Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Create the future - for The Economist

The Economist is seeking fortune tellers. So begins the intriguing brief posted on Project Red Stripe's blog. What is Project Red Stripe? That's what I asked when I received an email from a name I didn't recognize, with just enough typos for me to check to see if it came from Nigeria. The email states:

"I work at The Economist on an internet innovation unit, and we've got six months to come up with an innovative web product. At the moment we're in consultation and are asking people to submit ideas of what we could do.

To that end I thought it would be really interesting to find out more on how the web makes good possible. If you, or your readers, have any great ideas we'd love to hear them. One of the key parts of our brief is to make a difference, so you might know just what we should do."
So, the wisdom of crowds comes to mainstream media. There is a point at which this "crowdsourcing of innovation" feels more and more like Tom Sawyer gets Jim, Ben, Billy, and others to paint the fence for him.

If you've got an idea, and want to give it away (maybe The Economist should connect with Jonathan Lethem and The Promiscuous Materials Project), then send it to The Economist, via their blog.

Think fast - ideas are due by March 25.

1 comment:

Holden said...

Here are some ideas that people will submit:

1. Microphilanthropy - empower the donor by letting them fund tiny projects based on one-paragraph descriptions

2. Social networking - get socially responsible people talking to each other and the world will heal

There are about 10 major existing attempts do each ... my over-under on the # of submissions that recommend more clones is 256.

I hate the idea that a "web product" will save the world. I love the idea of new technology empowering people to help the world in ways they couldn't have before. The difference is that the former is trying to automate and/or skip the hard work.