di Betsy Dugas
IBM has opened to the public a new innovative collaboration site with a
is a "place" where real world problems can be proposed as "challenges" and anyone in the world can respond with ideas. Through
the forum, the ideas can be continuously built upon by comments from others.
idea can be connected to other initiatives or information by list of links. Peers
can review and rate the ideas. Then the original group of initiators, or
catalysts, reviews the ideas and potentially adopts them. Even if the catalysts
don't adopt them, anyone can volunteer to help implement the idea.
Almost more interesting that the forum is the second Challenge posted on
the site: "Which
areas of innovation hold the best promise for enabling economic development in
Africa?" . Here the technology of ThinkPlace is being used for
global input on a serious issue, one that is also at the heart of ActNow
Alliance . The input from this "Challenge" will be used for IBM's
international conference "Global Innovation Outlook" (GIO) in June. ("GIO, since its
inception in 2004, has brought together more than 500 leaders from business,
academia, government, venture capital, and NGOs to address pressing needs in
areas as diverse as healthcare, the environment and the future of the
enterprise.") While this Challenge was asking for ideas to be posted by
May 25, it is still open for viewing and commenting. Responses to the Challenge
range from: "How Mobile Telecommunications and Microfinances Eradicate
Poverty" to "Joint Solution Design with Children @ the BOP (bottom
of pyramid)" to "Electricity - a basic need for technological
It is always exciting to see technology at the service of humanity and
ThinkPlace takes international collaboration over the internet to a new level. ThinkPlace
is a sofware application still under development in IBM 's AlphaWorks .
that Initiatives like this second challenge will gain the visibility and
resources needed to make a difference. It will be interesting to see how they
actually evolve and develop.
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