NEWS15 March 2016

"Delivering ideas can be like passing a bubble down a corridor of razor blades"

Charities Innovations Middle East and Africa News UK

UK — At a session at the MRS annual conference, Impact 2016, Guy White of Catalyx and Tarun Sarwal of the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) talked about how crowdsourced research drove innovation for conflict and disaster relief.

The session, on using insight as a force for good, presented a number of case studies of research being used to drive social change. 

White and Tarwal discussed their work on Red Innovation, the ICRC’s new crowdsourcing innovation platform. White explained how a disconnect between the ICRC’s staff in headquarters and in the field meant that getting ideas from the originator to the decision maker "can be like getting a bubble down a corridor of razor blades". 

Given that the speed of response to crises is vital, the ICRC needed to change the way it innovated to aid victims of disaster and conflict. The platform was therefore set up to focus on three stages: needs, ideas, and prototypes, and was used to crowdsource ideas.

The open nature of the process meant that organisations such as CERN got involved and ran their own independent projects, including, among other things, looking at better ways to deliver aid packages (food drops) to those in need. 

1 Comment

4 years ago

Making All Voices Count also reached out to the crowd to find solutions to the disconnect between citizens in government which was a monumental challenge, but their challenge model was to also ask the idea submitter to also be the team that delivered the solution. They offered prize money for them to build their own business and this helped to make sure that the solution would actually be built by people who were passionate about it: https://ideascale.com/resource/2015-innovation-award-making-all-voices-count/

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