Innovation That Matters

Crowdsourcing economic solutions for Ireland

Nonprofit & Social Cause

The wisdom of the crowds has already been put to work to improve product design, provide personal style advice and resolve marital disputes, so why not use it to tackle the economy, too? In Ireland, a new grassroots initiative is aiming to do just that through a campaign to solicit ideas for economic recovery. Launched just a week ago, the Ideas Campaign is asking the citizens of Ireland to propose innovative ideas to boost economic activity in the country across 19 key areas including manufacturing, technology, construction, retail and education. Ideas that will enrich the country through the arts, sports, and volunteer and community activity are being solicited too. Launched by businesswoman Aileen O’Toole, the campaign is an independent and nonpolitical effort funded by O’Toole’s business, AMAS. In addition to contributing practical ideas, visitors to the campaign’s website can also leave messages of support. The campaign will run until 31 March. In April, its coordinators will use the ideas received to deliver an action plan to government with aggressive timelines for execution; an advisory group including senior figures from business, academia, economics and the public sector will participate at that point to ensure that recommendations are both pragmatic and achievable. Within the first 24 hours of the campaign’s launch, more than 450 people had submitted ideas on the site. Within just five days, more than 1,200 proposals had been made—a selection of which are posted on the site. All of which goes to show, of course, that there’s never a shortage of ideas—on virtually any topic—when you ask the crowds. Ask, and you shall receive; don’t ask, and you just might miss out on a winning idea. One to watch! Spotted by: Jonathan Kyle



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