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Crowd Dialog Europe 2016

This time we are writing about the growing and increasingly well-established movement with enormous potential, as it unites the people in the crowd who have the power to enforce its voice against individuals who represent the voice of the government and corporations – it is called "Crowd dialog" or dialog of the crowd.

Slovenian delegation, in which we were included, attended the conference Crowd dialog Europe in Graz. Movement Crowd dialog consists of a number of supporting pillars, which together form a single idea – the involvement of the masses in order to solve the wider problem of innovation and funding the projects. The conference, which brought together more than 400 delegates from 32 countries, in addition to Europe also from the US, Canada, Malaysia, etc., has offered ideas for the future development of individual areas of “crowd” community.

Crowdsourcing or mass outsourcing is the type of activity where each individual contributes a small part for the solution, which represents the common good. It is the process of obtaining labor or resources of a larger group of people, usually online. It is a kind of “outsourcing” of work to the crowd. Crowdsourcing is a practice of integration of groups of people to achieve a common goal – innovation, problem solving or new funding of the projects. It is supported by new technologies, social networks and web. For individuals it is becoming easier to collaborate with their ideas, time, expertise and resources. This phenomenon provides new ideas, solutions, commitment to users and lower costs to the organizations. Smart city platform is in a way already uses Crowdsourcing. Platform allows the citizens to express their voice. To give suggestions, proposals and opinions on the development of the city and thus create a better city of the future that corresponds to them. That was also the central idea of the Slovenian delegation at the conference.

Crowdfunding or mass external financing, the second pillar, presented at the conference, means funding of the project or the investment by collecting monetary contributions of many people. It is mostly conducted over the Internet or special registers, but the concept can be accomplished also with mail, events and other methods. Crowdfunding is a model based on the three stakeholders: the initiator of the project, supporters (individuals or groups) and moderator / organizer (the platform, which can make the crowdfunding). Imagine that citizens, besides giving their initiatives on our platform, could also raise funds for the project, for which they want to be realized in their city / municipality. Today, it is just an idea, but not unrealistic. Crowdfunding is now extremely popular around the world; in the US in 2015, with the help of crowdfunding, over 34 billion dollars was gathered. According to the report of Massolution, crowdfunding could be, by the end of 2016, ahead of the so-called investments of “Venture Capital”.

Crowd Innovation, the third part of the mass implementation, allows participation of people from the business world, as investors, designers, inventors, marketers, and others to create functional and profit-generated reality. Open innovation, bring together people from different fields to work on the same project, most often it is about computer code.

The essence of the conference in Graz was to promote crowdsourcing, crowdfunding and open innovation for the future smart development. According to the responses and ideas that have been gathered, people are aware of the power that we are able to achieve together. Crowds may exceed the power of companies and corporations, so they should be used and involved into daily challenges.

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