What is Crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing is the practice of engaging a ‘crowd’ or group for a common goal — often innovation, problem solving, or efficiency. It is powered by new technologies, social media and web 2.0. Crowdsourcing can take place on many different levels and across various industries. Thanks to our growing connectivity, it is now easier than ever for individuals to collectively contribute — whether with ideas, time, expertise, or funds — to a project or cause. This collective mobilization is crowdsourcing.

It is a process of tapping in to individuals or groups of people, paid or unpaid who are linked together with a common interest to bring forward powerful, increased results through their aggregated actions or activities. “Source” derives from the Latin word “surgere,” to rise or lift.

This phenomenon can provide organizations with access to new ideas and solutions, deeper consumer engagement, opportunities for co-creation, optimization of tasks, and reduced costs. The Internet and social media have brought organizations closer to their stakeholders, laying the groundwork for new ways of collaborating and creating value together like never before. The approach is being embraced:

“Crowds are a hit. Millions of people, connected by the Internet, are contributing ideas and information to projects big and small. Crowdsourcing, as it is called, is helping to solve tricky problems and providing localized information. And with the right knowledge, contributing to the crowd — and using its wisdom — is easier than ever.” The New York Times

Changing Environments – Social Media turns into Social Productivity

The future is human-centric, all about participation and the ability to co-create via an increasingly connected world. This new way of doing things – crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, co-creation, collaboration, and open innovation – is challenging business models and workings of organizations across the board, offering an immense opportunity to rethink and reinvent conventional processes.

Where Can Crowdsourcing Be Applied?

Crowdsourcing touches across all social and business interactions. It is changing the way we work, hire, research, make and market. Governments are applying crowdsourcing to empower citizens and give a greater voice to the people. In science and health care, crowdsourcing can democratize problem solving and accelerate innovation. With education, it has the potential to revolutionize the system, just as crowdfunding is currently challenging traditional banking and investing processes. It’s a 21st-century mindset and approach that can be applied in many areas and many ways to:

How to Take Advantage of Crowdsourced AI Datasets from DefinedCrowd

Speech controlled apps and software, and voice recognition are swiftly moving from being a novelty to an everyday user expectation. Demand for voice-activated systems and devices is forecast to grow from what was a $9 billion market in 2017 to almost $32 billion by...

How Crowdsourcing Measures Can Tackle Mass Unemployment

In the seven years since I launched Crowdsourcing Week the Covid-19 pandemic is undoubtedly the biggest, and most awful global phenomenon. The pandemic lockdowns announced by most national governments meant the worldwide pool of available skilled labor grew virtually...

Reasons Why Corporate Businesses Turn to Rewards Crowdfunding

There are numerous reasons major corporations use reward crowdfunding. Key factors include that it is highly accurate field research conducted in real time. The same motivations that make a startup entrepreneur want to validate their idea for a new product or service...

Crowdsourcing Leverages the Power of Collective Consciousness

The Virtual Crowd Summit attendees on September 17 heard insights covering Collective Consciousness from a true collection of global experts.  This article recaps the key issues the speakers covered regarding the benefits, demands and procedures of pulling together...

What Makes Sweden “The Innovation Nation”?

The gig market was already booming in Sweden, and corona has increased the pace of change in an already mature freelance and gig marketplace. Sweden is also a global innovation leader, producing a disproportionate number of unicorn businesses including Skype, Spotify...

Cybercrime Protection and Support for Small Businesses

Crowdsourcing accesses ethical hackers who often seek a tough cyber threat challenge, while small businesses can collaborate to co-create cyber security

  • Accelerate Innovation
  • Share Ideas
  • Reinvent Business Models
  • Co-Create
  • Engage Consumers or Citizens
  • Reinvent Work Models
  • Save Cost
  • Increase Efficiency
  • Reinvent Financial Models

What can be crowdsourced? The short answer is, a collaborative or crowd-centric approach can be applied to everything. But here are just a few areas where it has had significant impact and huge potential:

  • Enterprise
  • Education
  • Government
  • IT
  • Finance
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing
  • Science & Health
  • Social Enterprise & NonProfit


So how can this phenomenon work for organizations? Crowdsourcing as a work model, financial model, and business model are here to stay. Leveraging collaborative practices and tools leads to disruptive business implications and transformative innovations. If existing enterprise are not prepared to adapt and embrace this new opportunity, they will be disrupted. Knowledge and understanding of collaborative business practices will be a required skill for C-level suite executives and entrepreneurs.

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