Orlando, FL — United Nations-accredited non-profit charity organization, IDEAS for Us, hosted a three-day hackathon with Orlando digital creative agency, Purple, Rock, Scissors (PRPL) to build a new web solutions platform, www.ideasforus.org, which was presented to Pope Francis at the Vatican on October 31 as part of a two-day summit held by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). The web platform at www.ideasforus.org , which garnered a Solution Award from the Vatican itself, showcases environmental problem-solving programs happening both locally and internationally for citizens to join in, and gives everyone the chance to support action-based solutions being brought to life. “There is a great moral obligation that we have to take action in achieving the most ambitious goals ever set forth by humanity, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” IDEAS Executive Director Clayton Louis Ferrara states. “What is at stake, halting climate change, the eradication of poverty, slavery, and mass extinction, has been a dream until now. We, as Millennials, hold the fate of the world in our hands. We need global solutions generated through local action and we need it now. The Solutions Platform and IDEAS For Us, with PRPL’s expertise, is poised to lead the way for the many millions that need to follow.” Besides conveying info about the organization itself, the website presents a list of sustainable goals, a rundown of its various sustainability programs showing scalability and impact, methods to donate, as well as a sampling of nearly 90 actionable solutions (and counting) for a variety of vital ecological factors including water, food, waste and energy.
For the hackathon, Ferrara and IDEAS’ Website Director/Engineer Ryan Harrigan collaborated with eight PRPL staffers over the course of three days. The goal was to create a launchpad to incubate more successful sustainability projects like IDEAS’ Fleet Farming, which helps Orlando citizens, among other things, maintain better eating habits and utilize lawn spaces more effectively in their urban environment. “One of the largest benefits of this hackathon was having leaders of IDEAS for Us with us at all times to inform and ideate with us, then make an executive decision on the spot so we could move forward,” says PRPL Digital Strategist Tommy Hung. “They had a wealth of information and experience with challenges in their space that we could pull from, and they were passionate about making something that would help their audience.”
Collaborating with the IDEAS team helped PRPL clearly define the organization’s goals and formulate strategy while informing design decisions for the web platform. Hung notes that the quick turnaround demanded an almost equally fast-paced development process for the site itself. “We had very little time to take something very complex—trying to save the world—and turn it into a working online model,” he says. “Workshopping with IDEAS for Us lead to the strategy needed to create a simple, concise and functional site. But the time it takes to design and develop beautiful visuals and animations is normally longer than a weekend, and we had to distill a very broad scope of work and messaging spanning IDEAS’ network of over 20 countries around the world into a communicable site. That said, we’re very proud of what we were able accomplish.”
The platform is part of an effort to present sustainability solutions to Pope Francis at an SDSN summit, which IDEAS attended thanks to a heartfelt essay penned by Ferrara himself. The project mirrors the sentiments of the Pope himself, who the Vatican says is very concerned with the issue and is the first-ever pontiff to acknowledge climate change and demand action. It’s a worthy cause that PRPL is also passionate about. “PRPL wants to help equip IDEAS with a more informative and inspiring hub for their digital presence that would enable anyone interested to become a member, donate, or contribute an idea,” Hung explains. “We hope that through the new solutions platform, they can achieve their membership and funding goals to fuel their growth and action around the world.”
Ryan Harrigan (Website Director and IDEAS Engineer) – Website director and programmer Tyler Shears (Chief Technology Officer) Clayton Louis Ferrara (Executive Director of IDEAS For Us) – Content development Karine Gilbert Blackman – Videographer, photography Christopher Stampar (International Director) – Videographer, photography Will Chorvat (IDEAS Leader) – Photography
Purple, Rock, Scissors
Tricia D’Antin (Director of Research & Product Strategy) – Information Architect and UX Jim Powell (Director of Technology) – Engineer Devin Jacoviello (Creative) – Design Evan Travelstead (Creative) – Design Tommy Hung (Digital Strategist) – Research & UX Erin Butler (Brand Manager) – Content Strategist & Publicity Collin Garvey (Engineer) – Web developer Brandon Chang (Associate Engineer) – Web developer Brandy Bergh (Associate Engineer) – Web developer
About IDEAS For Us
IDEAS For Us is a United Nations-accredited 501(c)(3) non-profit charity organization with a presence in 24 countries around the world. As a grassroots, member-led organization, they use community organizing and chapter-building strategies to catalyze local environmental action in energy, water, food, waste, and ecology. Since 2008, they’ve worked to develop, fund, and scale solutions to the most pressing environmental and social problems facing humanity, including programs like urban Fleet Farming to “grow food, not lawns,” and the Bikeport Co-Op.
About Purple, Rock, Scissors
Purple, Rock, Scissors (PRPL) is an Orlando-based digital agency serving global brands at the intersection of technology and humanity. They develop innovative digital solutions through services spanning digital strategy, goal-driven design, product development, and branded content. Employing a full-time staff of 50, PRPL is headquartered on the 20th floor of the Chase Plaza building in Downtown Orlando, widely considered to be the epicenter of Central Florida’s tech scene. The agency’s portfolio of global clients includes leaders in technology, healthcare, entertainment, and more.