Standing on the shoulders of everyone…

Harnessing peoples ideas and then getting a wider community to help develop the better ones is not a new idea, but modern technology allows it to be done on global scale.  This is what is behind Open Planet Ideas.  This Sony and WWF supported project, with a focus on efficient resource use is a good one to browse through and realise quite how informed and imaginative people can be.

The initial set of (about 400) ideas has now been whittled down to 8 in the running to be selected as the “winner” – although I suspect many of those discarded along the way have sparked other ideas in those who have looked at them.

The final decision on the winner will be made in about a week.  Although that one idea will get the attention it deserves, I have found some great inspiration exploring the first stage ideas.  They show how people do think about the large challenges facing our society and how to address them.  It’s well worth a look.

The “finalists” are interesting in their breadth of application, but mostly driven by taking existing or easily derived information and collating it into a more usable form.

For me, the ideas fall into 2 main areas.  There are 3 concerned with making transport more environmentally benign – either by making public transport more enjoyable and diverting or by ensuring private transport is more efficient – by ensuring the vehicles are as full as they can be or by taking the most efficient route.

There are then 4 that look at resources – one each on water and species distribution , one on early detection of forest fires and one on monitoring and predicting micro-climates.  Each of these addresses an aspect of the impact of climate change and put information in the hands of ordinary people.

The final proposal puts all this together in the idea of a use centred magazine.

What they all are based on is making the information needed for individuals to make decisions about their personal impact widely available.  Engagement in these issues will give all those involved a greater sense of engagement and perspective on these major global challenges.

All of the finalists are good, practical ideas.  It seems a shame that only one can win.

 

Last updated on Friday 24 February 2012 at 10:06

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