Imagination for People

Plateforme collaborative internationale dédiée à l'imagination citoyenne


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Montpellier (Contact : marikabernier(@) et sylvain.maire(@)
SN Senegal

In development

About the project Edit

Imagination for People (IP) is a multilingual web platform dedicated to Citizen Imagination. This space for exchange aims to identify and help unparalleled experiences in social innovation emerge on an international scale. 

The goal is to bring people together to identify, share, support and expand social and citizens projects and that are the most unique and inventive. Imagination for People has chosen radical imagination. Targeted experiences extend social economy and solidarity boundaries. They are surprising, disruptive, inspiring and correspond to being the “first” in a given sector, culture or on a global scale.

Imagination for People is first and foremost a community of ordinary citizens found in just about all part of the world. They believe in the power of creativity to find concrete solutions that contribute to the living better together. In short, imagination is serves the common good.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

The platform now allows project initiators to exchange with the IP community and launch “calls for” to find skills, visibility, connections and material solutions (open source hardware) at low cost. There are online collaborative workgroup animation techniques being developed that will help the community co-construct new “resources” dedicated to social innovation (tools, methods, how to’s). Finally, it is a financial market centre that helps social entrepreneurial projects connect with financial institutions.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

IP’s ambition is two-fold: identifying dedicated innovative projects of extraordinary citizen imagination on an international scale. Projects delivered by individual entrepreneurs and enlightened citizen communities, visionary public organizations and pioneering businesses (the three P’s that Imagination for People likes to refer to as People, Public, Private). 

At the same time, IP aims to support social entrepreneurs in their start-up projects by providing them future collaborative tools that will help them mobilize world collective inventiveness. 

By serving as a network, the platform, therefore, helps promote the success of social entrepreneurial projects by providing tools to individuals so that they have a positive social impact.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

Imagination for People is an international, multilingual platform. The site was available in English and in French when the beta version was initially launched. Eventually, it will be available in at least eight different languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Hindi, Mandarin and Arabic. The Imagination for People community will, therefore, continue to grow and internationalize with time.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

After many years working as a strategic consultant, founder Frank Escoubès discovered that social entrepreneurs were lacking resources to help them realize their projects and share the knowledge needed for their success. He wanted to provide social entrepreneurs a Web platform that took the idea of clusters in the majority of industries. Soon afterwards, Jean-Michel Cornu joined the project and Imagination for People was born.

What is the business model of this project? Edit

Imagination for People developed a general interest infrastructure that everyone could access for free. It was based on an open (API, Creative Commons on content) and free (AGPL licence) platform. Similar to a path, the goal of this platform is to be appropriated and used by the largest number of people without them paying a fee. The business model is based on all private services that users who follow this “path” ask for like “taxis, gas stations, garages, stores” and the like.

Business structures that develop these services (citizen committees, group animation, adapting the platform for co-branding, developing new functionality, etc.), will repay both Imagination for People’s non-profit funding through branding and functionality in kind by returning source code. 

A second business model will complete the association’s funding and will be developed when the community of users is sufficiently large. It will be based on the site’s user donations similar to projects like Wikipedia.


Project Community

25 fans and 20 members

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Imagination for People is funded by grants from the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, by donations from the Leopold Mayer Foundation (Fondation pour le Progrès de l’Homme) and from the COREDEM information platform (through RITIMO) as well as by the financial patronage of Algoé, a consultancy in France. We wish to thank our four partners for their trust and support. They were instrumental in helping us start Imagination for People. A French Endowment Fund (Fonds de dotation) was also set up in France in order to mobilize additional private donations.