Crowd Sourced Funding Platform – All about partnering for solutions

I must say I am really intrigued by this idea. Just heard the CEO of Swedbank talk about why they want to be involved in bottom up innovative collaborative approach to linking sustainability projects to funding. Pierre Rehnlund from Swedbank just ‘virtually’ poured 2million Swedish Kronor into the funding platform, this really kicks things off. It is very encouraging to see the clear linkage between economic goals of a large bank and risky, eco-innovation. Rehnlund, in his speech claims the ‘Wisdom of the Crowd.’ Well I hope he is right about that because crowds can also be pretty stupid. The key seems to be having a shared goal and a way of eliciting people’s actual preferences. ‘Idol style’ voting has certainly helped the ability to draw out that wisdom.  One thing I really like about this system is it builds on direct relationships and on trust between individuals and organisations. Because this platform is not just limited to funding from big companies, individuals can contribute to linking economic progress and sustainability.

I was even more pleased to hear from Dipal Chandra Barua of the Bright Green Energy Foundation who talked about a microcredit approach focusing on creating green jobs and developing small-scale renewables technology. He has the Vision to create Bangladesh as a ‘Solar Nation.’

The Swedbank and BGE Foundation approaches are very complementary and it is great to see strong linkages being formed between start up funding in the developed world and empowering local entrepreneurs in the developing world. Kiva, also contributed to this as they were the first company in the world to create an online micro-lending platform. Got $25 to lend to someone in the Congo or Bangladesh? Try it out here: http://bit.ly/bIdLCT. The focus of all three of these different perspectives on crowd-sourced funding is that these are mutually beneficial relationships and are a transaction of equals. It is not about pity, charity or satisfying ones guilt for the plight of others.

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