Idea Lab extends deadline to submit proposals addressing community, diversity, sustainability

The Idea Lab is extending its submission deadline to April 13, giving members of the Johns Hopkins community a few more days to share their proposals to strengthen diversity, encourage sustainability, and deepen the institution's commitment to the Baltimore community.

The online crowdsourcing site will accept submissions until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday. Then the Johns Hopkins community will be able to vote online for their favorites from April 18-28.

Now in its second year, the Idea Lab is a crowdsourcing website with challenges that offer financial awards for the top vote getters as well as funding for additional projects selected by a committee. For 2016, the Ten by Twenty Challenge, established by President Ronald J. Daniels, will provide up to $20,000 for tools and programs that enhance the Baltimore community by supporting citizens returning from incarceration.

"The 2016 Ten by Twenty Challenge seeks to deepen our commitment to our community by setting our sights on a specific, urgent question: How can we build on the ongoing work of Johns Hopkins to help Baltimore's citizens who are returning from prison get the education, training, and social supports they need to reintegrate into society and the workforce?" Daniels said in a message to the university last month.

The annual Diversity Innovation Grants have already supported more than a dozen programs to promote civility and respect at Johns Hopkins and support diversity and inclusion. This year's challenge is open to both university and health system employees with fresh ideas to support those goals.

The Office of Sustainability is new to the Idea Lab this year and is calling for small-scale, big-impact ideas that will help the university become more sustainable and broaden the community of climate change agents and advocates. Proposals may pertain to waste reduction or diversion, energy efficiency, or resource conservation, to name a few examples.

Participants can sign on with their JHED ID to submit ideas, comment, and vote when the challenges go live. Additional parameters specific to each of the challenges are outlined on the website.

"All three initiatives support essential components of our mission at Johns Hopkins and deserve your best, most innovative ideas," Daniels said. "I hope you will be a part of the bold thinking and spirit of service that are hallmarks of our institution."