Wanna give my thumbs up to a new mobile app called “Open Label”. The idea is basically to enable consumers, using and combining barcodes with crowd-sourced information, to get instant feedback on products that they consider buying.
This enables everyone to create awareness around, if a manufacturer for instance uses child labor, sweat shops, animal testing, toxic chemicals, and more, and then give the product a thumbs-down. While those types of things gives OpenLabel somewhat of an activist slant, there are other types of information that could be shared, too, like the company’s political leaning, donations and much more.
If you want to learn more, please visit http://theopenlabel.com/
And finally I have to admit: The idea is not new. Some guys did it 6 years ago in Russia - http://www.goodsmatrix.ru/. The only problem: Nobody had smartphones back then! Today most people do, so I hope tools like OpenLabel can create even more discussion and awareness around CSR in the years to come.
And oh yeah – one more point: Does the Russia example show us that being too early is the same as being wrong?
Most of you have probably seen it. The video about Joseph Kony – the head of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a Ugandan guerrilla group. More than 84 mio. views on YouTube – and afterwards both praised and heavily criticized.
My agenda is not to talk about the content of the movie. Or whether it painted a fair picture of the situation in Uganda … or if it will end up helping Ugandan children or not.
No, I want to focus on the potential of this form of communication. Because the campaign showed us humanity’s two greatest desires: to belong and to connect. I hope that the Kony-video will inspire the world’s NGOs, when it comes to:
a) raising awareness about important causes
b) connecting the desire to help a cause with a very concrete action (to put up posters)
c) empowering people. Transforming people from viewers to friends and from friends to activists.
Therefore I would like, just for one second, to stop all the discussions about “simplifying the conflict in Uganda” – and let us at least learn as change-makers and activists how to empower people using the power of the internet. In this sense the Kony-movie is and should be a role-model…