Project Idea #4: Grab a challenge on Innocentive

Innocentive is like a matchmaker for problems and solvers. If you’re looking to make a difference (or just looking for an interdisciplinary project), the innocentive site ( can provide a ready-made “bug list” of challenges that are looking for creative solutions…and creative solution seekers.

On the landing page, one of the top level menus is “Challenge Center.” Once you’re in the center, you can use various filters and tabs to narrow a search. 

Another bonus — many of the challenges come with solution “rewards.” For instance, a past TSA challenge posted a $15,000 prize. (Hat tip to @LauraFlusche of MODA.) So, a school full of innovators might just find an additional source of income, in addition to doing good work for the good of others.

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I am writing a series of blog posts about project ideas that could happen within a school – projects that could both transform school and, ultimately, transform us beyond school. This is my fourth part in the series. I’d love to know what you think.

More on Project Ideas:

I dream a school…that plays matchmaker between world issues and adolescent energy

Do you know about Innocentive? They match innovation needs with innovation providers – that whole demand and supply thing. In addition to doing great work, they also make a great metaphor for what school could be.

I believe schools could be structured this way.

Adolescent energy, resourcefulness, and desire to engage relevance
Issues of the world

Engaging curriculum that positively influences the world

Imagine the F=ma implications, in a social justice application of Newton’s Law, if a majority of schools employed the collective mass of our students…in integrated studies, project-based learning formats…to make huge dents in world issues. The size of that “additive amoeba” (think collecting broken up play-dough into one mass), could really make a difference. [Yes, I want to embed Kiran Bir Sethi’s TED talk right here, but I’m not gonna do it. Gonna use Jamie Drummond’s instead.]

I dream a school that crowd-sources with myriad other schools to impact the world now. Imagine the power of that!


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