PLAN Institute

BC Ideas – Seeking Innovative Responses to Social Challenges

May 16th, 2012

BC Ideas Enter buttonFor the past year I’ve been part of a group developing BC Ideas – a web based, crowd sourcing platform seeking innovative solutions to some of British Columbia’s tough social and environmental challenges. All ideas welcome. No idea too big or too small!

BC Ideas is also one of the key recommendations of BC’s Council on Social Innovation. Today, May 16th, marks the launch of BC Ideas. I composed the following post as a guest blogger for BC Ideas.

The Social Innovator’s Journey

Then, when he had flown a while longer, Something brightened toward the north,
It caught his eye, they say.
And then he flew right up against it.
He pushed his mind through
And pulled his body after.

These words by Skaay, an oral poet from Haida Gwaii whom many consider British Columbia’s Shakespeare, describe the start of the social innovator’s journey.

Something’s not right. Injustice burns bright. An idea catches your eye. Your imagination takes hold. You push through prevailing wisdom and ‘the way it’s supposed to be.’ With few resources, and no one listening you persist. You answer yes! to the disinterested, the doubters, and disbelievers. You innovate.

You create a solution to a challenge faced by a friend, family member or neighbour. You invent a successful response to a community problem. You improve how we work together. You see a way for your province, your country and your world to be a better place.

You are, in today’s parlance, a social innovator.

The social innovator’s journey begins with a new mindset. A way of thinking that questions the way things are. That asks difficult questions. That has the confidence to make mistakes. That gives the mind as long as possible to come up with something original. That makes links and connections no one thought possible. That breaks an existing logjam or spots a new one.

British Columbia, like every jurisdiction in the world is faced with its fair share of ‘logjams.’ We also benefit from more than our fair share of natural resources.  What we often ignore is our natural creativity – creativity that could be harnessed to address what some commentators call our ‘wicked problems.’

To address this oversight a group of BC activists, including business, government, foundations, universities and community agencies have created BC IdeasBC Ideas is a web-based platform designed to attract innovative ideas, which improve the quality of our lives, reduce vulnerability and increase the resilience of our citizens, families, communities and environment. It’s really a call to passion, imagination and creativity.

We know new ideas are being proposed and explored in our kitchens, coffee shops, classrooms and boardrooms. We know important solutions already exist that could benefit many more. We know great ideas from other parts of the world could be adapted and implemented here.

BC Ideas wants to create opportunities for everyone, young and old, near and far, every organization, every business and every public servant to contribute.

In return you will:
•    Join a community of passionate changemakers
•    Profile your ideas and solutions to collaborators, mentors, investors and funders.

And perhaps most important, have the satisfaction of brightening the future well being of this corner of the Pacific Northwest.

BC Ideas Press Release

Read more
 Download Learning Catalogue  Library  Join our Facebook  Contact us  PLAN E Newsletter