Ready… Steady… Go!
In just over an hour, the Social Innovation Camp Armenia (Mardamej) will commence. This is most definitely the end of the beginning for the organisers but only the beginning of the beginning for the participants.
Over the coming weekend an eclectic mix of social entrepreneurs, activists, techies and businesspeople will attempt to turn six ideas into functioning projects – action plan, funding, web-tools and staff…
But how did we get here? It all started with the Social Innovation Camp concept, then an event in Sarajevo, followed by a call for ideas in Armenia, including itch workshops, leading to 66 submissions, presented to a judging panel, and finally six ideas for the event. Phew!
The 66 submissions, ranging from pension reform to combating sexually transmitted diseases, were judged on three criteria: the understanding of the social problem, the use of technology and the likely sustainability of the proposal.
Many of the ideas were socially innovative but didn’t make the cut due to tech and sustainability issues. Where possible, they will be channeled into existing grants schemes and incubation mechanisms for further development.
The ideas that made the grade include:
- A platform for participatory monitoring of political promises;
- A social network for rating public and private sector services;
- An information hub on what’s going on in Yerevan;
- A crowd-sourcing platform for information on public transport;
- A philanthropic social network which matches specific, timely needs with donors;
- A platform for monitoring state polyclinics;
As with all great projects we’ll have to build communities around the ideas, which will take time… this weekend is just a start, but its supercharged!
Want to experience the creative energy? Follow the event through live tweeting: @mardamej and #mardamej (and #sicamp, of course)…