CO-OP casts wider net for THINK prize with crowdsourcing

March 19, 2015

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (3/20/15)--The CO-OP THINK Prize has taken a new approach in 2015, with a focus on crowd-sourced design thinking. Entry to the contest is now open to the general public.

Applications for the contest are due April 28.

"In its fifth year, we wanted to find a way to generate broader participation in the CO-OP THINK Prize and get a wider variety of people involved--especially the consumers we seek to serve," said Stan Hollen, CO-OP Financial Services president/CEO. "We are also endeavoring to change the way people think about problem solving--to show how communities can be mobilized to collaboratively address important challenges."

People from all walks of life can participate, including credit union employees, members and the public at-large. The $10,000 prize will be given to individuals who offer the best ideas in response to an open challenge managed by OpenIDEO, a part of IDEO, a global design and innovation company.

OpenIDEO enables people everywhere to collaborate in developing solutions to pressing social issues. The issue to be addressed is "How might we use the power of communities to financially empower those who need it most?"

The challenge will proceed in four phases over the course of nearly three months, according to OpenIDEO's crowd-sourcing format: Research, Ideas, Refinement and Top Ideas.

CO-OP THINK Prize 15 red-letter dates are:

  • March 31: Research phase, during which anyone can share personal perspectives and examples on the challenge topic;
  • April 1-28: Ideas phase is open, enabling anyone to submit and comment on new ideas;
  • May 5-June 2: A shortlist of participants enter the refinement phase, with finalists announced at the THINK 15 Conference May 5-8 in Colorado Springs, Colo.; and
  • June 9: Roughly five top ideas are announced, with the $10,000 CO-OP THINK Prize 15 to be shared among finalists.