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The Nine Winning Ideas from OpenIDEO's Creative Confidence Challenge

Using OpenIDEO, our open innovation platform for social impact, we recently asked innovators everywhere to join our Creative Confidence Challenge. The question: How might we inspire young people to cultivate their creative confidence?

Using OpenIDEO, our open innovation platform for social impact, we recently asked innovators everywhere to join our Creative Confidence Challenge. The question: How might we inspire young people to cultivate their creative confidence?

And, wow, what an exciting and inspiring journey it's been. During the challenge period, the OpenIDEO community broke records left and right—sharing more than 1100 inspirations and collaboratively designing more than 600 fresh concepts. To reach a shortlist of 22 ideas, we ran a quick-fire applause phase and consulted with folks from Stanford's, the YMCA of Silicon Valley, and IDEO—including Tom and David Kelley. Now, after further community refinement, evaluation, and input from the Kelleys and others, we’re thrilled to announce the nine winning ideas.

The nine winning ideas, in the words of the challengers who submitted:

A Toolkit for Creative Confidence Enablers

"A toolkit that helps mentors of young people—such as parents and teachers—understand creative confidence. It aids mentors in creating environments and adopting attitudes that are conducive to inspiring creative confidence in young people."

Creative Confidence Here

"An online hub of curated and user-generated tools, stories, and conversations—for parents, young people, and teachers—inspiring us all to unleash our creative potential. Hosted and curated by the community."


"A lot of people tell teens who they ought to be. But in the end only they can decide who they'll become. At SelfStyle, we believe teens want to be something great. We’re creating a platform where teens create their own identity by acting on their most positive impulses. A place that encourages compassionate and generous behaviors. A place for building positive relationships, creative confidence, and wellbeing."

The Electronster

"A program for students that collects recycled electronics and brings them to kids around the country—teaching discovery by destroying unwanted stuff and using the components to build entirely new creations. It’s a cross-country collaboration with kids everywhere."

The Play Portal

"An online platform that structures creative learning opportunities through games. It’s a community that strays from thinking of games as a means for accomplishing our educational goals, to education as a means for accomplishing the goals of children. They know what they want to do, and the Play Portal will help them get there in a fun way."


"Draw, sing, and build your way to creative ideas! THXcube inspires creativity in everyday tasks. Take any task that you need to do and use the cube to reinvent it. Toss THXcube or use any side to record your iteration, and share progress or publish a final project."

Tinker Teams

"Tinker Teams are debate clubs crossed with maker class. Kids join a local team. Teammates help and critique each other on tinkering projects, and show their work at Tinker Meets. Kids learn tinkering skills and teamwork—and have fun."

Young Innovators and Artists in Residence

The Young Artists and Innovators-in-Residence Program partners schools with the vast existing network of interdisciplinary, international artist residencies currently dedicated to the creative process and fostering creatively confident innovating.

Young People’s OpenIDEO

"Is it possible that one of the best ways to help nurture creative confidence in young people might be right in front of our eyes? Let's enable youth to learn from and inspire each other through a modified, specially designed version of OpenIDEO—and in so doing, help them to connect to a larger purpose/challenge, more creatively and more confidently, together."

Congratulations to everyone who joined this collaborative effort! While there are nine winning ideas that felt right for this challenge, there were more than 600 other ideas submitted that might be a perfect fit in your local community. On OpenIDEO, every idea is available for all of us to learn from, get inspired by, and try out where we live. So, whether you're excited about a winning idea, an idea you posted to the challenge, or even someone else's, I encourage you to take an idea forward—either on your own or by partnering with your network—to see what impact you can achieve. The more creative confidence we can bring to our own neighborhoods, the better. Remember to let us know what you're up to so we can share and celebrate your efforts.

Inspired to join the next OpenIDEO challenge? Here’s how it works.

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