SICS creates technology harnessing crowd power for public funding distribution2010-10-30 01:08
City of Stockholm distributes culture funding via the CrowdCulture system during beta test.
Starting the 22nd of October, the City of Stockholm is trying a new way of letting citizens influence the distribution of funding for cultural projects. The beta test will run for three months, distributing a combination of public, private, and industry funds.
The web-based service is called CrowdCulture, where private citizens contributing a small monthly membership fee will help fund new culture projects. More importantly and as a twist on crowd funding, the member votes will have a leveraging effect, diverting a larger sum of the contributors' funds to supported projects. Every citizen can propose new projects, and as soon as other members show support for the project proposal, funds start accumulating on a cost per voting time basis.
"Today, a large portion of the cultural funding comes from public funding distributed by small expert groups. Through CrowdCulture we want more people to contribute and participate in the cultural development, and consequently delegate decision-making power to a broader public with different references and quality criteria. You can call it a trust economy building on a symbiosis between private and public capital. It is a way to try and decrease the gap between the needs of the cultural sector and the real culture budget. Culture concerns everyone and everyone can participate, contribute, and influence", says Kenneth Olausson, head of operations at Innovativ Kultur, City of Stockholm.
"If the driving person behind a proposal manages to create a lot of interest in their social networks, a project can reach the requested funding level in a short amount of time, and immediately begin with the realization!" says Max Valentin, project manager at Fabel Kommunikation, concept developer.
“In a first stage we have mostly used more conventional crowd participation techniques while examining different crowdsourcing mechanisms. The continuation of this work applied to a similar ‘democracy in action’ area would also look at the relationship between crowd wisdom and the rest of the democratic mix. This very young area has caused a lot of discussion in the democratic arena the last couple of years”, says Pär Hansson, researcher at SICS.
CrowdCulture technology is being developed by the ICE lab at SICS during 2010, in cooperation with concept developer Fabel Kommunikation AB, supported by culture producers, culture consumers, Interacting Arts, Innovativ Kultur fund, City of Stockholm, and Vinnova.
For more info, see www.sics.se/projects/crowdculture