A curated, weekly roundup of interesting news on crowd-driven business, crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, open innovation and the new collaborative economy.


A new crop of startups are tapping crowdsourcing and mobile technology to address the crisis of food waste, aiming to eliminate the 31 million tons of food that ends up in America’s landfills each year. Organized and powered by local communities, notices of food surplus in risk of perishing can be posted and distributed to those nearby, for sale or donation—empowering an efficient system where availability can meet need.[How social media rerouted over 400,000 pounds of food waste in a year, TechRepublic] 

The new collaborative website Equaldex collects crowdsourced data on LGBT laws around the world. Users can contribute knowledge and verify information submitted on a variety of LGBT issues, providing a comprehensive look at the history and current progress of LGBT rights globally, and in different regions. [Equaldex Launches, Aims To Crowdsource Global LGBT Rights Movement Data, DigitalJournal]

Crowdsourcing can be a boon for companies, but it’s important to be ethical and not exploitative of the crowd when doing so. Striking the right balance of control and being open to surprises are just a few of the suggestions made here for crowdsourcing effectively and ethically. [How To Crowdsource Effectively and Ethically, Business2Community]

Crowdsourcing is enabling governments to move toward an era of participatory democracy, and in Darren Brabham’s recent report for the the IBM Center for the Business of Government, he identifies four approaches for when crowdsourcing is useful to address public problems. Here’s a summary along with a variety of examples of governmental crowdsourcing, drawing from the National Archives to the Utah Transit Authority. [Beyond the Suggestion Box: Government’s Crowdsourcing Revolution, PublicCEO.com]

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Online forcasting sites and prediction markets aren’t new, but this one—funded by the Director of National Intelligence to crowdsource predictions on events of national security interest—uses an innovative new combinatorial method that could offer a window into the future. [This Is How America’s Spies Could Find the Next National Security Threat, Defense One]

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