The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Chicago 2014, April 12-13


Paired with Team Gengler

IDEAco, or The Coalition for Innovative Development, Education, and Action is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that uses experiential education programming to build communities of Changemakers. We see the combination of design thinking, exponential technology, and a globally connected community as the key to making Change happen on a grand scale. Our programs challenge and empower people of all ages to solve problems and make real-world impact.

Currently our flagship project is the City X Project (, which teaches design thinking and creative problem solving to kids aged 8-12 through a story-based curriculum that utilizes 3D modeling and 3D printing technologies. This program is sponsored by 3D Systems. In 2013 we ran 16 City X Project workshops throughout the US (in Illinois, Wisconsin, California, and Alaska) as well as in Lebanon and Hungary. This year City X will be going to Singapore and Denmark, at a minimum, and we will also be launching a free, downloadable City X Project toolkit for educators.

We also have a program aimed toward high school students called the Exponential Youth Camp (XYC), which we offer in partnership with Singularity University in Mountain View, CA at the NASA Ames Research Park. In Summer 2013 we piloted Singularity University's first high school-focused program, and we are expanding this program this summer.

Our goal is to offer programming that empowers everyone to be a Changemaker. In addition to these programs for youth and students, we also plan to launch community-based resource centers in 2014, with the first space slated for Chicago.

What new functionality we are looking for

We would like our website to visually communicate the story of our organization and our programs by prominently featuring great stories and photographs of the work we do. As we do emphasize design thinking, the aesthetic design of our website is also critically important. Additionally, with a focus on global programming, we want our website to be highly visual and relatively easily understood by visitors from around the world who may not have English as their first language.

We are hoping to build a website that will take advantage of the Google Maps API to visually indicate where our programs have taken place, and to encourage visitors to both learn more about the programs that have taken place near them, as well as encourage them to initiate new programming in their own local communities.

We would like our website to be highly visual with an easy and aesthetically pleasing blog that highlights stories from our programs, as well as accompanying photos and videos. We will especially be placing emphasis on high quality photography.

Perhaps the most difficult piece to tackle will be a simple e-commerce platform to sell the City X Project toolkits and a few accompanying add-ons. This will be limited to only around 5 items.

Lastly, beginning this year we will have participants register for programs on our website, so easy-to-use integration with Stripe and accompanying payment processing forms will be necessary.

How the new functionality will help

We are a startup nonprofit that has barely been functioning for a year, and we have a team of only three people at the moment. While we are hoping to greatly increase our funding for 2014 and grow our team, we are all currently extremely overloaded with how quickly our programming has grown since IDEAco began. Our current website was meant to be a placeholder while a new one was built, but we never had the time to build the new site ourselves or the funding to hire a web designer.

Though our programming ballooned in 2014 (especially the City X Project), we struggled to cohesively explain what IDEAco itself was as an organization, and we are hoping that a new website with much clearer language and more stories from our programs will better convey our hopes and intentions, which is to build and empower communities of Changemakers around the world.

How our organization will use the technology

Who will use the technology

Our Mission

IDEAco is a global coalition on a mission to build and empower communities of Changemakers. We emphasize design thinking and exponential technologies as tools for change, and also believe strongly in global community building. Our programs are replicable models for Changemaking that we seek to share widely, creating shared experiences and resources that make real-world impact.