Bringing the church's ideas to life

The Salvos’ new crowdsourcing innovation

A digital crowdsourcing platform, designed to develop ideas which will bring the church and community together, is being launched by the Salvation Army.

“Essentially we believe that everything that’s required for our communities to rise up and live in the wholeness and health of God’s design is already present; it’s just not collaborated and coordinated,” says Greig Whittaker, innovation manager for the Salvation Army in Australia.

“This is the place for people who want to be engaged in future thinking about the way the body of Christ serves communities.” – Greig Whittaker

“We’re hoping to be part of the collaboration and the coordination of innovation – not only of innovative ideas but people who want to engage in resourcing and developing ideas.

“We’re hoping that we can help bring those people together.”

The IDEAS Platform will be launched on September 16 through Salvation Army networks, but Whittaker would love to see many more Christians get involved. “It’s open for all and any ideas from individuals, as well as churches,” he says.

As ideas are unearthed through the platform to enable churches to serve their community, Whittaker hopes pathways will be created for people to engage with the church socially and on a faith level.

As well as inviting ideas, the platform welcomes participation from anyone looking to collaborate and become part of the “IDEAS crowd”.

“You can submit an idea, vote on an idea, comment on ideas or add articles or thoughts. You can also subscribe to and follow ideas,” Whittaker explains.

“So it’s not just for the creative types, it’s for everyone.

“This is the place for people who want to be engaged in future thinking about the way the body of Christ serves communities, both socially and in a faith context.”

The platform will host two types of “idea buckets”: “challenges”, where ideas must be designed around a specific issue or question needing innovation, and “open challenges”, where any ideas can be pitched.

Ideas which receive the most votes (and meet selection criteria) will then be further developed, with around five to eight ideas being chosen from each bucket.

Once approved, the selected idea enters the “Redemptive Design Lab” – a six-week program facilitated by incubator organisation Seed. After this, ideas are pitched to a panel of church and business members for funding and feedback. Successful pitches are further developed and trialled for roll out.

“The Salvation Army is putting some funding forward, and depending on ideas, we will help ideas meet sponsors or partners that will enable financial assistance to be engaged,” says Whittaker.

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