I believe in the power of the people… Because, unlike fossil fuels, the power of the people don’t stop. A fact of life for many interested young adults is the dire state of our environment and its eventual effect on the economy. Instead of allowing the status-quo to perpetuate, a group of students from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, have turned to social media as a means to launch “The IDEAS Network”.

IDEAS is an acronym for Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions and was started by Chris Castro and Henry Harding  in 2008 as a means to  build a “network of innovations”, “raise awareness about solutions in sustainability”, “taking action”, and advocating the development and sharing of solutions.


In fall 2011, IDEAS launched “the IDEAS Network” which is described as a “Solutions-Based Social Collaboration”. A clean, open social networking tool that enables members to share documents, ideas, discuss events, plan events, share job opportunities, inspire advocacy for various causes and provide a link between academia and the private sector.

Give the IDEAS Network a try. The most beautiful thing about it is the privacy. The non-profit nature of IDEAS insures that you wont be barraged by ads, overwhelmed by uninteresting events, and dozens of messages from your mother… who probably wont be on it.

It is this kind of self initiative and unbridled passion for organizing and solution creation that will eventually solve our sobering state of the environment. Where information now flies from all corners of the globe, hosting a targeted demographic for dialog with the stated mission of creating solutions for sustainability issues is a great initiative. With an increasing number of delegates from all over the world, the IDEAS network could potentially become the facebook for the sustainably minded. Adding value is the fact that as more content is uploaded and categorized, students and professionals can use this as an open source for reference documentation and solution development.

A sharepoint with your friends

While discussions on policy can be found all over facebook, the uniform demographic of the IDEAS network enable a concentrated effort to be forged. Naturally, the nay-sayers will come in as trolls and try to provide their 1%er scientific “evidence” that the climate change and deforestation actually comes from pluto’s position relative to Paris Disney…  However, the progress that can be made by creating a social network based platform for discussion and advocacy. The groups range in DIY Sustainable Farming to Off the Grid Party Houses. Which I find pretty awesome.

IDEAS student organization has expanded to more than a dozen universities in the United States. More information can be found at: http://ideasforus.org/