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Category Archivecrowd

Switching to GREEN in an Artificial Intelligence era. By Mar Introini

 

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We are living under contradictory processes: a world pushing for more sustainable green standards, on a go back to old codes of living closer to nature and at the same time a revolutionary technology that mark our daily life differently.

Is this incompatible? Is this a contradiction? Is it possible to harmonize both processes and become more and more “green” within a world more and more technologically advanced?

We are definitely prepared to move forward through new innovative technology that makes our life easier however, not to become more green and attached to nature codes that demands the implementation of new habits and maybe, new sacrifices and resignation to comfort.

Walking towards a green technological developed world means, “get naked” from old habits and patterns and enters a new path of living within a new “dress code”.

If you see the picture above you could identify the contrast: a laptop in the middle of a forest, in which wood and trees are the powerful actors and, in a sense, the tech element is the distortion element that searches for a space.

There is not incompatible, although there is a clash if there is not a harmonic adaptation into a holistic strategy of green in all layers of the society.

Going back to old codes as living in the countryside, reducing consumption of water, using pubic transport, buying food daily, not use of plastic, recycling, change our purchasing focus -“buy less, buy better”- etc. are all elements that make up a green way of living. Even if it seems a contradiction in itself: going back to past habits but with the help and boost from a revolutionary technology.Indeed, when we get the essence of the past it doesn’t mean that we are “repeating” or “imitating” but that we get inspired and apply the same criteria although under a cross-cutting technology.

Innovation is what marks the difference from the past; to create new structures a change of minds its paramount to be open and creative.

We need technology to make it happen even if it’s just to campaign for Green, as social media and networking become the way to do so. A change of habits also come from creating trends and fashion around them. People moves through emotions and the feeling of being part of the society and updated to the new trends is an element to take it very seriously at time to generate new codes.

Is it so that the Education system becomes a challenge to address much more complex that the one described by SDG 4 but a driver for new generations around awareness, sensibility and creativity for building a reshaped and adaptive world.

Green Education is not about educating people around green issues but to boost green professionals. Architects, engineers, activists are all professions directly linked with the environment, however a resilient world could only be built by a deeper action. Lawyers, politicians, teachers are also paramount for creating frameworks and spaces of green action and reflection; because a green education is also about “construction “ of creative minds that from any field of work could achieve a goal of innovation and adaptation. Simply… making a real revolution in our Education systems.

Technology at the service of a green planet means the transformation of what seem anachronic tech elements into harmony pillars to become more sustainable.

 New lenses for a new innovative green world: mind, soul and…. tech!

 

Green Community Action: The Need For Innovation. Take The Risk! By Mar Introini

 

 

 

The SDG´s approach demands a new approach at global system level and a systemic action at individual and community level. Innovation, even its part of SDG 9 “industry, innovation and infrastructure” represents one of those challenges to take into account on a daily and personal basis.

Communities as a difference from corporations do not see the need for innovation but of small changes that make their daily life easier. This attitude may prevent them from a real revolutionary change especially for those who considered themselves as “stable and safe societies”. A personal change represents a much more important step to get through this situation than for other challenges.

Until there is not a real sense of the need for a change that fixes current green global crisis, we will not being able to become sustainable. Eventually there are just communities that introduce technology for their own particular benefit and innovation but for specific goals based on local profitability.

Getting into a sense of empowerment is a must. We need to Educate and re-Educate adults and future generations on the power of Advocacy and the own responsibility of getting the tools. Is it simply a democracy pattern in which citizens engage with the community and lead their destiny.

It’s surprising to see that even if global corporations has very strong interests there are committed to the global goals and aware of a change. Most of the multinationals has made important steps towards a green investment leaving the public sector behind and not updated to the new challenges. Also on this aspect coordination and the power of partnerships its extremely needed. In which local communities play a paramount role, changing their own daily habits and taking the principle of “think global, act local” into extremes.

The tools are there to be used: social media, associations, debate, etc. through reshaping the Education system. Traditional tools (as association and debate) need to be reshaped  and find a new concept in which there are not just “green associations/debates” but a cross-cutting union of people, thoughts and ideas towards a common goal on sustainability. That is the key to enter in new roads of resilience: the use of the same tools from a different focus.

A holistic approach is what we need for getting into the goals successfully  and on a “relaxing mood”. The so-called “safe societies” must be aware of the need to reshape their goals and business as usual for addressing crises effectively. Moving through green debates, green associations and green campaigns is not the correct strategy and global goals demand that green goals are just one more part of a systemic strategy.That´s the reason for building awareness towards uncertainty and the need for being resilience by an in depth change on structures and personal attitudes.

New and innovative green communities: a personal attitude that doesn’t represent financial investment but capitalization of human resources, re-Education and innovative structures that delivers a new sense of living.

As the picture, the logs represent the citizens: strong and resilient but without awareness of the need for innovation and change. There will not fall down but they need stronger support to become sustainable. Take the risk!

*The Green Axis of SDG´s

https://thesustainabilityreader.com/2018/06/06/the-green-axis-of-sdgs/

Free Books Southampton – At The Third Age Center Recycle Your Old Books

Another fantastic group writing for us again this week. This time with the duel purpose of love for books and planet, by providing a place for unwanted books to be loved again. Here it is, Free Books Southampton.

Free Books Southampton (FBS) is a volunteer led group based at the Third Age Centre (3AC),
in partnership with Transition Southampton. We take in donated books and redistribute
them to the community in Southampton and further afield.

“Second hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks
of variegated feathers and have a charm which is domesticated volumes of the library lack”
– Virginia Woolf

We are very lucky to receive generous book donations from different places; from
individuals, schools, libraries or shops etc, who are having a clear out and do not have space
for them. By taking books from us, you are reducing the amount of waste that goes into
landfills each year and you are helping to recycle valuable resources.

Most of the books we get given are in good, readable condition. However, we do receive
books that are worn and damaged. Those that are not in good nick get used in various arts
and craft projects at the 3AC and across the city. We encourage others to recycle books that
cannot be used for reading anymore and we can happily provide some for people to use in
their craft projects. Our own most favourite creation is the book hedgehog using such
books. Just two simple folds on a page repeated throughout the book can make a cute
creature. We have taught people how to make these at many events in Southampton.
We are a small team of volunteers who work together to sort through donations, put books
out on display, making them look presentable, running the Facebook and Twitter social
media sites, emails and giving books out at community events.

 

Being based at the 3AC means we can provide free books to those who want them 7 days a
week. All you have to do is stop by, browse our selection and help yourselves! We have
most genres ranging from; sci-fi, thriller, romance, non-fiction, autobiographies and children
just to name a few. There is no excuse to not read, there is something for everyone and they
are FREE!

We are very lucky to be supported by a great community in Southampton. We have been
asked to give books out at a number of events. Not only are we able to give books to those
in Southampton, more recently we were able to donate 271 books to Brikamaba Primary
School in Gambia. We would not be able to do things like this if we did not receive
donations! In 2017 we gave out 5166 books and we are hoping to beat that total this year.

If you would like more information about Free Books Southampton please do not hesitate to
send us an email booksforfree.soton@gmail.com, send us a Facebook message or drop by
the 3AC.

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library” – Jorge Luis Borges

Poor air quality is a huge issue – by Alexa Gill & Anna Koor of Let Pompey Breathe #letpompeybreathe

Let Pompey Breathe is back again to talk about air pollution. You can read all about our campaign to reduce air pollution in Portsmouth and find more information on the petition we are currently collecting signatures for here. Today (21st of June) is Clear Air Day and we want to talk about ways you can protect yourself from air pollutants and how to join in the fight for clean air.

Communication is key

Poor air quality is a huge issue, and it can seem overwhelming to think about how we can tackle it, as individuals. Dealing with this growing problem requires a joint effort, we need councils, local business and residents to work together. Education and engagement is critical, there still seems to be a disconnect between people’s understanding of the consequences of dirty air and its impact on our health. With an estimated 40,000 premature deaths a year across the country due to outdoor air pollution, according to a report from the Royal College of Physicians, it’s become a national health crisis. So we need to build awareness of the problem. Some suggestions are:

  • Talk to your friends, family and colleagues about air pollution and what they can do to help reduce it and to protect themselves from it, particularly the vulnerable including young children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems.
  • Approach your employer about how they plan to address poor air quality. Could they set up a cycle to work scheme, update their transport policy or change suppliers?
  • If you’re a parent, speak to other parents and school teachers about starting a ‘walk to school’ campaign (a ‘walking bus’), or setting up a car share scheme.
  • Use social media platforms to spread the word and pass on useful information. Make sure to use hashtag #LetPompeyBreathe
  • Contact your local councillors to tell them you care about this problem and urge them to press for improvements in your neighbourhood and places in the city you visit regularly. One simple but effective step would be to erect signage alerting drivers not to idle their engines illegally, particularly in busy public places or where there are young children such as outside schools, at taxi ranks, bus and train stations.

Dirty Air isn’t just outside

In addition to the estimated 40,000 deaths a year due to outdoor air pollution there’s also the yet unquantified effects of indoor pollutants, which include radon, biological materials, particulates and nitrogen dioxide. This needs serious consideration as we spend the majority of our time inside. But there are some measures that can be taken to lower the risk:

  • Ensure you open windows when cooking.
  • Dry your washing outside whenever possible. It’s important to have good ventilation to reduce your exposure and these steps will also help reduce the accumulation of moulds which are air pollutants.
  • If you have a wood-burning fireplace, consider replacing it with a natural gas version. Not only will you reduce the emissions going outside, but the air quality should improve in your home.
  • Candles are another cause of air pollution so limit your use of these where possible.
  • By using less gas and electricity, you’ll reduce the air pollution you are creating. Simple steps like switching off lights when not in use, only running the washing machine/dishwasher when there’s a full load and filling the kettle with only the water you need, can reduce your energy consumption and save you some money in the process!
  • A report by Nasa revealed that there are some plants which are known for cleaning the air and are mostly easy to look after. These include Rubber Plant, Peace Lily, Ficus Alii, Spider Plant, Dracaena, Weeping Fig, several species of Palm, and different varieties of Philodendron.

 

Reducing air pollution would not only protect our health but also slow down climate change. There is still hope if we work together and act quickly.

Brave New Southampton: Variety Show Shindig!

This is an environmental variety show charity event occurring in Southampton at The 1865 on Friday 18th May.
This is for anyone who wants to get involved in the City’s sustainable transition to a greener, cleaner, braver space. It’s a completely non-profit event to raise money for Transition Southampton (a local community led organisation that aim to transform the city into a more sustainable place via local projects such as the Repair Cafe) and other environmental projects. We’ve got a great line-up and a 750 people capacity venue, with the possibility of raising £6000 by just throwing a kick-ass party.

We have three aims:

  1. Increase networking of environmentally-minded people in the City
  2. Raise money for Transition Southampton and other like-minded projects.
  3. Have a kick-ass party

What you can do, you ask? We’d love your support and your help! Buy a ticket, email all your members, say ‘going’ on our Facebook event and tell all of your friends – that simple! Any questions and give me a shout.

Facebook event by clicking on the attached photo: 

 

Newsletter for the weekend of 11th-13th of May 2018

Hello and welcome to another CrowdLeaf newsletter 🙂 Vicky is away this week, usual service will resume when she’s back.

This weeks newsletter is jam packed full of green and sustainable goodness.

With two guest articles coming out in the last week, I point to the upcoming event as listed below, the Brave New World Variety Show Shindig and another fantastic company doing great things to make the world just that little bit more sustainable ‘The Eco Collective’ a fully vegan Supermarket for good.

Firstly our usual plea, anyone or any company who is organising green events, sells sustainable products or any other variation thereof is welcome to contact us about working together on boosting the green community and economy. As part of this we are also restocking our store and are looking for local providers to link up with our store so if you are interested, please email us.

This week just like the last has had some pretty interesting developments. Solar reached a peak at 28.5% of the UK’s energy this early May bank holiday weekend, producing more energy than nuclear and gas powered energy plants.

Again, there are some great events going on this month so please check them out and get involved. Once again last week Ryan @rwscarter was back on the airwaves to discuss all things green and sustainable with Xan Philips, you can listen again here.

The War On Plastic


Government unveils plans for business-backed plastics innovation hub

As mentioned in last weeks newsletter –

Supermarkets appear to be coming forward to tackle a problem that kays at their door, plastic waste from packaging. 

Now Morrisons is trialling bring your own tupperware to reduce plastic waste.

Climate Change and Pollution

UK’s Most Polluted Towns And Cities Revealed

A general view of the steelworks in Port Talbot

Terra watch: Rocks Could Have A Role In Combating Climate Change

AB InBev – the world’s largest brewer orders 800 hydrogen-electric trucks

Energy

Solar on a sunny afternoon

Solar reached peak energy so far this year, on the hottest Early May bank holiday on record.

solar power

Wildlife and Conservation

 

In pictures: Kenya’s coastal conservation heroes

Whitley awards for nature conservation 2018 winners – in pictures

British Ecological Society, answers the questions of Government Europa Quarterly about the importance of biodiversity and conservation efforts across Europe.

Recycling and Sustainability

Storage And Organisation Ideas For Recycling Centers

Morrisons is to allow customers to bring their own tupperware for food storage to avoid unnecessary plastic. 

Heathrow will recycle all disposable coffee cups that are sold and discarded onsite by the end of the year

NGO’s and Campaigners wrote the policy makers to stop non recyclable waste incineration being treated as renewable energy generation. 

Events

Swanage Pier Dive And Litter Pick 12th May

Southdowns Green Fair 13th may

Big Green Wheels 18th May

Brave New World Variety Show Shindig in Southampton – 18th May

Repair Cafe 19th May

Sholing Valley’s Spring Fayre 2018 19th May

Tools And Tips For Reducing Plastic 24th May

Environmental Rock 28th May

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Clean Air Day 21st June

Handy Websites

Something we look to help businesses do in the future. If you are a business that is in the waste(not) business please get in touch –Mixed Plastic Banks In Southampton

Here is Southampton’s list on what to put into your blue lid recycling bin: What Can I Recycle?

Pledge Your Commitment To Improving Hampshires Recycling Habits

Hampshire Recycling

This brilliant website gives tips and ideas about food waste and how to reduce it.

Love Food Hate Waste

Instead of throwing out or bagging up (to gather dust) all those clothes children quickly grow out of this is a brilliant website to buy or sell unwanted children clothes. It is run by a busy mum who also knows what it’s like with ever growing children and the endless amount of clothes children accumulate.

‘Last year a quarter of the clothing we got rid of was simply thrown away. That’s a staggering 300,000 tonnes that went into landfill. So many of those items could have been re-used and enjoyed by a another child, instead of contributing to the destruction of the planet.’

Loopster

Contact us!

Please join us on Facebook, like and share with fellow environmental and wildlife enthusiasts where we will keep you up to date with climate change, sustainable and wildlife and conservation news and anything else green.

We would also like to start adding a directory to our newsletter, making it more accessible for everyone to gain information, join other environmental groups or eco-friendly businesses that sell eco-friendly products. If you or someone you know are interested, please contact us. We can also help advertise and advise on any campaigns and fundraising events, with the option to advertise on our webpage, facebook and newsletters.

Equally if you have an article or blog which is relevant to the local or global cause of making the world cleaner and greener or feel there is an issue that could be part of a discussion, then feel free to send it over and we can publish it.

Contact us via our website:

http://crowdleaf.org.uk/

Look us up on Facebook or drop us an email:

vicky@crowdleaf.org.uk

ryan@crowdleaf.org.uk

On behalf of CrowdLeaf,

Vicky & Ryan

Please come and check out our store to support our cause and green community!

CrowdLeaf Store

Pollution Tracking Tools

London Air Pollution Live Data

Worldwide Pollution Live Data

See you next time!

Southampton Sustainability Open Mic Night – 20th of April

Southampton Sustainability Open Mic Night is an evening of sharing words, ideas and actions. Hear local speakers giving a run-down of the things they are doing for sustainability right now in Southampton and surrounding areas. Organised speakers (including our own Ryan Carter @rwscarter) will let us know, in a maximum of five minutes, what they and their organisations are doing. With representatives from a range of groups, you can expect to hear about marine conservation, sustainable fashion, food waste, illegal fishing and global conservation. Think GreenPeace, the BlackFish, Surfers against Sewage, Fashion Revolution, Repair café and more.

This is a great opportunity to just listen, to discuss, debate and to meet like-minded people and increase connectivity throughout the ‘green’ world. Things are only going to change when we start working together and on all fronts so let’s hear what everyone else is doing and get involved.

Feel free to speak yourself or just listen to the wonderful initiatives going one. The microphone will opened up for the audience to participate after each speaker. I will encourage debate around certain topics and to engage people with their views and opinions. It is important that sustainability maintains standards and that we are all on the same page to see through the ‘greenwashing’.

It will be a relaxed evening with no set agenda, no pressures and open for all.

The evening will be filmed by ‘We Make Southampton’, an organisation documenting the events and people living in Southampton. Make sure to let the organisers know at the door if you do not want to be filmed.

This event is free and based at the university of Southampton. Inside the Bridge restaurant/bar, this venue is cosy with a well-stocked bar serving cocktails/mocktails. To get to the venue, park in the University of Southampton car parks and make your way to building 42 (the Students Union). The Bridge bar can be found in this building. No pre-booking or tickets are necessary and this venue is accessible for all.

We at Crowdleaf join the organisers in looking forward to seeing you there!

https://www.facebook.com/events/266609193874575/

The Environmental Impact of Plastic Straws – Facts, Statistics, and Infographic by Hugh from Get Green Now

A small, plastic straw – It’s something that comes with most beverages that we order, from soft drinks to even a glass of water.

Though at first this small straw may not seem like a lot, when its usage is added up, plastic straws create a big problem for the environment.

And, with the USA using 500 million straws every day (enough straws to circle around the Earth 2.5 times!), that’s a lot of trash and potential litter.

In this infographic and article below, learn about the impact of plastic straws on the environment, and how you can make a big difference just by rejecting the use of straws.

Environmental Impact Of Plastic Straws Infographic

 

Environmental Impact Of Straws (Why Are Straws So Bad For The Environment?)

straws

1. Plastic Straws can’t be easily Recycled

Straws are most commonly made from type 5 plastic, or polypropylene.


Although type 5 plastic can be recycled, it isn’t accepted by most curbside recycling programs. When plastic straws aren’t recycled, they end up in landfills, or even worse, polluting our oceans.

Make sure you check your local municipality website to see if plastic straws can be recycled in your area.

2. Plastics do not Biodegrade, and never fully Degrade

In order to understand the environmental impact of straws, it is important to know the difference between biodegrading and degrading:

Biodegrading is when an item can be naturally broken down and digested by micro-organisms, and then naturally recycled into new organic molecules and life.

On the other hand, degrading is just the process of breaking down into smaller pieces. When plastic degrades, the bulk of the plastic will seem to disappear – However, what’s really happening is the plastic is breaking into smaller, invisible pieces that will always still be on Earth.

With that being said, plastic straws take up to 200 years to degrade, but will never be fully off the Earth, as plastics are not biodegradable. To make matters worse, the degrading of plastic releases chemicals that are toxic to wildlife and the environment.

3. Straws are littered very often, and harm Ocean Wildlife

Whenever there is an ocean coastline cleanup, plastic straws never fail to make it on the list of one of the most found ocean litter.

And, as of early 2018, data from Ocean Conservancy’s TIDES system shows us that straws/stirrers are the 11th most found ocean trash in cleanups, making up about 3% of recovered trash.

All these straws and plastic polluting our oceans is having a negative impact on marine life. Take for example the video below, where researchers off the coast of Costa Rica remove a plastic straw that had been embedded in the nostril of an Olive ridley sea turtle.

It’s likely that the sea turtle accidentally swallowed the straw, and then had it stuck up its nostril while trying to cough the straw out.

Straws are also especially dangerous to seabirds, as they can be easily picked up and swallowed, suffocating and choking the bird. In fact, over 1 million seabirds die each year from ingesting plastic.

The image below of a dead albatross chick shows just how much damage plastic can do to animals that ingest it:

Image By Chris Jordan (via U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters) / CC BY 2.0

Take Action: Sign the Pledge and Stop Using Straws

Plastic straws are non-essential part of our life, and yet they cause so much damage to the environment. The simplest way to reduce plastic pollution is to reject the use of single-use plastics, like straws.

Get Green Now have partnered up with the One Less Straw campaign to bring you this article and raise awareness about the harmful outcomes of straws on the environment.

Take the One Less Straw pledge and stop using single-use plastic straws for at least 30 days, and you’ll receive a free reusable glass straw (excluding shipping), courtesy of Simply Straws and OneLessStraw. You can learn more about OneLessStraw below.

This was originally posted on Get Green Now by Hugh,who kindly said we could share his piece.

The Green Shoots of Crowdfunding by @rwscarter

There is a beautiful bottom-up revolution underway in the energy market, but like all revolutions there is hurdles the question is can the state facilitate the green revolution, I think it should. This requires putting into reverse how the state has been seen in market interventions as a monolithic agent ‘crowding-out’ competition. I believe that the state can and should act smart and counter to popular opinion ‘crowd-in’ the market, breaking the hegemonic cartel of the ‘Big Six’. As of 2013 renewable energy provides a mere 21.7% of all electricity generated across the globe, so it is time to harness the ‘green revolution’ going on in the energy market and push for a sustainable future not turn our backs on it.

Despite government attacks on ‘Feed in tariffs’ there is still a green light on sustainable energy solutions in this race against time and despite being the new tool in the arsenal crowdfunding seems to be meeting the demand for these solutions. Crowdfunding allows substantial sums to be made up from small contributions. Now with a boom in crowdfunding it is time the new far lower barriers to participation so everyone can make a difference no matter how large or small their contribution. The most significant barrier to participation to-date has been regulation and patents, but ideas do not need the support of the ‘Big Six’ to make it to market any longer as the crowd can facilitate the struggle towards a democratic and dynamic market model.

In the past, we have seen a number of promising ideas surrounding tackling the energy crisis being bought by large multinational corporations and never seen again such as the original design for electric car batteries. This cycle cannot be allowed to continue. Crowdfunding has the potential to empower groups of people who feel a responsibility towards the planet and allows them collectively wield their power, to take a moral stance fostering a sustainable difference. The short-term or short-sighted moves on energy pursued by governments and corporations, such as the controversial plans for fracking, or rip off nuclear plants run by China, can, if we want it to be a part of the past not the future. For this and many other reasons, green crowdfunding and a municipalisation and publicity owned and conscious energy market is not going anywhere but up. Evidence suggests that the really big challenges facing society, such as energy and climate change, cannot be met by the state, large companies, well-intentioned individuals or any other agent acting alone, so putting the values of co-operation into our heads, hearts and policy is now surely non-negotiable.

There is serious scope for intervention and municipalisation in the energy market, councils have socialised consumers to bargain a better price going someway towards helping ease fuel poverty. This proves that when society pulls together then there can be a real drive towards significant change. Crowdfunding, community funds and co-operative solutions offer the possibility of a seismic change; this is never truer than in sectors of strategic and societal significance such as renewable energy and financing innovative solutions. Large scale ‘crowd-led’ projects have taken place in Norway and Denmark for example which has contributed towards reducing carbon emissions while this stronger form of energy security has allowed these countries to continue without worry to expanding their business and industrial bases. Cooperatives and collaborative finance tend to play a much larger role in the energy markets of these countries; one of the largest wind turbine Cooperatives in the world is in Denmark, where 50% is owned by a ‘crowd’ of 10,000 investors and 50% by a municipal utility company.

Co-operatives across the country following examples of other co-operatives across Europe have begun issuing community-based shares a form of online crowdfunding with voting rights to tackle this sort of problem. There have also been Housing Association schemes aiming to tackle fuel poverty by installing solar cells on residents’ roofs to lower the cost of energy this had success with Leeds Housing Association using Abundance a green energy crowdfunding platform. There is no reason as to why the councils could not build their own solar farms, wind turbines or perhaps invest in any other form of clean or renewable energy independently using their pension funds or council budget. Nottingham Council have done just that setting up Robin Hood Energy as a municipal not-for-profit enterprise.

Going forward these green shoots from the crowd, municipal authorities and cooperatives will be put under real strain, but together tackling fuel poverty, sustainability and an un-equitable market will be enough to ride the wave. This hegemony will not last forever in its place will be a truly public interest, democratic and dynamic energy market with people not profits at its core. There is many ways to get involved in crowdfunding for renewable energy and local community cooperatives, you won’t be alone in doing so.

Oringally published on : https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/news/the-green-shoots-of-crowdfunding/11/11/ it is an older piece and all facts were acurate at the time.