The problem: Finding solutions to the complex social issues facing our country today requires unique, collaborative approaches. Too often, however, traditional searches for solutions yield proposals for ideas that are prepared and presented in a vacuum, and can not benefit from the community of thinkers and do-ers that are working to solve social problems.
The proposal: A grant to support three online competitions and associated activities using the online, open source Changemakers solicitation model. The three competitions will focus on intimate partner violence, disruptive innovations in health and health care, and how computer/video games and related technologies can be applied to improve health and health care.
About Changemakers: “Changemakers provides an open source for social solutions,” explains Sushmita Ghosh, who leads Changemakers. Changemakers is a program within Ashoka, a global association of the world's leading social entrepreneurs—men and women with system-changing solutions for the world's most urgent social problems. “With Changemakers, we can link Ashoka's social entrepreneurs with private-sector entrepreneurs to improve and expand existing programs to address complex social issues,” Ghosh explains.
The program has three key dimensions.
The goal: To attract and engage creative and innovative people and ideas to tackle complex health and health care problems.
Why: Changemakers fits within the RWJF strategy to use new methods to attract creative and innovative people and ideas that can help solve complex health and health care problems. The interactive, open source model provides RWJF with a more open, participatory mechanism for finding strong approaches and supporting new methods. “We see it as unique platform to create a marketplace of ideas,” says Chinwe Onyekere, MPH, RWJF program officer. “It is a different way of reaching out to a field to get innovative ideas and being very transparent about how those ideas are reviewed.”