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Ideation Nation Crowdsources Ideas for Improving Communities with Technology

Ideation NationFor the last couple of weeks, a unique project has been crowdsourcing ideas for improving our communities using technology, and giving citizens a chance to be a part of something that could yield innovative and lasting solutions for what ills us.

Thanks to MindMixer and Code for America, Ideation Nation has been holding a month-long effort to solicit informed ideas from everyday citizens that could improve communities and the lives of those who live in them.

“Good, informed ideas are out there. But far too often, those ideas don’t make it to the surface or are drowned out by the volume of usual voices. Until now.”

The project asks people to share their ideas about “how to improve the ways citizens and governments work together”, and since its inception on September 24th, over 300 solutions (from 775 people and 42 US states) have been submitted to the site.

Once ideas are submitted to the site, users can vote for it or submit feedback (comments) on them, with the “most creative, inspirational, unique and highly supported idea” receiving a cash prize and support to develop and execute that solution in the real world. The winning idea will get $5000 of financial support, as well as consultations with experts from Code for America and MindMixer to help guide it along toward its fruition.

It’s inspiring to see a platform that acknowledges that people are the true firsthand experts about the communities they live in, and empowers those who live there to come up with solutions, instead of the usual “from the outside in” approach of having professionals and experts in their fields propose and implement solutions.

You have until October 31st to submit ideas (and to vote and leave comments on ideas) to Ideation Nation. After that date, a judging panel will choose 25 finalists “based on relevance, innovation, and applicability”, and participants will help to select the final overall winner.

Written by Derek Markham

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!

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