Focus: They do what...? - Byways of the charity world

Graham Willgoss

The Institute for Social Inventions

The institute was set up in 1985 as a network of thinkers - known to the organisation as investors - who devised solutions to social problems.

A decade later it established the Global Ideas Bank, a website it says is "part suggestion box, part networking tool, part democratic think tank and part inspirational entertainment".

GIB has since become the name most people know it by, and it has the aim of "promoting and disseminating creative ideas to improve society".

Site members are invited to submit ideas for solving social problems to the 'ideas bank', where they are analysed and rated by site visitors on feasibility, originality and humour.

"Give us your ideas and join the most exciting thing to happen to social invention since two hairy guys rubbed a couple of sticks together!" screams the institute's homepage. Suggestions range from a tax on men to a camera for quadriplegics that allows them to draw with their eyes.

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