Crowdsourcing happiness to transform the world In 5 seconds
Steve Jobs once said, “The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do!”
This is particularly relevant to the Millennial generation – the fiercely engaged group of 1.7 billion 15-to-30 year olds in the world – who are the most likely to take action for themselves, a group or cause they care about, given the right tools and incentives.
According to a recent study by the World Economic Forum, Millennials consider themselves to be “active agents of change,” among whom a stunning 92 percent believe the world needs to change and 82 percent believe they actually have the power to change it.
That’s why – from my home in Ottawa to the White House in Washington D.C. to the World Economic Forum’s “Summer Davos” in Dalian, China and beyond – I’ve spent the last five years of my life sharing the importance of positivity and happiness through bite-size, real-world activities called: microactions.
In fact, this is my vision behind PlayMC2: a crowdsourced mobile platform that invites young people to take photos or videos of the small things they do each day – from random acts of kindness, like picking up a piece of garbage – to going out with friends, or donating to a favorite charity.
When combined via hashtags, microactions empower ordinary people, governments, organizations, businesses, celebrities and others to collectively accomplish goals - large and small – that can change the world in just five seconds.
For example, I live in a busy part of downtown Ottawa, Canada, and I often find garbage lying around. So often on my way to grab a coffee in the morning, I’ll pick up a piece of trash, take a photo on PlayMC2 while doing it and tag it with #PickUpTrash – then challenge a friend to do the same.
Picking up trash is an obvious and easy microaction for anybody to do – anywhere in the world – so lots of friends (and strangers) can challenge each other to do the same in a few simple steps. Before you know it, that one activity to #PickUpTrash has just created a movement – with just five seconds of effort.
This was one of my key contributions during a panel discussion at Coca-Cola’s Bottling Investment Group (BIG) Summit in Atlanta, Georgia last summer. I was there with fellow Global Shapers—a community of young leaders within the World Economic Forum between the ages of 20 and 30 who use their entrepreneurialism to serve society—from Zimbabwe and Boston.
The author with Irial Finan, Executive Vice President, the Coca-Cola
Company and Albert Mavunga, Global Shaper, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe Hub,
at Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, July, 2014.
All panelists agreed that Millennials highly value authenticity, transparency and walking your talk – whether in the work place, a social setting, at school or otherwise. Further still, this group is often driven by a sense of community empowerment, equality, accessibility, justice and taking action.
It’s for this reason that PlayMC2 has social verifications integrated into the app that rewards people with achievements and prizes (like badges, coupons and other incentives) only once their microaction has been verified.
For example, if you were to take a photo picking up a piece of trash, I (the creator of the microaction to #PickUpTrash), would need to verify that your photo is you picking up trash (and not, for instance, a photo of your shoes).
Having social verifications in this way helps keep people honest – and offers a new benchmark for personal authenticity.
Just look at it this way: people are expected to honestly represent who they are on the professional networking platform LinkedIn. In the same way, with PlayMC2 you need to be authentic about what you do because that is what will define who you are; a notion that New York-based advertising veteran, Cindy Gallop, refers to as action branding.
By extension, our profile reflects all of the activities that we’ve done on a daily basis to make our own lives, and those of others, happier and more rewarding.
Yes, changing the world can be as simple – and fun – as doing something that makes us happy each day. But I need your help to make this happen.
Two weeks ago we launched PlayMC2’s first Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise $35,000 by April 12, 2015.
The goal of the campaign is two-fold: to enrich our rewards system and to expand PlayMC2 to all mobile platforms by the end of this summer, so that we can empower people to change the world in five seconds or less.
So I invite you to do something crazy – believe anything is possible – and please contribute to our crowdfunding campaign now! Join the movement and become part of a community committed to spreading positivity and happiness to every corner of the world from the palm of our hands.
Giovanna Mingarelli is the CEO and Co-Founder of the mobile tech startup, PlayMC2 and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper with the Ottawa, Canada Hub. People everywhere are invited to visit PlayMC2 on Twitter (@MC2 Universe), Facebook (MC2 Universe) and Instagram (MC2 Universe). Watch the campaign video here.