The innovative nonprofit organization Yoxi seeks to discover the next rockstars of social innovation, and ... wait, what does that mean? Good question. Yoxi (pronounced Yo-See) sees social innovators as "people who found a way to change the world while making a living. They pursue this calling with passion and inspire others to take action." 


The group's aim is to find the people behind nascent movements for change — and to help promote, encourage, and maybe even fund them. "We focus on people because ideas will grow and change over time — it's the people who power movements that matter," according to their site. In this way, Yoxi seeks to put those people who are changing the world — social innovation stars — out front with the sports stars, movie stars and rock stars. 


To find these folks, they are using the power of the Web to crowdsource people and ideas, as well as run the competitions among the groups of people who take on each challenge. So far, the group has sponsored four competitions, including topics like health and fast food, education and urban cycling. Whatever the challenge, there are ad hoc and long-standing groups of folks alike, who are willing to take their ideas public. "Judges weigh-in while audience members vote to determine the winning team. Through this journey, teams build a fan base, get guidance from mentors, and, if they win, score funds to turn their idea into action," according to Yoxi's site. 


Their latest competition, which just ended after New York Fashion Week, was called "Trim the Waste of Fashion," and was a challenge to look at how to minimize or mitigate clothing's (significant) impact on the planet. Lots of teams entered, 10 teams made the finals, and two made it to the last round. Check out the video below for a recap of some of the ideas: 


The winner was SEA: Endless, a team that thought up a creative closed-loop system wherein we consumers could do what we do — buy and wear new clothes, and they would worry about recycling/remaking them into new pieces. The team received a $40,000 grant (as well as marketing and planning guidance from OgilvyEarth) to get their idea going. 

Starre Vartan ( @ecochickie ) covers conscious consumption, health and science as she travels the world exploring new cultures and ideas.

Yoxi's 'Trim the Waste of Fashion' competition finds social innovation rockstars
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