You can't leave the important stuff to corporations. Like solving the really big problems. The truly creative solutions come from the masses, particularly those who have to be clever to survive. I am fascinated with social inventions - those innovations arrived at by common sense and immediate need instead of profit motive and groupthink.
The Global Ideas Bank is a central clearinghouse for these kinds of ideas, some of them silly, some of them genius. For example, wouldn't it be wonderful to have public refrigerators where homeless people could store the precious but perishable food they collect? How about designing an entire city around bicycles instead of cars? What if we applied the franchise model to banks? Taxing file-sharing on the internet? How about letting everyone in the world vote for United States president? What if restrictions were placed on spending to control each individual's impact on the environment?
The Global Ideas Book is this year's compendium of the best submissions to the Global Ideas Bank. It includes some of these, as well as ideas for a wireless network in Nepal, talking rubbish bins, rickshaw phone systems, amphibious houses, and visions of the "slow city" movement.