Yesteryear, I wrote a little piece about a cool challenge. OpenIDEO, the online collaboration platform, posed a question to its audience of big thinkers: How might communities lead the rapid transition to renewable energy? During the five-week research phase, people posted insights about things like printable solar cells, successful green electricity cooperatives, and refugee camps as renewable energy laboratories.
Now, the collaboration has entered phase two: ideas. Participants have already cooked up peer-to-peer markets for distributed electricity, a collection program for used cooking oil, and a training on how to turn waste materials into biodiesel. The ideas part of the challenge ends Sunday, after which the internet community crowdsources feedback, refines a short list of proposals, and eventually settles on just a few “top ideas,” which will be connected to a wealth of knowledge — and potentially a wealth of wealth, if funders dig the concepts.