For three consecutive years, Singapore has been the home of CSW’s weeklong global conference. This year, in its fourth edition, we are thrilled to take the Crowdsourcing Week Global 2016 to our new home: United Kingdom.
With the theme, “Great Challenges, Massive Opportunities” we will explore the best practices in crowdsourcing across sectors and take a unique look at the disruptive forces facing organizations today and the massive opportunities, technological innovations and new markets powered by the crowd economy.
But why UK? What’s special about it? As you know, UK is a burgeoning hub of world-class entrepreneurs, but it is also becoming a hotbed of crowd innovation. Here’s how and why:
London is the #1 Fintech hub of the world
Behind the blossoming fin-tech sector is a clear vision from RT Honorable George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer. He said, “I want the UK to lead the world in developing Fintech. That’s my ambition – short and sweet.” So, it’s not surprising why its capital is the fin-tech hub of the world because a great deal of support from the parliament cements the commitment to spark innovation among traditional and emerging companies. According to Tech.co, “Fintech produces more billion-dollar-valued startups than any other sector in the UK.”
UK’s arguably flexible crowdfunding regulations
Crowdfunding is accelerating innovation because the regulations are arguably flexible and favorable with small businesses to raise capital. There are proactive reviews and case studies of financial alternatives like P2P lending and equity-based crowdfunding by incumbent regulatory entity like FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) “to strengthen consumer protections or to relax the requirements that apply to firms,” Jason Pope at Financial Conduct Authority writes. In the FCA report published in February 2015, “Equity-based crowdfunding grew by 201% in 2014. The average amount raised through equity-based crowdfunding is £199,095. Almost 95% of the funded deals were eligible for the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) or Seed EIS (SEIS) schemes.”
London’s opportunity to become the sharing economy capital of the world
UK is an early adopter of sharing economy and active in taking the necessary steps to help the fledgling crowd-based and emerging platforms increase in numbers, create job opportunities and make the city’s capital as a breeding ground for innovation. They also have a trade body called SEUK (Sharing Economy UK) that is collaborating with Oxford University’s Said Business School and is working closely with the government to establish a trustmark for responsible sharing practices that will be mutually beneficial for “gigsters” and sharing economy platforms. The UK government wrote in an independent review “that the sharing economy can help cities address social and economic challenges in innovative ways and drive local growth.”
Government’s support on emerging business models
There’s a great progress with regards to the government’s response to crowd-based business models like sharing economy; for example, in March 2015, the Queen signs the Home Sharing into UK Law allowing the residents to share their homes up to 90 days within a year, saving them from the hassle to pay for a council permit. Another initiative supported by the London’s Mayor Office is Transport for London and IBM’s Smart City Challenge for developers and entrepreneurs to solve the greatest challenges locally through the use of IoT and emerging technologies to improve liveability and mobility.
UK’s government sees the opportunities in smart cities
Technology can ignite innovative and creative whiz of engineers, developers, and techpreneurs to help the government see the opportunities in Smart Cities initiatives. In London, they have the Future Cities Catapult to incubate remarkable urban ideas where the “Cities Lab uses data science, the Internet of Things, economic analysis, predictive models and user-centered design” to solve urban challenges according to Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey at Department for Culture, Media & Sport.