In times of exceptional online connectivity, non-profits, governments and businesses are now tapping into the power of the crowd.
Crowdsourcing is the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a network of people in the form of an open call or a contest. The main objective is often in relation to speeding up innovation, problem solving or increasing efficiency.
Online engagements, forum contributions and social networks brought organisations closer to the people, laying the foundation for new methods of common value creation. People are collectively mobilised contributing with time, skills, ideas or money to a project across countless industries. Crowdsourcing can provide organizations with:
- Optimisation of resources and reduced costs
- New ideas generation and creative solutions
- Improved consumer trust and citizens’ engagement
- New product design and co-creation
- Market intelligence and business insights
Crowdsourcers are primarily motivated by the ability to gather large numbers of solutions and information at a relatively inexpensive cost. Users are motivated to contribute to crowdsourced tasks by both intrinsic motivations, such as social contact, intellectual stimulation, skills learning, recognition, sense of accomplishment among peers and by extrinsic motivations, such as financial gain.
Over the last years, crowdsourcing has been recognised by influential thought leaders, major media outlets, businesses and governments as a practice to watch because of its potential to positively impact the world.
“The amount of knowledge and talent dispersed among the human race has always outstripped our capacity to harness it. Crowdsourcing corrects that – but in doing so, it also unleashes the forces of creative destruction.”
– Wired magazine writer, Jeff Howe from his book Crowdsourcing, 2008
Ordinary people, consumers and the crowd nowadays have an exceptional opportunity to get close to the top of any organisation and speak candidly in a dialogue, not a monologue. This equates to a ripple effect of enthusiasm from the crowd, a feeling of ownership, a kind of ambassadorship that naturally evolves over time. Above all with regard to anything they might have co-created with their peers.
A crowdsourcing model can be applied across several verticals and social domains. Crowdsourcing has the potential to transform the way we work, finance, use resources, learn, do marketing and connect with one other to advance more sustainable lifestyles. Crowdsourcing can be used in the following ways:
- Crowd collaboration: demanding the contribution of decentralised groups to create, combine and share knowledge across a pool of participants.
- Crowd labor: appealing to workers’ groups to carry out large-scale projects by splitting an activity into different parts.
- Crowd competition: hosting of contests in which people work individually or in groups to develop a solution to a certain problem.
- Crowdfunding: funding projects via web-based platforms and through small financial contributions from a large group of people.
- Crowd voting: turning to the crowd to reach a decision based on pre-defined options.
Several benefits can be attributed to crowdsourcing:
- Public authorities can empower citizens and give them a greater voice
- Scientists can gather larger amount of data and scale up innovations
- Project developers can access alternative finance through crowdfunding
- Companies can step ahead of new disrupting business models and connect with their customers
- Non-profits can more effectively launch campaigns and gain good exposure
- Financial professionals can discover new funding models
Crowdsourcing is growing quickly in Europe and the number of organisations tapping into the crowd to create scalable solutions continues to raise steadily. Crowdsourcing is impacting various sectors from transportation to finance, to education and manufacturing. The Maker Movement, the Sharing Economy, the Peer to Peer sector and Collaborative Economy marketplaces are all using some forms of crowdsourcing models.
Crowdsourcing is also shaping the future of work. Consulting is the next frontier of crowdsourcing, whereby work assignments are distributed to a group of people outside the realm of traditional employment or outsourcing systems. This in turn will result to higher productivity for organisations and creativity while reducing labour and traditional outsourcing expenses.
Organisations in Europe need to obtain new insights on what works and what can fail and build capacity around crowdsourcing practices and tools. If they are not adapting quickly and capitalise on these opportunities, they risk to be disrupted.
At Euro Freelancers we advise on the new business models and key drivers that underpin the socioeconomic force coming out of crowdsourcing. Being a network of independent EU affairs professionals offering high skilled services on demand, we are best placed to implement crowdsourcing models.
We have a Europe wide expertise on how to innovate with the crowd. The focus of our knowledge lays on key consumer trends across sectors and European countries. We have the tools and case studies to offer insight into challenges to overcome and opportunities to innovate.
We use readily available technologies and platforms to implement crowdsourcing techniques and apply them to problem-solving, creative brainstorming, and co-creation within your organisation.
Our services are designed to meet the needs of public and private sector organisations that want to understand and navigate this new reality in ways that bring economic growth and build community participation.
Our services revolve around three areas of crowdsourcing:
- We organise trainings to build capacity of policy makers on gathering citizens’ insights through crowdsourcing platforms;
- We supply local regulators with policy recommendations to implement crowdsourcing, help them develop key messages and build community participation around them;
- We inform on key legal and regulatory issues that could either promote or obstruct crowdsourcing practices;
- We kick start local programs that facilitate the transferability and scalability of best practice solutions on the use of crowdsourcing among EU Member States;
- We advise on open calls and contests that public authorities could launch via their procurement departments.
- We perform research studies, data collection analysis and surveys to identify market size, key trends, opportunities for growth and limitations across sectors and European countries;
- We design and submit for EU funding pilot projects tackling crowdsourcing practices;
- We plan and execute interactive workshops to shed light on key market developments for produces and services that can be optimised through crowdsourcing;
- We test prototype approaches and advise on market competition, challenges and viability of crowdsourcing models.
- We shape content and key messages for organisations to establish their authority in the field of crowdsourcing;
- We design relevant online platforms and offline alliances to explore the potential of crowdsourcing;
- We compile mapping of best practice examples, identify benchmarks and compare data in the field of crowdsourcing;
- We advise organisations on potential partnerships required to make crowdsourcing succeed.
Interested in working together? Send us a note, we respond to every email we receive and are looking forward to hearing from you.