Yes, We Plan: How Altruism and Advertising Could Change the World

Here is a very interesting idea of using crowd sourcing concepts, combined with social media tools,  to engage, organize and motivate people to actually accomplish something positive and altruistic, by helping them move beyond “just talk” or “joining groups”, and by enabling and empowering them into action in a novel way.

I think that if successful, any tools that in large daunting projects help break down and reduce the scope into doable chunks, would have much wider applications in our lives both at home and at work.

I think we could all use help in moving forward with the meta projects in our life.


Marketing veteran Cindy Gallop and software developer Wendell Davis are on a quest to make the world a better place, with a crowdsourcing project to motivate people to do big things by taking small bites. Their theory: Small, good intentions can bring about great leaps.

Gallop is the former global marketing chief and U.S. chairman for the BBH marketing behemoth that ran campaigns for Levi’s, Axe Body Spray and other brands. She’s joining with former Splice and Zooomr CEO Davis (pictured) to accomplish this lofty task one piece at a time. They’ll encourage corporations to work with the customers they seek, as the community tackles a user-generated database of large and small causes.

Their unlaunched site,, should succeed in giving online activism some sorely-needed teeth. Rather than raising awareness, the site is set up to convert intent into action, to get things done. As a side effect, it could reinvent advertising as a transparent interaction between corporations and individuals.

“The single largest pool of untapped resource in this world is human good intentions that never translate into action,” said Gallop, who founded the company with Davis two years ago after digital guru Esther Dyson introduced them. Gallop says current do-gooder networks make it too hard to find achievable, concrete tasks that fit one’s skill set, time and budget — and that offer instant gratification.

“For a large amount of the world, doing good is fundamentally very, very boring,” explained Gallop. “If you go to the homepage of something like, or any one of the many [like it], there is an instant yawn factor -– ‘I know this is really good stuff, I should be doing it, but I’m half asleep already.”

“There is no Google of action,” she added. breaks even the largest goodwill projects (“feed Darfur”) down into discrete tasks, which it distributes to members through a commercially supported, socially networked environment. When people have the urge to act on something that irritates them about the world, they can actually do something. Their plan (more below) not only impressed us, but also Dyson, who said it will create “a liquidity of goodness.” Former Google executive Katie Jacobs Stanton, who joined the Obama administration as “director of citizen participation,” heard about the plan from Gallop at the TED conference last month.

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