The city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, pretty much just won the internet, or at least wins some kind of recognition for pulling off some really cool, publicly crowd-sourced idea generating. With the city’s Tournavation concept–kind of a mashup between tournament and innovation and a few other radical ideas–the public is invited to submit ideas for things that need to be done in the city, even if they themselves don’t know how to make it happen.
Back in 2013, Milwaukee was named as one of the top twenty finalists in New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s open contest that invited mayors of cities across the US to pitch ideas to improve their cities. Winning projects would net that city a $5 million prize for first place and a $1 million prize to each of four runners up in order to complete the projects. While named as a finalist, Milwaukee ultimately didn’t win, but that depends on how you look at it.
In order to think of a project to submit, the mayor of Milwaukee held a contest of his own, and the Tournavation was born. Interestingly, the day after the winners of Bloomberg’s mayoral challenge were announced (and Milwaukee discovered they didn’t win), the city’s second Tournavation was launched.
Now, this ongoing idea generating concept is still in full swing, and the most recent Tournavation is looking to software. Never fear, though, you don’t have to be an IT guy to submit your idea. The city already has its team of software developers standing at the ready to create the program based on the winning concept. The only catch is that this round of Tournavation must be focused on public healthcare.
Whether it’s an app, a website, or a tracker program, the focus is on the health of the public.
According to the city’s announcement of this contest, “We invite the public to participate in a Tournavation that seeks catalytic software solutions that will improve the health of Milwaukee’s women and children, fathers and families. The most viable, scalable and concrete idea will be developed by a coalition of volunteer IT professionals led by Red Arrow Labs, a Dohmen Company. The software will be gifted to the community as a single, tangible step toward improving the health of Milwaukee residents… Not so tech savvy? No worries! We have a team of amazing IT professionals who will design and develop the software. We’re looking for great ideas that support and enrich the health of Milwaukeeans. That idea could benefit consumers directly or it could be for an organization. We recognize that ‘health’ is a broad term and encourage wide interpretation. We welcome a broad range of ideas ideas.”
Some of the proposed topics including increasing access to health education and information, increasing the ability to make healthy choices through technology, increasing the life span and health of adult males, combating the connection between poverty and poor health, and many more.