Winner of the OpenSeventeen challenge awarded by a consortium including Bono's ONE campaign, CERN's Citizen Cyberlab, GovLab and SciFabric. The task was to devise a way of crowdsourcing data to ensure the 17 UN Global Goals would be met.
THE PROBLEM WE'RE TACKLING
The world is hurtling towards a frightening future of climate chaos. Climate change is already ruining the lives of many. Floods. Drought. Hurricanes. Melting ice. And scientists predict much more to come.
Companies need to make a profit. But sometimes this can result in negative impacts. The result? Deforestation. Pollution. Green house gases.
And it isn't just the environment that is suffering. Companies can run their affairs in ways that evade their responsibilities as corporate citizens. Outmaneuvering governments on tax. Paying wages that don't cover the basics – health, education, shelter.
We all want companies to thrive. We'd like to build a culture where to thrive, they'll need to benefit the community and world around too.
Promise2030 has been supported by a group of international NGOs who want to see the project progress from this initial concept to a full business plan and implementation.
We're creating a tool for us all to nudge corporates to be the best they can be
Crowdsourcing information to encourage a race to the top
A tool to nurture sustainable companies
Promise2030 will provide a tool to encourage more corporates to become transparent and publish their positive impacts on society and the environment.
We'd also like more openness to be open in their financial affairs and to know about their charitable giving.
One survey found only 3% of companies report on their non-financial impacts. So our focus is on accelerating the number of companies beginning on the journey to more virtuous behaviour by making reporting as easy as possible.
We'll use crowdsourcing to sign up companies and get them started. Then we'll encourage them to complete more details themselves.
Then, by highlighting their virtuous behaviour we think companies will begin to ‘race to the top’, competing with other similar companies.
With a little encouragement more companies will strive to benefit both their the local community and to make the world a better place for future generations.
Why is it called 'The Promise2030'? Well, the United Nations have set out 17 Sustainable Development Goals, with a deadline of 2030. We want to be the agent to accelerate the number of companies promising to help meet these goals.
In particular we'd like companies to declare their intent to be open and transparent about how they operate. Because when companies are more open, they become accountable to you and me, and work harder to ensure they benefit society and the environment.
The concept works on the simple 'nudge' principle. Starting with a simple initial approach by a member of the public, corporates of every size can become engaged in publishing their positive impacts for the first time. Then over time, more information is gathered.
The users will be motivated to use an app for a variety of reasons. Some will be altruistic - members of campaigning and fundraising charity networks. Others will be motivated by social and competitive pressures and rewards. Others are keen that their local towns and communities survive the onslaught of domination by unaccountable multinationals. Even schoolchildren could use this in pairs for Geography projects.
Each corporate may 'slide' into involvement. An 'account' can be created by anyone – eg a member of the public - who gains an answer to a simple question about a single activity – eg 'do you recycle paper'. At this point, an account is created by the user, and the company can subsequently enter more information to increase their rank among their peers.
The company then receives an email praising their actions, and showing other local companies who are also taking actions. This encourages them through peer-pressure to compete in the ‘race to the top’.
The app will maintain the user’s engagement through gamification, social marketing, and a token scheme.
CREATING A 'RACE TO THE TOP'
The whole credibility of the system rests on how verifiable each piece of information is, and this can be achieved through new technologies already released together with a novel combination of verification steps.
Who pays for it? Companies will get the initial service free, but like with Linked-In, they will need to register and pay a fee (starting at around £60 per local outlet) to gain additional services.
The app will encourage companies to give to charity, pitching local companies against each other to show their generosity. Fundraising organisations would benefit from registering on the app, and could ask their supporters to promote appeals to the companies they visit.
When someone uses the app, they contribute to improving the community by getting businesses to benefit the community through gentle nudges. They can also use the app to earn tokens which will make them a part-owner of the project.
So how does it work?
We will build a community of users who care about their local communities and the environment and they will own part of the entity. As users sign up more companies, the information grows and companies begin the race to the top. The businesses will want to have better access to the data, and our research tells us they'll pay for this.
Promise2030 will be a community interest company - giving profits to charity. We'll be able to offer incentives and rewards to users who gather the information, and profits will go to participating charities.
We know we share our passions with many organisations and companies, so we're keen to find ways where we can work together to achieve real change.
Campaigning charities and NGOs
If you're linked to a charity we'd like to hear from you. Do you want to raise awareness among businesses about the issues that concern your charity? We can help you and your supporters develop relationships with companies.
Would you like to be in contact with the many companies that we are engaging with? We're encouraging them to increase their charitable giving as part of the impact they can make on society or the planet.
Professional standards/ certification bodies
Do you want to find potential new members among our businesses that have shown an interest in your areas of concern? Do you want to verify that your existing members are meeting your standards. Or do you want to check if the certificates you issue still current or are properly used?
Do you want to know which companies are not just saying the right things - but are actually doing the right things on the shop floor or in the high street? Are your current sources of information telling you enough? Are you concerned you're relying too much on what their managers in their head offices tell you? Are there potential SME investments that are overlooked by your current ESG information sources? Do you want to know which companies customers think are going to become more successful - or otherwise? We can give you a different angle.
Do you have many branches or franchise holders, and want to ensure that your CSR policies are being carried out in reality? We'll be able to provide a bottom-up view of what's really happening in your company. This information will be freely available to everyone, but in the pilot stages, we'll want partner companies to test it. You'll be ahead of your competitors.
CSR sector suppliers
If you want to enhance your services by adding our information to yours, get in touch. If you feel you want to put your details in front of these potential member companies, we can help.
Draft White Paper
WHO WE ARE
John Ranford Creator
John is passionate about justice and the environment, and wants to make the world a better place for his grandchildren. John has a background of 35 years in marketing in the non-profit sector and now works on strategy and innovation projects using direct marketing, digital and TV advertising. He's married to Hilary with three grown up children, and enjoys cycling the Cotswolds on their tandem.
Bertie Bosrédon Chief Operations Officer
Bertie has 23 years experience in digital communications and is an accomplished international speaker on digital transformation in the non-profit sector. He has helped over 90 NGOs internationally with their digital transformation programmes, online engagement and fundraising strategies, performance reviews, and worked on blockchain, governance and processes, training and masterclasses.
Ian McKay NGO mentor
Ian is an experienced senior executive with a record of success in the charity, consulting and commercial sectors. A clear strategic thinker and leader, with deep understanding of organisations and change, able to make sense of the complex, and well proven ability to lead, mentor, enable and develop people and teams. Ian has specific experience in the charity sector of leadership, partnership development, grant making, international engagement, fundraising, organisational strategy and change as well as customer relationship management.
Jimmy Brannighan Sustainability Advisor
Jimmy is co-founding director of NETpositive Futures and has 20 years of sustainability consulting experience with both private and public sector organisations, leading their staff in the development of their sustainability strategies. He has delivered programmes – often focussed around developing sustainability leadership - for organisations such as WWF, One Planet Leaders, Ikea, Aviva, SKY, and Oxford University. Through NETpositive futures he provides a unique sustainability reporting solution rapidly expanding in the Higher Education sector.
Mark Ranford AI Advisor
Mark's background is in Artificial Intelligence and he is a highly accomplished strategy execution and business transformation practitioner with broad and deep international experience spanning over 25 years. He has worked in private and public sector organisations and industries, government, financial services, telecom, internet, infrastructure and construction. Mark has received awards for his work and is highly sought after as a speaker.
Adrian Williams Direct Marketing Advisor
Adrian heads up DM Focus, a successful and well established direct marketing agency with specialisms in non-profits and data analytics. His previous experience includes heading up media data planning for a leading charity direct marketing agency, and data analysis with data giant Claritas (Acxiom). Triathlons are the other focus of Adrian's life - he owns a coaching initiative -Tri the Cotswolds.
And the many people who have given their time generously to advise and help test this project.
A big 'thank you'
... to those who have provided support in funding or in kind:
CERN Cyberscience Centre (Switzerland)