If the Economist wanted a radical big idea from their skunkworks, Project Red Stripe, it looks like they got it.
If I’m honest I was expecting more of a me-too community approach for the readership, but it appears the PRS team have really come up with something new, for The Economist Group at least, if not most media companies. It will be, in the words of the Project Red Stripe blog, be…
…a web service that harnesses the collective intelligence of The Economist Group’s community, enabling them to contribute their skills and knowledge to international and local development organisations. These business minds will help find solutions to the world’s most important development problems.
What’s the social object here, according to Jyri’s framework I discussed last month (more on that at Strange Attractor). Well it looks like issues, or more accurately, social enterprise projects tackling specific issues will be the social objects. Or perhaps I’m missing the point and the acts of assistance by members of the community will be the social objects…
The comments section on the Project Red Stripe blog post about the project are reservedly approving, with comparisons being made to:
It’s going to be oh so very, very interesting to see how Project Red Stripe develops this. As the team concludes:
There are many questions, which we have thought long and hard over. Does the world need another volunteer-matching site? Will time-poor professionals donate their time? Do NGOs and other organisations actually need such a site? Can you make money on the back of charity?
In the next few weeks we’ll be dealing with these issues on our blog (starting with the question of making money from philanthopy, below) and at the same time putting together a great pitch for the Group’s management team.