Competition News

Announcing the Challenge I Champion!
Hip hip hooray! Congratulations to Christine Tubbs and her winning idea, Kids Lead the Way. Her idea will receive $15,000 to become a reality. Kids Lead the Way is a youth-led program that puts kids in the decision-making chair when it comes to making healthy food choices and developing life-long habits for active living.

Kudos to all of our finalists who came up with great ideas for Minnesota!

Game On.
You didn’t think we would let you rest for too long, did you? Get ready for round 2 in 2011!

In the meantime, stay in shape over at InCommons, an Idea Open friend. They're hosting all kinds of different Challenges and cool Gatherings and can help you connect with others interested in solving problems in your community.

Stay connected for exciting updates via Twitter and Facebook.

Guidelines, Criteria & FAQ

Challenge I

Who can enter an idea?

All Minnesota residents age 12 or older. Participants under the age of 18 must obtain parental consent prior to submitting an idea. On the entry form, you will be asked to provide a parent or guardian name and contact information for consent purposes.

When can I enter my idea?

You may submit your ideas starting on March 18, 2022 at 12:00 a.m. CST and ending on April 9, 2022 at midnight.

How do I enter my idea?

You may submit your ideas at If you do not have access to the Internet at home, try your school or local library, or ask a friend. You also may contact us at

How many ideas may I enter throughout the Challenge?

You may enter as many different ideas as you wish.

Do idea entries need to be in English?

Yes, we can only accept entries submitted in English. If you need help finding someone to translate your idea to English, please contact us at

What types of ideas qualify?

We welcome all ideas! You do not need to write a formal proposal. Keep it simple yet clear and concise. Have fun and be creative!

How are ideas reviewed?

We will review ideas based on these primary criteria:

  • Innovation: Is the idea creative? We are looking for fresh solutions. Ideas may be a new twist on an existing solution, or a completely new approach.
  • Impact: Will the idea make a difference? We're looking for ideas that are feasible and are likely to help people eat smart and/or be active.
  • Sustainability and Potential for Growth: Will the idea stick and can it be repeated in other communities? We are looking for ideas that will be in practice a year – or even several years – from now, and ones that other communities can adopt.

What if ideas are the same?

We recognize that some ideas may be similar. If the judges determine two or more ideas are identical then only the entry submitted first will be considered. If the judges determine the ideas are similar but not identical, they will judge each idea on its merits against the criteria. The judges' decision is final.

The spirit of the Idea Open community is one of openness and trust. We ask all participants to uphold this spirit and respect one another’s ideas and give proper credit.

How do I know if you received my entry?

You will receive an email confirmation.

What is the Challenge process?

2010 timeline:

  • March 18: The Idea Drive kicks off! The Idea Open begins accepting entries.
  • April 9: The Idea Drive ends and submissions are closed.
  • May 4: Three finalists are announced and voting begins. All eligible Minnesotans can vote online to select the Challenge Champion from a field of three finalists.
  • May 14: Voting ends.
  • Week of May 17: The idea with the most votes is announced and celebrated!

Who owns my idea?

As a participant in the Idea Open, your idea becomes public and you allow the Idea Open to promote, share and implement your idea – with or without your involvement. We hope you will be involved, of course, but if circumstances prevent your participation, we reserve the right to use your idea for the aforementioned purposes.

Your idea is viewable by the public online. Other community members may comment on your idea, make suggestions and share it with others. The spirit of the Idea Open encourages everyone to share and spread good ideas for the greatest common good.

Who is eligible to vote?

All Minnesota residents age 12 or older.

How many times can I vote?

You may vote once per email address.

How many entries are voted on?

Three ideas will be selected as finalists and made eligible for public voting.

What happens in the event of a tie?

If the finalists receive the same highest number of votes, the idea that is first to receive the highest number of votes will be the one that is announced the Challenge Champion.

How are the finalists selected?

A community panel of volunteer reviewers evaluates all idea entries and narrows all submissions to a group of 20 semi-finalists. A select panel of judges then selects three ideas as finalists. Profiles and photos of the judges are posted on

What is expected of me if I am a finalist?

If your idea is selected as a finalist, you may be subject to a standard background check and may be asked to provide certain personal information needed for the background check.

If the idea selected as a finalist was submitted by an individual under the age of 18, s/he must obtain a parent or guardian's consent to participate and may be required to provide written consent to continue in the process.

Finalists also must be available during the judging process. If you cannot be reached, you may be disqualified as a finalist. We will make every effort to reach you, but timing is critical.

We will ask the three finalists to appear in a short video to “pitch” their ideas. That video will be posted to, the Idea Open YouTube channel and shared through various traditional and social media. We hope you will be willing to participate in additional public appearances related to the voting kick-off event and other celebratory events.

How will my idea be implemented?

The idea that receives the most votes is eligible to receive a $15,000 grant for implementation. The $15,000 grant will go to an organization that agrees to act as the fiscal agent for the project. Individuals are not eligible to receive the grant. The Idea Open and its partners will identify the fiscal agent. Our goal is to ensure that your idea is a success.

When will my idea be implemented?

We expect a timeframe of up to 12 months from the date the grant is issued.

If I receive the $500, is that amount taxable?

Please consult with your tax advisor to determine any potential tax implications.

How is my personal information used?

Your personal information used to build your online profile, submit an idea or vote will be used by Minnesota Idea Open for Idea Open purposes only. Emails are collected and used for Idea Open communications only. You may unsubscribe at any time.

When you submit an idea, your name is included with your idea on the website. Your name also will be used with your idea for the public voting phase. The ages and contact information of entrants remains confidential.

Semi-finalists may be subject to background checks, conducted by an independent, qualified firm. We will collect additional personal information from all semi-finalists to conduct the background checks. Your information will be kept confidential and used only to determine further eligibility.

How are negative comments handled?

In keeping with the spirit of the Open, we ask participants to keep discussion constructive. The Open is about encouraging participation and brainstorming new ideas – not tearing down any idea, individual or organization. If we feel that any ideas or comments are disparaging of any individual or organization, we will remove it. To be transparent, we will replace the idea or comment with a note explaining our action.

How do I get help?

If you need help with your entry or have questions that are not answered here, please contact us at

How do I participate?


The first time you join a group, submit an idea, or comment on an idea, you will be asked to sign up. Getting started is as simple as entering a username, your first and last name, email address and CAPTCHA text. (We have to make you do this to prevent misuse of the site.)


For more information on how to submit your idea, go to our Guidelines, Criteria & FAQ.


After you sign in, check out the Idea Open Groups. Create your own or join an existing one. Groups are the place to connect with other Minnesotans around a particular issue or discussion topic.


When you submit an idea, it becomes a part of the Idea Open discussion. You can read other ideas and talk about them with others, and other people can do the same to your idea. We encourage you to see what ideas have been submitted – and cheer them on by giving them positive feedback!


You can participate by being an "ambassador" of the Idea Open. Tell your friends to visit the site and enter their ideas. Start a conversation at dinner, with your book club or host a community discussion. Share your idea or a link to the site through your social media networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, blog). Put up a poster in your neighborhood or school - or anywhere in your community that allows you to do so. You can download printable posters by clicking on the "Resources" tab below. Look for the file that reads: IdeaOpen_POSTER.pdf. And remember to let us know what you're doing - post a message to our Facebook wall or send us a note via Twitter @MNIdeaOpen.

Show Competition Timeline >
WinnerKids Lead the WayChristine TubbsUnited States, Minnesota


FinalistTake The Soul Patch StatewideErik WarnerUnited States, Minnesota, Morrison County
FinalistLibrary Wellness ChallengeAmy Schroeder IrelandUnited States, Minnesota
Learn more about this challenge

Competition Judges:

Atum Azzahir

Powderhorn / Phillips Cultural Wellness Center

Chris Freytag

Denzel Kingsbury


Kent Bottles, Ph.D.

Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement

Kathy Wiemer

General Mills

Sean Kershaw

Citizens League

Thomas Goetz

WIRED Magazine