With more and more camps, hacks and other open innovation get-togethers taking place around the country, the FutureGov team spotted a need for an online platform to host the call out for ideas that takes place before many of these events are staged. We got together with Coventry City Council, Coventry University and CityCamp Coventry (organised by the person behind BlueLightCamp, Sasha Taylor) and designed Simpl Challenges to do just this.
Simpl started life as the Social Innovation Market Place, an online space for people with good ideas to barter for support and resources from those (often local councils) in the position to make their ideas happen. However, many of the high quality ideas on the site came from hack events coming out of partnerships with organisations such as Google and we decided to turn Simpl into Simpl Challenges and to build a new site that was able to do this challenge hosting job better.
Simpl Challenges gives you a challenge page where people can submit their ideas to your challenge. Once the ideas are submitted, others can comment and like these ideas – the interaction is starting to happen before people arrive at your event! Your Simpl Challenge page will also link up to your Eventbrite page, so that people can sign up to attend there and then.
Everyone can try out Simpl Challenges to run one event for free, but if you want to use it more than once, or want access additional features, such as: being able to download all of the ideas that have been submitted to your challenge to make the shortlisting process easier; having your own organisation page, where you can showcase all of your historic and current challenges along with information about who you are; being able to showcase specific ideas on your challenge page; and being able to have multiple organisers, you may want to pay for your organisation to have Pro status.
The FutureGov team has run a number of different open innovation events in the last few years, including Google’s Interactivism series (with the NSPCC, RSA and Gransnet among others), Councillor Camp, MAKE:shift Wolverhampton; Benefits Camp; Local by Social and CityCamp London. We have a bunch of experience in helping you design a good challenge question, present your challenge, attract people to submit lots of good ideas to your challenge and get people with the right skills and experiences to attend your event. So please give us a shout if you’d like our events team to help you run your challenge.