Accelerate seeks to transform interest in climate change and positive intent into meaningful impact through challenges, events, education, design thinking boot camps, digital experiences, and collaborative technology dedicated to supporting sustainability efforts. Through all of these linked actions, OpenIDEO will offer coaching in design thinking and enable collaboration to support innovation.
OpenIDEO plans to host at least ten open innovation challenges related to sustainability over the next three years. These challenges will vary by topic, ranging from issues like sustainable food systems and water management to carbon neutral cities. Challenge goals will also vary, from raising awareness and sparking discussion to matching new initiatives with funding or scaling existing efforts. OpenIDEO will bring its online platform, existing community, and design expertise to manage these challenges and integrate design thinking into the participants work and broader networks. Design thinking training, toolkits, workshops, and dedicated support will be available for innovative individuals and organizations. Online challenges will support innovators in developing their ideas, building collaborations, and finding financial support. A digital platform will help connect skilled volunteers and mentors with meaningful projects, as well as enable people to share inspiring stories. Companies and organizations signing on as Accelerate partners and sponsors will help frame, promote, evaluate, and support these challenges.
Accelerate will continue for three years and include at least ten challenges. The program will launch in Fall 2015 with a first challenge supported by over 20 events, which will include workshops, meetups, and other in-person and online opportunities for engagement. Accelerate will also launch a website dedicated to enabling collaboration among innovators working to address todays largest sustainability challenges.
During the first half of 2016, Accelerate will launch its second challenge and associated events, continue building a community of sustainable innovators, and add more collaborative features and educational content to the Accelerate website. The eight additional challenges and their associated events will occur every quarter or on a semi-annual basis until at least Fall 2018, with progress tracked through internal methods including user interviews and online tracking. The dedicated website and networks developed in the ten challenges will be maintained and contributed to by OpenIDEO on an ongoing basis.
For Accelerate challenge sponsors, OpenIDEO will first vet sustainability goals for alignment with Accelerate, then structure challenge strategies in line with sponsors goals to maximize impact. OpenIDEO will also facilitate workshops, provide regular reports, host weekly conference calls, and provide curated summaries of challenge activities for sponsors, as well as challenge promotion, project management, and community management.
OpenIDEO is seeking sponsorship and program design input for individual challenges from foundations, companies, and government entities looking to catalyze new innovation, find new organizations to support, spark conversation, and raise awareness. The cost of sponsoring individual challenges will vary on a case-by-case basis. OpenIDEOs recent Renewable Energy Challenge brought over 1,000 active participants with over 15,000 challenge visitors, and more than 500 people participated in 27 offline events supporting the challenge. In addition, through outreach, marketing, and media support, this challenge also reached four million people. Accelerate challenges and events are expected to recruit more participation than previous challenges, as OpenIDEO will be building longer-term partnerships and presence within the sustainability space. Thus, OpenIDEO expects ten challenges over three years to recruit over 25,000 online participants, 20,600 attendees of offline events, and have the potential to reach up to 70 million people.
Accelerate will provide opportunities for organizations interested in supporting sustainable innovation to sponsor specific design challenges, events, educational programs, and digital experiences. Accelerate will provide a platform for partners to promote sustainable innovation in their own ways, working with the experts at OpenIDEO.