Check out our curated Weekly RoundUP of the breaking and must-read news – crowdsourcing determining climate change effects; GOP crowdsourcing Trump cabinet suggestions; NASA crowdsourcing Jupiter research and many more …

How crowdsourcing will help determine climate change effects

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has created Climate Crowd, an interactive mapping platform that uses crowdsourced data to demonstrate human responses to climate change.

Initiatives like this are useful to determine whether our efforts to address climate change at a micro level are doing more harm than good. For example, in an article for George Washington University’s online Master of Public Health program, WWF reports communities in Uganda may suffer poor crop yield due to drought or high temperatures. To compensate, those communities clear nearby forest to create more farmable land. Since wildlife relies on the forest for food and habitat, the human response to climate change may create a chain reaction that more negatively impacts the community. Carefully tracking the impact of climate change, and the impact of human action in response, can provide valuable insights. But government and nonprofit organizations often lack the resources to send staff to gather data—which is why global crowdsourcing efforts are filling a vital need.

The GOP is crowdsourcing Trump cabinet suggestions

Read how GOP is crowdsourcing suggestions for Donald Trump’s cabinet.

The Republican Party emailed a “President Trump Administration Survey” to its supporters on Wednesday. A 10-question survey hosted on the official GOP website prompts people to nominate individuals for cabinet positions, including Secretary of State and Attorney General. After submitting suggestions, participants are directed to a donation page for the Republican presidential nominee — a fundraising technique that some may argue could be the survey’s actual purpose. Trump previously sent a crowdsourcing survey asking for supporter advice ahead of the second debate. It pointed respondents to a fundraiser page. The administration survey doesn’t include all 15 executive department cabinet positions. It leaves out a handful of departments, including Education, Housing and Urban Development, and Transportation. The survey tells people to “please respond only to those positions for which you can name the most qualified candidate.” But many are ignoring the directive and filling in false, humorous or offensive responses.

How NASA is crowdsourcing Jupiter research

More details on how scientists are examining photos sent back by a spacecraft orbiting Jupiter with the help of the public here.

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GoFundMe surpassed $3 billion raised on crowdfunding platform

GoFundMe announced it has surpassed $3 million in funds raised from more than 25 million donors through its global crowdfunding platform.

“GoFundMe’s giving community has come together to support those who need help time and again, including raising more than $11 million for those affected by the Louisiana floods and $7.8 million for the victims of the Pulse shooting in Orlando. Viral campaigns likeChicago’s Fidencio the Paleta Man and Memphis’s Chauncy’s Chance drew generosity from donors around the world and inspired dozens of similar campaigns to changes the lives of others.” “As we all continue to help those affected by Hurricane Matthew, here’s an overview of how we ensure every dollar gets to the right person. We deploy proprietary technical tools and have multiple processes in place to verify the identities of campaign organizers and intended recipients of campaign funds, also known as beneficiaries. We also use other measures on par with the financial services industry in order to prevent misuse. In addition to these technical tools, our dedicated team of experts work around the clock to vet campaigns and investigate anything suspicious. When members of our giving community of more than 25 million users see something that’s not right, they tell us and we look into it.”

How crowdfunding is a good alternative to traditional funding

This article written by Indiegogo shows why crowdfunding is a good alternative to traditional funding.

A highly visible crowdfunding campaign will help you not only prove that ther is a market for your product or idea, but it will also help you gather insights from your potential customers. If people back your campaign and show excitement, there is clearly an existing customer base. On the other hand, if your idea gets few or no backers, it’s an indication that there may not be a market for it, and you need to rethink your plan. Insights from backers across the world can help you refine your idea, think through your strategy and go to market with a carefully considered final product. Even media coverage of your story offers enough market that can support future investment pitches. In the past, market research was an expensive and long process and often an impossible undertaking for new companies, but crowdfunding has made it easier to get insights quickly and from many more people.

Image: theenergycollective

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…