New Site Lets Users Pitch Grassroots Ideas to Win $10K
Attention, bright-eyed do-gooders and budding humanitarians: If you’ve ever wanted to preserve Native American culture, make fresh veggies available at your school or workplace, or launch a movement to turn T-shirts into eco-friendly grocery bags — and maybe win $10,000 for doing it — then we’ve found the site for you.
10,000 Solutions offers you a place to pitch ideas for grassroots change or awareness. From there, other users provide feedback, leaving you with constructive criticism to refine your solution. The idea is to keep applying others' feedback until you have a fleshed-out, realistic plan of action.For example, if membersbelieve your goal of supplying kindergarteners in your area with iPads made of gold to be too pie-in-the-sky,those users can suggest ways to improve your idea to be more realistic.
Launched by Arizona State University (ASU) in August, the project welcomes all idealists and altruists age 18 and up to bounce their ideas off the world. You can upload an impassioned YouTube video, write a short-but-impactful call to action, or fashion visual aids to communicate your idea (this solution shows how wind could power your car). The solutions themselves can address any topic under the sun, and the site separates solutions by category: sustainability, human rights, education, technology and so on.
Nikki Gusz, co-director of the site, said the site’s collaborative problem-solving is important because “when working with others, [users] have the chance to inspire change-making together.” She said users “comment, support and build on the ideas of others,” which “can help improve their ideas and actually make them happen.”
Ostensible “competitors,” like the popular Causes app on Facebook, simply don’t have the same system of group brainstorming found on 10,000 Solutions, Gusz said. “It’s a project-solving platform,” she said. “It ignites the power of collaborative imagination.”
The fact that ASU is offering that $10,000 prize to the best solution also helps.
While bettering the universe is a reward in itself, the university is sponsoring a cash prize to the most polished campaign as chosen by a combination of public interest and a “group of experienced individuals” the site will assemble. The prize can be given to a single entrant, or to a team, such as one from a school or company.
At the moment, quite a few of the solutions posted on the site seem to be from ASU students or residents of the Phoenix area. But the site still has several months to build a user base in time for the contest — the deadline for the first round of submissions is in April.