Why we're running the #WTF campaign

8th October 2017 8:00 AM

ORDINARY people often have the best ideas to solve problems - but they don't always have the means to make them real.

That's why the brains behind #WTF Australia have launched this campaign for Aussies to address the most pressing hip-pocket issues of the day - and get expert advice as well.

Addressing power prices, job security, housing affordability and the future of our kids, the not-for-profit Australian Futures Project is offering cash prizes for the best WTF solutions and help take them beyond idea stage into real projects.

WTF (What's The Future) Australia builds on last year's hugely successful My Big Idea, which is already boasting success stories in the form of ideas made into real businesses and interests by the Australian Futures Project and its corporate partners, who provided funds and incubation.

Among them is an educational program teaching young people life skills not learned in school, a collaborative working space for small businesses and an app to harvest and share the wisdom older Australians - keeping them social and active while passing on truly valuable information.

The man creating that "InTheKnow" app, Brett Granger, said: "Older generations have a lifetime of knowledge and experience. Imagine if you could tap into it, on demand, without having to spend hours searching the internet for the information you are after."

Mr Granger, of Perth, has partnered with the University of Technology, Sydney, and two local WA councils to launch a website and run a pilot trial.

He said of the process: "If you are new to the start-up scene, then there are three essential elements you will need to be successful. Collaboration, collaboration, and collaboration. That and a bucket load of perseverance."

At the other end of the age spectrum is the "How To Adult" video series made by Kenny Chy of Melbourne, who described his idea like this: "As simple as teaching young people how to apply for rental properties, how to do their taxes, apply for a visa, what a mortgage is, what being an adult means."

The series has reached over 250,000 young people. "I never would've thought my idea was worth anything, so If you think you've got a dumb idea - it's probably not," said Mr Chy.

Also in Victoria, Creative Geelong Makerspace was an idea encourage collaboration via art, design and technology disciplines in Geelong. Its creators Kathy Reid and Jennifer Cromarty won a $100,000 grant over two years from the City of Greater Geelong.

Ms Reid said the key was to "believe in your idea."

She said: "Keeping focus on your core purpose as well as an eye on detail and nurturing key relationships has been key."