INKspire: A publishing platform for youth, by youth
How does an idea spread? I like to think that any great idea can start with something as simple as a thought or conversation. It’s one thing to be struck with an amazing idea, but if you don’t act on it, then it can easily become a memory, a missed opportunity. The power that comes with sharing your ideas is a strong force that it can impact others; lighting a spark, creating a wild fire. This is exactly how the new web platform INKspire came to be.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Ellier Leng, a co-creator of the recently launched web platform, INKspire. She and Frank Ong, along with their interactive web developer, Joanna Ong, saw an idea through from a thought and a conversation to a real vision and website. The idea for this platform was in inspired by a lack of representation of youths’ opinions in the media. Both Ellier and Frank have a strong passion for working with youth and decided that their voices deserved to be heard. They built on their idea by creating Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the development of the site. They gained an amazing response raising $10,431 from 177 backers. That fact, in and of itself, is a great testament to how quickly an idea can connect with others and spread. The website officially launched at the beginning of March this year and is continuing to gain traction.
The main goal of INKspire is to create a space where youth and young adults, ages 14 to 29, can write about their experiences and opinions. Each month, the site offers a different theme and the submissions touch on this topic in some way. March’s theme was Mental Health, with the site’s partner being CAMH (Centre for Addiction andMental Health) a very hot topic among young people today. The contributed content had a wide range of hard hitting and relevant topics including: Seasonal Affective Disorder, sexual abuse in the Muslim community, how to love an anxious person, mindfulness and memoirs of personal struggles with mental health. and Contributors expressed themselves through articles and artistic formats such as poetry. The site has different categories that their content is organized into: Arts, Science and Innovation, and Social Issues. The month of April’s theme is travel and the site’s partner for the month is Operation Groundswell. Some upcoming topics that Frank and Ellier are looing to explore include nutrition, sustainability and urban planning.
Moving forward, the team hopes to gather feedback from users, encourage young people to speak out and share their opinions and ultimately, create a space where different perspectives can be appreciated and celebrated. Also, another exciting milestone that INKspire has recently achieved is that they are officially a registered Non-Profit organization. Check out the site at inkspire.org. Here you’ll find amazing content that you can read and be inspired by. There’s also all of the info you need to learn how you can get involved and submit your ideas, articles, art and poetry to contribute to INKspire. that started over a simple cup of coffee and a conversation during a study session. Acting on your ideas and sharing them with others is how beautiful things can be created.