Check out our curated Weekly RoundUP of the breaking and must-read news – How Asia Is adopting crowdfunding from the West; how to use crowdsourcing to drive corporate sustainability innovations; how crowdsourcing is allowing firms to go for liquid workforce and more …

How Asia Is adopting crowdfunding from the West

Kickstarter and Indiegogo are offering diversification and competitive strategies for crowdfunding that can support both Asian and Western founders and backers.

Larger platforms are now coming to Asia to take their share of an increasingly lucrative market. The opportunity for Asia and crowdfunding emerged when Western companies were unable to fulfill orders promised to their backers. Asian business people, especially in the hardware or Internet of Things (IoT) verticals made the easy decision to launch their own crowdfunding platforms and make the products they wanted locally. Funny enough, a lot of the products you now see on the Western crowdfunding platforms are actually Asian companies, often manufacturers, disguised as Western startups.

Could crowdsourcing expertise be the future of government?

Crowdsourcing is making it possible for institutions to get more help and more members of the public to participate in problem solving sharing their knowledge and skills.

First, we have to replicate and scale successful examples. The Smarter Crowdsourcing for Zika project, organized by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Governance Lab, coordinated ministries of health, sanitation, and modernization across four governments in Latin America, for a four-month curated crowdsourcing effort. The project matched hundreds of international experts to specific problems associated with Zika, ranging from trash collection to long term care, for a series of six online conferences designed to inform government responses to mosquito-borne viruses. Second, we must overcome the assumption that the purpose of engagement is purely to build legitimacy. It is not. If the goal of participation is simply communication between government, citizens and interest groups, then we miss the knowledge building aspects of crowdsourcing. These enable us to find missing information, generate alternate hypotheses, undertake tasks, get more eyeballs on a problem, or boots on the ground. Third, we should move beyond the assumption that participation must be mass-based. Instead, we should construct a range of different practices that speak to people’s knowledge, experience and passions to spot problems, design policies, work on drafts or participate in implementation.

How to use crowdsourcing to drive corporate sustainability innovations

IdeaScale, Topcoder and SensisChallenges have presented on the use of crowdsourcing to drive innovation and de-risk the execution of corporate sustainability initiatives.

Clinton Bonner, Director of Marketing and Innovation Programs at Topcoder, urged the audience to think of crowdsourcing as an entire innovation-and-sustainability-execution ecosystem that an organization could ‘tap’ to drive real-world results for their programs. By pairing idea management solutions from IdeaScale with the crowdsourcing campaign management and marketing that SensisChallenges delivers, and executing on the top ideas through Topcoder’s crowdsourcing challenges, any organization in the room could take advantage of what is an ‘innovation in a box’ solution that effectively strings together varied crowdsourcing offerings into a powerful, scalable program. Bonner shared a recent HPE social good program dubbed the Living Progress Challenge as an example of a large-scale innovation program, powered by crowdsourcing. “If you’re driving a sustainable initiative, your success will depend on your ability to find new ways to scale. Crowdsourcing is the way to achieve this scale.”

Crowdsourcing allows firms to go for liquid workforce

According to Bhaskar Ghosh, group chief executive at Accenture Technology Services, digital connectivity has ensured a more fluid workforce that can exploit technology to transform people, projects and the entire organisation.

As per the digital testing research that Accenture published in conjunction with analyst group PAC, recruitment of right talent was raised as an important digital testing challenge by over 80% of the survey respondents. We want to be ahead of the curve with niche digital skills, and offer capacity anywhere, anytime to deliver digital testing services for our client’s websites, mobile apps or IoT products as needed. The Applause crowd community features over 240,000 experienced quality assurance testers around the world. They complement Accenture’s 35,000 testing professionals to provide an unmatched scope of testing services and geographic coverage. We see several benefits in this alliance; the most important being benefits such as dynamic capacity, access to niche skills (including specialised crowds, such as crowds of women testers), expanded geographic coverage, and faster time-to-market. Enterprises which were buying technology all these years have largely been supporting business applications, but now with every business becoming a digital business, the CIO needs to design and deliver technology to address these millions of users. In this scenario, the enterprise’s end-users are spread around the world and are heterogeneous in characteristics, behaviour and needs. The ability to manage this diverse and spread-out end-user segment needs a differentiated talent pool—one that is also diverse and spread-out.

Crowdfunding – The Good, the Bad, and the (really) Ugly

Here is what the CEO and chief Crowdfundologist at CrowdfundBeat, Shane Liddell, thinks about crowdfunding.

The crowdfunding industry is doubling or more every year, and is spread across several types of funding models including rewards, donation, equity, and debt/lending. Just five years ago there was a relatively small market of early adopters within online crowdfunding, helping raise $880 million during 2010. Things changed fast with $6.1 billion raised in 2013, $16.2 billion in 2014, and a whopping $34.4 billion in funds raised during 2015. In comparison, the Venture Capital industry invests an average of $30 billion each year. By 2016 the crowdfunding industry is on track to account for more funding than venture capital, according to a 2015 report by Massolution. One of the most influential factors behind the rapid growth of crowdfunding over the past 10 years was due to the global recession of the late 2000’s and early 2010’s. This highly turbulent time saw many small and established businesses struggling to survive. Crowdfunding saved some of these businesses from crumbling into nonexistence by facilitating the raising of much needed capital. Traditional sources of funding – bank loans, overdrafts, credit cards – were all but drying up as the financial industry strained under the immense pressure the recession brought, with several household brand names suddenly put out of business too! Startups rarely survive without funding and crowdfunding has enabled entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to the crowd for validation, and through engagement with potential customers, gain valuable feedback too.

Image: forbes

There are many fantastic stories out there. What else caught your eye this week? Did you come across some breaking news or a good thought piece? Please do share them with us…