Question: What do each of the following causes have in common with one another?
- An animal sanctuary in Argentina home to 150 orphaned howler monkeys.
- A safe house in Bali for women & children victims of sex trafficking.
- A grassroots movement to feed the homeless population of Barcelona.
- A nonprofit dedicated to integrating the alienated Syrian refugees in Lisbon.
Answer: they’re all causes we’ve been able to advance by working as a group of distributed volunteers.
Problemattic is a new platform launched today which is the culmination of years of experience from organizing Charity Makeover events that attempts to scale that effort and make it work in the new normal of a post-Covid world.
Our goal is make it possible for knowledge workers to plug-in and give back their most valuable asset, their professional skill set, in the pursuit of solving societal problems they care about.
We’ve proven we can do this in person via our Charity Makeover events (check the 2min video below to learn about that effort). The challenge now though is to reformulate away from large group events and morph this collaboration into an equally-satisfying experience that complies with local gathering restrictions and scales worldwide.
We face a number of looming societal challenges from problems like climate change, inadequate education, poverty, hunger, polarization of entire populations from social media, an unacceptable number of driving accidents caused by impairment from substances, texting and drowsiness, and the list goes on…
These are not unsolvable problems however. Solutions exist and those lie dormant and distributed within each of us. We all have a piece of this puzzle. We’ve amassed an arsenal of skills over the course of our career.
These skills are uniquely ours, have immense value on their own and unfathomable power when orchestrated well with others. Basically we’re Voltron but we just don’t know how come together yet.
What’s missing here is the low-friction, clear path to plug-in and play our part in the orchestra as time permits.
If it’s not obvious by now, governments are not going to step in and solve the above problems. If they could they would have. Companies certainly aren’t going to solve these problems – many actually benefit from perpetuating their existence (the Shirky Principle). If these problems are to be solved at all, the solutions will come from motivated, inspired & empowered citizens working collaboratively to address them.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
– Margaret Meade
Problemattic aims to do its small part as both a clearinghouse of problems, talent and solutions as well as playing the orchestra conductor helping provide volunteer recruitment, match-making, team collaboration & gamification aspects.
People want to give back. They want to feel fulfilled in knowing they made invaluable contributions towards solving some of these societal ills. We’re taking everything we’ve learned and providing a platform to make that happen.
I’m excited to announce some partnerships in the coming weeks that will help supply the talent, causes and tools to realize this vision. The intention of this blog will be to share updates for those interested in this journey as well as valuable lessons which will be useful to anyone building a startup.
If any of this resonates with you and you’d like to kick the tires and learn more about the causes we’ve helped and the ones forthcoming launch our app here, take up your instrument and take your seat in the world-wide orchestra now forming.