Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Awesome Around the World

As you may have gathered by now, Awesome Foundation Calgary wants to foster unique and innovative ideas here in our own town. I am a firm believer that great ideas, more often than not, spring from other great ideas. It's a rare occasion when I have a great idea that blooms as a unique and singular event. In almost every case, it rises from some external inspiration.

To help to foster the generation of awesome ideas (some of which we hope you'll submit to us, desirous of our soon-to-be-legendary monthly grant of $1,000 to help bring your idea into reality), we intend to give you some regular updates of the ideas that have won grants in other cities around the world. There are now two dozen chapters of the Awesome Foundation, each one helping to bring what they deem to be awesome ideas from the unconscious to the conscious, from the ether to the Earth.

Three recent grants of note were from Melbourne, Boston, and the Food Chapter. (The last one, unlike the first two, is not a place. There is no city of Food. It's a chapter dedicated to...well...food.)

Melbourne gave their grant to two ladies who presented an idea called I Have I Need. A series of community notice boards will be painted onto blank walls of coffee shops, vacant walls surrounding construction, or other such places. The black chalk-board paint will allow community residents to write what they have and no longer need, or what they require, along with contact information. The boards are meant to transform otherwise blank and unused walls into public spaces encouraging people to meet and interact with their neighbours, as well as encouraging greener communities and reusing or repurposing things that might otherwise be headed for the dump.

It's seems that painting things, in one way or another, was a common theme in September. In Boston (where, you may recall, Awesome Foundation got its start), the grant was awarded to mural artist Caleb Neelon, granting him the funds necessary to transform a walls at Tobin School. Instead of a leaving them as the blank canvases that they were, attractive (and permitted) graffiti was applied.

Awesome Foundation, Food Chapter gave their grant to Compost Mobile, a Miami-based residential compost service that provides a pick-up service for food scraps, delivering them to urban farms and community gardens. This can't have been easy, as 600 applications were received for Awesome Food's inaugural grant. Compost Mobile was itself a project of a Miami non-profit, and with this grant, can expand the service that they are presently providing to the community.

So what do you think? Have any ideas been shaken loose from the idea tree? Are there some barely perceptible, yet still there, proto-ideas sprouting?

Awesome Foundation Calgary has a monthly deadline for the submission of ideas. In order for your idea to be considered for any given months' grant, we must receive your idea on or before the 10th day of that month. Our next deadline is November 10, so get your ideas in!

Yes Awesome is for real. Now let's make real your awesome, shall we?

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