OpenIDEO maternal health challenge: And the winner is...

After 3 months of online collaboration the OpenIDEO maternal health challenge winners are announced. Ian Sullivan reports.

A few months ago I was pulled into a meeting room and asked if I fancied taking on a piece of work with a company called IDEO. Oxfam had signed up to partner with them and Nokia in a challenge, "How might we improve maternal health with mobile technologies for low income countries?" 

They needed someone to take it on from the Oxfam end. I’d vaguely heard of IDEO and I’m generally up for what sound like interesting challenges so I said, "go on then, why not". It was my first small tiptoe into the world of online collaboration.

Now I’m a veteran of five stages of it and the whole enlightening process has flown by. Last week they announced the ten winning concepts. Somewhat inevitably I’m now hooked on the idea of using collaboration to tackle issues. I’m also telling anyone who would listen about the cool kids at IDEO and the community that makes it all happen. The process has been a real eye-opener for me and shown how online collaboration can be a fantastic way to tackle problems. I loved how people were really open, challenged each other’s ideas and then took on those challenges to improve their own concepts.

It started with the inspiration phase where people found all sorts of great projects from around the web. This got the creative juices flowing and turned into 182 concepts. We then picked 20 finalists and that has been whittled down to ten winning ideas. There is a great range in there, from great ways to tell stories about maternal health issues, to challenging medicine stock outs. Check out all the IDEO maternal health winners.

I’m a little disappointed that it’s over but I’ve signed up to a new challenge and I’m preparing to post my first idea. In terms of what comes next for the maternal health ideas, it’s a case of watch this space as we work out how to go about piloting projects! If you’ve got any ideas, let me know below.

Read more

> Find out more about our work with IDEO: brainstorming maternal health

> Have a look at all the maternal health challenge winners

> Oxfam's campaign "Health and Education for All"

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