The older population have a lifetime of knowledge and experience. Imagine if you could tap into it. IntheKnow is an app that provides a platform for connecting people who want to know, with the people in the know. Keeping minds social and active.

Hobbies and DIY projects are a part of everyone’s lives. At times we just don’t have the knowledge on how to go about it. IntheKnow is like crowdsourcing knowledge and experience from people within your local community. It is a platform through which people that have a desire to learn about something in particular or undertake a particular project, can get in contact with people that know all about it. People, in the know.

A little more detail:

The Australian population is aging. In 2012 the median age was 37, and it is projected to increase to 45 by 2061, source ABS. This is likely to lead to a greater portion of our Australian population with common chronic diseases, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. The number is projected to be over 1 million by 2061, source Alzheimer’s Australia. But what if we could stop it from developing in the first place? IntheKnow could help reduce this number, by helping the minds of all Australians age healthily. Unlike the myriad of information found on the Internet and forums, IntheKnow connects real people with real people, on a local, social and meaningful level. People tend to enjoy teaching others what they know. There is an intrinsic enjoyment derived from the transferring of knowledge and experience on to those that want to know it. This enjoyment is usually mutual, and may often lead to the forming of valuable and rewarding friendships.

App overview

IntheKnow is split into three main areas; Projects, Topics, and Profiles. Projects and Topics are for people that want to know. When someone has an idea for a project or something they would like to do, they create a Project. Topics are for people that don’t necessarily have a Project in mind, but are interested in knowing about a particular topic. Anyone can view these Projects and Topics, write on the wall, ask questions or contact the poster directly.

Profiles are for people in the know. When someone is interested in offering their knowledge and experience to others, they create a Profile. They can list things like; what they're interested in, ideas or projects they may be keen to be involved with or know something about. People may even list qualifications or specific experience they might have. Anyone can view these Profiles, write on their wall or contact them directly.

Projects, Topics and Profiles are organised into sub-categories, and can be filtered by a specific location. People can choose to rate each other on their Profile’s listed experiences and leave reviews after they have undertaken a project. This builds status and credibility, helping to keep the community safe, and uplifts and recognises the people who are truly in the know.

How might it work?

Here is a short story as an example of how it might work – Meet Jenny. Jenny wants to plant a garden, but doesn’t really know much about gardening. But she is keen to give it a go. Jenny wants to know, so she creates a Project on IntheKnow. She takes a picture of where she wants the garden to be and writes a short description about what she might like to do – Meet Lisa. Lisa is a keen gardener and knows a bit about it. Lisa is in the know. She sees Jenny’s project and contacts her to let her know she might be interested in helping her out. They get talking and decide to meet at the local nursery. Lisa tells her all about what plants grow well in the local area, what compost and fertiliser she will need, and before long Jenny has some plants picked out. They both go around to Jenny’s place and Lisa shows her how far apart each plant should be and how to prepare the soil. Feeling a lot more knowledgeable and confident, Jenny gets to work and Lisa heads home. A few weeks later, Jenny, feeling very proud with herself, posts a picture on her Project wall of her newly completed garden for everyone to see, and invites Lisa around for lunch to see and enjoy her new garden. Excited with her new abilities and interest in gardening, Jenny and Lisa have a new idea. They want to build a vertical herb garden, but they are not too sure how to go about it, nor do they have the tools to build one. So Jenny and Lisa create a new Project together on IntheKnow. Maybe someone in their local community is in the know on those sorts of things?

Key benefits of in the know

• Creates a platform for people to engage socially and beneficially with people in their local community over mutual interests. • May help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other mental health conditions through staying mentally and socially active. • Provides a catalyst for older Australians to adopt, utilise and benefit from personal technology. • Potential for retirees to earn a bit of money with the flexibility that works around them. • Encourages and fosters local community engagement building relationships around mutual interests and the transferring of knowledge and experience. • Enables people to get projects done and explore interests that might not have ordinarily been possible.

In the mid to later years of life it is particularly important to stay mentally and socially active. IntheKnow creates a platform for people to do that. While older Australians may not be the most technologically savvy, IntheKnow can be a catalyst to the adoption of personal technology, and the benefit it brings to their lives. Getting the older 'in the know' generations onto IntheKnow, can be stimulated through partnering with existing community groups like, Australian Men’s Shed Association and, Association of Independent Retirees.

IntheKnow however, is not just for retirees. It is for everyone. Alzheimer’s Australia states; “Evidence suggests that midlife is a critical time to think about looking after your brain...” and "...a brain healthy life may reduce a person’s risk of developing dementia later in life.” Alzheimer’s Australia recommends 5 steps to lowering your risk of developing dementia later in life. IntheKnow cultivates at least two of them – by keeping the brain active and, enjoying social activity. IntheKnow can be integrated into any community, any culture, anywhere. All you need is people with knowledge and experience, and those that want to know it.

Justifications for success

• Hobbies and DIY projects are a part of everybody’s lives. • Teaching is enjoyable and rewarding. Everyone likes to tell others what they know, especially when others have an interest in hearing it. • Retirees can often have a lot of flexible free time, and the proportion of Australians in the know, is increasing over time. • The desire to learn from and teach others is a part of human life, and is self-fostering when centred on mutual interests.

Commercial Considerations

It is envisioned; the App to be free, initial start-up funding to come from government grants, philanthropists and angle investors, and revenue stream through targeted banner advertising focused around Project topics.

Hope you like the idea! :)

Main idea image

Solve challenges to shape Australia's tomorrow

  • My Big Idea is now closed

    The winners and incubating partners are busy bringing the winning ideas to life.

    Learn more here