Saturday, November 07, 2009

IdeaAid: the worldwide brainstorm

We received the following press release from Heifer International about a unique global brainstorming event. The event called IdeaAid will gather people around the globe to think of ways to solve the world's problems. The first problem on the agenda; how to raise a billion dollars a year to bring the world's poor out of poverty.

Set to launch on Nov. 14, the first Idea Aid™ challenge seeks to find novel ways to raise $1 billion annually to help eradicate global hunger and poverty. Ideas will come from people all over the world who will brainstorm online and share their best thinking with Heifer International, a global nonprofit dedicated to ending world hunger and poverty.

“We believe the time is right for Idea Aid,” said Mensa Process Managing Director David Wynett. “It’s a revolutionary way to identify potential solutions to problems, and it’s especially relevant in today’s economic climate, when people may not be able to donate money, but still want to give back.”

Idea Aid is sponsored by Mensa Process, a brain trust that helps its corporate clients solve complex problems and identify new growth opportunities. Mensa Process works with some of the world’s brightest minds — members of Mensa, an international organization of 100,000+ people, open to the top 2 percent in intelligence.

For Idea Aid, Mensa Process is inviting everyone, everywhere, to help change the world. Mensa members, along with technology, finance, development and public health experts, students, educators and informed consumers, will brainstorm online to find new solutions. Mensa Process believes that combining high intelligence, creative minds and cause-directed energy will generate remarkable results.

How Idea Aid Works
For a single week — Nov. 14-21, 2009 — people around the world will come together online to brainstorm about the complex problem of global poverty. Those interested in participating can register at Ideas will be collected, assessed and refined and then shared for implementation.

What’s needed to put an end to global poverty? According to Heifer International, one of the things that make a big difference is money. At this point, however, there’s no single way to efficiently and consistently generate the level of funds necessary to combat hunger and poverty.

“The problem demands new ideas and new methods of collection to make giving easier and more efficient,” said Tom Peterson, director of Innovation for Heifer International. “We need methods, ideas that can be used online, offline, globally, locally. Something simple that everyone, anyone can participate in,”

Donating Ideas to Change the World
Mensa members are also excited about the challenge. “Many Mensa members are active in volunteering in their communities through our service programs,” said Pam Donahoo, executive director of American Mensa. “Idea Aid gives us a unique way to use our knowledge to serve the world.” Idea Aid is open to everyone. Those interested can register at

About Mensa Process
Mensa Process is the only consulting firm in the world with exclusive access to the unrivaled brainpower of Mensa — a highly respected, international organization whose membership represents some of the world’s most intelligent people. By tapping into this group’s unparalleled intellect and combining it with the creativity of other bright minds, Mensa Process helps businesses grow, innovate and solve problems.

About Heifer International
Heifer International’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the earth. Since 1944, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in 50 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant.

About Mensa
Founded in 1946 in Oxford, England, Mensa is a respected international organization whose membership is open to individuals scoring in the top 2% on accepted, standardized intelligence tests. Mensa members are geographically and occupationally diverse, representing more than 100 countries and thousands of professions and passions.,,


Gil said...

The IdeaAid idea is grand - it will very likely generate loads of high potential ideas... with a whole lot of duplication, surely.

But i'm a bit puzzled. Is there any sort of plan for what to do once the ideas are put forth? Who will distill, evaluate, analyze, make selections... and most importantly - how/when/by whom will these ideas be implemented?

Anne Lloyd said...


Thanks for your comment and questions. Idea Aid will be collaborative, in that all participants will be able to comment on, build on, and vote on all ideas. At the end of the event, we'll have an expert team (which may include some of the best contributors) evaluate and analyze ideas to arrive at the leading ideas.

As an organization that uses proven solutions to help eradicate poverty, Heifer International will have a role in this, and will have an opportunity to develop and implement ideas from Idea Aid. They will definitely be sharing ideas with other proven organizations to support the goal of raising new money to support the eradication of poverty.

It's an important problem, so we hope you will join us for Idea Aid November 14-21.

Anne Lloyd
Idea Aid

Peter said...

Lots of ideas for raising lots of money to end poverty is interesting, however wouldn't it make more sense to first generate lots of ideas for the 'perfect' project PLAN for ending poverty -- a plan that includes risk analysis and a proposed budget and time-line (over decades) -- and only THEN seek ideas to raise the required money?

Even infinite money 'to end poverty' --especially without a solid plan-- probably wont end poverty, and could, perversely, per the law of unintended consequences even contribute to INCREASED poverty.

So... plan first, or at least develop a plan before all that the money is actually received?