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turn your followers into a task force for powerful impact
New York, NY, United States
4 / 5
Teammates
$ 211.61
฿ 0.0377
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WeServe.io is a crowdfunding platform that does grassroots governance: it empowers activists and social entrepreneurs by channeling the power of their tribes to create sustainable impact. By breaking down big funding goals into small tasks and opening projects to public participation, WeServe.io turns social networks into grassroots task forces that are operational across borders. The platform can be used to kickstart a social enterprise, organize an emergency response operation, or even convert mere buzz into constructive action.

Social Problem/Solution

Social networks are the manifestation of a new power, that generates tremendous phenomena such as the Trump election; the Brexit; the Arab Springs; Occupying movements; etc…[1] Unfortunately, that type of impact is not sustainable: it goes with the buzz and often brings chaos. Social media content is unverified; so in addition to generating ephemeral movements, social networks often allow for unconsidered actions.[1]

The emerging power of the internet tends to destabilize traditional institutions and polarize societies, we need to explore new modes of grassroots governance that would deliver sustainable and powerful impact.[2]. Doing so would allow to address issues that the old power cannot keep up with.

Project leaders on WeServe.io will gain unbeatable public legitimacy, based on concrete transparent action rather than mere communication. Projects are not to be restricted to civic governance, we can imagine implications in academia, business, and journalism.

- A researcher can raise funds, publicize her research, and build a team in complete autonomy.

- An entrepreneur can launch a business-prototype on weserve.io to test the market, and build a community around her product.

- Journalists can reconnect to their initial mission, by being more independent, more engaged, and yet delivering good quality content.

- Activists can do more than protesting; they can generate sustainable transparent actions, thereby organizing communities, and leveraging institutions.

Crowdfunding Problem/Solution

At least 7 out of 10 crowdfunding campaigns fail to attain their goal. In order to create a successful campaign donors need (1) evidence that the project will be successfully implemented and (2) transparency in the allocation of their donations. (3) Campaign initiators need to provide extensive transparency and open communications on their campaign in order to build trust upon a sense of collective mission and community. 

Solution: WeServe.io (1) Breaks down big funding goals into small tasks. (see screenshot below) Once a task is completed, it is presented as goal attainment and capacity to deliver. That is an opportunity to share with followers thereby triggering more participants and building momentum to achieve proceeding goals. (2) Tasks are publicly displayed with their allocated budget so donors can see exactly where their money is going; and (3) the audience is involved in the implementation of tasks. This transforms distant followers into close collaborators thus building a sense of mission and community. Therefore, by opening projects to public participation, WeServe.io reduces the funding needs of the project initiator and increases their capacity to achieve their projects.

Features

- Projects are open for public to read, edit, and implement; however, a project leader can approve or reject every change, so the project leader gets credit in case of success, and is accountable for the project’s impact.

- A leader can delegate operations by appointing a lead editor and an “executor”.  The “lead editor” has special credential to edit and approve revisions on media wiki, and the executor monitors the fulfilment of tasks.

- Each task has a button “fund”, and a button “do”, so each task becomes a small crowdfunding campaign. Any visitor can suggest a new task.

- Money goes from donor to the people who complete the task, so leaders do not deal directly with money.

- Payment is released when task is proven to be completed as confirmed by leader or executor. Also visitors can review and comment on actions.

- Donors see exactly where their money goes, and project can start as soon as a task is fully funded instead of waiting for the whole project to be funded. This means projects are unlimited in time and budget.

- Users who completed a task can receive the funds allocated to that task either in fiat currency or in cryptocurrency. With cryptocurrency, projects can be implemented anywhere in the world even with people who do not have a bank account.

User Acquisition

  • Our target audience are potential project leaders in business, civic action, journalism, and academia. We focus on project leaders because they are the one who will bring their network to the platform when they start a project.
  • Generate the buzz with high impact projects
  • Partner with institutions like Columbia University to bring impactful users.  Some faculty members are currently following progress.
  • Develop a community of active users who would contribute to the development.

Advantages:

  • Action: projects are empowered not only with funding, but also with task force. Traditional social networks allow sharing and commenting on the news, whereas WeServe.io gives users the possibility to directly act in the news, instead of feeling powerless and frustrated.
  • Legitimacy:  WeServe.io converts individual’s energy into collaborative action = democratic legitimacy.
  • Transparency: users know precisely in which task their money goes; also, they can edit the project they serve.
  • Sustainable: Projects are constantly updated, to allow for adaptations and changes depending on the project challenges and context.
  • Market Validation: a project starts small and grows with its audience. A project on weserve.io is a constant market analysis, except that it has an actual impact and build a real story, unlike mere surveys and research. You can use WeServe.io to build a business prototype and feed your business plan with concrete data and user feedback.
  • Content: WeServe.io’s editorial feature documents tomorrows news with verified information: Imagine news that are being implemented in the world at the moment you read/write them. WeServe.io allows for quality editorial content, (like wikipedia) because projects are constantly reviewed and updated.
  • Subsidiarity: weserve.io improves local actors’ capacity to find local solutions.
  • Donors do not get exhausted: Giving money for a transparent task that I may have created myself, on a project that I can edit, is not the same as giving to another charity.
  • Inclusive: weserve.io brings contrasting people together in a unique efforts to achieve common goals.
Volunteers can refund the amount they earned towards a new task. People who cannot afford to volunteer may keep the money they earned.
  • Anti Corruption: Build powerful actions for your community without having to belong to the ruling clubs, and without being bound by political or financial partisanship.

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Cebrian, Manuel, Iyad Rahwan, and Alex “Sandy” Pentland. “Beyond Viral.” Communications of the ACM 59, no. 4 (March 23, 2016): 36–39. doi:10.1145/2818992.
  2. Naim, Moises. The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be. Reprint. New York: Basic Books, 2014.
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