by Louise Blouin, CEO and founder of Louise Blouin Media
A high-level U.N. meeting on ending AIDS concluded earlier this month, and while major strides have been made in combatting the disease, significant challenges remain. Sadly, neither governments nor the United Nations appear to have the means to address the continuing AIDS crisis, nor is there much reason to think they will in the future.
What is needed is are solutions that will be sustainable over time and will benefit those contributing. Crowd funding, a more powerful tool than one might imagine, is a valuable model in this regard. Global citizens are engaging with each other more than ever through social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter; now, we must engage them outside of their comfort zone.
I am convinced that if you reach out to the world with a powerful message and say we are raising $X billion to fight AIDS, most people will give a little something. Bigger donors may need to be convinced with tax incentives, but then again, positive publicity, plus the feeling that one is “improving one’s soul,” might be incentive enough. At the end of the day I always say it feels good to give and share.
The Internet wields a power to change that surpasses that of governments and institutions. We are in a sense witnessing a passing of the baton from government to individual through the growth of connectedness and crowd funding. And this needs to be the focus for tomorrow for leaders across many sectors – health, environment, education, etc.
More power in the hands of community is a good thing, and a development we should all embrace. We are all linked, after all, and a bit of trust and collective action can go a long way.