Hey, I know! Let’s all binge-watch a little less Netflix, drink a lot less craft beer, and stop it with those damned selfies — then we can use that time to do be more productive. Maybe we could even do a little good. Good shout/let’s go/job done.
I’d love to get to the end of each week and feel like I’d done something truly worthwhile. The truth is I could. The truth is you could. But most of us don’t. Why?
When I want to go out, I whip out my phone and 5 minutes later I’m in an Uber.
When I want something to eat, I whip out my phone and 20 minutes later a bicycle full of food shows up.
When I want to watch a film, listen to some music, hire a cleaner, transfer money, meditate, write a blog, read a book, go for a run (ok, do some squats), book a flight, book a hotel, get a date, hire a graphic designer, invite people to my wedding… well, you get the picture.
But when I just want to do some good? Phone calls, paper forms, red tape galore, and meetings in person. On demand? At my fingertips? Not so much. You might as well ask people to volunteer through Ceefax.
We need to let people do good, the way they do everything else.
I’ll give you 4 billion reasons this matters
In 2015/16 41% of the UK adult population claimed to have volunteered at least once that year — that’s 21.9 million people. According to the same survey, 27% of the UK’s adult population claimed to volunteer once per month. Assuming that’s true, it means 14.2 million regularly volunteer. And that’s actually a pretty good start (if the survey is correct… let’s just say we’re a little skeptical.)
But those figures have barely changed in years and ever since we first started talking about gaggle, all we’ve heard from people is:
“I’d definitely volunteer more if it was easier”
There are plenty of people out there who want to volunteer but don’t, and not enough is being done to help them do it.
If we make a conservative estimate that an extra 5% of the population would come through on an apparent desire to do good regularly, that’d be an additional 2.65 million people doing an incredible 31.8 million good deeds each year.
Why wouldn’t we go after that?
Scale that up worldwide and that’s over 4 billion extra good deeds per year (ok, that one’s a moonshot).
Or we could do nothing…
Today’s society is a mess. We have CEOs earning extreme multiples of their employees’ salaries and an unimaginably wealthy planet where the majority of our riches lie in the hands of a minority of people. In the UK we’ve got cities lacking industry, community, or opportunities for their people, while London becomes increasingly estranged from the rest of the country. Trump’s president, we’re leaving the EU, people are literally being burned alive, climate-change deniers are being bribed into joining the government, populist movements on both the left and right are driving a wedge between us all, zero hours contracts…
And there’s more to come: major tech advances in AI and automation will have a profound effect on all levels of society in the very near future. That technology has the tremendous potential to drive a wedge through society that’ll make post-industrial polarisation look a storm in a teacup.
But we’re probably not hurtling unavoidably towards Judgement Day and we shouldn’t all become Luddites just yet. There’s another way. We need tech that addresses the imbalances in society, that encourages positive thinking and action, and that brings communities together. And, crucially, we need to refocus on the kind of world we want to live in and leave for future generations; then start making it a reality.
The two other gaggle co-founders and I talked about this for almost a year before we snapped and finally did something. We certainly don’t think we can solve all the world’s problems but we do think we’ve hit upon an idea that will help to bring people together to do some good.
We think it’s a better way for the world to be.
Our goal is to get those extra 5% of people volunteering regularly so that the millions (if not billions) of good deeds that leads to has a ripple effect that makes everyone’s life better.
Imagine you want to do some good
and all you have to do
(just like every other urge you have)
is whip out your phone
and 5 minutes later you’re on your way to make a difference.
A world where doing good is as easy as ordering an Uber — that’s our goal.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you’d like to help, we’d appreciate it so so much — to be blunt, we need you to make sure this happens!
You can lend your support in the following ways:
- Join our community by ‘liking’ our Facebook page. There’s a couple of reasons this is important; firstly we’re going to need help from the community with various things. So far, we’ve been truly humbled by the offers of help with PR, dev, filmmaking, finances, and operations (thank you so much!). But we’re quite up front that we’ll need more before we’re done and you or your network could be just what we’re looking for. Secondly, we intend to launch a crowdfunding campaign later this year and we’ll need to raise awareness and source investors to give it the best chance of success.
- We’ve bootstrapped the first iteration of gaggle on reddit.
It’s not a permanent or a perfect solution but we want to prove the concept, so if you have a project you want help with please go on there and post it. We also have a number of partner projects in East London going live soon, so please stay tuned to our facebook posts for details on how to volunteer if you’re in range.
If you want to get in touch or get involved, hit us up on Facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org