Monday, 30 April 2012

UN Presented With First Ever Crowdsourced AIDS Recommendations

The spread of HIV and AIDS continues to spread amongst young people (aged 15-24 years) with an estimated five million living with HIV as well as 3000 newly infected each day.  Youth leaders from around the world have presented a set of crowdsourced recommendations for AIDS response to UNAIDS, the United Nation's joint program for tackling HIV and AIDS. The strategy is designed to help better prevent and contain the spread of AIDS amongst young people through 2015, and on 24th April 2012 the findings were presented to Michel SidibĂ©, Executive Director for UNAIDS. 



Recent surveys carried out in low and middle income nations that on 24% of young women and 36% of young men demonstrated accurate knowledge of HIV/AIDS prevention and transmission. These results combined with continued rate of infection amongst the young prompted UNAIDS to launch CrowdOutAIDSan innovative youth-led policy project. Using crowdsourcing and social media techniques the project gathered voices and views from over 5000 young people in over 79 countries, and produced the first every crowdsourced AIDS related report in UN history.
“I am so impressed by the dedication, energy and enthusiasm that young people have shown through theCrowdOutAIDS initiative. The recommendations they have presented to UNAIDS will help us mobilize a new generation of young leaders and we will work together to stop new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths.”Michel SidibĂ©, Executive Director UNAIDS
The project spent five months gathering and collating views and information, culminating in the   Strategy recommendations for collaborating with a new generation of leaders in the AIDS response, and will help UNAIDS Secretariat as part of its New Generation Leadership Strategy. The report presents six key recommendations which include strengthening young people's leadership skills at all levels of AIDS response, diversifying and enhancing strategic networks between UNAIDS and youth networks, and increasing the active roles of young people in AIDS response at regional, national and global levels. 

Image Credits; Julian Rotela Rosow

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Danish Initiative Hosts Co-Creation Conference

The continued interest and use of crowdsourcing by organisations has in turn generated equal interest in co-creation with big name brands such as Unilever reaping the cost effective benefits tapping the wisdom of a smaller specialised crowd. Yet there remains many questions about just how co-creation can be utilised, questions to be explored at this year's Co-Creation Conference in Copenhagen. The event will be held on 25th May 2012 featuring prominent speakers as well as a series of workshops examining the use of co-creation.




Organising the event is a joint initiative made up of the Copenhagen Business School and the Danish Design Association, trade association for Danish design companies. Featuring at the conference will be keynote speaker Banny Banerjee. A leading scholar from Stanford University,California, Banny is a prominent leader and practitioner in co-creation, and the founder of the university's "Design for change lab". Also speaking at the event is Rex Degenegaard, an assistant professor at the Copenhagen Business School specialising in organisational design and change management, with focus on co-creation. 

Much of the conference will consist of interactive workshops introducing participants to co-creation, exploring how it works and examining its potential  to tackle some of societies' most demanding challenges. Participants will also gain hands on experience with various co-creation methods as well as networking opportunities with other participants with co-creation challenges, and experts. For more information and to sign up for the event visit the Co-creation Conference website

Image Credits; University Hospitals Birmingham

Monday, 23 April 2012

New Crowdfunding Platform For Aspiring Authors

For aspiring writers with great ideas but frustrated by the traditional methods of the publishing industry, crowdfunding continues to offer a lifeline to publishing utopia. Joining the ranks of sites like Unbound and Emphas.is is Authrs.com  a new crowdfunding platform dedicated to helping aspiring authors on  the path to publication. The new platform promises to focus purely on crowdfunding the works of authors and writers with features to rival other platforms.



Authr.com was founded in 2011 by Erik Bowman, serial entrepreneur, consultant and author. With over 20 years experience of business startups, Erik brings his knowledge and skills of various aspects of multimedia, finance, and technology to this latest venture. Based in Redondo Beach California, Authr.com was established by Eric to help break the funding barriers that prevent aspiring authors from getting their works published. Whilst many authors have used crowdfunding to take them up to publishing glory, Authr.com differs from other platforms by promising to support the authors beyond fundraising and into pre-order and sales as their books move closer to publication.
"I’ve come across so many clients and friends who have always wanted to achieve their dream of writing a book one day. The biggest obstacle they seem to run into is funding." - Erik Bowman, Founder Authr.com
In addition to pre and post funding support, Authr.com differs from other platforms by refusing to take any percentage of funds raised. Users, instead pay a monthly fee and can test their first use of the service for free. The platform also enables authors to promote their projects through social media to encourage support and generate sales, as well as a QR codes service to add bonus interactive features to the authors' publications. 

Authr.com is all about supporting authors so those with projects in need of funding who have publishers already signed up can still use the service. The platform also features a dedicated publisher's co-branded author's page through which authors can be referred, and invites ghost writers, publishing and marketing professions to become the site's business partners.  

Image Credits; Joe Ross 

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Crowdfunding Initiative for Developing World Entrepreneurs

The ability of crowdfunding to help fund commercial and charitable projects is benefiting many organisations and individuals throughout the UK, US as well as Europe and Asia. Now entrepreneurs in the developing world looking to trade their way out of poverty have been tapping  into the power of crowdfunding thanks to Lendwithcare.org, a UK based microfinance initiative. Along with the introduction of a new group lending feature, Lendwithcare is looking to revolutionise the face of digital charitable philanthropy and donations in the UK.

Lendwithcare.org is the first microfinance platform to be launched by a development agency, one of the leading aid agencies CARE international. With support from the Co-operative as part of its Global Poverty Project programme, the platform has attracted 5000 active lenders supporting projects mainly in food production, farming, clothing, retail and even photography in countries such as Benin, Togo, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cambodia, the Philippines and more recently Ecuador. Lendwithcare operates like any other crowdfunding or microfinance initiative, with visitors to the site searching from the lists of projects in need of funding and selecting one they would like to support. Once a project is chosen the investor can loan from as little as £15 or up to the full specified limit. 
"I believe in helping others to help themselves. A small amount to me makes a huge difference to someone else. Better still, the money you invest, once returned can be recycled into new funding for other projects" - Nicol Caplin, Lender
Lenders can track the progress of the entrepreneurs they have supported to see how their money is helping the fledgling enterprise. The loan is then repaid in accordance with an agreed schedule, and credited to the lenders' account who can then do any one of the following; withdraw the money, donate it to support the efforts of CARE international, or support another enterprise. Thousands of loans have been made to entrepreneurs through the platform helping people like Yeurn Ouerm. Rice grower and mother of five Yeurn lost her paddy fields in the devastating floods that hit Cambodia last year. Lendwithcare highlighted her plight through Facebook and Twitter and within a few minutes nearly £200 was loaned helping her purchase fresh seeds to replenish and sustain her crops through the year.




Already Lendwithcare helps individuals make a difference to the lives of those in need. Now the initiative has launched a "group lending feature" enabling lenders to team up and invest in projects as a group. The loans can be attributed to the group collective helping to make an even bigger impact. Groups currently supporting developing world entrepreneurs include co-operatives, retailers,  families, churches and even whole countries. Since launching eighteen months ago Lendwithcare.org has raised £700,000 in loan capital and is hoping to leverage £1.5 million of loans by the end of the year. 

Monday, 16 April 2012

Clickworker Announces Significant Steps in Growth and Expansion

One of the leading providers of paid crowdsourcing, Clickworker has announced changes to its management team that looks set to help the company expand as a market leader. Clickworker has also reached a significant milestone in the growth of its community of registered users potentially increasing the speed and quality of paid crowdsourcing services.




Clickworker has appointed Marc Ahr as the new company's Managing Director, effective from the beginning of April. Marc will be working with Christian Rozsenic, and together are responsible for pooling and utilising their expertise in sales, marketing and technology to accelerate the company's growth. Marc will bring his experience as Mobile Messaging Director for Berlin based  technology and media development leader YOC AG to the team, specifically in the areas of sales and product management. 
"The paid crowdsourcing approach fits in the globalised and networked working environment. The clickworkers are neither location nor time-bound, and can schedule work and free time according to their individual needs. For companies the use of crowdsourcing means overcoming the limitations of schedules, space or personnel. I am delighted to be part of a company whose business model not only focuses on the here and now, but is future-oriented instead." Marc Ahr, Managing Director, Clickworker
 In addition to expanding the company's management team, Clickworker has seen its community of registered users rise to 200,000 worldwide. The so-called clickworkers carry out micro-jobs for customers in wide variety of sectors including tagging, categorization, translation and web research. One of the benefits of crowdsourcing projects is the size and skill set of the knowledgeable and able crowd, high volumes of work can be carried out quickly. With a continually increasing community of micro-workers, Clickworker can process large orders speedily, virtually in real time, with high quality results. 

Image Credits; Daily Sunny

Friday, 13 April 2012

How to Use Facebook for Your Crowdfunding Project

In the world of Web 2.0, crowdsourcing and social media make the best bedfellows as one benefits from collaboration and the other enables it through a limitless potential of vast networks. Crowdfunding especially, depends on social media to make connections and attract potential donors. Creating a Facebook page to promote a crowdfunding project is a positive step to securing those much sought after funds, but it is important to know how to use Facebook effectively. 



Creating a page and hoping enough people from Facebooks 1 billion registered users find their way to it is not the way to start out. Ben Hamilton of the UK crowdfunding platform PleaseFundUs offers five (and a bit) pointers on how to maximise Facebook for your crowdfunding project.

Last summer witnessed Facebook reach over a billion registered users and it’s a tool that should not be ignored when it comes to crowdfunding your idea. Click here to read more.

Acknowledgements; Thanks to Ben Hamilton
Image Credits;
Javier Reyes Gomez