Crowdsourcing a dream

16 Jun

Sometimes, the thing we don’t say out loud enough is thank you. And here’s the thing, each of us probably has more to be thankful for than we realise, because there are very few things in life we do totally alone. Many businesses are discovering what people with good friends have always known – the crowd does better than the individual.

Take me, for example. Just over a year ago, a friend invited me to attend her Ph.D. graduation ceremony. I remember sitting in the auditorium, listening to all these people being recognized for their achievements. It was the first hint for me that I wanted to go back to school. Next I talked to another friend about her MBA experiences, and got some advice about program choices and schools. My uncle’s advice was simple – stop talking and go do it. Colleagues at work, friends and family read countless versions of my application essays, and helped keep me sane through 3 intense months of GMAT preparation. Family and friends found a place for me to stay when I flew from Vancouver to London for 4 days to interview with the University of Oxford’s Said Business School and the Cranfield School of Management. And everyone joined in the party when I was accepted at both!  The real story? There’s no way I could have done it without my “crowd”.

This September, I’ll take off for an intense year at Oxford, along with about 240 other students from all over the world. Already, we are connecting through the many social networks that abound, with folks weighing in from just about every time zone on the planet.  There’s talk of partnership opportunities, new ways of doing business, social entrepreneurship and generally tapping into our collective knowledge to change the world. This crowd is on the move!

So what can the crowd do for you? Are you pondering an idea and feel like some extra brain-power would help? Are you interested in participating in a crowd-driven solution? There are some great examples out there. Here’s an oldie but goodie – the National Audubon Society held their 110th “crowdsourced” bird count this past winter!  So get out there, join the crowd. Maybe we’ll work together on something.

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One Response to “Crowdsourcing a dream”

  1. Cheapside June 17, 2010 at 8:32 am #

    Strong analysis consistent with the theory of the wisdom of crowds used extensively in financial market assessments. Looking beyond the decision process that a crowd supports to the outcome desired, for example, environmental sustainability, is also critical to avoid elevating a bias or prejudice to a desireable outcome. Set the outcome and get the crowd in motion – collaboration is the only route in a world living in close and continuous association.

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