You can change the world if you are crazy enough to believe it. I heard it many times, loved it every time but doubted if I was one of the crazy ones. Well it changed when inspired by one of my fellow OpenExO Ambassadors Augusto Fazioli who along with four other partners launched ideasospesa.it to generate 10,000 ideas in 10 days to restart the Italian economy, I decided to do the same and more to launch Ideas for Goa for my state (Goa) in India.
For context, I moved back to India less than a year back after living overseas for 20 years, have hardly any network here and am still re-learning the way of business and people in my motherland. I had no idea who might partner with me to bring this idea to fruition, who will create the website without any remuneration and how will I spread the word to generate excitement and engagement.
What was increasingly clear to me was — COVID-19 and the resulting lockdown had upended the world order. People were anxious, worried about their family’s health and well-being and were hurting financially. While health and safety was, rightly, the top priority to fight COVID-19, we also needed to safeguard our economic well-being.
I needed to get over my fears of whether Ideas for Goa will work or not or how will I make it work and I did just that. I drafted a short message highlighting my idea and request of anyone who chose to be a partner, posted it on all my WhatsApp groups and LinkedIn and sent it to my limited number of Indian contacts. Surprisingly 3 people who I only knew fleetingly responded within a day.
We got on a quick call and right away the chemistry was palpable. We all shared a deep passion for Goa and brought rich diversity of thought given our extensive experience in business, social services, technology, and corporate leadership. We agreed Goa can be successful if people focus on abundance rather than lack, use this time wisely to prepare for the inevitable post COVID-19 reset and embrace new ways of working. Radical times don’t need knee jerk reactions, they call for a clear and innovative thinking.
With this intention and the mission to sustain livelihoods and reignite Goa’s economic engine for a post COVID-19 world, within 6 days of our initial meeting we went live with Ideas for Goa. Ideas for Goa is an open sourced platform to generate ideas to make Goa more sustainable, prosperous and inclusive than the status quo. The platform is open to all to contribute ideas regardless of their background and is free of cost. Most importantly and best of all, ideas generated are available to anyone to pursue further.
The platform has caught fire beyond my wildest expectations — we have 30 eminent Goans as ambassadors, have been featured in the #1 Goan daily for two consecutive weeks, the #1 FM channel is running ads and interviews for us, industry bodies and leading businesses have signed up as partners and we even have senior government officials doing a bit of promotion.
I Don’t Know how all the amazing ideas we are generating will be implemented, what I Know is when you provide a platform to engage all people and not just a select few and amplify the voices for good you create the right conditions for a prosperous, sustainable and equitable world.