I’m writing to introduce Soup Ottawa’s “Public Repository of Goodness” database (available here). The Repository is an aggregation of project summaries submitted to us for presentation, from our first event to our very latest. It’s our attempt to protect seeds of ideas, which we see as a very precious commodity. Each time a team submits a proposal to participate in a Soup event, we’re asking them to allow us, if they wish, to post a quick summary of their idea, as well as their contact information, to our publicly-available database.
Why? Fairly simple: their idea may not be selected; or, their idea may get selected and not win. We are first to admit that the majority of bragging rights for Ottawa-based micro-grants goes to the winner. This is our attempt to rectify that, and ensure no great idea falls through the cracks.
We are making a Repository for a few reasons:
One, so that those teams or individuals get the recognition they deserve.
Two, to foster collaboration and raise awareness about an idea. There are often a few people in one place working on the same issue at the same time, perhaps even in the same neighbourhood. The Repository is a chance for those people to become aware of others doing similar work, and to allow them to connect, exchange perspectives, and perhaps collaborate.
Three, it’s an opportunity for all of us to support those who create. As many of you know, the creative process is a deeply intimate one, which can turn any shrewd analytical mind into a basket case of emotion very quickly. Should you find one of these ideas exciting, please show it: email that person or team, or encourage them to keep going; you may be exactly what they needed to keep it going. I know from personal experience what it’s like to submit an idea and not receive that grant, that scholarship, or that selection nod. Rejections can mobilize people to work even harder to achieve their vision, but rejections can also damage confidence irreparably.
Four, sometimes an idea is excellent but the reason it is not selected is often fairly trivial. It could be that it’s too similar to what was recently funded, or that it gets excluded to foster diversity (i.e. we already have two musicians presenting on a similar theme). For one reason or another, good or not so good, the stars don’t align, and an excellent idea is lost.
I encourage you to link to our database on our sites, share it with your networks, and help us expand it. We invite groups who have access to Ottawa-based ideas (be it from the other micro-grant groups in town, innovation incubator spaces, or others) to get in touch with us and contribute to our list. We want the Repository to become a go-to resource for the creative minds and beautiful projects set in Ottawa, past and present.
– Dan Monafu