Together, we can do anything.
I really believe that. In fact I co-founded a company, StartSomeGood, based on the belief that we live in an abundant world and that when we join together and share what we have we can create the future we seek.
StartSomeGood, and all crowdfunding, is about supporting new initiatives with the capital that already exists in our community, rather than relying on government, investors and traditional outside sources of capital. We (the StartSomeGood team) believe that we (all of us) already have all the ideas we need to overcome the social challenges which confront us, already have all the changemakers we need, already have all the money we need. The power of crowdfunding is to bring all these things together, to unlock the power of we.
You see this play out in domain after domain – as we become more connected and the barriers to our participation fall away new possibilities become apparent. Our connectedness makes us smarter, more creative and more impactful as we share and collaborative, pooling what Clay Shirky calls our “cognitive surplus" in order to create things far beyond the scope of an individual alone. The examples of our increasingly collaborative planet are everywhere, from Wikipedia to the 350 climate movement to startup weekends and the Social Innovation Exchange.
StartSomeGood is, on every level, an example of this, an organisation and service only made possible by this trend. Our team is spread across seven cities in four countries on three continents. We have hosted successful fundraisers from social initiatives in 20 countries so far. Every project on our site is utilising an emergent set of social tools to share their story and invite participation and support in new ways.
And many of these initiatives are themselves building tools to better connect us. From the speech therapy app Speech4Good to the Australian collaborative consumption charity network Dandelion Support Network to GalliGalli who are using open technologies to better map the history, culture and economics of Kathmandu in Nepal social entrepreneurs are leveraging technology creatively to address inequality and create new opportunities for their communities.
Greater connectedness gives We an ever greater advantage over I. Change agents, from activists to organisers, social entrepreneurs to muckraking journalists, have always been connectors of people and ideas, have always been recruiters and inspirers of changemakers and have always confronted entrenched interests and business-as-usual. New tools, including crowdfunding, has created amazing new opportunities for people with passion and purpose to step forward and make things happen.
So, what are you waiting for?
Image by artotem via flickr available on a creative commons license.