WE Conference Idea Lab

To help you prepare for the Big Idea session we invite you to participate in the “Idea Lab.”

The “Idea Lab” is your opportunity to consider and outline your Big Idea concept that advances environmental and/or climate justice issues in advance of the May 18 Big Idea session, submit it digitally to the WE Conference team for cataloging and – with your explicit permission – to share with the other attendees digitally after the conference.

What should our “Big Ideas” focus on?: Innovations, collaborations, partnership or models to advance environmental and/or climate justice issues.  This can be existing projects you are already working on, concepts you’ve sought to launch or inspirations that come from your time together May 17 and 18 at the conference. In the room will be leaders and attendees from the private sector, nonprofits, government and you each will have an opportunity to pitch your Big Ideas to your small groups of 10 – 12 and one select idea from each group will be pitched to all conference attendees.

Process for selecting Big Ideas for seed capital: Starting at 2:30 pm on May 18, conference attendees will split up into 10 groups of 10 – 12 people. Each conference attendee will be given 15 minutes to write down or edit (if you’ve prepared in advance) their Big Idea. Then each person in each group will have three minutes to verbally pitch (no props) their idea to fellow group members. Each member then has 10 minutes to combine their ideas with other members of your group ONLY if both parties see a potential for collaboration and/or combination. Then, individual members of each group will use colored dots to vote on which idea they would like to advance to the final pitch.  You cannot vote for your own idea.  Top vote-getters from each group will then advance to be pitched by the author to the entire conference – a total of 10 pitches.  After all 10 pitches to the entire group of conference attendees, attendees will then text vote for their two top choices.  The top two vote-getters will receive $5,000 seed capital awards.  The third $5,000 award will be selected by our conference host, Pacific Standard Magazine.  These cash awards are meant to help these concepts advance further in their development and impact.

We hope this process will surface and spread substantive ideas amongst all conference attendees.  We want this process to be fun, exciting and help seed new collaborations, partnerships and models that will continue on after May 18.

Here’s how the Idea Lab works.  For those interested in drafting and submitting their Big Ideas in advance of May 18, please do the following:
  1. Outline your big idea in a digital Word or Google document and send it to info@weconference.events or submit your proposal via this online form.
  2. Your outline should be no longer than one page of 12 point, Times New Roman font and must answer the same questions that we’ll ask during the May 18 “Big Idea” session:
    1. What is the problem your big idea solves or addresses related to environmental and/or climate justice issues?
    2. What is the big idea? How does the solution work?
    3. What new collaborations, partnerships or innovations are created in support of this idea?
    4. Why is this big idea worthy of additional support?
    5. What would be your next steps to more fully develop, strengthen or enact this big idea?
  3. Please be explicit on whether you want your idea to be publicly available after May 18. If you do offer permission, we will share your idea along with any other ideas submitted before or during the conference (only with explicit permission from the authors) with fellow attendees via email or link.
  4. Note that you must print out your Idea Lab submittal if you wish to use it during the “Big Idea” session on May 18 at the WE Conference. Also note that you are limited to a three minute verbal presentation of your idea at the WE Conference and you may read from your notes.
  5. There is NO requirement to enter your Big Idea before the conference to be considered for seed capital awards.
  6. On May 18, if you are inspired by a new idea or concept that you want to pitch during the conference – please do so!
Why should you consider participating in the pre-conference Idea Lab?
  1. Because it helps you collect and organize your thoughts around your Big Idea presentation on May 18 at the WE Conference.
  2. Because you want to share your Big Idea with the world in hopes that your peers, colleagues and new friends from the WE Conference might consider supporting this idea after the conference.
  3. Because your idea is important and should be clearly documented and cataloged in our collective effort to stimulate positive environmental change in the tri-counties.

Your Big Idea