Inspiring content from across OpenIDEO & IDEO's other work

Connecting Communities Challenge: Concepting Tips


This scenario was inspired by our collective contributions to the Connecting Communities Challenge so far. 

The examples we shared in the Inspiration phase pointed to scenarios and systems that are intentional but not overly planned – and that make room for residents to take care of one another and the environment around them. We also learned about both formal and informal ways to connect with other people in the community. And most importantly, we uncovered the seeds of action and the tipping-point scenarios that nudge residents to take better care of one another and the environment around them.

Next, the newly-opened Concepting phase calls on the OpenIDEO community to design for these intentional moments of connection and care in our local communities. What are your ideas to inspire and enable communities to take more initiative in making their local environments better?

Recently a team from OpenIDEO and IDEO got together with Singapore's National Environment Agency to synthesise all 269 inspirations from the challenge. Five Themes emerged around the ingredients of successful, well-looked after communities: 

Create Connection Space
Whether it's in the physical or digital world, the places where we connect with others have a deep impact on the way we treat each other and the environment. How might we create spaces in our neighbourhoods that encourage people to meet and talk with each other? What might a space look like that encourages positive and constructive action?

Share Existing Resources
Making smarter use of existing resources is an easy way to make communities more dynamic. How might we encourage the sharing of skills and knowledge between community members? How might we create a platform that facilitates easy exchange of community members’ time, goods, or space?

Inspire + Empower
Co-created neighbourhood initiatives and decisions-by-community create long-lasting and deep connections between people and place. How might we give citizens a voice in determining the success of their neighbourhood? How might we shape a neighbourhood decision-making process in a way that encourages citizens to see themselves as agents of change?

Act On It
With all the right ingredients in place for positive neighbourhood change, how might we mobilise citizens to take the leap and make a difference? How might we create a drumbeat of neighbourhood change through positive, frequent actions?

Storytelling + Raising Awareness
Celebrating our neighbourhoods through individuals’ stories, public works of art, and neighborhood museums gives people space to learn from past experiences and build on them for the future. How might we create a sense of belonging through the stories we tell about our communities? How might we get to know our neighbours through storytelling?

As always, Themes represent common patterns that emerged in the Inspiration phase, as well as opportunity areas for our designs in Concepting. Use Themes to kick-start your thinking around ideas that:

  • Inspire collaboration between individuals, private sector organisations and the government in an effort to create cleaner neighborhoods
  • Lend themselves to the creation of small experiments designed to mobilise action
  • Can be scaled in a way that creates even more connections between people

Coming together as an OpenIDEO community to inspire more connections in a real-world community – now that's exciting! We're looking forward to seeing what we create together in Concepting.

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