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Awesome Projects

We're putting together a project grab bag.

We're all of us talented and motivated folks, but coming up with an enticing 3-week project with a group of strangers in just an hour or two might still be a tall order. So there'll be a grab bag of projects for teams to choose from/be inspired by in case creating one from scratch isn't immediately obvious.

What kind of projects? Try a few of these sample ideas on for size:

Pups in the Park

Champion: Tracy Larson
Inspired photography to make some good happen in the world.  In this project an Awesome Fest team sets up an area in a public park for the afternoon and works with a pro photographer to photograph people with their pets.  For a small donation ($10-$20), people can have professional photos taken of their pets, which they can then download off of a website.  Donations benefit an animal shelter in the Denver Metro area.

The project calls for some inspired assistants to hustle for the event day of and some publicity to have this make as much happiness for park goers and good for an animal shelter happen as possible.  Bonus points for talent able to rally media coverage.

Art over Graffiti

Champion: Nick Orf
Stuff around town gets tagged by graffiti all the time.  Dumpsters, alleyways, buildings, mailboxes, you name it.  The city of Denver has a crew that goes around regularly to paint over unsightly graffiti, and at a sizable cost.

It's a worthy, ongoing vigil to keep the city beautiful.

But what if it could be done a better way?  Public art, like the instance shown here, has a tendency to be respected and NOT get tagged by visual thuggery.  This project is to get artists who would love the chance to make beauty like this empowered to do just that while both beautifying Denver and lightening the load of its maintenance crew.  Bonus points if the Awesome Fest team can do it with at least the city's full blessing.

Fun-based Spontaneous Exercising

Champion: paul macfarlane
Can we get people to exercise spontaneously anywhere? Make it easy, fun, rewarding?  See this for inspiration...


Match Maker, Awesome Fest Style

Champion: David Fox
Meet Shanna.

Shanna is a smart, successful, beautiful and fun 41 year old woman who has never been married and would like to find the right guy. The game in this project is to connect Shanna with up to 10 great guys who meet her profile, for a date (of the man’s choice). For every man an Awesome Fest team connects Shanna with (up to 10) she will donate $100 to a charity of choice.

Home Brew Co-Op

Champion: Anne Richardson
Making beer is fun, but for the most part it's limited to a set of hard core folks willing to take the plunge into the world of beer craft.  Reading books, buying supplies, bleaching the bathtub... it's a lot of commitment.

This project is to create a co-op of beer making.  The premise is simple: shared supplies, shared knowledge, and an atmosphere that fosters camaraderie, fun, and the exploration of beer.  From scratch it could be done by getting some donated space, rustling up some cash to buy supplies, and installing a team of volunteer aficionados to run the place.  With some light membership dues an Awesome Fest team could create a fantastic, sustainable fixture here in Denver.

Ronald McDonald House Benefit Event

Champion: Kendra Ingles
Here’s a chance to create an event that’s cool, fun, and makes a difference while being backed by a solid, well respected charitable organization.  This project has you partner with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Denver to do just that.

A Truck Pull event is one possible idea.  Engage businesses around town to become sponsors and form teams of who can pull a truck the fastest in 30 seconds, and the result a friendly competition event with food, music and fun in the parking lot of the Ronald McDonald House.  An Awesome Fest team with networking, event planning, and marketing abilities could do a lot to fund and forward the mission of the house.

Pimp My Homeless

Champion: John Larson
In the spirit of "Pimp my ride" comes a chance to do good for some of Denver's homeless in a novel way.

Distinct from conventional services like clothing drives, shelters, and soup kitchens, this project is all about leaving people looking sharp and feeling really taken care of.  An event staffed by a pro stylist or two could do things like a haircut, a shave, maybe even a manicure or the like.

Add in a targeted clothes drive to send folks off with some shiny new threads, and you could have folks walking away feeling like a whole new person, not to mention having the attendant self-esteem that comes with it.


Champion: Glenn Lee
Green energy meets exercise in this proof-of-concept project. In it a team will trick out a stationary bike bought off of Craigslist to be an energy-efficient workstation, allowing users to charge their laptop with the energy of their exercise. Then, make inroads to get it installed in a highly trafficked place like DIA as a high impact way to forward sustainable energy concepts.

Off-the-shelf technology exists to make this happen. Led by the inventor, the project calls for electrical engineering talent, a designer to make it look sharp, and someone who can connect and pitch to get it a high profile installation.

What a job REALLY takes

Champion: Magdalena Fox
Law school. Med school. MBA’s.

There’s no shortage of folks who have done LOADS of schooling for a very specific career only to find it… uh, is not their cup of tea. Strike a blow for truth that trumps glamour, and dig deep to find out what it really takes to make it and be happy in popular fields. Fancy degrees are great, but even greater is people delighted in their chosen career.

This project calls for interviewing people in a number of popular fields, learning the straight dope about them, and creating an accessible resource (a la website) for curious freshmen to wrap their minds around. Promote it to universities, job fairs, and organizations dedicated to helping people find jobs or new careers, and you’ve made a fine impact in the world.

Break a Guinness World Record

Champion: Eliav Cohen
This would be so cool if a team were to take on. We're not saying you need to make an even bigger burger, but some record in there is ripe for topping with a committed group.

Maybe get the largest number of people to all do a shot at the same time? Or make the tallest papier-mâché sculpture ever? Lotta records out there. You won't have time to grow the longest nails, but plenty others are doable in 3 weeks.

UrbanAire Deck Garden

Champion: Glenn Lee
Urban gardening is a nice way to infuse concrete cityscapes with green vegetation, and moreover includes fresh veggies, grown locally and sustainably. This project is exploring a novel and compact approach to urban gardening. Glenn Lee, inventor and project champion for Urban Salad Garden, has all the know-how to create a working gardening system according to the designs shown here, plus a wealth of ideas for extensions and avenues to have this sort of system make a hit.

A prototype is already built and so there are a couple of avenues that an Awesome Fest team could take with this project, including engineering a few enhancements, installing a few units in high profile places to generate interest and exposure, and working out how to offer such a thing to a mass audience.

Text vs. Ticket

Champion: Eric Hienes
If you live in the city, chances are good that you've been nicked by a parking ticket or two for street sweeping (i.e. city fundraiser or the "let's keep our citizenry on their toes" initiative).  And not without good reason: I mean, who can be bothered to remember if it's the second or the forth Tuesday of the month and on which side again?

Sure, the city has email reminders to accompany those convoluted red signs, but who wants their inbox full of junk from the city? Text vs. Ticket would be a free system that sends automatic text reminders corresponding to the street sweeping rules in your neighborhood. 

Phase I (system development) is complete. Phase II needs the creative thinking of Awesome Fest to accomplish. The goal: spread the world of this awesomeness, and help your neighbor (and don't forget... to stick it to the man).

Hugs for Hydrants

Champion: Brian Melton
Once upon a time in Kentucky a slightly intoxicated friend decided she wanted to take a picture hugging a fire hydrant. On reflection, this is kind of hilarious.

And worthy of a gag website prime for making a difference.

Hugs For Hydrants is a website where, for a donation of $1, people can post pics of themselves hugging hydrants. We can then expand it to people hugging all sorts of things. The money will then go to a Firefighter/Appropriate charities to be decided at a later date. "Don't be a dingus...Hugs for Hydrants!"

Let the Awesome work for you?

Communities and organizations of Seattle: here's your chance to get a team of talented folks creating something sexy to forward your cause. If you'd like to have a project that you create featured and available for a Being Awesome is Awesome Fest team to take on, you'll need to provide the following:

  • A project champion who will be there at Being Awesome is Awesome Fest to pitch the project and work with the team that takes up your cause.
  • A blurb about the project that succinctly lays out the nature of it, the kinds talent that would be useful, and the tangible results to be produced.
  • A few high-res photos and/or images to visually display and/or convey the project. (Actually optional, but might totally help your cause!)

If you're interested in being featured in the Being Awesome is Awesome Fest Project Grab Bag, please submit the following:

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