I attended Sicamp this weekend. In their words, "Social Innovation Camp is an experiment in creating social innovations for the digital age.
We think the web and related technologies hold huge potential to
change some pretty fundamental stuff: how people hold those in
positions of power accountable; who they rely on to provide the
services they need to live healthy, happy lives; or how they make a
difference to something that affects them."
The goal was to take 7 back of the envelope ideas and try to turn them into something by focusing the energies of a group of people – coders, designers, marketers, and others – over a weekend. At the end of it, the teams would present to a panel of judges with the winners getting a little cash and, more importantly, recognition. Jemima Kiss from the Guardian covered it here and here.
I chose to work on Useful Visitors: a site that would enable travelers to donate their skills & knowledge for social impact in short increments of time while traveling. It resonated with me because I travel so much and because it had a similar them to some other ideas that I've been brainstorming. We had a large team with lots of disparate talents, lots of ideas, healthy disagreement and, most importantly, lots of energy, and I'm proud to report that we came in second — now the hard part begins!
Thanks to the organizers – Christian Ahlert, Katherine Hui, Anna Maybank, Dan McQuillan and Paul Miller as well as the Young Foundation — for planning the weekend and keeping us fed and watered, and congrats to everyone that participated. It was fun.