Here’s a new idea about using the power of the crowd to make the world just a little bit better. It’s sort of like a Kickstarter, except instead of entrepreneurs asking the crowd to support a project, the crowd asks a business to start one. Once a business commits to positive change, the crowd floods it with patronage so it can afford it.
It’s called Carrotmob, and it works like an inverse boycott. Rather than influence businesses by withholding money, customers can influence businesses by giving them money. (You’re using a carrot instead of a stick, get it?)
Here’s an example. Carte Crepes sells delicious crepes. You know you are going to eat those crepes pretty much no matter what. But you wish that every time you bought a crepe you didn’t have to throw out the wrapper. Through Carrotmob, you make a deal with the owners: You get a bunch of people to buy crepes, and they will invest the funds in starting up biodegradable crepe-wrapper production.
They get money. You get crepes. Customers are less wasteful. Everyone is happy! The world is greener! Local businesses improve! It’s basically a win for everyone except for people who like to complain about how a business could do better without actually trying to do anything about it.