Check out our curated Weekly RoundUP of the breaking and must-read news – Yoko’s crowdsourced project to fight gender violence; China to use online crowdfunding to help restore parts of the Great Wall; scientists turning to crowdsourcing in elusive search for anti-malaria drug, and more …
Yoko Ono is crowdsourcing a new project about gender violence
Yoko Ono will debut a new project about gender violence at the Reykjavik Art Museum in October
In a Facebook post last week, the songwriter/artist called on “women of all ages, from all countries of the world” to “send a testament of harm done to you for being a woman.” The post, entirely in caps, continued, “Write in your own language, in your own words, and write however openly you wish.” The project, dubbed Arising, won’t be the first time Ono has tackled the subject of violence against women. For her 1964 performance art project Cut Piece, she knelt on a stage and asked audience members to cut off pieces of her clothing with a pair of scissors.
Crowdsite, the first social crowdsourcing network
The social crowdsourcing network has been launched for the first time
A study shows that one in eight people has made money online. There’s a huge crowd out there consisting of freelancers, startup entrepreneurs, smart employees and forward thinking businesses. Better named: Crowdworkers. Today we’re launching our Social Crowdsourcing Network. Currently our network is growing with 10,000 users a month and we’ve paid out over $4,000,000 to our community. There are tons of social networks and crowdsourcing marketplaces. But until today there was no Social Crowdsourcing Network. Our network has three key goals: develop tools to Meet, Socialize & Do Business. A powerful profile & newsfeed gives you the ability to Socialize with your local connections and the rest of the world. While BETA testing the new social features this summer, this is what happened to our user growth. Today we’re starting a unique cooperation with the Eindhoven University of Technology. The cooperation involves the development of a unique groups/forum tool to meet crowdworkers with the same skills. Discuss skill related topics and meet great people.
China to use online crowdfunding to help restore parts of the Great Wall
Heritage officials in China have turned to crowdfunding as a way of paying for restoration work on the Great Wall of China
The 13,170 mile long monument is arguably one of the world’s most iconic shrines. Authorities are looking for public contributions to restore just 1,050 metres and already have received about 300,000 yuan (£34,000) since the scheme began at the start of this month. The appeal by the government-supervised China Foundation for Cultural Heritage conservation has led to 16,000 people donating online, according to the BBC. The body was quoted by China Radio International as saying the wall was “in serious need of repair.” The erection of the wall initially began over two thousand years ago but much of what tourists visit today was built during 1368-1644 AD period during the Ming Dynasty. While China is one of the world’s largest economies, the person in charge of this fund-raising venture, Dong Yaohui, made it clear that the government would be unable to preserve the large site on its own. He said that contributions, no matter how small, would help create “a great wall” to protect the Great Wall. Restoration work will be carried out in the first instance along the Xifengkou section of the edifice which runs through a reservoir.
Crowdsourcing the UK’s constitution
Professor Conor Gearty, Director of the IPA and Professor and Human Rights Law, explains the reasoning behind crowdsourcing UK’s constitution
Sure there is a reason for it. Britain has never suffered the sort of defeat in war or other upheaval that produces a new constitution and nor has it ever had to free itself of colonial rule – it was always the coloniser. When it did have a revolution in the 17th century, constitutions were not yet in fashion. Today, pretty well everywhere else has a written document that captures what a place is about (or at least pretends to be about) and sets out how power is dispersed (or supposedly dispersed). You don’t have to be a democracy to have a constitution – look at Belarus, and China. Nor do you need to be a Republic – both Belgium and Sweden have monarchs, for example.
Scientists turn to crowdsourcing in elusive search for malaria drug
Sydney researchers have thrown open the notoriously secretive process of drug discovery with a world-first attempt to develop a malaria medicine through crowdsourcing
Chemists from the University of Sydney explored the potential for two antimalarial compounds to be synthesised into drugs, by encouraging the scientific community to contribute data and expertise, and publishing the results online. Associate Professor Matthew Todd said the open source process – which is common in software development – had been used to screen for diseases such as zika and ebola but it was unique to develop a drug with complete transparency. “No one’s done this with drug discovery, where you would normally expect it to be done in secrecy,” Associate Professor Todd said. “We were seeing whether people would jump in or keep their distance, and people really did jump in from across the spectrum – people from the private sector as well as academics from around the world.” The pharmaceutical industry has little commercial incentive to develop a new drug and academic researchers lack the resources to convert compounds that have been identified as potential treatments into medicines.
Crowdfunding sites are raising record amounts of money for schools
Students in California are using tablets to write computer code that programs digital balls, called “Spheros,” to move
Most classrooms rely on funding from school districts to purchase high-tech items like these, but Taylor has taken a different approach: crowdfunding. As students across the country go back to school, their teachers are increasingly turning to crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe.com and DonorsChoose.org to pay for extra classroom expenses and ease the burden on teachers and school districts alike. In its last fiscal year, DonorsChoose.org, which focuses solely on education projects, says it raised more than $100 million. GoFundMe.com, which is a general crowdfunding site, raised $60 million in the last 12 months, with education as its fastest-growing category. “I’m no longer limited to textbooks. I can go ‘Oh, a 3-D printer? I wonder what that would look like in the classroom?'” Taylor says. “It has really changed the dynamic of what the kids see as possible.”
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…