Today, COIN launches a first-ever statewide open innovation challenge, Imagine Colorado, in partnership with LiveWell Colorado, a statewide organization focused on increasing access to physical activity and affordable, healthy food for all of Colorado to prevent obesity and other chronic health conditions. Imagine Colorado is the nation’s first-ever statewide open innovation challenge seeking bold ideas from Colorado residents in response to the challenge question:
How would you connect Colorado’s youth to a healthier lifestyle?
Innovation Challenges are used throughout the world by business, government and higher education institutions to shine a spotlight on a problem or opportunity and ask communities to provide ideas that can help build a better tomorrow. Imagine Colorado’s aim is to engage all residents to come up with big ideas on how to ensure our kids have access to a healthy lifestyle. In exchange, $25,000 in prizes will be awarded to winning individuals and teams.
Preparation for Imagine Colorado’s public launch began several months ago at our 2015 COIN Summit, where key subject matter experts were invited to participate in two “Xfinity Think Tank” sessions regarding a challenge question for Colorado. The sessions were facilitated by Jenn Gustetic, Assistant Director for Open Innovation for The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and head of Challenge.gov. This challenge topic was selected because, while Colorado is often touted as the healthiest state, the reality is that one in four Colorado kids is overweight or obese, one in three lives in a neighborhood without a safe place to play, and 90% of our kids don’t get enough fruits and veggies each day. Additionally, Colorado is one of only four states where physical education is not a required part of the state’s public school curriculum at any grade level. We know that better health is not just good for individuals and families; it has positive outcomes for our workforce, reducing costs of government and improving the quality of life in our communities.
From Feb. 1-March 31, 2016, Coloradans ages 7 and up can submit their best ideas at www.imagineco.us. Ideas should focus on one of two categories:
1. Physical Activity: ideas that get our kids moving and that engage our outdoor spaces differently
2. Nutrition: ideas that provide our kids access to healthy foods and the education to make good choices
Finalists will be judged through an online community voting process as well as through a panel of experts. The top ten finalists will be invited to participate in a live event in April where they will pitch their ideas to a panel of celebrity judges, and live audience polling will determine the grand prize winners. In addition to the prize money, Unreasonable Institute will provide each of the five adult finalists the opportunity to interview for the 2016 Unreasonable Institute accelerator program focused on early childhood. Winning ideas will be distributed to statewide partners and the Colorado community so that appropriate champions can stimulate further action.
Imagine Colorado is produced in partnership with The Colorado Health Foundation, Gary Community Investments, Unreasonable Institute, SkipsoLabs, Entravision and Comcast, and it is also supported by more than 35 engagement partners throughout the state.
For more information and to submit an idea, please visit www.imagineco.us. You can also join the conversation on Facebook at /ImagineCO2016 or Twitter at @ImagineCO2016 #ImagineCO.