utalangley1This is a guest post by Uta Langley, a highly sought after trainer, coach and speaker specialising in happiness and success through effective management with over 20 years’ experience. She has tutored the Women into Enterprise course at the University of Bath and has recently run the International Happiness at Work Telesummit, interviewing the world’s top experts. She is the show host of the WIN (Women’s Information Network) “Happiness at Work Show”. Uta is passionate about management that brings out the best in people and is to the benefit of staff, managers and business. In her training she combines proven management tools, the latest happiness research and NLP techniques to create a sustainable change.

Over the past 20 years Uta has helped hundreds of people be happier, more confident and effective communicators, presenters and managers.

Uta attended Crowdsourcing Week 2013 in Singapore and put down her thoughts via this post that originally appeared on her blog.

5 signs that let you know that you are at a conference at the forefront of current thinking:

  1. The crowd is relatively small but highly knowledgeable, intelligent and connected
  2. When you mention that you are going to this conference people look blankly at you and change the topic quickly
  3. The presenters wear T-shirts, Jeans and Jackets
  4. You feel totally ok showing up in fit flops
  5. There is an intriguing mix of big and small business, government and activists, academia and consultants, techies and users

5 signs that let you know that no matter how hip the content is, the presenters and organisers are still linked to some traditional ways of doing things:

Crowd Sourcing Week

  1. There is an audience
  2. There is a presenter
  3. Most contributions are traditional one way lectures or podium discussions
  4. Power Point galore
  5. A traditional buffet for lunch

The Crowdsourcing Week when it comes again next year should be on everyone’s agenda who wants to learn about the latest trend in engaging with the masses. The applications are wide from sourcing brains, people and funds to influencing government policy and working towards high tech innovation. Inspiration rarely happens at your desk, it happens when you get stimulated to think outside of your normal grooves. Crowdsourcing Week definitely provides that stimulus no matter what your profession or field of expertise – it is an eye opener.

Crowdsourcing Week in Singapore, the first weeklong event in this new and exciting space, has brought together specialists and practitioners from all over the world to share their experiences and learnings with each other and an interested crowd.

For the uninitiated: Crowdsourcing is using people outside of your organization and their experience, skills, ideas, money to perform specific tasks or achieve certain goals.

Crowdsourcing in its various forms is starting to penetrate all areas of business and social interaction.

Here the top 10 areas for using the crowd as discussed during the conference:Crowdsourcing changing world of work

  1. Data validation – USAID
  2. Citizen engagement and participation – Open Ministry Finland
  3. Designing software, logos, websites, products – 99 Designs, Open Source
  4. Recruiting part time and remote labour – Malaysia: yourparttime.com, e-lance
  5. Innovation for business and social good – MAI Carbon 2.0, openideo
  6. Funding of businesses – assob, CrowdCube, crowdonomic, Pirate 3 D printer
  7. Funding of creative projects like films – kick starter, The Veronica Mars Movie Project
  8. Creating movements to change behavior – Earth Hour
  9. Collaborative consumption – Skill share
  10. Charitable donations and operations – Give Singapore

Looking at this list it is apparent that crowdsourcing is already and will further revolutionize the world of work. Malaysia is aiming at the B40 – the bottom 40% of their citizens to earn additional income through crowdsourcing. Through 99 designs a designer in Mozambique can create a logo for a company in Iceland. Anyone can share their knowledge through Skill Share and everybody no matter where can learn. Entrepreneurs who couldn’t get funding from the banks can now gain capital from people anywhere in the world to start producing innovative products or deliver services. Location becomes less of an issue. Boundaries of companies become more fluid as they start collaborating with individuals or groups that are not employed by them but who contribute to their goals. How will this influence our emotional contracts with companies we work for and our relationships with brands?

What struck me during the two days at the conference was the philosophy of sharing and openness in this new world of work. I am not naïve and know that companies will still compete with each other and guard their industry secrets but this new breed of innovators, entrepreneurs and social activists may change more than just how the world of business and charities operates, it might change the underlying assumptions and philosophies of how business and charity is done connecting business with people’s desire to be part of and to contribute to something bigger.