Check out our curated Weekly RoundUP of the breaking news and must-read thought leadership pieces on the crowd economy spotted by the Crowdsourcing Week team.

Crowdsourcing contest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Office of Sustainability has launched a crowdsourcing contest for the community to identify solutions to reduce campus emissions. More here on MIT News.

The MIT Office of Sustainability, in partnership with the Department of Facilities, the Environmental Solutions Initiative, and the MIT Climate CoLab, has launched a crowdsourcing contest to engage the MIT community in proposing methods to reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions at least 32 percent by 2030. This contest challenges teams to submit solutions to a critical question: How can MIT demonstrate innovative climate mitigation solutions on campus? The Climate CoLab’s crowdsourcing platform is hosting the contest as an opportunity for members of the MIT community to contribute and collaborate on solutions.

How crowdsourcing is helping SMBs save energy

Check Daniel Hill’s article to find out more on how to improve building efficiency and save energy through crowdsourcing models.

Emerging crowdsourcing models are helping small businesses save energy and get connected to tailored energy service providers at no cost to the business or provider. America’s small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) spend more than $60 billion in energy costs every year — enough energy to power one-third of our nation’s homes — and are becoming increasingly interested in energy management to control those costs. One organization, Green Impact Campaign (GIC), is using a crowdsourced, student-powered model to better connect SMBs with tailored services and then pair relevant service providers with these engaged leads.

Unilever’s new crowdsourcing partnership to create ‘consumer-championed products’

Guess which global corporation has decided to turn to crowdsourcing too?! The consumer goods, Unilever, has announced the partnership with crowdfunding site Indiegogo to accelerate green innovation.

This new partnership with Indiegogo will allow us to apply our learnings from the Foundry’s Pitch-Pilot-Partner approach, which dramatically cuts the time it takes to get a new initiative to market, to the wider business while putting consumers at the heart of decision making,” Unilever’s senior vice president of global marketing Aline Santos said. The Indiegogo partnership – which builds on last year’s launch of the Foundry’s ideas platform – will see collaborative concepts passed to a panel of Unilever experts. The best ideas from the platform will be launched as crowdfunding schemes through the website. The platform aims to introduce sustainable concepts across Unilever’s 400 brands.

Crowdsourced project to add text-to-speech to Wikipedia

Want to help make Wikipedia more accessible? An open source project is hoping to get crowdsourced contributions to add text-to-speech to Wikipedia. Here is how.

We will build an open framework where any open source speech synthesizer can be plugged in. Since it is open source modules, it will also be possible to add or substitute certain modules in the Text-to-Speech system (TTS),” professor Joakim Gustafson, head of KTH’s speech group, tells TechCrunch. The crowdsourcing element will entail wiki users either being able to report badly sounding sentences, or to correct the sentences themselves — although that will require some linguistic knowledge as it will involve using a phonetic transcription to correct the dictionary.

Crowdsourcing disease origins

Flu Near You is a crowdsourcing tool that is helping pin point the origins of the Ziko virus. Read more about crowd-sourcing technology regarding diseases on this article.

This tech has long been a focus of the Blouin Creative Leadership Summit. In 2013, for example, Alex “Sandy” Pentland from MIT’s Media Lab explained how big data has been used to pinpoint origins of malaria outbreaks, and how mobile tech can aid disease containment work. Crowd-sourcing technology itself has existed for years. Now, several global non-profits are exploring how to use these big data capabilities to stem disease. At the same time, wider adoption and application to real-life emergencies is boosting public interest in the tech. No one wants to see another Ebola, not to mention additional outbreaks of Zika or the vicious strains of dengue currently present in Malaysia and Hawaii. Flu Near You, for example, is a crowdsourcing tool that has expanded its data collection to include Zika, chikungunya and dengue symptoms, which include eye pain, yellow skin/eyes and joint/bone pain, according to Scientific Computing.

Cinema Chain VUE turns to the power of crowdsourcing

Cinema Chain VUE decided to crowdsource its local screenings, as moviegoers were given the chance to select the films of their choice. Find out how they went about giving power to their film buff customers.

Cinema chain Vue is channeling the power of crowdsourcing to let large groups of movie-goers select the films shown at their local cinema. Vue has partnered with ourscreen, a digital-social platform, to give cinema-goers a catalogue of over 400 films to choose from long after their cinematic run. Through ourscreen, interested parties can confirm their interest so Vue can gauge whether it is worth running certain movies. Once the ticket threshold has been met, the screening is booked in. Ourscreen claims it “enables film fans to take control of their local cinema,” adding that it can “increase average cinema occupancy by 340 per cent”.

Photo credit: TechCrunch

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? Do share them with us…