Hundreds of new ideas for creating a better Bristol (UK) were generated at the launch of new ideas sharing platform, iDeeter.
Business leaders, councillors, mayoral candidates and members of Bristol’s creative industries gathered on Thursday, 21st April, for the ‘mayoral election themed’ event.
The night, hosted on the historic Dutch barge MB Tempora in central Bristol, included a discussion during which guests were invited to share their thoughts on how to tackle four key challenges facing Bristol, related to the environment, housing, congestion and education.
More than 150 ideas were generated and shared by attendees in just 25 minutes of ‘crowdstorming’ on each issue.
Some of the more notable ideas included:
…‘placing solar panels on factory roofs and brownfield sites’ and ‘an app to help people who live or work near each other to car share’ to help the environment;
…‘companies being more flexible with working hours’, ‘the public having more say or control in the local transport plans’ and ‘big bike lock areas on the edge of town so people park and bike’ to help congestion;
…’‘empty’ space mapping in Bristol to make better use of space’, ‘kits for people to build their own homes on unused land’ and ‘making better use of buildings that don’t use their space in the evenings’ to help the housing shortage
…’more focus on strengths rather than grades’, ‘challenges across the city involving children’ and ‘more hands on experience’ to help improve education for all.
iDeeter, the brainchild of Bristol-based business consultant and entrepreneur Niall Jones and designer Warren Cuff, allows anyone, anywhere, to submit challenges which are displayed on the website, with a timer and a set deadline.
Other iDeeter users are invited to suggest ideas (to ‘iDeet) before the time runs out so that instead of an automated algorithm returning results like most web search engine, a ‘human crowd’ responds.
These responses or ‘iDeets’, which must be no longer than 160 characters, can then be ‘liked’ or given a gold star (loved) by other users.
iDeeter aims to bring people together from all over the world to foster and harness ideas to develop creative and effective solutions to local and global issues.
Founder Niall describes iDeeter as a blend of online search and social media – a ‘human powered Google’ or ‘Twitter for ideas’, bringing a human touch back in to the answers to our more human searches for answers online.
The ideas from the launch night’s challenges are open and available to anyone to contribute and will remain active until 15th May.
After attending the launch, Simon Douglas, entrepreneur, in residence at Cisco and Virgin Startup mentor said: “It was great fun and really demonstrated the power of such a platform.”
Simon George, sales director at Budweiser Budvar UK, who generously provided free beers for the night, commented, “We were delighted to be involved in iDeeter’s launch night – it’s a really neat, cool concept and we wish them well as they explode online – Na Zdraví!”
Niall Jones, CEO at iDeeter, said: “We hope the ideas generated tonight can add value to the debate around some of the challenges facing Bristol.”
“It was also a great demonstration of how with the right structure, focus and encouragement, people can think really creatively and quickly come up with great ideas that can benefit everyone. Just think what might be possible in a larger crowd of 50,000 or with even 50 million iDeeter challenge participants online!”
iDeeter has ambitious plans to build a large online community of ‘iDeeters’ who collaborate and share ideas around all kind of problems and challenges, including running many more social impact events and challenges like last nights in Bristol.
In parallel to the current ‘Better Bristol’ campaign iDeeter announced their ‘What’s the Big Idea’ campaign (an online ‘X Factor for Ideas’) running for the rest of 2016 and invited expressions of interest in sponsoring these or other potential iDeeter campaigns such as using the crowd to help people who are facing some kind of intricate, complex challenges in their life and for whom the existing ‘non-human search engines’ aren’t really much help.
iDeeter also announced the launch of their ‘RIT: rapid insights tool’ commercial version of the platform that is available now on a free trial basis for a limited time and for which they are actively seeking clients and partners.