Have you ever had a crazy idea that someone else should do? One that demands time, skill, money, energy, or connections you just don’t have right now? One that is too big, too daring, too… crazy to invest in at the moment? But one with such potential that someone should do it?

If so, you’re not alone. Too many good ideas die before they’re even put on the table, let alone given a decent chance to succeed. They might be dismissed as too risky for organizations. Too raw for accelerators. Too…unconventional. But if a handful of these “crazy” ideas came to fruition, they could change the world.

It’s sometimes said dismissively that “good ideas are a dime a dozen—what’s rare is good people to implement them.” We agree with the second clause, but disagree with the first. Good new ideas are incredibly important, especially in an age of breakneck innovation in the private sector. We must invest in the innovation or “R&D” capacity of the movement and therefore we must deliberately incubate, develop, test, match-make, and accelerate new ideas—both within and outside of existing organizations.

Welcome to the Crazy Ideas Bank!

The Crazy Ideas Bank, is a collaborative initiative designed to:

  • CURATE crazy ideas from all over the movement in one central place. We canvass big thinkers, campaigners, communicators, and organizers and bring the ideas together into a searchable database of “crazy ideas someone else should do.”
  • CONNECT extraordinary social entrepreneurs, intrepreneurs, and funders interested in innovation. Through an Innovation Collaborative, we bring key stakeholders together to dream up and hone new ideas. And we will match-make and incubate crazy ideas with people who can carry them out.
  • CREATE new tactics, campaigns, memes, one-off efforts, even new organizations. We partner with innovators to develop ideas and package plans and hand them off to accelerators, organizations, and interested individuals. Our mission is to take a handful of crazy ideas from the “someone should” starting mark to the “we did” finish line.

The Crazy Ideas Bank, a project of the non-profit organization Gamechanger Labs, is fiscally housed by the Movement Strategy Center.


What types of ideas are you looking for?

Right now, we’re actually looking for three very specific types of ideas:

1. CLEVER AND SPECIFIC IDEAS: Clever new organizing strategies, frameworks, memes, networks, organizations, policies, or initiatives that are specific, original, and viable enough to sound a little bit crazy but not TOTALLY CRAZY.

2. NEW PROJECTS: Projects of the same description that have already been started but that need major help and are not yet completely off the ground.

3. REPLICABLE MODELS: Models that have worked well in one place that might be spread.

What happens to my ideas when I submit them?

It depends. If you mark it public, we may choose to feature it. If you mark it “friends-only” we will track it in a spreadsheet and share it with advisers and others in the Crazy Ideas Bank community but it will not go on the website. If you mark it “private” we won’t show it to anyone. In any case, if we like your idea, we will explore possibilities to help make it happen. We don’t make any promises—there are a lot of ideas and so little time! If something moves on your idea, we will try to let you know. By submitting and entrusting us with your ideas, we view you as a partner. We are honored by your submission and will do our best to honor it in return.

Who We Are

Billy Wimsatt is President of Gamechanger Labs and Gamechanger Networks and Co-Founder of the Crazy Ideas Bank. Previously, Wimsatt founded, co-founded and/or managed several organizations including: League of Young Voters, Generational Alliance, Coffee Party, Ohio Youth Corps (a joint project of the Obama campaign and the Ohio Democratic Party), The Ballot.org, 99Elect.org, and most recently Rebuild the Dream, where he served as Strategic Partnerships & Political Director. His writing has appeared in: Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Vibe, Huffington Post, The Nation and he is author or editor of six books with more than 100,000 copies in print, most recently Please Don’t Bomb The Suburbs. He was named by Utne Magazine as “Utne Visionary” and to The Source Magazine’s “Power 30.” He has spoken at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, MIT’s Graduate School of Urban Planning, Yale, and Stanford — although he is a proud college drop-out.

Colin Holtz is a progressive writer and strategist and Co-Founder of the Crazy Ideas Bank. Colin has written on behalf of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and progressive leaders including Van Jones. He most recently served as National Campaigns Director at Rebuild the Dream, where he directed issue campaigns and digital strategy for the progressive economic non-profit. He worked closely with Rebuild President Van Jones to craft the organization’s communications approach and prepare for media appearances. Previously, as a Senior Strategist at M+R Strategic Services, he designed and executed advocacy campaign plans for progressive clients. He was also the M+R digital team’s lead writer, and developed and led an intensive four-month staff writing training program. Colin has also served as Senior Email Campaigner for Advocacy and Elections at Organizing for America during the health reform fight, and as Internet Director for Joe Sestak’s 2006 congressional campaign.

Katherine Oh is a consultant and writer with more than a decade of experience operating at the intersection of policy, politics, communications, and advocacy. As Senior Advisor to Gamechanger Labs, she oversees all content for the Crazy Ideas Bank. She has previously served as a senior communications advisor to Progressive States Network, director of Media Matters For America’s messaging initiative, and legislative and policy advisor to Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and the U.S. Senate Democratic Caucus.