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Innovation and ChangeMachine

December 10, 2010

Creativity need not be a solitary process.

It can happen in a network. It can happen when talented people get together; when varied ideas and perspectives merge. This is a major problem for traditional micro-volunteering engines in which micro-actions are performed by individuals acting alone. ChangeMachine addresses this issue by introducing an innovative system of organization where volunteers are members of user-managed “task-forces” that utilize live, online collaboration to solve problems that nonprofits may lack the resources to tackle in-house. In order to establish a socially conscious, open source ecosystem, ChangeMachine will provide a publicly accessible interface for developers on multiple platforms while also supporting related open source projects in addition to publishing ChangeMachine code.

In addition to making the volunteer more connected to the final product or “big picture” of his or her work, this system greatly increases the variety and scope of tasks that nonprofits can outsource to volunteers. The feeling of belonging to a team motivates volunteers to stay involved in a task and goes a long way to compensate for the lack of interpersonal connection inherent in other forms of  micro-volunteering. Instead of volunteers completing one-time tasks for nonprofits, the nonprofits can send tasks to specific task-forces that have done good work for that nonprofit in the past. In this way, volunteers build meaningful relationships with nonprofits that simply do not exist in micro-volunteering today.


This is an excerpt from our proposal to the University of Chicago, we are competing in the CCI Entrepeneurship and Innovation competition. Don’t worry, I’m not begging for votes, that is a totally judge driven contest.IF you like what you see AND feel like voting on something, we are currently #4 in the Dell Social Innovation contest. The competition is stiff however, and our place is shifting rapidly, so we could use every possible vote

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