What if you had a great idea but weren't sure exactly how to execute it? What if you could easily find someone with similar experience in your field to offer just the right advice? What if your amazing impact project got the media coverage it deserved?
The soon-to-launch Urban Innovation Exchange should make some of those "What ifs" a reality. We know Detroit is full of people with small-scale projects and big ideas looking for connections. Now, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and a host of local media partners are going to make those connections easier.
The Urban Innovation Exchange will provide a social network of sorts, as well as access to resources, for Detroit's growing social innovation movement. It aims to celebrate people, to tease out the individuals making a difference in Detroit and elevate their exploits for a broader audience.
What's a social innovator? Good question. It's anyone with a dollar and a dream -- or just a dream but no dollars, or some dollars looking to invest in a dream. Any combination of those and you're on the path to social innovation in Detroit.
It's not about "saving" the city, but about making something good, and making good on one's promises.
The key to the project is exchange -- understanding that connections and networks and sharing information and resources are invaluable to any great project and to any great city. To that aim, Data Driven Detroit will collect and analyze information about the UIX participants to get a full view of how social innovation can drive change greater than the sum of its parts.
Detroit is not a blank slate. True social innovation means respecting those who came before and learning from their triumphs and their mistakes. And it means not operating in a vacuum; odds are, if you have a great idea there's someone out there thinking the same thing, or thinking of a way to help you out.
Detroit and its people offer a wealth of knowledge and boundless inspiration. That's why we here at HuffPost Detroit are excited to partner on this project.
We join the Knight Foundation and Issue Media Group's Model D, along with the Free Press, New Michigan Media, DETROIT LIVES!, Thrive Detroit, and I Am Young Detroit in looking to build true social innovation -- Detroit style.
WATCH Model D TV's UIX video to learn more: