Companies likely to use ‘conscious crowdsourcing’ to drive purpose: Weber Shandwick report

Remember all those crowdsourcing content generated by brands campaigns. Bored with them already? Well, the latest trend is ‘conscious crowdsourcing’ where brands are looking at connecting talents, ideas and skills to look at future opportunities and goals in a hyper-connected world, these include solving social and environmental challenges.

This macro-trend has been flagged off in the “Innovation Trends Report series: Conscious Crowdsourcing," brought out by Weber Shandwick’s ‘Social Impact’ practice. The report seeks to answer how the best ideas, knowledge and accurate data rise to the top in the noisy social media environment.

Another key challenge the report seeks to answer is how to unite diverse voices into a targeted and effective message that will reach the audiences in a position to create change.

Communication plan for messaging across voices and ideas  
Weber suggests the following 6 point communication plan in order to build advocacy around, the “ Solution Economy’ where working across boundaries, disciplines and sectors to solve tough problems holds the promise to push the world forward:


According to the report, what started off as public-private partnerships  as a result of governments taking on the help of companies to build specific projects’ is now evolving into true collaboration efforts. This is being driven by brands increasingly bringing purpose to the centre of their agenda.

Drew O’ Brien, executive vice president, partnerships, Weber Shandwick the companies says, “The companies who gain a leadership edge are the ones who are out in front setting the example. Crowdsourcing– and opening up what have traditionally been internal processes — can expose vulnerabilities, of course, but given the complexity and magnitude of the challenges companies face today, we can only hope to discover lasting innovations through collaboration and co-creation.

In fact, that is a recent focus of the 2016 edition of The Boston Consulting Group’s “The Most Innovative Companies” report, which explores how leading companies gain access to new ideas, capabilities and technologies from sources outside of the organisation.”

O’ Brien also pointed to companies such as Unilever are at the forefront of such actions. Unilever launched The Unilever Foundry to engage start-ups and innovators in product development and business model disruption across over 400 brands. Unilever Foundry IDEAS, an extension of the program, seeks to co-create sustainability solutions as part of its Sustainable Living Plan.

And Samasource, a social enterprise founded to connect people in developing countries to digital work, is a powerful example of new solutions emerging to embed crowdsourcing into business models. Samasource provides opportunities for low-income people by sourcing data projects from some of the world’s largest companies. They call it “impact sourcing,” which puts people on a long-term career path by providing essential digital and data services that companies need.

India examples
In India too, networks such as Mahindra Rise have developed where the Mahindra brand lends it weight to crowdsourcing to solutions in areas such as education and agriculture.

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