We propose to flip the innovation story from ‘makers’ benefiting ‘citizens’ to citizens and makers teaming up to solve problems together. We will develop a platform and build a community to promote, amplify and democratize innovation by connecting citizens activists, patient affinity organizations, thinkers, and makers with cutting-edge academic and industrial capabilities as well as funders and policy makers. The ultimate goals are to: a) promote a growing and sustainable culture of health that is bottom up rather than top down; and b) leverage the emerging importance of online innovation platforms that support shared engagement, citizen science/action, and scalability.
We propose to enable and amplify a distributed community that discovers and articulates the real needs of citizens and innovates and delivers human-centered solutions to the most pressing problems. The burgeoning do-it-yourself (DIY) maker and citizen science movements coupled with new crowdsourcing technologies demonstrate the power of citizen involvement. We intend to utilize these new models of innovation to assemble communities around global problems. We will discover talent that exists within communities and pair them with next generation technologists to form distributed teams able to truly understand the needs of and maintain the health of our citizens.