Before crowdfunding was even called crowdfunding, Bart Lacroix was already doing it with his 1%CLUB. Founded in 2008 the do-good platform, partner of Bee Collective, inspires and invites people around the world to spend 1 percent of their time, expertise and money to relatively small do-good projects. Seven years later crowdfunding has established itself as a financial resource which successfully kickstarts new companies around the globe. “we have all the solutions in our hands.”
Wicked Problems are issues like migration, food shortage and global warming. Aren’t they just too big, wide and complex to tackle?
In theory we, together with all the companies, cities, programmers, writers, scientists, researchers, ngo’s, creatives, you name it, have all the solutions in our hands. The challenge is how to organise ourselves so we can tie the solutions together.
We all face the same challengers, all talking about the same problems we’re facing, yet we are all talking to each other within our own organizations and sectors to come up with solutions. But the challenges we face go far beyond our own organizations and sectors. So we need to start talking to other people, from other sectors, who operate in a different world with a different perspective. Those conversations aren’t taking place yet.
It’s not a conscious choice. It’s because of how we are organised in our society and institutions. People talk to people with the same expertise, within their own sector.
So how should we go about it?
First we need to accept that we all facing the same challenges. We can’t look away and expect other people to work on the solutions. We’re all owners of the same challenges.
A little while ago I watched the last interview which René Gude, the Thinker of our Fatherland, gave before he died (in March). He talked about the encouraging world view. When we follow the news, we get the feeling the world is going to pieces. It’s a natural reaction to develop an attitude of ‘why bother, nothing I’ll do will make a difference’. But that is quite a lazy attitude. Cause if you look a little closer, and study the data, then you’ll see for example that there are fewer wars, we’re less violent, and that we’re continuously developing smarter technology to tackle issues such as our climate, or food and water shortages. If you do a little bit more research, then you’ll see that we have all the solutions in our hands and that should add up to a more positive world picture, which could then lead to action. You could then say to yourself, I can do something too with my expertise and experience.
I believe a lot of people are waiting for the moment they can actually do something. They just don’t know what yet.
A lot of people are already taking action, and doing good. It’s not enough it seems.
It’s not that it’s not enough. A lot of pioneers are holding parts of the solution, but often they don’t have the capacity to take it to the next level. Together they form a crowd of people that operates on a small level. They aren’t organized in a big, powerful institution, in a large building, with lots of resources. They often lack the power and vigour to really scale up their great ideas.
The people in these big institutions need look beyond their four walls and start working with this crowd. They need the people from the swarm, as they own the challenge too. They need to work together, so they all feel ownership to take the existing ideas and solutions to the next level.
So we should start with the solution?
Yes, I think that’s what Bee Collective should do, to start with solutions, as there is more energy there, and to set up a new organisational form, which brings existing ideas to the next level.
When is Bee Collective a success?
When the people in the swarm organise themselves to really solve some problems, with real business models and lasting connections. I want to see a global movement.