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Get the crowd to innovate for you!

Cooperative tools and exponential technologies are reshaping our globe. You no longer have to sit on the sidelines and wait for the future to happen. You are now empowered to get involved to change the world. If you’re sick of the doom and gloom and ready to get in the game, explore the resources below. Here are some great crowdsourcing and collaboration tools on the web:

  • CoFundos (cofundos.org): cheap and really good platform for the development of open-source software.
  • Genius Rocket (geniusrocket.com): solid crowdsourced creative design agency composed solely of vetted video production professionals producing content as a fraction of the cost of a traditional ad agency.
  • Amazon Mechanical Turk (mturk.com): popular and powerful crowdsourcing platform for simple tasks that computers cannot perform(yet), such as podcasts transcribing or text editing. There are also companies, like CrowdFlower, that leverage Mechanical Turk (and similar tools) for even more elegant solutions.
  • Innocentive (www.innocentive.com): one of today’s best online platform for open innovation, crowdsourcing and innovation contests. This is where organizations access the world’s brightest problem solvers.
  • UTest (http://www.utest.com): the world’s largest marketplace for software testing services.
  • IdeaConnection (www.ideaconnection.com): open innovation challenge site for new inventions, innovations and products.
  • NineSigma (www.ninesigma.com): open innovation service provider, connecting clients with a global innovation network of experts.
  • Ennovent (www.ennovent.com): worldwide expert platform seeking solutions for sustainable development in energy, food, water, health and education in rural India.
  • TopCoder (www.topcoder.com): the world’s largest competitive software development & creative design community, with over 200,000 at your fingertips.
  • CrowdRise (www.crowdrise.com): Crowdrise is an innovative, crowd-sourced community of volunteers and online fundraisers that have come together to support online fundraising for charity, events and special projects. It’s a way to raise money in new ways, turning participants and supporters into effective online fundraisers.
  • Kickstarter (www.Kickstarter.com): Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. In 2011 the platform raised over $100 million for projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields. Uniquely, on Kickstarter, a project must reach its funding goal before time runs out or no money changes hands, it’s an “all or nothing model”.
  • IndieGoGo (www.indiegogo.com): IndieGoGo you can create a funding campaign to raise money quickly and securely. This trusted platform has helped to raise millions of dollars for over 65,000 campaigns, across 211 countries.

DIY Bio: A Growing Movement Takes on Aging

A movement is growing quietly, steadily, and with great speed. In basements, attics, garages, and living rooms, amateurs and professionals alike are moving steadily towards disparate though unified goals. They come home from work or school and transform into biologists: do-it-yourself biologists, to be exact.

DIYbiology (“DIYbio”) is a homegrown synthesis of software, hardware, and wetware. In the tradition of homebrew computing and in the spirit of the Make space (best typified by o‘Reilly‘s Make Magazine), these DIYers hack much more than software and electronics. These biohackers build their own laboratory equipment, write their own code (computer and genetic) and design their own biological systems. They engineer tissue, purify proteins, extract nucleic acids and alter the genome itself. Whereas typical laboratory experiments can run from tens-of-thousands to millions of dollars, many DIYers knowledge of these fields is so complete that the best among them design and conduct their own experiments at stunningly low costs. With adequate knowledge and ingenuity, DIYbiologists can build equipment and run experiments on a hobbyist‘s budget. As the movement evolves, cooperatives are also springing up where hobbyists are pooling resources and creating “hacker spaces” and clubs to further reduce costs, share knowledge and boost morale.

This movement, still embryonic, could become a monster — a proper rival to industry, government, and academic labs. The expertise needed to make serious breakthroughs on a regular basis at home hasn‘t yet reached a critical mass, but there are good reasons to believe that this day will soon come…

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