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Thursday

Do You Believe in the Power of One?

I like to think one person CAN make a difference – in the real world, the virtual world – even the corporate world. One of my favorite books is The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. It’s a tale of inner strength, making strong personal connections and being as real and authentic as possible.



These same core beliefs; inner strength, real friendship and authenticity, don’t merely belong in fiction but also apply to the world we live in, including the virtual one. The concept of living meaningfully resonates with a wide, varied online audience. Find non-profit jobs and volunteer opportunities on idealist.org, read tips on simplifying life at zenhabits.com, learn how to live greener with idealbite.com or watch inspiring videos at karmatube.org.

The Internet allows beauty and idealism to prosper in a variety of forms, most notably with the strength of the people using the Internet. Just like the book Groundswell by Li and Bernoff states, the power of the people has never been more evident than online. A great organization to harness this power and altruistic enthusiasm is the inventive Carrotmob. I saw a ten-minute video a few months back of their work in CA. Here’s the shorter four minute clip

The Concept: Carrotmob approached a number of convenience stores in one town to find the shop willing to donate the highest percentage of income from the sales of one day to a charity. The motivation for the stores to participate was the promise of extra customers courtesy of Carrotmob promotions.

End result? HUNDREDS of customer flooded the chosen store on the set date, exceeding all expectations of the shop owner, giving them a boon of profit PLUS a big chunk of money was donated towards making the store more energy efficient!



Reason it works? It’s being able to do good by doing what you were planning on doing anyway, without any extra effort. We all have to buy things. Given the choice of buying batteries and a carton of juice at a regular shop or at a shop that offers the same thing, for the same price but gives a portion of your money to a good cause? No contest! It’s going with green with no effort. It’s being better with out having to break a sweat.

It’s the power of one by simply being you! What a brilliant concept.

I see the Carrotmob idea – motivating corporations to do well – easily catching on. It empowers the individual. It gives control back to the person making the purchase. And it potentially increases the profit of the company. Everybody wins!

What do you think - can this idea work across the world? In the corporate jungle or in globalized commerce initiatives? Would you make a conscious effort to make your purchases with companies donating towards a worthy cause?

1 comment:

Kathryn Conrad said...

Great post!

YES, yes I believe in the power of one. Like one foot follows another one person can follow another, that's how movements start. Each individual decides where to put their momentum (or lack) and it always adds up.

I would and have chosen where to shop based on the actions of the store - including donations to a good cause.