Crowdsourcing the Gates-Buffett Pledged Money

The Giving Pledge, led by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, is a campaign that encourages the world’s mutli-millionaires and billionaires to commit the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.

Crowdsourcing leverages the power of large groups to perform tasks traditionally performed by a few individuals. Successful examples of crowdsourcing include the Netflix Prize, Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, and generating solutions to the Millennium Prize Problems.

Crowdvoting, when applied to a contest or competition, lets the public choose the winning candidates rather than having the outcomes being dictated by small, closed groups. Social media sites that allow liking, upvoting, and ratings are good examples of crowdvoting in action. As well, most of today’s televised talent shows rely on the audience to pick which contestants move on to the next round and ultimately win.

Now imagine if we combined the power of crowds with the wealth of the world’s financial elite. We’d end up with something similar to Kickstarter, only instead of funding creative endeavors, we’d have a process to find practical solutions for humanitarian causes.

Yes, this is what we our world needs: a social funding platform, backed by billions of donated dollars, that lets the public decide which projects are most worthy of receiving financial support. Boom! Just like that, doors and opportunities would open, generating huge strides towards a more just global civilization.

Not to worry, billionaires. Leaving such big decisions up to the unwashed masses has already been tried before. In 2008, for example, Google launched the 10^100 project, putting up $10 million to be distributed amongst publicly vetted, user-submitted proposals. Along these same lines, Pepsi has renewed their Refresh project into 2011, divvying up millions to fund great ideas every month.

An endeavor such as this could easily be spearheaded by one single wealthy individual willing to contribute a relatively small chunk of change, say $50 million. Then, as this trial run of democratic philanthropy proves to be a huge success, the process could be scaled up into the billions.

So there you have it… a breakthrough social innovation for the world’s wealthiest humans to embrace: letting everyone decide the best ways to help heal the world.

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One Response to “Crowdsourcing the Gates-Buffett Pledged Money”

  1. buffet investing…

    Crowdsourcing the Gates-Buffett Pledged Money | Musings of a Peacewarrior…

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