People frequently encounter moments where they would like to make a change, but feel they do not have the proper qualifications; their cleverness and motivation becomes clouded by personal doubt.  That person thinks: “Nobody would listen to me.  I’m sure there’s someone else who could come up with a better solution.”


Self-limiting thoughts can snuff out the possibility for truly powerful, even global, innovation, and they lull each of us into thinking that we are not important enough to make a difference.  What if one person’s idea was the missing piece of the puzzle in a potential project? What if one person was able to fund the final few figures needed to guarantee a project’s completion?  What if that one person could have made a difference, but instead, they walked away because they did not think their voice would be heard?


Now, what if I told you that we can unite the unique interpretations and ideas that are traveling so freely around the world?  We can utilize individual perspectives and experiences to ignite change.  We can create a place for everyone’s voice to be heard; this place is called “The List.”


The List is an online platform that provides a forum for open collaboration and ideation that leads to innovation.  The online presence cultivates teamwork, acting as an interactive engineer’s workbench, or a cyberspace café shop.  By bridging the gap between people who are familiar with problems and those who have the means to solve them, Brandur Karlsson, The List’s creator, strives to make a difference.  Instead of spending his time complaining about a problem, Brandur focuses his energy on trying to find a solution.  Through active dialogue, he discovered that many of the problems that he faced were also being experienced by others.  Unfortunately, he also noted that these issues were not gaining the right traction or attention.  By enacting Brandur’s personal philosophy on a larger scale, The List will begin to change the conversation for communities of individuals with disabilities.  The intent is to start focused on those issues with the goal to expand to additional groups in the future.  Brandur believes that by uniting people of various backgrounds and providing agency to the quieter voices in society, the possibilities for innovation are truly limitless.


The List offers particular features and invites users to explore them.  First, the user can scroll through or contribute to the online community by introducing health and welfare-related issues or by closely following problems that other users have already started to discuss.  Users then have the capability to “upvote” or “downvote” an issue, providing community recognition for the problems and allowing them to gain visibility.  Next, users can challenge professionals and enthusiasts, offer their personalized input, and pursue a dynamic solution for the betterment of the community.  The List provides the opportunity for sponsorship, encouraging users to fund various projects.  Through these self-made teams of problem-solvers and sponsors, potential solutions have a greater chance of becoming prototypes, gaining traction, and attracting crowdfunding.  The List allows users from multiple backgrounds to discover, challenge, develop, and most of all, to make a difference.


The List’s online presence is still being developed, however, the opportunity to utilize its step-by-step process does not need to be contained to an online platform.  For a full day, people from the community will gather to work on solving their own problems and move toward creating new opportunities.  By inventing effective and intelligent methods for solving problems, The List can potentially become a guide for the prioritization of health and welfare-related efforts in the community.  In order to test out the power of intense collaboration, we challenge you to forget the notion that nothing can be solved overnight.  Instead, ask yourself: what can I accomplish in 24 hours? Join the challenge from 6 January 18:00–7 January 18:00 at Frumbjörg Hátún 12 Reykjavík, and see for yourself how “The List” will transform innovation.


This 24-hour Innovation Day will not be the only one of its kind.  Through continued efforts to raise awareness and increase community collaboration, both online and in person, people can come together to make a true difference.  Having a venue to work together and solve problems can provide a springboard for the realization that each voice matters.  Just one person could provide that final inch that is necessary for innovation to grow to new heights.

Guest post written by Virginia Merrill.