Call It ‘Crowd Forging’

We continue our countdown to WeMedia with an introduction to the GameChangers, from contributor Dorian Benkoil.

We Media Game Changers Ignite The Spark of Motivation (See a list of the award winners.)

The We Media Game Changers inspire us to give our most precious resources: time, energy, money and ideas.  They compel us to be a part. They do much more than “crowdsourcing.” Call it “Crowd Forging” — igniting passion around a theme, a cause, a cure, a game, even historic political change. Our award winners not only gather communities but inspire them, using “we media” to enhance the power of individuals gathered in ways unimagined before. They use the giant lever of technology as a force multiplier.

“Game Changers are the architects of the creative age,” says Dale Peskin, co-founder of the We Media conference and the Game Changer Awards. “They design and build futures.”

In the process, they are preserving lives and saving the planet.  By fueling the spark of motivation, these Game Changers thrive on addressing a community’s needs, finding common ground, cleaning the environment, extending our life spans. Their creativity is often astonishing. Every time we look at what they’ve done, we learn new things, find new ways of accessing and leveraging the knowledge of millions of we media participants.

“Discovery is seeing what everybody else has seen and thinking what nobody has thought,” says Peskin. “This year’s winners show us how to think about innovation. Each reveals a must-have ingredient — the secret sauce, if you will — that makes their work soar above the rest.”

They also find ways to make money while doing it. For our winners, profit and social conscience go hand-in-hand.  There’s a new openness, a flowering of enlightened capitalism that’s a generation beyond simply plowing earnings into community programs to earn a tax break and get good PR. Twitter has not only excited the investors that back it, but its co-founder has also foresworn traditional advertising while pledging to lead the way in corporate responsibility. Innocentive sees no reason to value scientific solutions that help cure a disease any more than ones that help solve an industrial puzzle. “It’s hard to separate where social ends and where business ends and begins,” says VP of sales Jon Fredrickson. Ushahidi consults to earn money, then uses those funds to ameliorate conflict in the developing world. We media technology gives Ze Frank the ability to earn a living from the crowd with his outlandish creations. Freewheelin’s backer, a health insurance company, openly wants bicycle sharing to not only improve its bottom line but also our health, and the environment.

These Game Changers are bringing an end to apathy. They go beyond buzz-words and the conventional to push us into new realms we hadn’t considered before. They not only make the outlandish seem possible, they prove it is. Where media once dulled the senses and made us a passive audience, it’s now used to help us invent solutions, knit collaborative stories, and bring us together across once-deep geographic and conceptual divides.

The We Media Game Changers have phenomenal reach and are able to grasp more than they and their communities imagine. They are giving us a glimpse of what the future can be.

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