to challenge all of us to come up with ways to use technology to support those held in or at risk of secret detention, incommunicado detention or detention without trial – human rights abuses often imposed in the name of countering terrorism or national security. Imagine you were arrested and detained indefinitely without being told the accusations against you. What if you were taken and held in a secret location, and denied contact with your family or a lawyer? Addressing the factors that allow such human rights violations to happen can be complex. But there are ways that we, as the OpenIDEO community, can help.

OpenIDEO has turned 1! It’s been an incredible year of connecting and collaborating for social innovation and we are so amazed by the flourishing community that has joined us since our launch. To celebrate our first anniversary, we’re asking you to explore together and identify ways that we can increase our individual and collective social impact over the course of the next year.
How might we use social business to improve health in low-income communities?

OpenIDEO has partnered with the Holistic Social Business Movement (HSBM) of Caldas – a joint venture between the Grameen Creative Lab and the Government of Caldas, Colombia – to consider how social businesses can improve the health of low-income communities in Colombia and around the world. Together, with your help, we hope to develop a set of implementable and high impact solutions to support and promote social business development and improve health in low-income areas like Caldas, where 26% of the population lives in extreme poverty.
OpenIDEO Bone Marrow Challenge

OpenIDEO has partnered with the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University to explore new ideas for encouraging bone marrow donation worldwide. Together we’re asking you, the OpenIDEO community, to help us find ways to expand the global network of potential bone marrow donors and support people who are battling leukemia and other blood cancers.
How might we improve maternal health with mobile technologies for low-income countries?

OpenIDEO has partnered with Oxfam and Nokia to explore how mobile technologies can be used to improve maternal health (particularly in pregnancy and childbirth). We’re asking you, the OpenIDEO community, to come up with inspirations and concepts around improving the knowledge and access to maternal health services, specifically where mobile technologies can be used as a tool to aid this. We’re focusing our solutions in low-income countries, such as Burkina Faso and Bangladesh. In many such countries fees for health care prevent millions of mothers from seeking the professional care they need or where under-investment means health works or medicines are unavailable.
Latrine block, Kumasi

OpenIDEO has partnered with Unilever and WSUP (Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor) to explore sanitation issues in Ghana. Together we’re asking you, the OpenIDEO community, to help us come up with sustainable sanitation inspirations and concepts. We'll be focusing on low-income urban areas like Kumasi – the nation’s second-largest city, with a population of more than 1.5 million people.
What global challenge do you think innovation leaders should work to solve right now?

Early in 2011 a group of global innovation leaders – known as the i20 – will meet for a global innovation summit. They are the principal drivers of national innovation strategies across thirty countries. You can influence their summit agenda. OpenIDEO contributions will be used to help determine priorities and directions for the conference.
School in Hydrabad

Enterprising Schools, an initiative of Gray Matters Capital Foundation, is sponsoring this challenge, focused on increasing the access of low-cost and appropriate learning tools for affordable private schools in India and worldwide. The submissions will contribute to the development of a catalogue of existing tools and would provide inspirational concepts to entrepreneurs who will be encouraged to take them forward and build businesses to provide affordable private schools with much-needed tools and materials. The purpose of this engagement is to provide access to quality learning tools and materials to affordable private schools first in India, and secondarily, worldwide.
Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver won the TED Prize wish last year. His wish was to create a Food Revolution in America, to change the way kids eat by teaching them how to cook and what fresh food can do for them. This is all in the effort to help fight to obesity, one of the largest health issues in the United States. OpenIDEO is all about getting a broader group of people to solve some of the world’s most difficult challenges, and this seemed like a great one to kick off with. Click on the active phase in the timeline above to participate.
Logo placement

Our very first challenge was to design the website logo. We launched this challenge internally at IDEO to do two things: beta test our site – and get the crowd designing the logo for us. We asked the crowd: what logos, typefaces, graphics, or sketches inspire you? At the end of the challenge, the winning idea became the logo that you see now!