Today is the first page of a 366-page book so let’s kickstart 2016 with a New Year’s Day special of our curated weekly roundup of the breaking news and must-read thought leadership pieces on the crowd economy spotted by the Crowdsourcing Week team about crowdsourcing digital Britain, equity crowdfunding, 3D-print project and more. 

Any ideas how to shape digital Britain?

The Government of UK is seeking for any good idea that might help shape digital Britain. Take a look at this piece by Diginomica to see what is needed.

“In the last five years, the UK’s digital economy has changed beyond recognition – and in ways, few people would have predicted. The UK is now truly a ‘Tech Nation’ with more than 70 per cent of digital businesses now based outside of the capital. A new Digital Strategy for the UK for the next five years. [The Government] wants the UK to be synonymous with digital – a place where digital technologies transform day-to-day life, the economy and government. Every part of the UK economy and our lives has been digitised – from how we shop and entertain ourselves to the way we travel to work and manage our health. This digital fever exploded from the cluster in east London and has spread to every part of the country, making the UK truly a ‘Tech Nation’. But we need to work hard to make sure we continue to take advantage of the benefits digital transformation has to offer. Come 2020, undoubtedly the UK landscape will have changed to be firmly in the digital age. But how do you want to shape that?”

15 biggest equity crowdfunding rounds of 2015

Here’s a roundup of the biggest equity crowdfunding campaigns of 2015 by The Telegraph. Indeed, the crowdfunding market is growing, and it’s expected to be a mainstream way of raising capital.

Challenges remain, though. “What happens after the fundraising – do the companies succeed? Is the retail audience educated enough to make an investment decision? Will they ever invest more than a little sum of money?” said Dan Ridett, CMO of Crowdsurfer, which tracks data about the crowdfunding market. “The big question in equity crowdfunding is one of trust.”

But with several companies raising into the millions and two exits under its belt, equity crowdfunding has become a mainstream way of raising capital.

Crowdsourcing and mobile app for holiday craze

What happens when crowdsourcing meets mobile strategy to increase c? Here’s how Pay Finder app uses crowdsourcing to increasing the interest of its users via Powerpage.

Brian Roemmele’s PayFinder app works via crowdsourcing to report over 12,000 merchants in North America that accept Apple Pay, 95 percent of them being small businesses. In parallel, its developer reported that the new app’s users have increased an incredible 750 percent over the past two days, indicating a lot of interest in Apple Pay. Roemmele commented about the jump in Apple Pay interest over the holidays, stating that “Christmas was good to the iPhone 6 series and Apple Pay adoption.” On Christmas Day, Roemmele had earlier noted that ‘indirect activation data suggested that the Target and BestBuy $100 off Apple Watch promotion may have doubled [the number of Apple Watch] devices in use.

How Mark Zuckerberg used crowdsourcing to achieve his 2015 personal challenge

Do you think he will crowdsource his 2016 personal challenge again? With 1.35 billion users, imagine the billions of ideas posted. Here’s an excerpt on Venture Beat.

Mark Zuckerberg is looking for help from Facebook’s 1.35 billion users to figure out what goal he should set for himself in 2015. Each year, the Facebook co-founder picks a personal challenge. In past years, those goals have included learning Mandarin, meeting one new person a day who didn’t work for Facebook, and only eating meat from animals he’d killed himself. “Every year I take on a challenge to broaden my perspective and learn something about the world beyond my work at Facebook,” he wrote in a public post today on Facebook. “I have an idea of what my next challenge might be, but I’m open to more ideas before the new year officially begins. So share your ideas here!”

Crowdsourced 3D printed life-size Moov Robot

Check out this 3D-printed life size Moov Robot – isn’t it fascinating what crowdsourcing and open source technologies can do? Read more on Venture Beat how a French sculptor crowdsourced his robot “Despite this lack of training and preparation.”

The French sculptor and designer has, by his own admission, almost zero technical background. He has spent most of his career creating branding campaigns for big companies. And yet, despite this lack of training and preparation, Langevin has become a central figure in the open-source robotic world. Langevin has tapped into the power of crowdsourcing, and the accessibility of 3D printing. Sharing his designs freely, he has constructed a life-size robot, as well as clear instructions for anyone to build their own. The result is both a product and a movement.

Crowdsourcing and smart cities of the future

Crowdsourcing will play a major role in shaping the smart cities of the future according to Bitcoinist. Technology is developing at a fast pace. You can do so much out of all the latest technological innovations and improve almost every aspect of everyday life. See how FinTech has come up with new ideas by using crowdsourcing.

The concept in the FinTech space is called smart cities, and some interesting ideas are being tossed around. The term smart cities applies to much more than having intelligent people in charge of handling everyday operations. In fact, according to some industry experts, having a handful of people in charge of cities might be a thing of the past soon. It has to be said, smart cities and mobility present many opportunities. Our society is faced with one major problem: dealing with energy supplies in a sustainable way. Crowdfunding can play a factor in the shift of energy delivery from centralized to decentralized solutions. Working closely together with citizens and local communities is key, and this can only happen through decentralization.

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?