About Imagination for People

Imagination for People (I4P) is first and foremost a community of citizens from all over the globe who believe that creativity can be used in practical ways to make a positive social impact. Basically, we believe in imagination for the common good.

The goal of I4P is twofold:

  1. Identify innovative projects from different countries that showcase the extraordinary imagination of citizens. This includes projects being carried out by individual entrepreneurs or communities of enlightened citizens, visionary public organizations and pioneer companies (i.e. the three “Ps” that Imagination for People likes to refer to - People, Public, Private).
  2. Support social entrepreneurs as they start up their projects by giving them access to upcoming collaborative tools that will allow them to mobilize a global movement of collective inventiveness.

To achieve its goal, I4P has decided to set up a web-based platform that is very creative, wiki-citizen (collaborative), international (and therefore multilingual), fun and experiential all at the same time.

The beta version of the platform, which was launched at the end of June 2011, brings together the first batch of creative social projects identified by an emerging community. The platform allows people working on projects to dialogue with the I4P community and will soon enable to submit calls for skills, visibility, connections and hardware solutions (open source hardware) at low costs. Disruptive techniques for facilitating collaborative working groups will allow the community to co-construct new “resources” devoted to social innovation (methods, “how-tos”, policy-making and collective challenges). These techniques will be made available in septembre 2012.

Our Team

Behind Imagination for People is a team of individuals who are passionate about useful creativity and new collaborative technologies. These individuals—who have an amazing synergy—are based in Quebec (Montreal) as well as France (Bordeaux, Lille, Clermont-Ferrand, Lyon and Paris).

Business Structure

Imagination for People is structured as a social business that’s currently made up of a not-for-profit entity (an endowment fund combined with an “association” in France and a non-profit organization in Quebec). Starting in 2012, this social business will also consist of a for-profit entity whose sole objective will be to provide long-term support for the funding of the platform.

The not-for-profit entity—called Imagination for People—manages the activities of the web-based platform (development, content, community, events, etc.). The for-profit entity will gradually begin to develop a core activity based on collaborative citizen consulting. The profits generated will serve to finance the not-for-profit entity, Imagination for People.

Business Model

This initial phase of getting Imagination for People off the ground is being funded by the sponsorship of businesses with a strong Corporate Social Responsibility focus, contributions from private foundations and tax-exempt donations. Other financial resources for this project are investments from socially engaged funds and international public financing.

As a social business, Imagination for People will have to generate its own revenue. Imagination for People will help identify social creators and innovators who have developed specific skill-sets and know-how that could be leveraged in other contexts by corporations or governments. It is a unique service offering that we call: Citizen to Business (C2B) and Citizen to Government (C2G) consulting. C2B and C2G is a new and revolutionary process of crowdsourcing of citizen expertise (“Smartsourcing”). We aim to marry the social innovation expertise of citizens with the specific needs of businesses and governments looking for cutting-edge solutions that take into account new requirements and new stakeholders. We hope that this pioneer initiative lead to a citizen-expert- type micro-entrepreneurship by radically democratizing consulting through the development of a true “agora of skills.”

Topping off this initiative is the sale of API solutions (Application Programming Interface or plug-in solutions), which will allow third-party websites to use Imagination for People’s resources, particularly in terms of facilitation dynamics and visualization tools for online working groups. These third-party sites will then be able to use I4P’s architecture to meet their own needs by means of a “mirror interface” (edited content appears simultaneously on 2 sites).

In due course, Imagination for People will position itself as a social business inspired by the concept developed by Muhammad Yunus in which the shareholders of the citizen consulting activity could obtain a reasonable capped return.

Our financial partners

Imagination for People is funded by grants from the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, by donations from the Leopold Mayer Foundation (Fondation pour le Progrès de l’Homme) and from the COREDEM information platform (through RITIMO) as well as by the financial patronage of Algoé, a consultancy in France. We wish to thank our four partners for their trust and support. They were instrumental in helping us start Imagination for People. A French Endowment Fund (Fonds de dotation) was also set up in France in order to mobilize additional private donations.

OIF  Algoé  Fondation pour le Progrès de l'Homme  Ritimo - Coredem   DKC

Platform Host

The Imagination for People platform (imaginationforpeople.org) is hosted by the not-for- profit “association” Imagination for People in France and by the non-profit organization Imagination Citoyenne in Quebec.