The Innovation Platform has been designed to engage a large and diverse citizen community from across the UK in the search for new ideas. Starting with a blank sheet of paper TAONR is asking the online community: “Which one area, or aspect, of your life do you believe needs rethinking to become truly intergenerational?”
TAONR was founded by Georgina Lee, who started the Commonland studio in 2014, and Dr Jonathan Collie, who launched online skills matching service Trading Times the same year. Its vision is to “change the narrative of ageing from decline to growth, to create new intergenerational stories, discover new age-positive innovations, and build a society people aspire to live in, whatever their ages”.
The organisation now hopes that by issuing regular challenges to design and build a future that “we all aspire to live in”, its online platform will help encourage social innovation and even the creation of prototypes that can then be tested.
TAONR has collected new ideas via the crowd-sourcing model before in small workshops held at its events in London in 2014 and Manchester in 2015, but this is its first attempt at harnessing the power of collective thought and discussion online.
“The Innovation Platform builds on the powerful live workshops which TAONR have been running since their launch in October 2014,” says Lee. “The live events to date have had over 1,200 people from over 350+ organisations take part. The online platform allows us to build on this and get everyone involved in reshaping our futures. We are looking for ideas across areas of our lives – looking at the tensions across the generations that we need to fix using universal innovation and design.”
And TAONR need you to tell them what needs fixing. As the text on the new platform explains: “Your ideas could be about anything – from the world of work and finance to fashion and leisure; from entrepreneurship to health and wellness. It can be big or small. It can be sensible or a little crazy. This challenge is to find out which areas we need to tackle first. So join the challenge and post your ideas. Tell us what solutions we should be designing and building first.”
The process is simple: users can either contribute an idea online (Post Idea page) or help others to develop theirs (View Ideas page). Submissions are then reviewed and can move up to the Evaluate stage – where the TAONR panel will use a number of criteria “to determine [the idea’s] potential for social and/or economic benefit, inventiveness and originality, ease of implementation and opportunity for scale and impact, with winning concepts chosen for development”.
Lee says that the first challenge will run for approximately six weeks. “Then we will start looking at the biggest tension areas in detail. We just need to work out where the biggest energy lies first. Challenges will last for about three weeks before a winning idea comes up and we can then turn into a prototype.”
Winning ideas will then progress to the post-challenge IMPACT stage where the group will “look to bring them to life in a real world setting”. A leaderboard also keeps track of the most popular ideas on the platform (based on views, votes, star rating and reviews) and ranks ‘top innovators’ and ‘contributors’.
“It’s time for new inspirational thinking and action about age,” adds Lee. “TAONR’s new innovation platform is a place where we can all innovate and act together, as citizens, as workers and as consumers. The new platform allows all of us to have a voice in shaping our future no matter how old we are”.
TAONR will be returning to the Bargehouse in London at the end of September this year. More details to be announced soon. Sign up to start posting at challenge.ageofnoretirement.com. See ageofnoretirement.org