What is Crowdfunding?




Crowdfunding is an effort to raise money through a network of people, typically through a combination of social networks and fundraising platforms on the Internet. Many organizations, especially start-ups, turn to online tools such as Kickstarter to finance new projects and products. Crowdfunding has been known to support many different activities, from helping communities recover from disasters to bringing an innovative prototype through its the last phase of development. On these platforms, the pool of potential donors and investors is opened up, giving the public an opportunity to fund the process. Sometimes the citizen investors are promised something in return for the support, such as a free version of product, branded swag, or even personal letter of gratitude. One of the appeals of crowdfunding is that it is often completely transparent -- the organizations have a set amount of money they need and people can see in real-time how much left is needed, and watch the financial gap lessen as they invest.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • given the decreasing investment (or increasing cuts) on education and research by some EU goverments (not all, luckility), I think crowdfunding could be a solution to support educational innovation and research and to do so from the bottom. as most of the innovation happening in education is currently bottom-up, this could well converge with crowdfunding. - stefania.aceto stefania.aceto Oct 24, 2013

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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on European schools education?

  • i think the potential impact is quite deep, especially in EU countries where the schools are 100% autonomous in their financial decisions and in looking for funds. In other countries, like Italy for instance, where schools are autonomous but the general lines of direction of technology investment are usually still dictated by the MoE, there might be some resistance at the beginning. Still, as said above, given the current financial cuts crowdfunding could be a perfect solution to at least integrate the financial needs of schools to implement innovation supported by technology. - stefania.aceto stefania.aceto Oct 24, 2013

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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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