Little Rock, Ark.-based Heifer International, which promotes rural development through teaching animal husbandry and providing livestock gifts to poor farmers around the world, is the first humanitarian organization to be involved in the Idea Aid initiative taking place through Saturday, Nov. 21.
The “Inaugural Idea Aid Challenge” is organized by Mensa Process, a self-described “brain trust,” which was founded in 1946 for exceptionally intelligent people who score in the top 2 percent on standardized intelligence tests.
“We’re not raising money at this time; we’re looking for new ways to raise money,” David Wynett, managing director of the New York-based Mensa organization, told GlobalAtlanta following the launch of the week long event.
Mr. Wynett was in Atlanta Monday where he led a local Idea Aid brainstorming session at the University of Georgia’s Terry Executive Education Center in Buckhead.
He said that the Idea Aid concept stems from the Live Aid and Farm Aid concerts of 1985. Live Aid was the first multi-venue rock music concert that was viewed by some 400 million spectators through satellite link-ups in 60 countries on behalf of famine relief in Ethiopia. It was followed that year by a Farm Aid concert to save family farms in the United States from foreclosure.
The Idea Aid initiative seeks to collect ideas to combat poverty worldwide through its www.ideaaid.com Web site. A sampling of the ideas already posted on the site include “Global Idol,” a worldwide “American Idol” style talent competition; an online marketplace and a resource migration tax.
Mensa Process will review ideas submitted to the Internet site. Heifer International and other non-profit organizations that become involved will implement the chosen ideas.
Mr. Wynett said Mensa Process does consulting work for corporations such as the Coca-Cola Co., but that the Idea Aid initiative was solely for non-profits. “Give an idea, not a dollar to help charity,” is the way the initiative is being promoted.
An example of Mensa Process’ commercial work, Mr. Wynett said, lies behind the recent joint venture between Coke and illycafe s.p.a., which is marketing new lines of ready-to-drink coffee.
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