A few months ago, I noticed the Ashoka ‘Changemakers’ competition ‘The Power of Us – Re-imagine media‘- an award scheme looking for ideas.
I tried out an idea that I’ve been nursing for some years – Policybrief. It’s a site that I had built (badly) back in 2001.
It was launched at the ICA by Geoff Mulgan (then of the Peformance and Innovation Unit at the Cabinet Office – now of the Young Foundation) just before the dot-com bubble burst. The sponsors that I confidently expected evaporated into thin air, and it ground to a halt under the weight of clunky technology.
I managed to browbeat some techies into helping me prototype it again last year, but the results were unsatisfactory. It’s 90% finished technically, but I know that the technology that I was forced to develop it in is a bit of a dead-end and I want to do it using open source tools. Talking to a few friends, I’ve been given some fantastic ideas on how the information gathering can be taken to a whole new level.
So: I pitched the idea. Reading it back, I’m sure I could have written the pitch a good deal more coherently than I did, but of the 354 entries received from 48 countries, Policybrief is in the last sixteen. Two of the finalists will split $50,000 if I understand it correctly. I understand that you will be able to rate the entry, but it would be improper of me to urge you to do so in an unconsidered way (what are you waiting for??).
WeMedia are flying my out to Miami later in the month to pitch the idea alongside the other competitors. It looks great – and I think that the attendees at WeMedia will make for a fantastic set of contact for the project either way. If there is one project that I am going to get off the ground, come hell-or-high-water, it’s Policybrief – whatever happens in Miami.
So: Wish me luck please? But – more importantly – I’m going to be talking to everyone I know about how the idea can be optimised, but I’d welcome any ideas / suggestions / feedback. I’ll be flying the flag for Britain out there *sob*….
(Wait for my 75% Irish family to get a load of that…..).