The Idea Bank

What would happen if capitalism weren’t based solely on the concept of intellectual property? What if social media, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, innovation and invention could come together? What if ideas got developed because the world needed them to be, instead of because it would make the founder rich? What could we accomplish if we harnessed the dispersed computing power of the human brain?

I’d like to introduce to you a concept that’s been kicking around in my little wee human brain: The Idea Bank.

What if good ideas didn’t languish just because they don’t have any start-up capital, or a working prototype, or a backer? What if mediocre ideas didn’t get shelved because they’re missing that little something that will turn them into fabulous ideas? If only there were a place, a virtual place, a participative website of some sort where these ideas could go, accumulate, percolate, connect, grow, and inspire. Where ideas don’t have to be owned, protected, withheld. Where they were free for the taking, the improving, the transforming.

What if there existed a place, accessible to all citizens of the world, where we could donate our ideas?

I don’t know quite what this would look like, what challenges it would face. But that’s the beauty of The Idea Bank. I don’t have to know all the answers. I don’t have to do it all myself. I can just plant a single seed, and watch it grow.

As with any idea that could be donated to this as-yet-non-existent Idea Bank, I can’t make this happen on my own. But there’s this fabulous little idea that’s grown into an amazing, astounding, powerful thing: the Blogosphere. What if we didn’t leave R&D only to those big businesses willing to invest in it? What if social media set the agenda? Bloggers, help me out. If you like the idea of a global Idea Bank, make it happen. Go forth, and blog.

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