What’s New in Crowdsourcing?

November 3, 2016: There’s no longer any doubt that the democratization of designing, planning and decision making for just about anything is here to stay. In fact, these days it seems that no problem is too big or complex for the crowd. In this edition of What’s New we can see crowdsourcing being used to substitute a traditional justice system, write a country’s new constitution, plan the next generation of smart-cities, search for cleaner water, investigate the Moon and Jupiter, and the list goes on.


Cities & Government

Is this the world’s first crowdsourced smart city?

The Dutch city of Eindhoven is introducing participatory planning that allows its residents to be part of every step of its smart city project to improve the quality of life in their community. It has also chosen Philips Lighting as a key partner to provide the urban lighting infrastructure required to bring its vision of a smart and sustainable city to life. The city will draw on the expertise of the government, academia and businesses to address its needs and has formed a partnership with the Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e), Philips Lighting and Heijmans, which specialises in developing roads infrastructure, civil engineering and non-residential buildings. This so-called “Quadruple Helix” of partners will work together for a period of 15 years to develop innovations that respond to the residents’ aspirations.

Iceland’s crowd-sourced constitution: hope for disillusioned voters everywhere

Western democracies are in turmoil. From Brexit to Donald Trump, to a general lack of trust in politics, disillusioned voters are expressing their frustration in strange ways. In Iceland, they are taking a more proactive, hopeful approach. It looks as though a crowd-sourced constitution, developed in 2012, could finally be about to make its way through parliament. The document – the result of four months of consultation – was approved by a two-thirds majority in a national referendum but was ultimately rejected by the government of the time. It includes clauses on environmental protection, puts international human rights law and the rights of refugees and migrants front and centre, and proposes redistributing the fruits of Iceland’s natural resources.

Singapore’s vision for high-tech city planning

Data, immersive tech and crowdsourcing will be key tools for future planners, the head of Singapore’s 3D planning platform has said. City planning will be more “data-driven”, George Loh, Director of Programmes at the National Research Foundation, said at the GovInsider Strategic Breakfast, held in partnership with Dassault Systemes. Loh leads the Virtual Singapore project – a 3D simulation of the city to help officials and planners use data to make decisions. “A lot of times we plan based on what we know or what knowledge we have. But today with IOT devices, we could collect a lot of data and use the data well for planning,” he said.

Bay Area company to crowd source cleaner water

Pujol is part of a team from the University of California that developed a low cost system to filter out dangerous levels of arsenic from water. But now he’s launching an even more ambitious project on his own. A crowdsourced network, with the potential to monitor water quality nationwide. “So what we want to accomplish is a map of U.S. water quality at the homeowner’s tap,” he explains. The project was inspired in part by the crisis in Flint, Michigan, where the water system was hit with severe lead contamination. Pujol’s answer is called Tap Score. It’s a home testing kit that can spot more than a hundred contaminates, from arsenic to mercury to lead.

What does Malaysia’s 2017 budget crowdsourcing reveal?

Malaysia’s Prime Minister called on citizens to tell him what they want to see in the Budget this year. The crowdsourcing exercise has been hosted on the Prime Minister’s personal website. It polls citizens on topics that are most important to them. Here is how this year’s poll has fared against the last two. Cost of living has consistently been the biggest concern over the three years. For 2017, housing, healthcare and education are the next biggest concern. This is the fourth year Malaysia has crowdsourced ideas for the budget. The 20 most popular ideas all asked to absorb contractors in the public sector as permanent employees of the civil service. They were liked over 6,400 times in total.

Beeline to use crowdsourcing to determine routes

Beeline, the on-demand service that matches commuters and bus operators, will be taking crowdsourcing further, by launching routes so long as a minimum number of riders have committed — with their money — to a user-suggested route. Right now, the service — launched last year by the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) and the Land Transport Authority — already accepts suggestions from users. But bus operators decide whether to offer the route or not, depending on demand and profitability.


Business & Technology

Mattel Turns To Crowdsourcing Community To Create Content

Christopher Keenan, EVP of content production at Mattel, wants to create a different type of short-form content for brands like American Girl, Barbie, and Hot Wheels. “I want to break new ground,” he told Search Marketing Daily. “Everyone at Tongal loves a challenge and I have lots to bring them.” Breaking new ground took center stage during the first discussion with Tongal creative executives since inking a multiyear agreement to produce short-form content for Mattel Creation, which the toy manufacturer formed to bring content production under one umbrella.

Eve-Tech’s crowdsourced computer: the laptop designed by its users

When Finnish startup Eve-Tech launched its first device, the T1 tablet computer, it received positive reviews for its premium feel and budget price. However, there was also a lot of feedback from reviewers and users about how it could have been better, including criticism about the quality of the outer casing, ports and rear camera. The feedback got co-founder and CEO Konstantinos Karatsevidis thinking: what if those people could provide feedback during the design process so it could be incorporated into the final product?

Energy efficiency app PowerZee to reach Singapore tertiary institutions

PowerZee is a pioneering smartphone app, designed for educational institutions, that engages students and staff through gamification, social networking and crowd sourcing, advocating better use of campus resources in energy, water and waste. ENGIE, one of the world’s energy leaders, today announced its collaboration with Energy Market Authority (EMA) to introduce its energy efficiency smartphone app PowerZee to educate students and change mindsets and behaviours. The trial-version will be rolled-out in Singapore at several education institutions. Next month, it will also be deployed at the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris in France.

Innovative Building Technology App Concept Takes Top Award in Siemens JUMP Challenge

Siemens recently announced the winner of its open-technology challenge with JUMP, a joint initiative between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and five national laboratories that has established an online crowdsourcing community to focus on bridging the gap between cutting-edge building technology ideas and the marketplace.  Payam Yeganeh, an entrepreneur and digital strategist based in Los Angeles, will receive a $5,000 cash award for his technology submission, “BuildingBot.” The “BuildingBot” concept leverages established chat applications like Facebook, WhatsAPP, Telegram, or SMS text messages to enable building occupants to interact with the building facility and systems for safety, comfort, and way-finding.

Reflik The First Talent Crowdsourcing Platform to Join SmartRecruiters’ Marketplace

Reflik, the leader in crowdsourcing talent, today announced that it has partnered with SmartRecruiters, the Hiring Success Company, to offer a new way to source top talent on SmartRecruiters’ Marketplace. The partnership integrates Reflik’s innovative talent crowdsourcing platform into SmartRecruiter’s complete talent acquisition platform, to help companies find quality candidates in half the time and for half the cost. Reflik sources top-quality candidates from its extensive network of thousands of recruiters and industry professionals. Then, Reflik’s proprietary algorithm and dedicated account managers filter and rigorously screen the most qualified people to deliver the 10 most qualified and ready-to-interview candidates in less than 10 days. Employers only pay for a successful hire, while recruiters and industry professionals receive cash rewards for successful hires.


Health & Nature

Can Crowd-Sourcing Identify the Next Generation of Surgeons?

Medical students in the United States who apply to surgical residency programs are selected based on academic achievement and interpersonal skills. Unfortunately, there is no standardized metric to evaluate potential candidate’s surgical skills, which are crucial to the success in the surgical field, such as field perception, manual dexterity, and hand-eye coordination. The development of video-assessment techniques by expert surgeons has shown much promise, however, this is very time consuming and expensive, limiting its wide-spread use. Recently, crowd assessment has shown the reliability of non-expert crowd to validate surgical skills at all levels.

NASA is crowdsourcing ideas to study the surface of the Moon

NASA wants ideas from private companies and the science community about instruments that can be used to explore and study the surface of the Moon. The space agency put out a formal Request for Information, asking for concepts of small science payloads that can be sent to the lunar surface relatively soon — between 2017 and 2020. The instruments would potentially be transported to the Moon on lunar landers that are currently being developed by private companies in the US. “Multiple US companies are developing robotic lunar landing capabilities and have expressed plans to provide commercial cargo delivery services to the Moon in the near future.”

Third annual Community College Innovation Challenge open for submissions

Community colleges play a vital role in building up the U.S. science and engineering enterprise by bolstering the economy with fresh, new ideas and preparing technically proficient workers to execute them. With that in mind, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) are proud to open the third annual Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIC), a contest that challenges students to tackle real-world scientific challenges.


Finance and Society

Dakota Access pipeline protesters crowdsource for $5,000, get $1 million

The crowdsourcing goal was modest: $5,000, enough to help a few dozen people camping in North Dakota to protest the nearby construction of the four-state Dakota Access oil pipeline. The fund has since topped a staggering $1 million. The fund is among several cash streams that have provided at least $3 million to help with legal costs, food and other supplies to those opposing the nearly 1,200-mile pipeline. It may also give protesters the ability to prolong their months-long encampments that have attracted thousands of supporters, as the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe pursues the fight in court.

Can Crowdsourced Jury Trials On The Blockchain Deliver Justice For All?

Can the Internet deliver timely, impartial, and reasonably priced justice in a way that traditional justice systems frequently fail to do? A developer from Buenos Aires thinks so. Federico Ast is working on Crowdjury, a new form of dispute-resolution based on the blockchain—the distributed ledger technology behind Bitcoin. Instead of lawyers, judges, and endless reams of paper, he would simplify legal squabbles to a couple of algorithms, a few expert jurors picked randomly, and some crypto-currency to pay people for their time.

How to Trade Today’s 7 Highest-Volume Stocks

The Street.com
Put down the 10-K filings and the stock screeners. It’s time to take a break from the traditional methods of generating investment ideas. Instead, let the crowd do it for you. From hedge funds to individual investors, scores of market participants are turning to social media to figure out which stocks are worth watching. It’s a concept that’s known as “crowdsourcing,” and it uses the masses to identify emerging trends in the market. Crowdsourcing has long been a popular tool for the advertising industry, but it also makes a lot of sense as an investment tool. After all, the market is completely driven by the supply and demand, so it can be valuable to see what names are trending among the crowd.

Entrepreneurs and Fintech Leaders to Crowdsource Letter to the Next President of the United States

The 5th annual Global Alternative Funding Forum is set on November 11, 2016, from 8 AM to 6:30 PM at the Skirball Center, Los Angeles, CA 90049. About 300 world-class fintech leaders, next generation financiers, most active angel investors, venture capitalists, prominent entrepreneurs and authorities will be uniting forces at what has become a high-end annual gathering with this year’s theme “The Future is Now – Access to Capital, Redefined”. As this year’s event is set to be only three days after the elections, the forum aims to utilize its collective knowledge beyond highly educational and forward-looking discussions on modern financing tools and will also be crowdsourcing recommendations from its participants to form a letter to the elected President of the United States.

Crowdsourcing History

Smithsonian volunteers transcribe everything from Apollo stowage lists to reports on early balloon ascensions. The transcription project was launched in 2014; although the Smithsonian has posted millions of digital images of items in the collections, many handwritten and typed documents aren’t word searchable. Volunteers register online, select a project, and start transcribing; when each page is completed, the work is reviewed by a second volunteer, and then verified by Smithsonian staff. In one popular project, volunteers transcribed more than 1,000 pages of the “as flown” Apollo stowage lists, which can now be sorted by object name, part number, or spacecraft.