rodrigodavies's blog

A New Crowd for Old Problems: How You Can Start Impact Investing Locally

Earlier this week I gave a talk at Stanford's Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society, publishers of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, on civic crowdfunding. I was excited to share how my research into crowd-based community finance has evolved, and how Neighborly's launch this summer will make impact investing a local reality for the first time in the US. Here's the talk.

A new way to invest in communities

For the past couple of years I've been thinking about how to bring the energy, potential and ambition of donation/reward crowdfunding to community development and civic engagement. I was lucky to be an early employee of Spacehive, one of the first movers in the space, I put together the first study of the field (with the help of Ethan and others at MIT), and I got to watch as the idea of civic crowdfunding caught the attention of the media, researchers, and finally, heads of state. I got to watch some incredible people make change for their neighborhoods and their communities.

What We Learned From Build Peace 2014

Last month at the Media Lab, Helena, Jen, Michaela and I organized Build Peace, a conference to bring together practitioners from the worlds of peacebuilding and technology to talk about how the two fields could work together. It was an incredibly enlightening and generative three days, and before the first conference had even finished, we had already decided that there needed to be a Build Peace 2015. If you missed it, you can catch up by reading Helena's lookback. We’re excited by the community that is starting to form around the technology for peacebuilding conversation and the many potential spin-off projects that are emerging. We were incredibly lucky to have such a diverse and talented array of participants and collaborators.

Civic Crowdfunding – Four Things We Know, Two Things We Don't

Today I'm capping two years of studying the emergence of civic crowdfunding by submitting my master's thesis to the MIT archives. Great thanks are due to the wonderful collaborators I've had the privilege of working with. I won't name everyone here, but all of you folks will find your names in the Acknowledgments section.

The Digital Pollada, or What I Learned About Crowdfunding from Peruvian Chicken

There’s a tradition in Peru called the pollada – literally, a chicken party. These parties perform a very important social function. Say I’m about to have a child and I’m worried about how I’m going to pay education or healthcare bills. I hold a pollada to raise money by inviting friends and family around for chicken and beers, and selling tickets to the event. The tickets are usually priced fairly highly. The friends who come to my party are willing to pay more than they would normally, because they know they’re contributing to my family's welfare. Together, we fund the future of my family’s education. And we eat. And we bond.

Hawaii Proposes the First Civic Crowdfunding Legislation

Hawaii has become the first state to propose a bill supporting civic crowdfunding, as it seeks to raise funds for the maintenance and repair of local schools.

HB2631 outlines a pilot program in which two maintenance projects at Hawaii schools are selected for public crowdfunding campaigns.

Is Crowdfunding Participatory Citizenship or a Sign of Institutions in Decline?

Civic crowdfunding is the beginning of a new type of participatory democracy for communities."
"Civic crowdfunding is a triumph of individualism over the collective good."
"Civic crowdfunding is the result of a crisis in government."

These three divergent intepretations are among the most common responses to civic crowdfunding. I hear them in one form or another almost every time I give a talk on the topic. Despite their differences, these interpretations are also, for the moment, coexisting quite happily. Platforms and the people who use them don't show much need to agree on what civic crowdfunding is for, or what kind of future its rise might foreshadow.

Introducing the Creative Industries Prototyping Lab

Do you know innovators in Latin America? Next month in Lima, Peru, I'll be co-hosting a three-day workshop for entrepreneurs in the creative industries, focused on design thinking, product development and fundraising.

Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Controlled Interactivity: Presidential Campaigning in the Internet Age

Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Controlled Interactivity: Presidential Campaigning in the Internet Age
 @profjsg

Notes from Center for Civic Media Lunch, 02/20/14. This is a collaborative live blog by attendees and may contain errors. A video of the talk will be posted soon.  

Jennifer begins by showing a slide: Obama "This person's got his back – share this if you do too."

This particular effort launched during the 2012 campaign around the time that Romney was getting attention as the apparent Republican nominee. They made this meme with the idea that people would change their profile picture to this image.

Crowdfunding as a Community Development Tool

It's been a pleasure to spend the past few weeks in Kansas City learning more about how non-profit organizations are using crowdfunding in their work, and are shaping how communities understand what crowdfunding represents and what goals it can help them achieve.

On January 30th I was delighted to be asked to give the keynote at Kansas City Community Capital Fund's Annual Community Development Workshop, at the Kaufman Center.

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