No Really, (Crowd) Work Is the Silver Bullet
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Humanitarian assistance has been on the global conscience for approximately 70 years (since WWII), and yet in 2010 2.4 billion people still lived on less than $2 per day. as Easterly has pointed out: to see where we went wrong, just look at the incentives. to create true sustainable economic change requires realignment of incentives, particularly the incentive to work and invest. Employment is fundamentally required, and crowd work is the current best hope for providing that employment quickly, with global reach, and at scale. This approach is grassroots, bottom-up, and puts the income directly in the hands of people who need it. Further, it leverages the natural, inherent incentives embodied in capitalism (workers work to create value and get paid, employers want to minimize costs of labor) to shift as much work as possible to the places where it will have the most beneficial impact. We present an analysis of global trends supporting crowdsourcing as a solution, and the results of a pilot project in a rural Kenyan village which demonstrates that this approach is an extremely promising way to meet basic needs to promote economic growth.