Submit Your Ideas for OpenIDEO’s BridgeBuilder Challenge 2019: People on the Move

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Deadline: 17 August 2019

OpenIDEO, in partnership with GHR Foundation, is currently inviting eligible organizations for its 2019 BridgeBuilder Challenge to address urgent and emergent needs of a global population directly impacted by a lack of peace, prosperity, and sound environmental conditions—people on the move.

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BridgeBuilder invests in building and repairing unique bridges between people, organizations, issues, and beliefs to promote meaningful engagement and sustainable, community-led change. Over the past two years, the Challenge has sourced hundreds of radical new approaches to solve pressing global issues at the intersections of peace, prosperity, and planet.

Opportunity Areas

Opportunity Areas are specific calls to action that guide the BridgeBuilder community. They serve as provocations that are intentionally aligned with our Challenge topic and are ripe for innovation.

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The Full Human Journey: While narratives often focus on the moment of border transition or label individuals as simply “displaced,” a person’s true experience is more complex and nuanced than this. Diverse touch points along a journey might include leaving a country of origin, being on the move and crossing borders, arriving and settling in a destination country, or returning home. How can we design for these various stages of movement, and the complexity of decisions required to respond to the full human journey?

Beyond Survival to Potential: Ensuring each person has access to food, shelter, and water is necessary, but not sufficient. BridgeBuilder encourages innovators to go beyond these basic needs, to empower the entire human experience. With access to joy, hope, dignity and a platform for opportunity, those experiencing displacement can develop their full potential and invigorate the communities they are joining. How can the aptitude, strength and creativity of people on the move be fully realized for the benefit of all?

Equipping Diverse Communities: As people on the move navigate new spaces, they encounter many kinds of communities. Most host communities share a spirit of hospitality with newcomers, but may not feel fully empowered or supported to capably welcome new community members — or go beyond providing just the basic resources. How can transitional or receiving communities be engaged and equipped to foster their potential for hospitality and solidarity?

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Other: Want to suggest ideas outside of our framework? Tell us how other ideas might achieve the impact we’re discussing, and how your approach works.

Prize Information

Selected Top Ideas will:

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  • Receive a share of $1 million in seed funding from GHR Foundation.
  • Join a BridgeBuilder cohort of innovative organizations working to address urgent needs.
  • Take part in a kick-off workshop, during which they will meet other social innovators and further design and build their approaches with tools and expertise from GHR Foundation and OpenIDEO.
  • Receive partnership support from GHR Foundation, potential connection to other funder networks, and media exposure.

BridgeBuilder Principles

A different kind of solution requires a new way of working, both within communities of focus and with each other. BridgeBuilder Principles should guide ideas to be designed not for but with communities of focus, just as they will guide the selection process.

  • Engagement Principles
    • Meet people where they are. Geographically, socially, emotionally, culturally, and otherwise.
    • Build relationships. Build trusting relationships characterized by respect and compassion.
    • Listen deeply. Listen with humility. Treat peoples’ stories with dignity and respect. Recognize and honor lived experience as expertise.
    • Collaboratively learn and adapt. Respond to changing contexts and emergent learning through reflection, co-creation, and co-implementation with individuals, partners and communities.
    • Address Urgent Needs. Build and repair bridges between people, issues, and beliefs that promote meaningful engagement and greater social cohesion.
  • Design Principles
    • Root Solutions in Community. Deeply root solutions in the context, cultures, knowledge, wisdom, needs, and aspirations of partner communities.
    • Promote Equitable and Just Systems. Shift power structures, altering narratives, and moving the world in a more equitable and just direction.
    • Promote and Protect Human Dignity. Go beyond meeting basic needs. Help people meet the needs of joy, hope, and dignity.


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Ideas are invited from individuals and teams currently or previously experiencing displacement as well as registered nonprofit, civil society, community-based, and for-profit organizations working anywhere in the world. If applicants are an individual or team without a registered organization, applicants are encouraged to post their idea early so the community management team can work to identify potential partners within the BridgeBuilder community.

  • Actionable and tangible: Idea must be actionable and build tangible results in the community of focus, rather than research, convenings, policy development, or advocacy.
  • Within scope: Idea must be implemented within a 36-month timeline and within a budget up to US $200,000.‍
  • Representative: Idea must show evidence that the voice and perspective of a person currently or previously experiencing displacement is part of the ideation, process, and project.

The BridgeBuilder sponsor, GHR Foundation, accelerates bold and better approaches that create conditions for the most vulnerable people to thrive. For 50-plus years, GHR has been pioneering design-build philanthropy as it collaborates with community experts to design and build opportunities and favorable environments for change to take hold. The Foundation sees BridgeBuilder as a powerful movement for good—a unifier and lever for social change, and a driver for bridging between people, networks, issues, and resources.

The Challenge Process

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During the Ideas Phase, BridgeBuilder calls on the global community to share approaches that bring people together to address urgent challenges faced by people on the move. The proposals do not need to be perfect or fully polished—in fact, early entry in the Ideas phase will allow you to iterate and improve your idea through community engagement. Throughout this Phase, participants are encouraged to include voices of people with experience of displacement in their communities to design ideas and provide feedback.

Currently and previously displaced people will help select a shortlist of submitted ideas to move into the Expert Feedback Phase, where teams will have the opportunity to be matched with experts with lived experience and from various fields to gather feedback and additional insights. After expert feedback, the Improve Phase gives each team three weeks to apply the expert feedback to their proposal, finalize and resubmit it along with a project budget.

Top Ideas will be announced in early November and receive seed funding and post-Challenge support from GHR, as well as connection opportunities with other BridgeBuilders and OpenIDEO.

Throughout this Challenge, BridgeBuilder is prioritizing the voices, perspectives and ideas of people on the move. Diverse stakeholders who have lived experience, or have dedicated their careers to the topic of migration have provided feedback on program design. BridgeBuilder is committed to proactively seeking the participation of people on the move and removing barriers through regional outreach leaders and localized community managers. When it’s time to select a shortlist and Top Ideas, individuals who have experienced displacement will play a key role as experts in analysis and review.

For more information, visit OpenIDEO

  • Avatar Kushimo o David says:

    Registring will defeat supervision because beneficiary will surely feel he/she paid for the service

  • Avatar Stephen omugu says:

    Hi help me with available donors for vocational skills education

  • Avatar Buyondo Micheal says:

    Hello,Am in to Interfaith and peace building using creative ideas in Performing art to spread the message of peace and give hope to the maginalised , have been awarded before by the UN for creativity in the same area, please help with available donors for Interfaith organisations using art to do peace building.

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