A curated, weekly roundup of interesting news on crowd business, crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, open innovation and the new collaborative economy. 

08shortcutpic-master675One of crowdfunding’s most common criticisms is that it will replace or detract from traditional means of financing art, science, or charity. Here The New York Times explores whether citizen philanthropy, in the form of contributing to heart-tugging crowdfunding campaigns, really threatens to reduce funds going to traditional philanthropies like Red Cross or Save the Children. What’s clear is that charities can no longer rely on brand loyalty, and must adopt a certain level of transparency and tech savvy to appeal to a present-day donor. [The Effect Crowdfunding Has on Venerable Nonprofits Raises Concern, The New York Times]

Crowdsourcing and Challenge Driven Innovation (CDI) are accelerating green chemistry and sustainability through several interesting collaborations, including Innocentive’s work with Nature and Scientific American, and the LAUNCH program—Nike’s partnership with NASA, U.S. AID and the U.S. State Department to develop product concepts and manufacturing processes for sustainable textiles. [How crowdsourcing can boost green chemistry, GreenBiz.com]

armycocreateThe Army is testing out crowdsourcing as a means to better meet the needs of soldiers and accelerate development. They’ve teamed up with Local Motors to crowdsource soldier and civilian solutions. One project, proposed on the ArmyCoCreate platform, was completed from concept to prototype in an impressive 55 days. [Army taps crowd for rapid, tactical tech solutions, GCN]

[Ed. Note: Local Motors founder Jay Rogers will be speaking at the Crowdsourcing Week Global Conference in Singapore, April 7-11]

How did a crowdfunding site for school supplies grow into a deeply networked powerhouse for education reform? At DonorsChoose.org, the path toward improving public education and accountability lies with listening to a smart and passionate crowd: the teachers. [Beyond School Supplies: How DonorsChoose is Crowdsourcing Real Education Reform, Fast Company]

Consulting firms Accenture and Deloitte lay out the benefits of crowdsourcing in two separate reports, which both name crowdsourcing a significant tool for businesses in 2014, particularly because of its growing adoption among Fortune 1000 companies and governments. [Accenture, Deloitte Name Crowdsourcing as a Key Trend for 2014, Crowdsourcing.org]

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