TED Conversations

Mariah (McMillian) Bohannon

Social Entrepreneur, MicroAlly

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A liaison service that sends suggestions from the general public to creative problem solvers who can directly provide effective solutions.

Ideas and suggestions are collected from the general public. Because they are the ones living with their issues, they are the ones who know best what they need.

Innovators can then come together to create and deliver solutions that make sense to those potentially affected. These innovators may very well be a part of the affected community.

By working together in hands-on, short-term projects, the innovators can take advantage of self-directed learning through the use of shared life experiences, books, internet research, or training programs.

The leader/liaison relays messages between the public and the innovators to keep project teams focused on their predetermined goals.

The overall goal is to fund as many projects as needed to solve the real world issues faced in communities around the world. Since the public decides what will work for them by funding the projects collectively, naturally they won’t be motivated to buy into what they don’t need. Therefore, success is measured by the number of successfully funded projects and the number of voices heard from the general public.

The outcome is a win-win relationship that allows innovators to earn an honorable income while giving a voice to those without the means to create what they want and need in everyday life.


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  • Jul 27 2012: Sounds a lot like this TED website! The tricky part is the "funding" part. Perhaps some altruistic web advertisers could help...
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      Jul 27 2012: Thanks for replying Andrew. I was hoping that I could create a more personal approach to this project. If it needs to become a commercial entity, then I'm willing to adapt. However, I was thinking more along the lines of having the individual projects crowdfunded by those directly affected. The need for funding should take care of itself.

      My first obstacle, as far as I can see, is collecting the suggestions of the general public and finding out what they really need first. Then I will be able to pull in the necessary problem solvers to develop a solution that the general public will be willing to crowdfund collectively.

      Does that make sense? Thanks for helping me find holes in this idea.

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