Our strategic partner, Mandalah São Paulo just celebrated the successful conclusion of The Festival de Ideias (Festival of Ideas), an event organized in partnership with Centro Ruth Cardoso, V2V.net, and Catarse. Prior to the event, the website invited participants to submit entries for projects to improve three areas that affect Brazilian society: violence, natural catastrophes and urban mobility. In just four week, we received over 300 suggestions. Of those, 20 were selected for discussion at a two-day event held at Cinemateca, São Paulo.

During the event, the participants redefined and adapted their ideas in a series of co-creation sessions.  Each participant produced a short video explaining their idea and its social benefits. The three winning ideas were Pontos do Bairro (Neighborhood Places), a platform to enable people to share local services; Mapeamento de Rotas no Brasil para Cicloturismo (Mapping Routes for Bicyle Tours in Brazil), a mapping project to promote cycling; and Turma de Valor (Valuable Crowd), an educational initiative to increase young people’s reflection on social issues. These projects were each awarded R$10,000 (US$5,288) to develop the idea further, in addition to the R$2,000 (US$1,069) that all 20 ideas received just for being finalists.

The event closed with a discussion featuring Fernando Henrique Cardoso, ex-president of Brazil.  The dialogue emphasized how the activities of co-creation and collaboration are much more than a current trend or management fad—these practices represent a radical challenge to traditional, hierarchical forms of organization and are necessary elements within a networked, participatory democracy. We look forward to seeing how the ideas developed at the festival will continue to grow and serve their community over the coming months.