Can we — consumers shrug-off social-middlemen & Unclog Capitalism to work for more of us?
I usually toy with wild ideas but this isn’t really wild because it’s backed by data — “91% millennials would switch to brands that support a social cause” Deloitte 2019. “67% are more likely to integrate their causes into daily life by buying products that support social or environmental causes” BCG — and there’re hundreds of other such studies.
This data suggests there’s another important secondary consumer need that merchants aren’t competing against. It also means; we Millennials/Gen-Z thirst to change the world with our purchases but lack an efficient model and platform. I’ve been in web & digital-marketing for <10 years and just don’t know why no one is building such a platform, yet society is ailing — big time.
But I also know that in such consumer studies people state one thing but act otherwise when presented with the opportunity to act. To put this data to the test, I’ve setup a store on Amazon and TeeSpring , uploaded a few causes at https://wayout.world; to validate the idea of a marketplace connecting consumers directly to grassroots impact. When you purchase anything, 60% of profit will go to the listed causes, and 40% to develop the marketplace’s web & mobile apps. This dev’t will require more than sales revenues bring in; that is why am rallying you to offer anything you can, a dollar, share, ideas, networks, etc.
We all are interested in a poverty-free world, but today nothing gets done without money and yet it is you and me — consumers who literally fund social and environmental needs — I’ll call these #worldneeds. More of our consumption means more taxes to gov’ts, more profits to individuals who become philanthropists — if they do, and more profits to corporates to do CSR — if they do. So, the connection between consumers and #worldneeds is infested by inefficient, costly & bureaucratic self-interested middlemen.
Most governments spend more tax money on clinging to power and financing wars to create even more social problems than on uplifting society. Philanthropic foundations & development agencies have lengthy, impossible grant processes that grassroots change-makers will never win and the majority of CSR initiatives aren’t aligned with social needs but self-serving profiteering. So, consumers ideally send billions downwards everyday but most of it gets clogged into this messy mesh of social middlemen.
People are recognizing the urgent need to bypass these social middlemen to directly effect grassroots impact. On GiveDirectly, people give away ≅ $500 to poor families deep in villages to cater for household needs, on kiva.org people give out interest-free loans to improve the productivity of small businesses, and other social needs; and several crowdfunding platforms directly connect you to grassroots impact. But with over 70% of people living below $10 a day, the current supply of such altruistic actions is a drop in the ocean. The majority of projects uploaded on these platforms go unfunded.
With increasing pressures and demands of our consumerist society and lifestyles, we will naturally keep more to ourselves — the ‘cost of sacrifice’ is high, so, fewer people are able to give even if they wanted to. We can reduce the ‘cost of sacrifice’ to zero so millions of altruist consumers give not money but regular purchase decisions where a percentage impacts causes, they care about. And this is where marketing/advertising’s role comes in. The current advertising model pushes us — consumers to satisfy our personal needs and interests, ignoring our social interests. In the process, we end up creating billionaires, plutocratic governments, inequality soars, environment depleted, and our #worldneeds worsen.
The overarching question is; how do we traffic more wealth down the pyramid — ASAP — to support more people to be productive?
Through a marketplace connecting consumers to buy products/services and a percentage instantly goes to the grassroots impact they care about e.g. interest-free microloans, education, health, climate adaptation, hunger, etc. You can instantly see what your purchase has generated, the lives & environment impacted over time, create groups to fast-track support for causes with daily purchases, etc. It features;
- New Corporate Ownership: e.g. 40% to individuals and 60% to a decentralised autonomous AI agent called say #worldneeds. Because capitalistic ownership imposes self-interest which our socially-interested AI agent needs to prioritise society & environment, just like you will spend your last $50 on food or something that brings in more money rather than the 20th idle pair of shoes.
2. Impact Advertising: connecting consumers to products/services and grassroots impact for a commission to #worldneeds. Because advertising is the wealth router pushing consumers to wherever it is calibrated to.
3. #Worldneeds AI Agent: programmed to instantly spend its wealth on the most urgent, neglected and solvable social and environmental issues at the grassroots. It can be improving production, education, health, pro-poor R&D, emergencies, relevant opensource software projects, investing in scaling climate-smart technologies, etc.
4. Pro-poor credit & innovation: to extend interest-free microloans, and fund product innovation centers — that work with the poor to improve their products/services, market access, etc.
Here’s a futuristic vision of this; Google made $136B in 2018. What if it was 40% owned by persons & 60% by an AI software agent running on Bitcoin or Ethereum called #worldneedsAI that auto-spends on the most urgent, neglected, & solvable #worldneeds. Now imagine there are hundreds of such companies around the world.
This Consumer-Product-Impact marketplace;
- Fires-up markets to COMPETE on fixing #worldneeds. i.e. People, Planet, & Profits. Because it’s not always about competition but contribution.
- Overrides the self-interested middlemen & directly distributes funds for grassroots impact; disrupting governments, CSR and philanthropy.
- Reduces the cost of sacrifice: to zero so millions of altruist consumers instantly act on causes they care about and see instant change.
- Reduces the cost of conversion for online sellers: as customers are energized to buy by the need to save a life, not by manipulative ads.
- Quickly Fixes a World Need: e.g. a child with a curable malignant cancer tumor or heart-disease won’t have to endure another year of pain, suffering, and stigma, will go to school, etc.
- Increases Happiness: studies from Harvard and elsewhere show that altruistic actions reduce stress and improve mental health, especially if done on a regular basis.
- Increases awareness of global challenges and effectively rallies the world in solidarity against them. Every purchase sends a message.
- Reduces plutocracy — government by the wealthy because #worldneeds funds won’t have strings attached.
On Oct 7, 2019, I received an update from KIVA — $1 Billion deployed to 3 million women in 94 countries since 2006. It’s great but at 13 years, it’s very slow impact. What if this #worldneedAI extended to Kiva +$2, Billion every year, in addition to financing other urgent social needs.
These are the most beautiful words on the internet or at least on TED.com; Adam Grant says;
“if we can make it safe to ask for help, if we can protect givers from burnout and make it OK for them to be ambitious in pursuing their own goals as well as trying to help other people, we can actually change the way that people define success. Instead of saying it’s all about winning a competition, people will realize success is really more about contribution.
I believe that the most meaningful way to succeed is to help other people succeed. And if we can spread that belief, we can actually turn paranoia upside down. There’s a name for that. It’s called “pronoia.” Pronoia is the delusional belief that other people are plotting your well-being. “
18 million people, 6 million of them children — UNICEF, die every year because No One is plotting their wellbeing because capitalism defines success as winning a competition rather than contributing to social/environmental wellbeing. This project wants to change this definition so that you see your daily social impact from your purchases on your phone at no extra cost to you.
I’ve promised 8 groups of women and other small-businesses that we will give them interest-free loans, help them improve the quality of their products and with digital marketing — we even filmed some but it’s now a year and I can only ignore their regular calls for status on my promise. Paranoia is what am feeling, it’s what is burning me out;
I’m now asking you to contribute anything; a dollar, euro, bitcoin, technical help, connections, share on social media or other popular networks, like, comment, and just about anything else — otherwise I’m burnt out.
The funds will be used to test, develop, test, learn, improve perfect and popularize a new system/platform that redefines Success from the one that killed Seif, kills 18 million people every year to one Adam Grant describes — people will realize success is really more about contribution.
NB: I’m coming to you the consumers and possible users of this platform after failing to convince mainstream funding options. I think, they just can’t see this working, and for good reason; Nelson Mandela says “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” I still have a long prospect list of mostly institutions to contact, but I will ditch it for you because they aren’t really accessible — which is the gap this project seeks to close, i.e. to push wealth down the pyramid — because the poor cannot pull it themselves.
Your contribution isn’t just a fund, it’s mostly a message that this can work, that capitalism can evolve to be distributive and circular, and most importantly brings the world together to fix its future.
This is what your purchase and cash contribution does;
In the short-run
1) Provides actionable proof to reconfigure the current marketing/advertising model so that products/services compete for our social/environmental needs beyond personal needs. $9.5B exchanges hands online every day — what if in 5–8 years this platform facilitates and generates even 1% of the $9.5B to instantly spend $95M on social/environmental issues, daily! This is not far fetched given that Google makes Approx. $378 M every day.
2) Validates this idea for, mainstream adoption by consumers, investors, entrepreneurs, academia, even regulators and others in the capitalist value-chain.
In the long-run.
1) Rallies the world to a consumer revolution that evolves capitalism into a system that auto-fixes it’s mess. “Failure to use resources to satisfy the most urgent consumers’ needs is penalized, while success is rewarded.”
Why you should contribute?
If you aren’t interested in a poverty-free world, you at least give a $ to fix your preferred system. If you’re capitalist, this system introduces a competitive wealth distribution mechanism — which is capitalism’s failure, and if you’re socialist it is designed to competitively grow the pie which is socialism’s failure.