What is socially conscious capitalism? Is doing the right thing profitable? What does being truly socially conscious even look like?
In today’s world, where being socially conscious appears to be trendy, it is easy to get caught up in the uncertainty of which brands are good, and which brands aren’t so much. Cause marketing ‘programs in North America alone total around 2 billion dollars annually’, so with all these campaigns surrounding consumers daily, it becomes difficult to identify the true CSR of a brand.
Socially conscious capitalism involves corporate social responsibility. It refers to businesses that serve the interests of more than just their customers, but go farther to serve their communities. This can involve cooperative efforts amongst non-profit and for-profit business in aims of mutual benefit.
Conscious capital is in fact profitable. There is an abundance of data that shows that companies who commit to the greater good succeed. Many even claim that conscious capitalism will be one of the “defining mechanisms of profit in the future.” In a survey done by Nielsen, “43% of global consumers said they are willing to spend more for a product or service that supports a cause”, and businesses are responding to this.
How Technology Assists Marginalized Peoples
The move to mobile has proliferated application technologies that are innovating our lives. With the digitalization of humanitarian aid efforts, it is being recognized that “correctly developed and implemented Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions have great potential to assist disenfranchised and marginalized communities around the world.”
Information and Communication Technologies assist different groups of marginalized peoples in a variety of ways. For the disabled, ICT can provide education, opportunities, skills development, and overall empowerment.
Technology assists in providing the essential tools needed in order to help aid organizations support displaced peoples. Providing these people with everything they need is a great task, which requires innovative solutions. Recently, it has been recognized that various mobile technologies assist many refugees or asylum seekers in their travels to safety. Smartphones have assisted in ‘finding safe, or efficient travelling routes, keeping in touch with family members, sending/receiving money, registrations, locating shelter, aid agencies, and more’.
Here is a List of the Top 15 Socially Conscious Apps/Technology for 2016:
1. JouleBug – Is a mobile application that makes your everyday habits more sustainable at home work and play. Users earn pins, badges and points by doing their regular daily activities in a more sustainable way. You can help your community, the planet, and your wallet. Joulebug can even link to your utility account to show you your monthly savings on your bill!
2. Be My Eyes – This app connects the blind with sighted people through a live video connection. Once the app is installed users can choose whether they need to borrow a pair of eyes, or whether they have a pair to lend. This app is serves as a way to demonstrate how those who lack the gift of sight are not so different from those who do have the gift of sight. It educates people to understand that the blind are not rendered incapable, but rather are capable of anything with a little assistance.
3. Catalista – This app assists in matching volunteers with local volunteer opportunities in their communities. The app connects you with local non-profits and helps you find different ways to volunteer near you. you can even track your hours for school, or for your resume.
4. Free2Work – This app equips consumers with valuable information on a company’s’ labour standards and production practices. After scanning the barcode of a product, potential buyers are then given a product rating, which tells them how ethical a particular brand is, or is not.
5. True Food – Want to eat GMO free? This apps helps you find and avoid GMO ingredients wherever you shop. The apps helps you locate the items you want while avoiding the items you don’t. Go behind the label and get the facts on genetically engineered foods.
6. SeeClickFix – Users are given the opportunity to play an integral role in their communities, as they are able to report non emergency issues in their community. The apps connects users with the right people in their community to get a problem fixed.
7. Charity Miles – With this app, for every mile you walk, run, or bike, charity miles will donate money to the organization of your choice. Once you log on, you choose a charity of your choice, begin your exercise, and Charity Miles will show you an ad by the company sponsoring your run.
8. Buycott – This mobile app allows the people to vote with their wallet by assisting consumers identify if a potential purchase company supports the same causes they do. Users can join crowd-funded campaigns, scan barcodes when shopping to learn product history, and speak up by directly messaging product owners.
9. Fair Trade Finder – This app addresses the largest barrier to the conscious consumer buying fair trade, by ensuring finding fair trade is just a click away. Users gain access to the first national directory of Fair Trade Certified products, along with where these product can be purchased.
10. EcoBonus – A mobile app offering users a simple way to earn rewards when they purchase natural, eco-conscious, or socially responsible products at your favorite grocery store. Users simply snap a picture of their receipt to receive points from sponsoring brands.
11. Budge – This app has made a social mobile game out of charitable giving. Users invite friends to participate in activities, challenges or play games, with the loser having to donate to a charitable cause. Budge makes giving to charity a fun and super easy process.
12. Good Guide – Assists shoppers make socially responsible decisions by connecting them to safe, healthy, green, and ethical products. Users can find health, environmental, and social performance ratings for over 120, 000 food, personal care, and household products.
13. Instead – Is a mobile app that makes everyone a philanthropist. By partnering with key non-profits, Instead provides a way to make small donations which make life changing, and often life saving difference to people in need. Instead makes it easy to fit charity into your daily routine.
14. CauseWorld – Do good deeds simply by walking into stores. Users can ‘check-in’ to stores using geolocation, after checking into the store, users earn ‘karma points’ which users then donate to specific causes. No purchase is required at the store to earn the karma points, and the karma points are turned into real dollar donations.
15. Rice Vocabulary – This app helps feed the hungry, by testing your vocabulary skills. User play at various skill levels, and for each correct answer the app developers will donate rice to those in need.