COIN Summit_HickenlooperBy Shepard Nevel, LiveWell Colorado CEO

Colorado has much to be proud of, with its extraordinary talent and spirit of collaboration and innovation.  It is this talent and creativity that are needed now to address our state’s and nation’s top public health crisis – the tripling of obesity rates in just one generation. Despite our reputation for fitness, Colorado is not immune to this epidemic. More than half of our state’s adults and one-fourth of our children are overweight or obese and we rank 24th in the amount of physical activity our kids engage in. The opportunity to leverage the best thinking of the private and nonprofit sector to increase healthy eating and physical activity can generate enormous benefits to Colorado’s health and economic future.

An issue with this much reach and impact requires constant ideation and thinking. This is why exploring how all Coloradans can have access to a healthy lifestyle is so important. What are ways that we can get our kids moving and that engage our outdoor spaces differently? How can we provide Colorado’s youth access to healthy foods and the education to make good choices? What can be done to help build healthier communities and schools?

Colorado Innovation Network and LiveWell Colorado are proud to introduce Imagine Colorado, an active innovation lab for healthy lifestyles. We are seeking your best, actionable ideas about how would you connect Colorado’s youth to a healthier lifestyle?

LiveWell Colorado is a nonprofit focused on removing barriers to healthy eating and active living. We currently reach more than one million Coloradans each year through our initiatives in local communities and school districts as well as our statewide policy efforts. But we can’t combat obesity alone – we need your help and ideas, and Imagine Colorado provides a platform to do that.

We encourage you to submit as many ideas as you’d like. Ideas will be evaluated on their ability to address this healthy living issue, feasibility & viability, innovation & creativity, implementation, collaboration and proposal presentation.

The Imagine Colorado submission platform will launch Feb. 1, 2016. Submissions will be collected through a form and accompanying one-to-two minute video. Deadline for submissions is March 31. To learn more about Imagine Colorado, please visit www.imagineco.us, follow us on Facebook , or twitter at @ImagineColo.