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The Minnesota Idea Open is a fun and engaging way for Minnesotans to learn about critical issues facing the state, work together on new solutions and be inspired to act.
Through the Idea Open website, Minnesotans are invited to share their ideas to solve an issue, from obesity to water stewardship, and cast their vote for the winning idea. The Idea Open hosts at least one marquee Challenge annually. Each idea Challenge functions like a public education campaign, inspiring conversation and thinking in classrooms, coffee shops and dinner tables. The Idea Open’s ultimate objective is to shift mindsets from talking about problems to finding solutions.
Launched in March 2010, the first Idea Open Challenge asked for ideas on how more Minnesotans could eat smart and be active to address rising obesity rates in the state. Challenge II addressed water issues in Minnesota, and Challenge III focused on interfaith and intercultural issues in Minnesota. Ideas from all Challenges can be viewed at MNIdeaOpen.org. A fourth Challenge, Forever Saint Paul, asks, "What would you do with $1 million to make Saint Paul great?" Entries will be accepted through April 3, 2013.
Inspired by several trends, including the Case Foundation’s Make It Your Own Awards and the X Prize Foundation, Minnesota Community Foundation saw an opportunity to put these trends to work for Minnesota and created the Idea Open. All efforts were made possible with a generous grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Idea Open teamed up with Ashoka's Changemakers, experts in running large, international competitions, to develop a state-of-the art website for Minnesota. Each Challenge is developed and administered with scores of local partners.
Christine Tubbs, Kids Lead the Way