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PR Klein
 USA
Reuseable Flood Barrier Printer Friendly Version
The current practice of guarding against flooding into buildings is to fill and stack sandbags. This is labor intensive and presents the problem of disposing of the fill sand/dirt. The suggested invention is an inflatable hose-like vinyl/plastic/rubber material that could be uncoiled around the structure and filled with water to act as a barrier. Inasmuch as the hose is filled with water, it could float away when surrounded by water. Therefore, the hose is actually triangular shaped with heavier material bonded to the base side. The barrier could be emptied and re-curled after use. The cross-section design, weight and type of stabilizing material and ability to make connections of sections are variables for different heights of protection.
Reward: Seeing people triumph over tragedy would be great. Accolades would be nice, too. 

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LauraLouzader
 USA
Homesteading for the Homeless Printer Friendly Version
Almost every large American city has vast tracts of unutilized or underutilized land, usually located in proximity to very expensive, highly utilized land. Every city also has large and increasing numbers of homeless folk, and you can't help but notice that these two phenomena go hand in hand. Often, this land contains improvements, consisting mostly of abondoned and deteriorated residential and commercial structures, and is owned by the city, having been abondoned by its previous owners with taxes and liens against it.
Why not parcel this land out to the homeless to be homesteaded by them. Homesteading lets you establish your ownership of the land by occupying and improving it - you have a time frame during which you must occupy the land and must work it or improve it.
Building codes could be relaxed to permit simpler dwellings with say, two apts and a shared bath and kitchen, and the bureacracy involved in obtaining easements, permits, etc. simplified to bring down the cost further.
Other groups of people in addition to the homeless could benefit greatly from such a homesteading program, such as collectives of artists, authors, musicians, mad scientists. It would also put property back on the tax rolls and revive areas that have been completely abondoned.
Reward: An old bank building of my very own to homestead. 

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that'smyQueue!
 United Kingdom
Entrepreneur's Business Park Printer Friendly Version
Every area has talented people. Skills all going to waste. Dying of loneliness. And lack of opportunity. In my experience, the only people who really benefit from the agencies set-up to help entrepreneurs, are the employees who mostly do very little to actually help alleviate their struggles.
So why not introduce a true enterprise zone to help bring enterprising people together. Government funded, industrial type building - you're allowed all kinds of styles in business parks! It could be a sort of theme park for adults, with places to crash out, bars that serve good food/drinks, IT stations, art studio facilities, noticeboards, keep fit equipment including fun stuff like swings, a gym for people to play ball games etc., and most importantly, a large conference suite so that council members or big business can consult the brainy bods!
Surround the place with loads of trees, flowers. Create enough parking (could be underground). Maybe charge members an annual fee, reimburseable if they make a good contribution to help run the place efficiently/cost effectively.
For ambience, try using weatherboarding on the floor - nail down and sand the panels, apply paint/varnish! Cheap, effective, hard-wearing. Don't make ceilings too high or problems keeping place warm. Could show educational films relating to art/craft/design. Hold seminars about whatever people are interested in, e.g. tackling poverty... Could run a store re-using waste paper etc. There's so much potential, the mind boggles!
Reward: Just make it happen! Invite me along to my local think tank. That would more than suffice. 

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