There is a website, www.innocentive.com, that challenges you to be innovative and contribute to the greater good at the same time. Started by the VP of pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly in 2001, it challenges all of us to find solutions to problems way beyond what we think our knowledge base can understand. It has grown over time, with other companies joining in and along with the challenges, monetary awards are offered for the solutions that work.
You don't have to be the proverbial rocket scientist to jump in to this. For instance, one past challenge was to solve how beverage containers can be made so that they keep beverages cold longer and give the sensory perception of cold to the user. For the best "solver" solution, the award is $10,000.
While many of the challenges are more scientific in nature, you just have to let loose your imagination. It doesn't matter that practical thought tells you it shouldn't work, you can posit a solution and someone else may find a way to make that a reality. It really is collaboration at its best.
Something really neat that shows how this collaborative process works is a map indicating the different countries from which solvers have submitted ideas. Literally, worldwide, people are coming up with innovative ideas far beyond their practical training.
This site opens your mind to challenges other face in many different industries. The challenges also urge you to help be part of the solution. "In your wildest dreams" may turn out to be a good thing when looking at this site and imagining have a part in its success.