Thursday, 18 April 2013

Change the world in 2 hours: NYC Ideation Party Apr 18, 2013

Ideation Party Sponsored by the Aravind Eye Foundation
It's not too often that you get passionate, dedicated individuals together in the same room: discussing, pondering, and bonding over various ways to make the world a better place. At our ideation party on April 18th sponsored by the Aravind Eye Foundation - we did just that.

Many laughs, ideas, and games into the event, we emerged with interesting ways to grow awareness for social enterprises - both for those with small budgets and those with larger budgets. Our attendees included medical doctors, those involved in non-profit volunteer efforts, and those who try to make a difference everyday. CCS, the fundraising organization, generously provided the location for the Aravind Foundation event.

So how has the Aravind Eye Institute provided 4MM+ eye surgeries, many of them low to no cost? A simple model in which those who can pay subsidize those who cannot. The model has set a precedent for healthcare around the world.

To begin, what was on the menu this ideation party?
In addition to sandwiches and salads, we had creative juices from around the world:
  • Coconut Aloe Juice - "Quite good!"
  • Minute Maid Mango Juicy Pulp - "Interesting floaties"
  • Starfruit Juice - "Weird"
  • I Love Vegi Juice - "Like V8".  Check out the ridiculous ad for this juice here.

We all participated in fun brainstorming exercises through the evening.
We kicked off the session by melding toys to make the world a better place - everything from water gun water purifiers, to nutrition bands for kids. And, then we checked out these cool social enterprises that we used to develop ideas to improve awareness for non-profits/NGOs/social issues: Always know what to expect? Surprise Industries can help. They plan events, excursions, all with an element of the unknown. Add a little of the surprise to your life. I can imagine it would be a fun team building exercise or first date. #activities #adventures How does it feel to be PowerlessCheck out the film at the Tribeca Film Festival. "In Kanpur, India, hundreds of people risk their lives to climb up electricity poles to steal electricity in the face of 15-hour power-cuts that have crippled their livelihoods." #movie #cinema What would you do with $20? Attendee David Kieve asks this question in his venture Spend My Money. Every month he gives $20 to the most interesting and creative idea - with the caveat - you must record the expenditure.  Recent ideas have included giving coffee to the homeless.  #donation #ideas
Experience darkness and blindness with Dialog in the Dark "An unforgettable experience, this new exhibition brings you face-to-face with New York City's landmarks – in complete darkness. That's right - you'll discover a new way to "see" New York by its unique sounds and tastes, textures and temperatures. Where the blind really do lead the blind" #activities #surprise A community space for changing the world Check out the Center for Social Innovation in NYC for cool events, and cool people, all with the same values and vision to make the world a better place 
Like Kiva, but with Social Media Vittana is a site that allows P2P education for developing world. Lend today and give a student in the developing world the education they need to graduate beyond poverty. Also, Jolkona is interesting, allowing micro donations making a macro impact through social media #social #venture Kids can manage diabetes using a friendly soft cuddly face to help with their illness. The Robotic Diabetes Teddy Bear allows kids to learn more about their health, while monitoring diabetes in the meantime. #education #play
Take a ride on the Do Good Bus This is the chariot of charity, gathering interested individuals and taking them to events where they can make a difference. #sustainability #socialenterprise And in our grand finale, we voted for our favorite ideas to spread awareness for the organizations like the Aravind Eye Institute:
  • Winning Idea: Gift Registry for Eye Surgeries
  • Donating to students around the world and going exchange program with their schools
  • Dynamic Facebook Page changes color based on how much support gotten
  • Contest for lenders to meet recipients around the world
  • Subway performers ask for metro cards for donations instead of money
  • Ticker in time square showing metrics like donations
  • Celebrity endorsement
  • Traveling donation pickup
  • "Love is blind" campaign - Need 20:20 by 2020.

So, did we change the world in 2 hours?
  • More people know about the vision of the Aravind Eye Foundation and attendees got many new ideas to apply to their own social interests
  • Attendees said they were inspired to get more involved with social organizations and they got to learn about causes and solutions around the world, from education to healthcare to poverty to sustainability.

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