The “Tri-Kick-Off” Platform: Stage for Dialogues Between New Launched Sustainably Focused Projects, Citizen Backers and the Government
This proposal aims to create a triple-win situation for citizens, businesses and governments alike. Citizens would have the right to choose the projects they want to be carried out in their neighbourhoods based on social impact analysis, financial statements, and environmental reports. Businesses could fund their projects through crowdfunding and consequently, governments would be able to reduce their investments. This may democratise the market and change the policy-making process from a “top-down” to a “bottom-up” pattern.
The financial crisis has passed for nearly a decade, however, how to innovatively reactive the investment market is still on the stage, tackling a new challenge – how to achieve the “green growth” goal under the threatening of climate change. This sustainable investment goal then, to some extent, has become the lifeline of a city and the key to bring the vitality.
There are three main methods to gain funds; angels investing, venture capital and private equity, for start-ups, early starting and more matured companies respectively. In addition, equity crowdfunding has become a relatively popular choice as well.
This proposal will target at starting up projects, aiming to build a “Tri-Kick-Off” platform as a subordinate channel to fund starting up sustainable projects. Ideally, this platform works between governments, project executors, and citizens. Each starting project would have the chance to gain crowdfunding from citizens, and the public could get dividends from this activity.
The “Tri-Kick-Off” platform provides a stage for new projects to be launched and be funded. There are four steps to launch new projects on the platform; pre-checking, voting, funding, and dividend paying.
We will then further explain the process by analysing in three different perspectives.
For project managers and executors
For each new project, during the pre-checking process, stakeholders should first describe its project´s short-term goals, long-term missions, possible impacts, and methodologies. Then as requested by the government, managers should also provide the social impact analysis, financial statements, and environmental reports to the public as part of the supporting documents. Once the project passed the pre-checking process, it can be published on the online platform and goes to the voting process.
For the Voting process, the main task for managers is to communicate with the local citizens and according to their suggestions, adjust and improve their working methods as well as long-term goals in time. This is a crucial period of time for projects, as it could be viewed as the professional suggestions and instructors from venture investing. During this time, citizens will also vote for the final permissions. If projects successfully get the execution permission, it will then be transferred to the funding process.
The funding process is more like most of the conventional crowdfunding platform, on the one side, projects set their funding periods and their funding goals, while on the other side, citizens can check their reports and missions to decide whether or not to become the backers. After getting the funds, the project then can be executed and ideally make profits. After making profits, it is time to reward the backers, either through dividends or through giving Social Coin, which will be illustrated in the following sectors.
The conventional crowdfunding platforms are mostly capital driven only. In other words, once the project successfully gains its pre-set goal, which is a specific number of money, it is time for the project to leave the platform. The backers will then have few resources to track how the project is executed and what will be its future trends. In addition, conventional crowdfunding platforms build weak links between projects and their backers. As most of the backers funding projects based on their likes of the innovated ideas, instead of a strong profit and interests connection.
However, this proposal wants to build stronger connections between the projects and its backers by two ways. First, by giving citizens the right to vote and the chances to suggest, let citizens feel the responsibilities to contribute to a better community, and secondly, by rewarding backers by both Social Coin and dividends, the platform is able to attract citizens financially.
Citizens begin to take actions from the voting process. There, they can check the social impact analysis, financial statements and environmental reports of each project. Based on their own interests, citizens can comment on the project page. To encourage more people to engage in, we find the Social Coin especially practical for this case. The Social Coin is an international company based in Spain. It began as a social movement on the streets of Barcelona in 2013, promoting chains of kindness under the motto “pay it forward”. Although social coin has evolved over the years its mission to make the world a better place remains unchanged. Since then, more than 60 Big Corporations, 10 universities, 76 schools and 2 cities have licensed social coin technology and it has inspired more than 1M acts of kindness in more than 70 countries around the world.
To be more concrete, Social Coin is the currency that inspires people to take action in resolving society’s most pressing problems. And people who are holding several amounts of Social Coin get use it as money to spend in the restaurants, shopping malls alike. We can cooperate together and encourage people to raise their voices during the voting process. Though it is called the “voting” process, a more important task here is for different projects getting suggestions from the public, including people from different industrial sectors acting different social roles. Ideally, this could work as a consulting process from the Venture Capital team.
Then it will come to the voting part. After raising suggestions and projects making adjustment correspondingly, citizens can then vote for pros and cons to decide whether they will give the permission to further execute the ideas. Once the project passes the voting process, citizens can keep following and even choose to become the backers of the project. As a reward, the project has to pay back a specific level of dividends to their backers. However, if the project has not made any profits yet, it is also possible for them to reward the Social Coins temporarily.
For the government
Local governments here are mainly in charge of policy making and regulation. Before being launched on the “Tri-Kick-Off” platform, it is the responsibility of the government to pre-check whether the project is in line with the laws and social trends. During the pre-checking process, government can also decide how much initial funds that each project will be able to get from the government.
During the voting and funding process, government will temporarily leave the stage and let the free market lead its way itself. However, when the project being executed finally, local governments should take their responsibilities to regulate again.
Social Impacts Analysis
This could create a triple-win situation for citizens, businesses and governments alike. Citizens would have the right to choose the projects they want to be carried out in their neighbourhoods based on social impact analysis, financial statements, and environmental reports. Businesses could fund their projects through crowdfunding and consequently, governments would be able to reduce their investments. This may democratise the market and change the policy-making process from a “top-down” to a “bottom-up” pattern.
Until now, when we mentioned citizens, we discuss the individuals only. In other words, it is a conversation between individuals and projects; a C2B process. However, it is also essential to think further and deeper, as whether it is possible to extend it to C2C model, which means, not only the citizens, but also local companies who will be influenced by the execution of a new project, can also have the right to vote and suggest.
Therefore, this platform now has the ability to choose which projects can be launched to the platform; give the final decision to the public and let it be driven by the common profits from both monetary interests and citizen social responsibility. Particularly, the majority of projects have tight relationships and significant influences to citizen´s living standards in the near future.