Designing better, together with OpenIDEO

How might we make low-income urban areas safer and more empowering for women and girls? This is a challenge currently running on OpenIDEO.

One of the current featured challenges on the OpenIDEO platform is the problem of making life safer for the millions of women and girls living in low-income urban communities across the world. Safety is a basic human right. But women and girls personal safety can be difficult to achieve given the prevalence of gender-based violence, social isolation or a lack of basic social services.

How OpenIDEO works: Each challenge starts with a big question that prompts participants to think about the problem. This is followed by an inspiration and research phase where users post images, videos and stories of ideas and other case studies that can inform the challenge. The concept phase is next. Here participants get to flex their creative muscles and come up with ideas for potential solutions. Participants can comment and help shape ideas posted by others and collaborate to develop designs. Once concepts are fully formed they are put through the evaluation phase where participants rate and comment on ideas that they believe will solve the problem based on the criteria given. The winning idea is then available to the challenge sponsor for further development and implementation.

To contribute to the research phase of the women's safety challenge, 2014 Design Indaba Conference speaker and managing director of OpenIDEO, Tom Hulme interviewed several women who participate in a neighbourhood watch in Monwabisi Park, a township in Cape Town. Featured here is his interview with Ntutu Mtwana, the volunteer coordinator in charge of the neighbourhood watch.

If you are interested in helping to solve this challenge, register now as a participant on OpenIDEO – all creative thinkers are welcome.