IDEAS and INNOVATIONS from
Part 1 1997
For Part 2 1999, see Oz Alternativs for the
Ideas can be as simple as a fun idea for a party, as high-powered
as a different money system, or seem as zany and ridiculous as going
to the Moon was always thought to be until fifty years ago.
SOCIAL INVENTIONS CAN
- Ideas and projects that make life better
- Ideas about inventions that are still needed to solve problems
- Ideas to think about, and concepts for the 21st Century
- Projects on the go
- In the news - ideas about current topics
25 CATEGORIES FOR
The First 290 Ideas from Oz
with links to details about 23 of them. Further links will
Send in your own ideas, discussions and accounts of
projects for the next 290 OzIdeas
inventions and visions for the future
and Life-long Education
- BabyBook "The Story of X " Start
a child's own life-history that does not end with babyhood.
- Children's Play Layouts that last
a week or more.
- Ideas for Peace Toys to replace
Children, parents and other adults
- To help prevent Child Abuse - TV
shows that show adults how to relate to children and solve family
problems without anger or losing control
- Childshare - so that children
& adults can enjoy each other's company more
- Community godparents as
'relatives' when no real relatives live locally.
- A Picture-book for Parents to
help them enjoy having children.
- Parents Unions - to keep down the
price of children's fashions & other demands
Schools - Child-scale Schools for children
- Art masterpieces in schools at
child's eye level
- Engineering in Primary schools
- Music education in playgrounds,
and music at boring times. Music and Learning experiments
- Techniques to help children with Attention-Deficit problems
- Learning How to Fail is something
we all need to know
- Socratic Quizzes in schools.
Children who can answer general knowledge questions can then ask
their own questions of a panel of teachers
- 'Real Heroes' for children and
- Schools English. Consideration is always needed for 'The Message of the Book'.
- Standards Certificates issued
each year show students' progress in a wide range of life skill
Secondary and General Education
- School curriculum. Social
inventions as a practical school certificate.
- Literacy Hurdle. No-one is
discharged fit from school until passing a simple hurdle.
- Social Education - What adults
ought to know and no-one leaves school til they do
- Standards Leaving Certificate
includes competence in practical living.Education Credits
so people can later have education they have earlier rejected.
- Updating Textbooks via the Internet
to avoid the present waste and expense
- University Entrance Test in
- Ph.Ds in English for students'
work to help everyone in the community to enjoy good literature,
not just delving into arcane authors.
- Perishing Publications - idea to
help the academic problem of 'publish or perish'
- Disaimiabilia - curing
dislikability and changing attitudes to dislikable people
- Cracked people - how to make the
most of ratbags, who can be useful.
- Families in the Korean tradition
- Family Day: One Day a Week free
for every family to do things together.
- Marriage options.Marriage A (no
children) and Marriage B (children arrive) differ in rites,
promises & law
- Mutual Alliances of friends to
help each other in life
- Roots.Everyone should have a
chance to know where and who they come from.
- RSVC Reply if you are
coming- rather than RSVP to save time and cost of replies
- Sexual Harassment A transcending
solution is to encourage courtesy to all, regardless of sex, race,
age, religion or driving behaviour.
- Teen parents discouraged by higher
bonuses given for first children who are born after the
mother is over twenty years old.
- Teenagers learn practical baby and
childcare locally - including care for 8-10-yr-olds, to
realise that babies turn into schoolchildren and then teenagers.
- Violent Blokes - Solutions that
are more useful than simply more refuges.
Housing, homes and
- Architecture - Awards for the
- House-selling: computerised and
libraries as estate agents to reduce costs
- The Sustainable Household to be
as important as Marketplace in economic thinking
- Home lies beyond your walls.
Remembering this, our egos can expand to benefit the community
- Designs to protect against bushfires
- Designs to protect against floods
- Calefectory - one room heated in
a house, to be economical and conservationist
- House log book in a built-in
cupboard in every home, for records of plans, wiring, past history
- Kitchen designs for 21C with
standard recycling/salvage spaces
- Conservation in the Suburbs,
growing your own firewood with fast growing timber trees
- Garden murals
- Alternative Housekeeping - a Gift
- Food.Computer Index for Recipes.
- Peel-off re-usable date-labels
for containers in friges to show when they went in.
- Science in the Home to test the
products you buy
5. Finance and
- Regional currency that
complements national currency, but is only legal tender in a
region for exchange of goods and services, and is not available
for financial dealings.
- Self-terminating Shares and Loans
when cumulative income = original price x X.
- Shares sold in TAB shops, as a
constructive and also risky form of gambling.
- Benevolence Tax. Rich people
choose what their supertax is spent on, and get honours for it.
- Speed Tax if you want a car that
goes over the country speed limit
- Waste Taxes on new buildings that
do not include basic energy conservation.
- Violence Tax on all acts of
violence, dishonesty or bad language shown in media, doubled if
appearing in trailers.
- Tax on Parliamentarians'
misbehaviour during debates, imposed by Speaker
Work and unemployment
- Jobs that are
needed. If all the work that needs to be done w ere
being done, there would be no unemployment. The issue is only how
to pay for them. Long lists include: -Instead of continually
producing products that soon become a problem for landfill and
rubbish removal, turn to production and sale of durable, mendable
and updatable goods, with more jobs for repairers and renovators;
and work to improve everyone's quality of life, however poor or
handicapped; and avoidance of polluting chemicals by more
labor-intensive farming and pest control; and multicultural
promotion of beautiful environments, homes, goods and clothes and
distinctively Australian innovations; and more research on ways to
improve quality of life and of the environment; and more
production and sale of ecofriendly technology.
- Work - redefinitions are needed
for Work, Drudgery, Earning and Being Paid and an invidious
category of 'unproductive employment'. Old Age Pension ($OAP) as a
measure for wage and salary increases, shows the real proportions
of the differences between rich and poor.
- Dole. Tuesday
work for the dole. The week's dole = pay for one day's
useful work. Everyone in the country has a social obligation to
work in some way at least one day a week, whether they are on the
dole or not.
Economics and business
- Economic Independence of Nations
recognised as even more important than political independence,
which means little without it.
- Human Rationalism rather than
- Economic concepts
for the 21st century
- Land Speculation. Prevent
speculators getting unearned income from land.
- Future Cost factored in with
Capital and Labor as the third component of costs of production.
- Banks can be legally required to
consider social effects, not just profits for shareholders.
- Public Enterprise for
public-owned assets, with profits to revenue, not shareholders
Shops. Local Shops- promote Local-made, Durability shops promote
- Green Offices conservation
- Greenspot Specials
- Family Shops
- Charities - preventing waste in
- Save the People Fund, as more
socially constructive than just Save the Children.
Law and Crime
- Time-motion-study analyses of court
cases to work out ways of shortening 'the law's delay',
which drove Hamlet among others nearly to suicide.
- OzRoyal Justice. To avoid delays
and costs of justice for minor civil cases on the spot.
Health and Therapy
- Ways to ensure sick and elderly are
treated as adult humans
- Personalised Health cards from
- Exercise - Conservation, Thrifty and
- Exercise bicycles to power TV and
radio. Stop pedalling and the show stops
- Use-by-Dates on medical and
- Preventing old age problems
- Medical Litigation - some
suggestions for this growing problem
- Psychology. Pre-Trauma Prevention
to promote resilience, rather than counselling afterwards.
- Research Needed - Effect of fast clips
on TV on reflective intelligence
- Safety. 'Automatic Pilot'
practices behavior for emergencies when you may not be able
Language everyone learns, for emergency communication
with the incapacitated
- Therapy - video of yourself
interacting with others, to see yourself as others see you
12. Neighborhood and
community from local to national levels
- Common Wealth. Keep its real
meaning alive, even if a bank has to change its name.
- Local Government - buys only
durable cars to avoid constant replacements.
- Beauty for your city to make it
good to live in, good to visit - like Florence or Bali.
- Grafmurals for ugly bare public
13. Environment, ecology
- Sustainability Quotients measure
your 'footprint'- how much land is needed to provide your needs at
your present standard of waste or economy.
- Waste-prevention as important as
Product Production since 50% of production is really wasted,
barely used or not at all.
- Conspicuous Thrift - a social value to replace Conspicuous
- Users Association as a more
conservationist name for the Consumers' Association
- Full use of sewage - a presently
- Councils for Posterity - a brief
- Taxes on buildings and
renovations that do not incorporate energy-savers.
- Built-in bathwater diverter for
- Roof-water diverter for garden
use in summer
- Saving water in handwashing in
public facilities with icecream containers or equivalent used as
small basins within the plugless basins.
Commercial and industrial
- Shops. Discounts for regular
orders for fresh foods, to prevent waste of unsold food.
- Insinkomposters - insinkerators
to produce garden compost not ocean-pollution
- Freeshops and freeshelves for
unwanted stuff, others could use, but wouldn't buy.
- Paper Recycling on the spot
- Paper saving - reintroduction of
quarto to prevent much avoidable waste of trees.
- Paper, Erasable - can be wiped
down to reprint or rewrite again.
- Plastic Bags. 10c charge for each
new plastic shopping bag to encourage re-use, and ideas for
- Envelopes - saving for re-use, by
standardised windows, and use of stamp-selvedges
- Shower-Clock. A steam-proof clock
on the shower-wall to show how time goes.
- Plastic sheets can be used as 'double-glazing' on big windows in winter,
then rolled away for next winter.
- Standardised food jars in no more
than 6 shapes and sizes so these are all re-usable.
14. Quality of life
- Index of Gross Unnecessary
Suffering and Index of Quality of
Life to go with GNP
- Index of Oppression
- Waste of people - More attention
to preventing. Everyone can be an asset.
- Benchmarks and Stopmarks Quizzes to test present limits
and future tolerance
- Born to Live - help to prevent
suicide by better alternatives staying alive
- Viewer's Code for Advertising
- Manners Book. Manners to oil the
wheels of everyday living together, rather than 'etiquette'.
- Poetry - A Taste of Poets Book
- a Junior Book of Quotations
- History - Study of Lessons of History
(with counterviews included)
- History of Freedom Book
- Honours: Fellows of Oz, honours
awarded for invention and innovation to encourage others.
15. Science, technology and
(and see environment & conservation)
- Domestic and industrial users of their own solar electricity can sell surplus to the
power grid, and buy from it as needed
- Pocket typewriter that you can
operate by touch in your pocket anywhere.
- 'Rist-riter'. An erasable plastic
note-pad and pen that strap on the wrist, for taking notes as they
occur to mind, including under the shower.
- Car modules that can shunt on to
expand private cars according to need
- Cars -Easily mendable and 15-year
- Competition for Comprehensible Railway
- Ticket machines that act like
poker machines, with occasional payouts, to promote public
transport, prevent private profit from running pokies, and a
provide a useful outlet for the gambling instinct
- Censorship - Alternatives
- Grammar Reform
- Language, non-sexist - achieved
by new words for pronouns and possessives.
- Alphanumeric improvement to
prevent confusions of letters and numbers, e.g. pdbq
Books and Literacy
- Literacy Innovations in books to
help learners to read- such as Aladdin's Wonderful Grammar ,
Animated Text, Dubl-Dekr book, Fast-Track Books, Lift-up books,
the usual way, lifting a picture to get the word, Multi-level
Books, One-Picture Books, Pronunciation Readers, Turn-about Books
- Literacy Materials - Spelling
games, Jingl-Dangl mobiles of spelling patterns, Multi-use
multi-level ABC materials, Word Jigsaws - each piece is one
complete word in a rhyme or part of a picture, The Ultimate
- Take-home Literacy
Video - 'Help Yourself to
Read or Find out where you got stuck'
- Spelling and Society. Book to help people understand the
writing system, and its importance in history in social
exploitation and in modern communications technology
- The underlying English
spelling system is
80% systematic, and only 20% causes all the trubl. Most people do
not know there is an underlying system. When you know it, you can
see how easily English spelling could be could be cleaned up.
- Spelling for the
Interspel. International English spelling improvement that
can begin on the Internet How can
English spelling move into the 21st century as an international
spelling for the international English language? It can begin
with. International English Spelling, which 1.
drops surplus letters, 2. uses consistent consonants and 3. cleans
up vowel spellings from 318 to 40 spellings to represent the 19
English vowel sounds.
- Standardised book sizes (around
eight) so that they fit on shelves and look and pack better.
- Horrible Newspaper Design
- Complete newspapers down-loaded
as you wish from TV. Print only what you want to keep, to save
- Game Page - A Problem a Day,
asking for solutions,
- Readers' Letters. Editors correct known
factual errors so they do not mislead
- Telephones - 'Keep waiting' messages on
telephones advise on the length of the queue - or employ
more operators, who have useful occupations on the side when not
busy, e.g. making Australian craftwork for tourist sale
Television and radio
- TV and Literacy - subtitling can
test out the value of reformd English spelngs such as omitng
- Ideas for TV
18. Arts, leisure, clothes,
- Stackable Fashion for Weather
like Melbourne. Coordinated peelable sets.
- Conservation Accessories, with
personal cups, hand-towels etc.
- Australian Fashions that are
different, beautiful, cheap, durable, multicultural
- Australian Models setting
beautiful and kind examples
- Fashions for the elderly that are
comfortable, good-looking and durable.
- Pockets for Women, to help women
rise above gender oppression.
- Space Clothing can reduce the
costs and wastes of Space Heating
- Conservation-clothes designed to reduce washing the whole
garment, and so prevent waste.
- Appliances - mendable and in
modules so they are easily repaired and updated
- Calendars - 'Holiday Every Day -
Multicultural International Calendar ensures a Holiday for every
Day of the Year
- 'An Idea a Day' and 'Examploscopes' to contrast with Horoscopes
- Collecting - things for
collectors to collect
- Computer Games - Youth to Age
- Computer Games - knowledge and
thinking, not violence, win the games
- Games - BABL, Brain-games,
Serious Pursuits, the Wishing Game
- Games for millionaires - and others
- Drinking behaviour - a better Oz
drinking culture, with singing not rampaging
- Drugs. Alternatives to drugs
- Entertainment: Singing Families
- Gambling Redirections to use the
Gambling Instinct more constructively in living
- Guns -Alternatives for sports
shooters - e.g. musical instruments, beautiful and make noises.
- Horoscopes - always published in
pairs so you can choose the one you prefer.
- Pleasures - Ecologically-sustainable fun
- Pokies that do something useful
when people are addicted to noise and jingle machines
- Polly-Save-A-Bird - Collectible
artificial birds instead of collecting live rare birds.
- Novel - the Future of the Novel
in 21C. How it could be different
- Social Justice Mardi Gras for
Melbourne, to update 8-Hours Day and Labor Day
- Tapestries. Design your own
- The Wishing
Game for any times of boredom, insomnia or forced
attendance at meetings.
- Ideas for Oz Olympics at Sydney 2000 - Medals and events for sports, media and
soccer - for everyone to
join in, old and young.
- Fightball, Football and Sportsball
- Hunting Pests and noxious weeds
Cup -one up on the America
- OdSports Festival. Odsports also
played at intervals of big matches.
for Melbourne to hold before or after Sydney's SportsOlympics.
Super TV and encourages better leisure interests than
International and Developing
- Reproduction Rights world-wide of
two children per couple can a) reduce the population problem and
b) this right cannot be attackable as genocide, like some other
- International Union linked to ILO
to prevent offshore exploitation. Advance on WWW
Peace and War
- Defence strategy - by being so
civilised so that other countries would seek to preserve
our culture and influence and emulate us.
- Civil purposes a constant use for
standing defence forces, for emergencies etc.
- Remote Control Gun Exploder
explodes or disables any other loaded weapon.
- Violence - Alternatives
- War criminals include all who
profit from making, distributing, or laying landmines. Simply
banning mines does not target the perpetrators.
- Conflict simulator instead of
having to go in for real wars & strikes
- An Australian
OzRoypublic with TV OZRoyalty in a TV series, available
for public occasions - the solution to our constitutional dilemma
of republic or monarchy.
- Political Psychology Manual for
all citizens and school leavers.
- Lapdog News. 15 minutes
government-sponsored news daily on the ABC and 15 lines in the
Press, with the same for the combined opposition, so that
politicians cannot complain of lack of 'balance'.
- Parliamentary behaviour - raising
revenue by fines imposed by the Speaker
- Bye-Elections. Quitting politicians contribute to costs unless
leaving for health reasons.
- Computer voting for policies not
just candidates is now possible
- Alternatives to How to Vote Cards
- TV information on all policies
and candidates as essential news, on a par with sports news, not
requiring big-budget advertising
Values, spirituality and philosophy
- Intelligence - defined as the
ability to work out what to do in a situation.
- Myth-Exploding. The vision of the
artist is needed to help explode modern myths.
- Concepts for the
21st century. Words as
Swords. People live by myths and clichés. Improved
and new concepts are needed for the future.
Arithmetic concept puts generalisations into
perspective - ask, how many/when? e.g. what proportion of men are
violent, and how much of the time are they violent?
- Suicide - encouragement to give
lives for others if people don't want them themselves.
The life-cycle from adolescence to
maturity and old age
- Youth - 'My Repressed Memories'
-a youth Diary to look back on later to remember good times
- Manhood Test boys can go in for
if they want to. A Womanhood Test is actually the same, but the
men do not know this.
- Adult Initiation Ceremony for
Adult labels and ratings for films, videos, books,
shops, behaviour so that an Adult Bookshop is for really
adult books. A better definition of Mature
- Rites of passage. 9 ritual
celebrations for modern life - good celebration excuses.
- Social Age - Everyone should know
their own Social Age, and what is Adulthood.
- Ageism - how to prevent agist
segregation of old, young and teenagers
- Eldercare - ideas to improve it
- Photos of old folk in their prime
beside their hospital and nursing-home beds
Death and dying
- Simple measures to prevent unnecessary
misery in terminal illnesses
- Why bury or cremate more than yourself? Woollen shrouds and cardboard coffins prevent your last act
Promoting social inventions
- Inventions Needed- a list to get
people's minds working.
- Ideability quotient for ability
to consider other people's ideas
- Listings of Australian Ideas that
got nowhere in OZ but succeeded elsewhere
- Imagination as 'the ability to
consider what may be possible, in the real world not just in
- Intellectual property and social
inventions - how to have a community of scholars and world sharing
of everyone's contributions, and reward the contributors.
- People They Laughed At Book to
teach that it may be premature to laugh at ratbags.
- Silly Catalog. Listing what is
silly in our society makes new ideas seem sensible.
- The Wishing Game - a profitable
way to daydream
- Utopias not Dystopias - a goal
for writers and artists.
26. An Idea a
Day - the latest entries
For this initial posting, see highlighted entries that
link to pages of further detail
Send to find out more, become a founding member, contribute your
own ideas, or make a donation to costs for the Australian Centre for
Social Innovations and its planned Website
'IDEAS and INNOVATIONS from OZ'.
¤ I would like to know more and enclose stamped addressed
¤ I enclose ¤$10 ¤$15 for founding membership.
¤ I enclose a donation of ......... to support the work of
¤ I enclose information on my interests in innovating and how
I would like to be involved.
Please return to ACSION, address above.
Contributions are sought for the next OzIdeas Index and Catalog. Ideas can be sent
from home, school or office. Your ideas can be brilliant, zany or
simple. State the problem that your idea helps to solve in a short
sentence, set out your idea in under 250 words, and add any further
information, as a file for downloading. Send to Ozideas c/- P.O.Box 2125, Mount Waverley, Victoria,
Australia 3149. As resources permit, ideas will be added to a
data-base, edited for inclusion on the web and can also be sent in to
the annual International Competition for Social Inventions of the
British Institute for Social Inventions at
We also hope to publish in print. The originators of good ideas
deserve recognition, and their ideas should be spread as widely as
It is hard to get publicity for Australian ideas in our media - an
Internet site gives everyone an opportunity.
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