From crowdsourcing projects to track UFOs to building a new smartphone to democratizing light and water, here’s a curated weekly roundup of the breaking news and must-read thought leadership pieces on the crowd economy spotted by the Crowdsourcing Week team about sharing economy, crowdsourcing, open innovation, crowdfunding and more. 

Cubestat on Indiegogo aims to track UFOs

Want to hunt UFOs with your own satellite? A team of developers based in Canada launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for their project that will allow ordinary people to track extraterrestrial species with a low-orbit satellite dubbed, Cubestat, Mail Online reported.

Software engineer Dave Cote developed the idea alongside other researchers in hopes to bring full disclosure to individuals, on the topic of extraterrestrial intelligence and UFOs.

‘Despite many sightings and events, government, military and media have made a strong attempt to discredit the idea of extraterrestrial ‘aliens,’ says the Indiegogo page.

Pepsi crowdfunding a smartphone in China

Meanwhile, from outer space to earth, Pepsi is crowdsourcing a China smartphone via JD Finance, a Chinese a la Kickstarter platform, Android Authority wrote.

The Pepsi Phone will come with a 5.50-inch 1080p display and run an octa-core 1.7GHz MediaTek MT6792 processor. 2 gigs of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage are housed in a sleek metal frame and a 2.5D glass display cover.  The cameras are a 13 MP device on the back, and a 5 MP one for selfies. The battery is 3000 mAh, and a fingerprint scanner is mounted on the back side of the device. The P1 will run Android 5.1 Lollipop when it arrives and it looks like the price is going to be about $200. That’s some pretty impressive bang for your buck.

Survey says sharing economy is “a good thing”

CareerArc released a survey pulled from 1,557 job seekers and 391 HR professionals to see how professionals think about the sharing economy: 86% says it is a good thing, Vator News noted.

As with freelancers and self-employed consultants, the biggest perk attracting job seekers to the sharing economy is the flexibility in schedule–cited by 71 percent of job seekers as a highly motivating factor. Over half of job seekers are also highly motivated by earning potential, the ability to work outside an office, and the lack of direct management.

What’s the state of Fin-Tech this year?

Here’s an infographic via Bobs Guide, showing “the rise in mobile banking and biometric authentication over the past year.”

crowdsourcingnewsroundup-fintech2015bobsguide

Filipina scientist shares stage with President Obama and Jack Ma on climate change and innovation

During the APEC Summit in the Philippines, Aisa Mijeno shared the stage with President Obama and Alibaba founder, Jack Ma in a panel discussion about climate change. Aisa, who’s the co-founder of SALT, “Sustainable Alternative Lightning” shares how salt water can power up a lamp, Inquirer reported. Here’s what Aisa said about light inequality:

“Our main advocacy is we wanted to address the light inequality gap, first in the Philippines by focusing on the people at the bottom of the pyramid because they comprise 15-20 percent of the country’s population,” Mijeno said.

“Most of these families live on island-communities and they are not connected to power grids. They mainly use kerosene and fuel-based lamps as the main source of lighting and we know the danger that kerosene poses,” she said.

Crowdsourcing Week launches equity crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube

Great news! We just launched our first ever equity crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube as part of the company’s growth journey. Here’s a sneak preview of the press release:

With this capital investment, CSW will launch subscription-based e-learning programs designed to make cutting-edge content on the crowd economy available to anyone with internet access. CSW’s services arm, CSW2 will also expand to multinational clients through a global consultants network. CSW events will come to new markets like Tehran, Dubai, Johannesburg and Sao Paolo in 2016.

There are tons of fantastic stories out there. What else caught your eye this week? Did you come across some breaking news or a good thought piece?