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City ideas banks

“I am too short to grab a handle in the subway. I need a lower handle”. This is one of the ideas that was turned into reality as a result of the Seoul Ideas Bank. Image courtesy of the Hope Institute.

The lack of channels to develop ideas is the main weakness of ideas banks as a method for generating social innovation. However, ideas banks can be more closely tied into action. One successful example is the ideas bank launched by the Seoul Metropolitan Government in 2006. In 2007 it received 74000 proposals, 140 per day. Each entrant received a reply within a week. 1300 ideas were adopted wholesale and many others partially. Examples of successful projects include setting up social enterprises and lowering hand straps in the Metros for shorter passengers.