Friday, March 12, 2010

Coming to a shower near you: The Minnesota Idea Open!

The Minnesota Idea Open is coming . . . and I am amped to be an evaluator for Challenge I proposals! Led by Minnesota Community Foundation and its partners, Ashoka Changemakers, Citizens League, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Minnesota Public Radio, the Minnesota Idea Open is a collaborative initiative bringing together all Minnesotans for one purpose: to solve critical issues facing our state. Check out the cross-posting below to learn more about Challenge I, how you can submit or support ideas, and some of the best reasons why you should take your idea out of the shower and into the Open!

What is Minnesota Idea Open?

Have you ever had one of those light-bulb moments when you solved world peace – while taking a shower?

Okay, maybe you didn’t solve world peace but you came up with a really good idea to solve a really important issue. When you have that moment, do you also think: Gee, too bad no one but my bar of soap will ever hear my idea?

Now someone will.

At, you will be able to share ideas, view ideas, discuss ideas and vote for your favorite ones.

Get your best thinking out of the shower and into the Open. You could receive $500 and see your idea become a reality.

What is Challenge I?

Ideas for Addressing Obesity

How could your community use $15,000 to help people eat smart and be active?

Obesity has become a household word across America as more attention is paid to what we eat, how we deliver health care and how we maintain active lifestyles. However, the word "obesity" does not begin to tell the story of the complex world that has led us to increasing rates of overweight Americans, spiraling health care costs associated with the problem, and the struggle of real people battling to achieve a healthy weight.

Figuring out together how we better support families to maintain healthier lifestyles and instill lifelong healthy habits in children is an important investment with significant long-term dividends.

Rather than search for a silver bullet, we aim to seek out innovative ideas that can tackle a piece of the problem in our own communities.

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Participate in the MN Idea Open

10. For years, you have been sitting on the mother lode of good ideas but did not know how to share them. Now you do.

9. You can submit your idea while at work. (We won't tell your boss.)

8. You can redeem yourself with just one good idea that cancels out the not-so-good ones, like painting yourself Vikings purple. (You’re still a shade of lavender.)

7. Your grandmother posted her idea and Tweeted about it. Now all your friends are following @GrandmaGuru.

6. You are tired of debating issues with yourself. Now you have a soapbox and an audience.

5. The increase in daylight and temperatures has invigorated you. You’re primed to solve the world’s problems. In shorts.

4. Your mother has been telling you for years to be part of the solution, not the problem. Darn it. She was right.

3. The entire state is listening.

2. Peer pressure. Everyone is doing it.

1. You need something to fill the coming Oprah void.

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