How do you solve the problem of plastic pollution? While some may look to scientists, National Geographic is looking to anyone and everyone to develop innovative solutions through a competition with substantial cash prizes. The organization hopes to “tap the entire world’s creativity and expertise” to address the growing concern.
What is most appealing to me is how they structured the contest: rather than asking for a team to tackle the entire issue, the contest seeks entries in three distinct categories: 1) a way to design better packaging; 2) development of a zero-waste business model (eg: how can companies get beverages to consumers bypassing individual containers) and 3) a way to show the scale and breadth of the plastics problem in a creative and intuitive way.
By narrowing a massive challenge, it automatically focuses the brain on solutions instead of feeling overwhelmed by the impossibility of the task. Think about how your organization can adopt this concept to address the major issues that you face. Is there a way to break your problem into manageable sub-sets? A way to engage others outside your organization through a contest? A way to incentivize those inside your organization with prizes?
The big issues are the ones that require out-of-the-box thinking or they would have already been resolved. Start your innovation process by innovating the way that you approach the challenge.
NOTE: The content for the dots from yesterday, today and tomorrow came from readers who had experienced the world through “dot eyes” and shared their observations with me. It is the highest compliment that I can receive from writing this blog – that others have internalized the principles driving it and see the connections in life for themselves.
I hope that many more of you have cultivated your own “dot eyes” but just haven’t shared examples with me – YET! Know that examples are always welcome – via email, Facebook, website comment form or carrier pigeon! What do your “dot eyes” see?