Idea File: Start a job search support group

Neighbors band together to support one another through periods of unemployment.

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Would a job search support group help you? (Photo Credit: Katerha, Creative Commons/Flickr)

The idea

Feeling down and out after searching (and searching, and searching…) for a job? Why not get together with neighbors or friends for constructive dialogue, fresh ideas, and renewed energy?

In my small hometown in Maryland, a group is doing just that. Karla*, a consultant in search of a full-time job, began meeting twice a month with her husband and two neighbors, all Boomers who had been laid off within the last few years. They call themselves the Dream Academy. In Karla’s words, “We are only four people yet have a surprisingly different set of needs,” so their conversations ranged from compassionate pep talks for the most depressed member of the group to more specific negotiation advice for another member who was fairly far along in an interview process.

Why we’re adding it to the Idea File

This idea is cheap, easy to replicate, and needed. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “the length of time the jobless spend searching for work before finding a job increased from 5.2 to 10.4 weeks between 2007 and 2010, edging down to 10.0 in 2011.” Ten weeks is about how long our former coworker Diana spent searching for her new job in Boston, but we know that not everyone is so lucky. Diana received tons of emails and comments from readers, some of whom have been out of work for years. I wonder what would happen if those readers began checking in regularly, encouraging one another and sharing resources.

“I think any time a community of even a small number forms around an issue or a cause or a concern, everybody in that community gains something,” says Karla. “Conversations we have with ourselves only keep us stuck; conversations stay alive when you share them with other people. The conversation around ‘how can I find a job in this economy when I’m over 50?’ is not a very empowering one, especially when you only have it with yourself and there’s a lot of reinforcement for it in the media. It really helps to surround yourself with people who believe in you and believe you have something outstanding to offer. Which, of course, we all do.”

How you can replicate it

  • Find people to meet with. For the Dream Academy, four members was a good size. “It enabled us to have a very substantive conversation about each member’s needs while still only taking about an hour – which was what each of us felt we could spare. Sticking close to an hour makes it feel like an opportunity rather than an imposition,” says Karla.
  • Keep it low-maintenance. What time and day is best? Will folks need to figure out childcare? Searching for a job is taxing enough; make it as easy as possible for your fellow job seekers to participate.
  • Consider group dynamics. Are you going to “require” that people attend meetings, or will the group be flexible? Will you set one scheduled meeting time per week or month, and if not, should one person take the lead on scheduling? Will you take turns being the time keeper to make sure everyone has a chance to talk about what’s going well and what’s getting them down?
  • Find a space. Is there a room at a public library? Will people be more comfortable speaking freely inside someone’s home? If you sit at a coffee shop, will everyone feel pressured to spend money on drinks?
  • Stay open-minded and celebrate successes. Though the Maryland group named themselves the Dream Academy, one member, Joe, came to the group feeling anything but dreamy. “He was very down about his prospects,” says Karla. “He’d lost his job as a teacher with the school system and was about to go for what he was viewing as a dead-end ‘informational’ interview with a principal at a nearby high school. We all urged him to go into this meeting with a much more open mind about what might happen.” The next day, Joe called to say he’d gotten a long-term job as a substitute teacher, with the possibility of a promotion to full-time. This was wonderful news for Joe and it also boosted morale among the whole group.

I look forward to hearing how things progress for the members of the Dream Academy and for the group as a whole. Once they’re all employed, maybe they’ll continue to meet to offer one another informal coaching and mentorship (like the group Trista Harris describes in this post). Or maybe they’ll stop meeting but give each other an extra wink when they run into each other in the neighborhood and ask, “How’s work these days?”

What do you think?

We’d love to hear your experiences.  Have you tried something like this? Do you have additional tips to offer?


*Names have been changed. Special thanks to the “Dream Academy” of Prince George’s County, MD, for their help with this post.

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Idea File: Pitch your idea at a "Sunday Soup" potluck

Today’s idea funding model

The idea

Food + creativity = community. That’s the concept behind Sunday Soup, a micro-granting model that brings together those with a taste for innovative ideas and the people who want to help fund them.

Here’s how it works: a local group organizes an affordable meal. People pitch their ideas for a creative project during the course of the gathering, with attendees voting on who to give the proceeds of the meal to. Think Kickstarter, but offline and with good grub.

So far, the network has collectively granted almost $60,000 to initiatives around the world such as an art project that transforms abandoned signs in Albuquerque, NM; a documentary featuring children’s thoughts on the political situation in Egypt; bike taxis in Toledo, OH; and more.

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Photo of Detroit SOUP event by Vanessa Miller.

Why we’re adding it to the Idea File

  • Cheap and easy. While it’s the meal that brings people together, the idea is that it should be low-cost, like soup.
  • Circumvents bureaucracy. The people who decide which idea will benefit your community are the ones you pass in the street everyday – not foundation officers whom you might never meet.
  • Increases supporters. Don’t lose, schmooze. Even if your project doesn’t win the cash, it’s a great opportunity to make contacts – maybe even an employer or new flame. And, Amy adds, getting your project funded from a Soup event also gives you a leg up when applying for funding elsewhere.
  • Awesomeness awareness. There are probably a gazillion good ideas waiting to be discovered where you live; why not get them all out in the open?
  • Adaptable in many contexts. The model is flexible and Sunday Soup encourages you to adapt it, taking regional and cultural quirks into account.

How you can replicate it

First, see if one already exists where you live. If not, and the 63 groups from the U.S. to South Korea to Ukraine have whet your appetite, check out Sunday Soup’s tips for getting started.

We also reached out to the folks at Detroit SOUP, who’ve helped other SOUPS in Michigan and across the U.S. get up and running, to hear their tips on how to make your group a success.

Here’s what Lead Coordinator Amy Kaherl had to say:

  1. Don’t restrict the types of projects. Allow everyone from business entrepreneurs to artists to activists to pitch their ideas to keep the discussions and voting process interesting. Here are the Detroit project proposal guidelines.
  2. Know what’s affordable and what’s not. Detroit SOUP, for example, charges $5 per plate so as to include as many community members as possible.
  3. Ask for help. Local restaurants, gardens, farms, and friends might be happy to donate food.
  4. Proposals first, dinner second. People are more likely to converse and exchange ideas when there is a point of connection.
  5. Stay informed and curious. Listen to the community’s needs, and cultivate an environment where people are encouraged to ask questions.

“Don’t be afraid to fail either with the dinner or with the projects,” Amy finally says. “When things break down, we all learn from one another about what to do and not to do.”

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If you’re inspired to bring Sunday Soup to your community, feel free to email Amy for more advice: detroit.soup@gmail.com.

Do you know of other projects that are fun and potentially replicable? If you’d like us to consider posting it as part of this series, leave a comment below or email celeste [at] idealist [dot] org.

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Inspired by a good idea recently? Tell us about it.

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Girls Rock Camp is one of the awesome, replicable ideas we’ve profiled. I can’t wait until Hattie performs with them someday. (Photo via Flickr user emilyaugust)

In the beginning of November I gave birth to my daughter Hattie. For the past three months, I’ve been knee deep in miniature clothing, parenting blogs, and really, really bad TV that helps me get through those long nights.

Now I’m back at Idealist. And while I miss talking in a high-pitched voice on a daily basis, I’m excited to again have adult conversations, think about social innovation, and revive the Idea File.

From our first Idea File post in April 2010:

At Idealist, we believe the world is full of good ideas that don’t spread quickly enough. The Idea File is a new feature where we’ll give quick glimpses of ideas that seem fun, powerful, and potentially replicable — plus some things you might want to consider if you decide to take on a similar project.

I’ve missed you, dear Idealists, and all of your good ideas that make this world we live in better. After all, it’s ideas like Question Box and Failfaire and Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls that will impact Hattie as she grows up.

So tell me: What ideas of late have inspired you to Facebook, tweet, pin to Pinterest, tell everyone you know about them, and more? We’d love to help spread them on our blog.

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Idea File: "Doctor, it says on the internet…"

Forget wasting hours in a doctor’s waiting room, surrounded by sneezes and bad music. Managing your health might now be a simple click away.

I’m six months pregnant. Throughout the whole pregnancy, I’ve raced to my computer at the slightest inclination of anything amiss: a stomach cramp here, back pain there, suspicion that my liver is about to shift up under my chest. Lately I find I preface every sentence to my doctor with, “It says on the internet…”

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According to economics professor Alan B. Krueger, Americans age 15 and up spent a collective 847 million hours waiting for medical services in 2007. Photo via clevercupcakes (Flickr/Creative Commons).

Health and technology are increasingly intersecting, sometimes with mixed results. But there’s a reason why WebMD is popular: it’s easy to find information, costs nothing, and you don’t have to wait for it to call you back.

Here are some sites that are taking cues from what’s already out there to make sure your dose of information is relevant, timely, and won’t make you sick with worry:

1. PatientsLikeMe

People with every condition you can think of—from phobias to disorders to cancers—share their experiences here. Their stories are translated into real-time charts and graphs, and an easy search lets you browse by symptoms, treatments, and profiles that match yours. The idea is that laying your health issues out there for everyone to see can be therapeutic for you and useful for others.

Ultimately, the folks behind PatientsLikeMe hope this open source way of sharing knowledge can change the way medicine is done and delivered. And the best part? You don’t need insurance to take advantage of the knowledge shared here.

Considerations and caveats: If you’re not comfortable with broadcasting your health issues to the world, then this might not be for you. Also, there’s not much gender balance yet: 73.2% of the PatientsLikeMe community are female.

2. Hello Health

Say goodbye to unreturned calls from your doctor and hello to 24 hour access. Hello Health seeks to make communicating with your physician easy, efficient, and fast: you can use it to schedule appointments, check lab results, renew prescriptions, and get this, video chat with your provider.

It costs $120 per year to join, but think about how low your blood pressure will be when you don’t have to wait on hold or sit around reading gossip magazines anymore.

Considerations and caveats: For doctors, increased access has the potential to be overwhelming; managing expectations is a must. Patients who aren’t internet savvy or have limited to no access are also at a disadvantage.

3. Sickweather

Just as your local weatherman tells you when the next storm is coming through, this site alerts you when the next sickness is advancing in your area – minus the corny jokes. Scanning social networks and public sources, Sickweather lets you know which neighborhoods, restaurants, and more to avoid when the forecast calls for germs. It’s an interesting way to keep up with health trends all in one place.

Currently in beta, Sickweather is now accepting testers. But keep an eye on this site; in the space where health and technology meet, it just may be prove to be a barometer of success.

Considerations and caveats: Hypochondriacs should probably forget what they just read.

I’m curious what you think. Would you use these sites to manage your health? Why or why not?

Other Idea File posts you might enjoy:

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Idea File: No internet? Just call Question Box

A stripped down version of the internet (read: no Facebook or YouTube) is now available in some developing areas.

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What causes rotting of cassava roots? Why are my tomato leaves turning white? Can a mother with HIV pass it on to her baby? How can we control soil erosion in our village?

These questions and more can now be easily answered in Uganda through Question Box, a project of the nonprofit Open Mind that aims to make Internet access in developing countries as common as soccer.

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In Pune, the team recently created a Question Box with solar panels. They're also about to launch a box that can reach multiple information lines (e.g. the hospital, government, etc.). Photo via blogger Paul Smith (bitter wallet).

Here’s how it works: the curious call a given number. At the receiving end, operators search online and answer the caller’s question in one of Uganda’s 14 national languages or regional dialects. If the internet or power is out, operators can browse an offline repository of local knowledge to pass on the needed information.

In Pune, India where Question Box is currently being piloted, this idea of a box is taken in the most literal sense. All locals need to do is push a green button on a metal box hanging somewhere in the streets, and are connected to an operator faster than you can say namaste.

Both the Indian and Uganda models are all about ease: “Any solution must require the person to take no more than one step from what they already know.”

Why we’re adding it to the Idea File

  • Circumvents the limitations of the web. If you’re like me and speak one of the top ten languages on the internet, then you probably take for granted that we have access to an incredible wealth of information with just one click. But the world has 1,000+ languages, and Google is available in “nearly 40″ of them.
  • Gives most everyone access. Reaches people on the margins: the illiterate, women who are excluded from communication, the visually impaired, and those who are too poor to even have a mobile phone.
  • Provides employment. Operators have the opportunity to use their language skills, and make some money while they’re at it.
  • Utilizes local knowledge. In many villages, knowledge is passed down from generation to generation, or neighbor to neighbor. Question Box not only places values on its importance, but helps capture it for future use.

How you can replicate it

Luckily for you, the folks at Question Box want you to take their idea and run with it. Here’s how:

  • Organizations, government or companies: If you want to set up your own, on their website right now is a friendly invitation for you to partner with them. They’ll adapt the hotline to your needs, and help you get it going.
  • Community organizations: Indigo Trust recently gave Question Box a grant to complete development of Open Question, an initiative that combines open source tools and how-to manuals so that anyone anywhere can set a hotline up themselves. They’re currently looking for testers.

Could you see Question Box working in your community or another you’ve adopted? Why or why not?

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Idea File: Three creative ways to address homelessness

Georgetown University and Ogilvy recently released a study about which causes Americans care about the most. Not surprisingly, unemployment/low wages are number one. But homelessness isn’t too far behind.

The other day while browsing my favorite entrepreneurship-focused site, Springwise, I came across three innovations that seemed like they could be replicated beyond their pilot cities and have a positive impact elsewhere:

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In the U.S. alone, as many as 3.5 million people make benches and streets their home in a given year.

1. Homeless-led city tours

Sock Mob’s Unseen Tours of London employs homeless guides to show you the nooks and crannies you might not ordinarily explore. Along with British history, the guides interweave their own stories and experiences from the area – surely making the tour less yawn-worthy. At the end, you can go to a pub or cafe and chat more.

Most of the profits go to the guides, and eventually Sock Mob hopes to turn all of the leadership over to them, too.

A thought: Consider letting the guides choose where to go at the end of the tour, as they may be recovering from substance dependence issues.

2. Green gym + job generator = healthier Detroit?

Recognizing that good health is just as important as a good meal, Cass Community Social Services in Detroit erected a gym in an old warehouse where homeless people can work out. The equipment ranges from treadmills to boxing bags – not to mention stationary bikes that generate electricity.

It’s the first of its kind in the U.S. And not only does the gym raise environmental awareness, but it helps create jobs. Clients pull their weight by rescuing illegally dumped tires, for example, and making mud mats out of them.

A thought: Gyms don’t exist in a vacuum. There’s a whole exercise panorama to consider, from workout clothes to appropriate food to medical care for potential injuries.

3. Refashioned parking meters that collect donations

When parking meters are ready for retirement, what happens? Usually, they find their way to antique shops, are sold on eBay or, sometimes, are turned into bike racks. But here’s an interesting idea: piggy banks to raise money to end homelessness. Last fall the city of Montreal teamed up with a local magazine to park 70 colorful ParcoDons, or meters, around one neighborhood. Local celebrities also helped by jazzing up the change collectors. The hope is to raise $40,000 over the next three years.

It’s a win-win situation: meters get a second life, and loose coins go to a good cause.

A thought: What if people who are homeless could participate in each step of the project? Celebrities are a great way to raise the profile, but is there a way to involve others in the painting and installation of the meters?

What do you think?

Are these innovations helping the cause? Do you have more examples of successful projects where you live?

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Idea File: Geezer Gallery paints new picture of ‘old’

Artists who happen to be age 60+ make money and feel good at a gallery just for them.

The idea
Frank Springer is a retired vice cop who lives alone. Every day he goes down to his basement kiln and creates plates made from colored fused glass. It provides a sense of purpose and helps him get up in the morning. He’s 99 years old.

His work is exhibited in the Geezer Gallery in Portland, OR, a space exclusively dedicated to senior-created professional art. You won’t find any macaroni designs here – everything from bronze sculptures to jewelry to acrylic paintings and pastels is on display and for sale. The artwork also appears in retirement communities and businesses around town, and owner Amy Henderson has also started bringing art programs to homebound and low-income seniors.

“Big Bang Theory” by Harriet Levi. “I am always growing and changing as an artist and as a person. Stagnation kills the soul,” she says.

Why “geezers”? Henderson frames it this way: it’s all about showing seniors like Frank that the aging process is full of creative possibilities and not to be feared. The gallery also helps combat ageist stereotypes.

“I love when younger people come in and go ‘Oh my gosh, I was expecting ducks and doilies,’” she says. “They’re starting to challenge in their own minds the paradigm we put forth about aging and the reality of it.”

Intentions to action

Henderson specifically recalls three experiences that helped her move from an abstract image in her mind to concrete paintings on the walls:

  1. A survivor of domestic abuse, Henderson started to see the striking parallels between the messages sent to the older population—that they’re worthless, a burden, and have no purpose—and domestic abuse victims after visiting a 96-year-old family friend in a nursing home.
  2. Every year Nike works with a handful of terminally ill children at a Portland hospital to design tennis shoes, which are then sold regionally. Henderson was struck by the tremendous positive impact the project had on the kids emotionally, physically, and mentally. If creativity and entrepreneurship could be so powerful at one end of the life course, why not the other?
  3. At a low-income housing project she visited one day, Henderson was incredulous at all the amazing artwork decorating the walls. Turns out it was all found in homes after elderly residents had passed away: yet another instance that showed that older adults aren’t just sipping on prune juice all day long.

After the idea was seeded, Henderson went to a local college and devoted her studies to developing a savvy business plan. A few years later, armed with a Master’s degree in gerontology, she collaborated with local nonprofits such as Loaves and Fishes and Elders in Action to bring the gallery to life.

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“Night Club Argument” by Martin Anderson. ““I have done art my whole life and becoming a senior doesn’t change that,” he says.

Replicability factor
The gallery isn’t without its challenges. Funding is a huge one, as is educating the public about just how beneficial art therapy is for seniors. Getting the word out about the space can be difficult as well.

Despite the challenges, the gallery has been a success in Portland so far. Henderson would love nothing more than to see geezer art wowing people everywhere. If you think you might want to try something like this where you live, here’s her advice to get started:

  • Float the idea to your community first. Who’s going to be supportive? What’s going to be a challenge?
  • Have a business plan. Foundations especially want to see this if they’re going to dole out cash.
  • Create a board. It’ll give your nonprofit street cred, not to mention potential avenues of funding.

Henderson is also willing to be a consultant. “We’ve done the legwork, we know the pitfalls,” she says. “We could really assist someone with this model. It would be easy to replicate somewhere else.”

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If you’re in the Portland area, the Geezer Gallery is currently looking for social media and administrative volunteers. They’re also seeking board members. Not in Oregon? Check out the 400+ volunteer opportunities listed on Idealist related to seniors and art.

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Idea File: Honey Bee Network spreads rich ideas of India's poor

A network in India that finds and supports grassroots innovators

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The Honey Bee Network and the National Innovation Foundation have helped to generate over 200 patents to date. Photo by cygnus921 (Flickr/Creative Commons).

Next month, Professor Anil Gupta will set out on foot in rural India with a team of scientists, villagers, students, and more. During the course of the week they will walk up to 11 miles daily with one goal in mind: to discover “barefoot inventors” that swarm the country but go unnoticed.

The bi-annual walk, called the shodh yatra, is what keeps the Honey Bee Network abuzz. Since Gupta started the network over 20 years ago, the informal group has been focused on finding and spreading the rich ideas of India’s economically poor. “The minds on the margin are not marginal minds,” says Gupta.

But it’s not just about going to the countryside and saying “namaste.” With the support of the National Innovation Foundation, the network helps these unsung innovators scale their inventions as well as connects them to other villagers who could benefit. That’s where the honey bee metaphor comes in – Gupta aims to cross-pollinate ideas just as honey bees share nectar from flower to flower.

So far, 150,000+ inventions have been brought to light. A few even made cameos in the blockbuster Bollywood film, 3 Idiots. No wonder, as the sheer ingenuity of some of these contraptions will leave your mouth gaping in amazement.

Here are three that make me want to hop on a plane and go to India right now:

  • Amphibious bike. Needing a way to get to safety when his village was swamped with floods three decades ago, Mohammed Saiddullah created a bike that rides through water. I’m sure there are some laws of nature being defied here.
  • Mini washing machine. The most well-publicized idea, Remya Jose’s pedal-powered clothes washer saves time and electricity – not to mention seems like it burns serious calories.
  • Tree climbing apparatus. Wanting to quickly collect coconuts, Appachan created a device that allows him to scurry up the tree safely and in no time. He’s now known as the local Spiderman.

Besides India, the Honey Bee network has sweetened its impact in China, and is emerging in Brazil and South Africa. Could your country be next?

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Idea File: Creative marketing? Think inside the (pizza) box.

Today’s idea sharing model

As a native New Yorker, loving pizza is part of my cultural DNA. Besides the delicious combination of cheese, sauce, and bread, it’s the only food that makes me think about both Sunday family dinners and late night grease-fests with friends.

And now I can add idea sharing to that list thanks to Lonesome’s, a pizza place in my new home of Portland, OR. With every pie I order, I’m guaranteed to find on the inside cover a story about a local artist – plus their CD or DVD. While chomping on a slice recently, I read about a funk band that was in the process of opening up a music charter school in Portland.

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The names of their pies make me giggle. I recommend “My dad vs. your dad.” Photo credit: Heather Zinger (www.heatherzinger.com).

I’ve ordered from Lonesome’s before, but it was this bit about the charter school that made me think about using pizza boxes to  get the word out about nonprofit programs, raise awareness around a particular issue, and/or highlight good ideas.

This idea doesn’t have to be limited to pizza. If you own a business or know someone who does, think creatively about how you can use your products or services to get the word out about all the awesome community work going on. Letting people know about an innovative bartering schoolis a much nicer use of space than, say, promoting the latest flavor of Mountain Dew.

Pros

  • Novelty. Create buzz for both the project and the pizza place.
  • Cost effective. All you need is photocopies, glue, and someone to spend the time attaching materials.
  • Community engagement. Local businesses + local efforts = a win-win connection.
  • Universality. Who doesn’t like pizza? According to Food Industry News, 93% of Americans eat pizza at least once a month. Maybe that number will increase once there’s some local do-gooderness in the box.

Cons

  • Buy in. Nonprofits might think it’s too weird, and navigating the bureaucracy of big chains might be challenging. Local mom and pop restaurants are probably the best bet.
  • Adding to the marketing clutter. More paper that might end up in the recycling bin.
  • Disinterest. “Please, I just want to eat my pizza in peace.”

What do you think – might delivery boxes be another way to communicate with your community? What’s the most creative partnership you’ve seen a local business strike with a local organization?

Read more Idea File posts here.

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Idea File: Mapping Kibera and other slums

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Kibera photo by khym54 (Flickr/Creative Commons)

Today’s idea: Map Kibera

For many of us, all it takes is a few clicks to find out what’s nearby. The first thing I do when I’m restaurant hunting, for example, is go to Google Maps. Same goes for when I’m traveling.

But there are still areas that literally aren’t on the map. Nairobi’s slum Kibera, for example, was displayed as a forest on official documents until late 2009 when a group of volunteers set out to change this. Realizing the tremendous value a simple map could have for this city within a city, the group trained Kenyan youth in GPS and data editing. The result was an ever-evolving digital map that displays all of the community’s resources – hospitals, schools, food kiosks, gas pumps, Internet cafes, and more.

Why we’re adding it to the Idea File

  • Community empowerment. The tool taps into one of our basic human needs: recognition. Instead of focusing on a lack, why not create a map that highlights existing assets?
  • Practical resource. The map increases residents’ knowledge of the area, thereby increasing access to resources.
  • Stake in own development. While the initial idea was from non-Kenyans, it was the local youth who implemented the project. From the process they learned concrete technical skills and built a sense of ownership.
  • Open technology. The platform accounts for rapid changes; anyone can go in and update the map.

How you can replicate it

First, see if the need for a digital map exists. If it does, participants can identify starting reference points, such as existing paper maps or firsthand knowledge. A clear view from space using Google MapMaker also helps.

You’ll need a lot of people to capture all the resources. Reach out to community members via traditional word of mouth, or through social networking sites such as Facebook. Once you have the information, a good tool to use is OpenStreetMap. For easy editing, MapQuest is surprisingly complementary.

Throughout the process, engage residents in its creation and provide opportunities for learning. Let the community take ownership; if you’re an outsider, they, not you, should be in charge of the map’s maintenance.

Caveats and considerations

Because creating the map ideally involves a lot of people, the potential for mistakes can be huge. But if it’s a peer reviewed process, where people are constantly checking to make sure the data is correct, then the mistakes can be lessened.

Once the map is completed, it can be a challenge to make the up-to-date version accessible for those who don’t have access to the Internet, or whose knowledge is sparse. One possible option might be to put an editable version of the map on residents’ mobile phones.

What else can you do after the map has been filled in? There are plenty of initiatives to glean lessons and inspiration from: Ladies Mapping Party, Ushahidi, Groundcrew, GeoCommons, Crowdmap, Managing News, and DC Foodshed just to name a few. Any others come to mind?

Written with the help of Scott Stadum, User Engagement Analyst for the Sunlight Foundation.

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