We measure success by tracking the progress of Commonstake users through our pipeline of engagement:
The first step is the conversion of everyday consumers into conscientious stakeholders through social marketing.
The second step is the conversion of conscientious stakeholders into shareholders through customer equity awarded to sustainable shoppers.
The final step is the conversion of shareholders into shareholder activists through social venture investments that they are empowered to select.
There are many social media platforms that engage the mainstream population but none of them focus on consumers and companies, by fostering dialogue regarding corporate social responsibility (CSR). Meanwhile, there are some much-needed resources that provide information about companies and/or products in relation to CSR but their capacity is limited because they don’t invite the mainstream population into the conversation, unleashing the unprecedented power of crowdsourcing, which is what Commonstake was born to do.
Unlike most mission-driven organizations Scalechange doesn't serve a specific, social demographic. Instead, we aim to reduce the institutional violence of the entire business sector. While a new trend is emerging, our current economic system leads inevitably to the exploitation of human and environmental resources, marginalizing minorities in the developed world and threatens the environment on which we all depend.
The principal goal of most businesses is to earn a profit, focusing on the so-called bottom line. Meanwhile, while every transaction has an environmental and social cost, we only account for the financial cost. In order to get the economy to work for us instead of against us we need to connect the dots by helping companies earn more money when they act in an environmentally and socially-friendly manner. We already know that companies that are perceived in such a manner make more money; now, we just need to inform ourselves regarding which companies share our values and those that don’t.
Thanks to Commonstake, we now have a dedicated platform to accomplish this in a tangible way: Commonstake users gamify sustainability by assessing the corporate social responsibility (CSR) of companies, thereby informing and influencing one another, which results in companies earning more or less depending on their ratings.
Employing the tools of gamification, premium features like direct messaging and consumer sentiment data are offered at sliding-scale pricing: the higher the company’s Commonstake rating, the less it pays. Some companies don’t have to pay at all. Meanwhile, the privilege for companies to advertise on Commonstake is reserved for companies with a sufficiently high rating.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not a new topic but one of its components has recently gained a lot more attention. Climate change is the one cause that connects us all and it comes with an apocalyptic deadline. If the current rate of global warming continues, 10 percent of the global population is at risk of forced displacement caused by climate change by the year 2050 (Environmental Justice Foundation).
It's difficult for the private sector to adapt to the times as modern economic theory stipulates that the only social responsibility of professionals and businesses is to increase profits. Fortunately, economic reform is rapidly transforming into a so-called green economy, a shift that’s being driven indirectly by consumer demand, to which companies are happy to cater. By informing and influencing one another, consumers can take control of their supply chain, divesting from fossil fuels and investing in socially responsible, environmentally friendly, ethically governed companies.
As consumers, we are not yet equipped with the data required to control the social and environmental impact of our shopping habits; also, there is a notorious pricing premium on ethical products, making them quantitatively rather than qualitatively beyond reach for most. Scalechange was created to allow conscientious consumers to invest in companies that share their values and divest from those that don’t, closing the gap that prevents the majority of us from shopping responsibly despite the ubiquitous desire to do so (Ogilvy & Mather).
A new digital currency with conscience, $calechange helps consumers overcome both obstacles through gamification providing a financial incentive to not only shop ethically but to help provide the data necessary to do so.