Friday, June 8, 2012

Week in Review: The true power of crowdfunding

This afternoon at CGI America, astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson shared a quote from French pilot and author, Antoine de Saint-Exupery: “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."

For Antoine -- who lived at the turn of the century -- the degree to which people today can dream and the tools available would be unimaginable. A hundred years ago, the cruel trick was that you could teach men to long for the endless immensity of the sea, but only a few would ever get to see it. Now, as access to the internet and mobile technology spreads, the cruel trick is that everyone can see it, but the resources to actually sail are unavailable to most.

Are the dreams of the poor somehow less deserving than the dreams of the wealthy? Of course not, but until recently there was no easy way to share capital and resources across borders and classes.

Kiva President Premal Shah likes to remind people that soon everyone will have the ability to be instantly connected to each other worldwide. This will give us the ability to share and connect in a way that has the potential to revolutionize entrepreneurship through crowdfunding.

Along with companies like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, Kiva is paving a more direct path between dreams and reality. Antoine talked about power of teaching people to want a wider view of the world, but now we believe that the future is all about teaching people to see how powerful and simple small actions can be. 

Below is a recording of the panel with deGrasse Tyson at CGI America:

What inspired you this week? Tell us about it at

photo courtesy of ausnahmezustand