Co-Creation: Community Input to Design Our Organic Recycling Services
Throughout much of the industrial revolution, controlling the means of production represented the surest way to long-term business growth. And after decades of social progress and innovation, the focus shifted towards having a skilled (and happy) workforce. But in recent years, an entirely new trend has emerged – one in which end-users have a much greater voice in developing new products and services for the marketplace.
This tendency extends well beyond focus groups and polls designed to assess market needs. Rather, the goal is to create a platform in which collaboration replaces traditional, one-way feedback. When you give local communities a voice, they become invested in your success – a concept that resonates strongly with us given the urgency of our mission to green the planet.
Re-Nuble’s Strategy 1: Crowdsourcing Our Way to a Better World
We actively engage community partners (businesses, politicians, citizens, civic organizations, etc.) to determine exactly what they’re needs are and how best to position our services.
What we’ve learned so far?
- There’s growing interest in healthier, more transparent food production (i.e. no genetically modified products and no petro-chemicals). Prop 37 in California probably best exemplifies this push, but the movement has spread to every corner of the country.
- Average people across the country increasingly want greener sources of energy – not simply election promises or big ideas – but actual (and affordable) access to renewable power at the local level.
- Despite some political efforts to make it otherwise, “green” is not a dirty word. There’s a growing belief that sustainability, economic growth, and social equality are strongly correlated.
It was through discussions like these that we essentially “crowdsourced” our entire business model to find unmet market needs and untapped resources.
For example, many companies regard “waste disposal” as a significant problem – an expense. But through our talks with local businesses, we realized that when managed properly, “waste” actually represents a profitable resource – one that could be converted into organic fertilizer, alternative energy, and most important, new green jobs.
This realization was only possible because we tapped into one of the richest resources at our disposal – the local communities that we serve. Had we relied on our own intuition, we would have overlooked this opportunity entirely.
Not surprisingly, communication and collaboration are now central pillars of the Re-Nuble model. We actively engage and share as we continuously tweak our formula to make Re-Nuble more responsive to the needs of those we serve.
Re-Nuble’s Strategy 2: Crowdfunding Our Way to a Green Planet
Based on the encouraging success of this approach to collective action and community inclusion, we decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign with IndieGoGo.com to help us raise start-up capital.
Check out our new crowdfunding slideshow:
We’re certainly open to traditional financing strategies (i.e. angel investors or social impact investment funds). But this multi-stakeholder approach is more in line with our general attitude towards fixing the problems of the world. Shared ownership is a vital component of Re-Nuble’s mission – everyone is affected by global environmental challenges, and thus, everyone should have a role in developing solutions – even if it’s simply donating $1.
We thought this was a novel concept, until we read a recent article in CleanTechnica about crowdfunding’s growing importance in clean energy development. Government, private investors, and Wall Street can (and should) help, but their commitments to green causes are not always certain. What is certain, however, is people’s individual commitment to eating safer foods, breathing cleaner air, and passing on a cleaner planet to future generations.
If you feel like we feel, please join us in our mission by doing one or all of the following:
- Visit our crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo.com and make a small contribution. Every dollar makes a difference.
- Follow us on social media or sign up for our e-newsletter, and share your own ideas with us so we can continue making Re-Nuble better and better.
- Spread the word – let others know what we’re trying to do. Share this link with your friends, family, colleagues, and people on the street (http://www.indiegogo.com/re-nuble).