SeaFreight Labs and Habitat for Humanity use crowdsourcing platform InnoCentive to seek innovative solutions to global housing challenges
ATLANTA (Oct. 12, 2020) — Habitat for Humanity is teaming up with SeaFreight Labs, a consultancy delivering crowd-sourced solutions to the global seafreight community, to leverage open innovation firm InnoCentive for ideas to help improve the quality of homes in communities around the world in need of decent, affordable shelter.
More than 1.6 billion people globally lack adequate shelter. During natural disasters and other catastrophes, homes with unsafe foundations put families at risk for displacement, disease and insecurity. Thanks to the support of SeaFreight Labs, Habitat for Humanity is seeking innovative proposals to target this issue through four different challenges.
InnoCentive’s global network of nearly 500,000 registered expert problem solvers, comprised of engineers, PhD students, CEOs, start-ups, material experts, scientists and business leaders will undertake each of these challenges and present their pitches to be judged by staff at Habitat’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter.
“Because so many families around the world build their homes incrementally, Habitat for Humanity is always looking for innovative ways to facilitate affordable upgrades of existing structures,” said Patrick Kelley, vice president of the Terwilliger Center. “No one can solve the complex and varied housing challenges in the world in isolation and we want to capture ideas from as diverse a crowd as possible. We thank SeaFreight Labs for giving us the opportunity to try this intriguing approach. I cannot wait to see what the solvers come up with.”
Open for submissions until Jan. 5, 2021, the first challenge addresses cost-effective ways to retrofit houses in the Philippines with a focus on strengthening structures so they can withstand typhoon-force winds and high-magnitude earthquakes of up to 7.2 on the Richter scale. Habitat plans to feature three additional challenges in the Habitat pavilion on InnoCentive’s platform.
“The magic of crowd-solving is that it benefits from diversity of experience and background,” said Harry Sangree, founder and CEO of SeaFreight Labs. “We are excited to assist Habitat with this important work and to bring these challenges to the seafreight and maritime communities, as well as hundreds of thousands of solvers from all manner of industries. Perhaps someone in our industry will have the special perspective that sparks the innovative idea to help Habitat further improve housing around the world.”
About Habitat for Humanity
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.
About SeaFreight Labs
SeaFreight Labs is an open-innovation consultancy offering turn-key crowd-solving services to the seafreight, maritime and logistics industries. We design and execute global challenges to cost-effectively deliver breakthrough innovation for intractable problems. Visit www.seafreightlabs.com.