Helping Japan Through Open Innovation

As the Japanese tragedy unfolded following the Tsunami in March and the subsequent disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant, German netnography company Hyve decided to use its crowdsourcing expertise to help. You can help too. Read on to find out more about Idea for Japan.

An online platform where affected Japanese can find their personal donors, services that offer private apartments or rooms as shelters or warning water buoys that report the radioactive contamination of the sea. These and many others have been submitted to the idea campaign “Your Idea for Japan” (www.yourideaforjapan.com).

The consequences of one of the worst earthquakes in Japan and the resulting Tsunami have provoked in many people a strong desire to help. Usually, relief organizations collect money for the victims and the reconstruction, which are forwarded to the appropriate local partners. But in the era of Social Media and Web 2.0 new alternatives are available.

Shortly after the disaster a lot of websites were set up to provide important information for the victims (e.g. Google Crises Response), fundraising platforms documented increasing calls for donations by companies and individuals, and last but not least numerous Facebook fanpages commemorated the victims.

The motivation was always the same – everyone wanted to express his or her sympathy and, of course, collect as much money as possible in a short time. But after the initial hype has passed and the media covers other topics again, the activities will decrease promptly.

Here, the idea campaign “Your Idea for Japan” by the innovation agency HYVE has been running an appeal for online help, which expires on May 16th, 2011. Everyone worldwide interested and concerned is asked to make his or her creative contribution in finding concrete solutions, how to help the victims best besides money donations. The goal is to develop feasible concepts and support initiatives that can be realized by local partners in the future. The campaign is supported by numerous national and international universities and industry partners, and for the first 1,000 ideas 2€ are donated for each submission.

A networking community, wisdom-of-the-crowd and the resulting outcomes of the “Your Idea for Japan” campaign are the basis of a new form of support that is open to everyone and does not require large investments. Moreover, the attempt to yield a reasonable long-term project out of the ideas of an outlasting community might countervail the abating interest and short-term thinking.

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Contact: Annett Lenz, HYVE Innovation Community GmbH, annett.lenz@hyve.de

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