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Twitter Roundup – August 6: Car-sharing in Paris, idea-sharing on Ideo, Obama thanks 13 changemakers

   /   Aug 6th, 2010News

Search for the hashtag #socent and you’ll find wide-ranging interest in social entrepreneurship on Twitter. Here’s a roundup of a few thought-provoking tweets from the last week:

Remember Vélib, the pilot bike-sharing experiment in Paris that’s been replicated in cities around the world?  Well, drawing on its successes and learning from its failures, the city of Paris is getting ready to launch a public car-sharing service called Autolib next fall. According to NPR, innovative transportation solutions like this one have brought traffic within the city of Paris down 25% since 2001. We’ll be curious to see how it stacks up next to U.S.-based car-sharing services like Zipcar and PhillyCarShare.

Ideo is a company known for creating innovative design solutions for others. This week, though, they announced a new initiative that’s all their own. OpenIDEO allows people who deal with social problems to crowdsource solutions. For example, it launched this week with a challenge from Jamie Oliver: How can we raise kids’ awareness of the benefits of fresh food so they can make better choices? There are already hundreds of responses that will be put through the ringer over the next few months before a final idea is reached. This may be a promising way to identify, or develop, innovative solutions. Here’s our suggestion for Ideo: follow the lead of the truth campaign, which did wonders to reduce teen smoking, and apply it to food.

Wednesday at the White House, on his birthday, President Obama gave Citizens Medals to 13 Americans who have effected change in the United States. “What unites these citizens — what makes them special — is the determination they share to find a wrong and right it,” the president said. Among the recipients are Elizabeth Cushman Titus Putnam, founder of the Student Conservation Association, and MaryAnn Phillips, a volunteer at an American soldiers’ hospital in Germany. View the full list of winners here.

You have to allow us a little self-promotion here—we’re very excited about our Twitter contest this week. We’ve been asking you (yes, you!) to tell us what you’re doing this summer to make an impact in your community. Tweet @dowserDOTorg with the hashtag #SummerImpact by the end of the day today to have a chance to win one of five $30 Amazon gift cards, as well as the chance to tell your story on Dowser.

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