The seeds of change:
I believe the power of the crowd is the future of the world. As a collective we have the ability to both help those in need and ourselves. As Hellen Keller stated, Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
My name is Paul Blakemore. I need your help. With it I hope to attend Knowmads creative business school, where I will focus all my efforts on bringing people together, so that they can achieve more. Why? So as a group, we can share skills, needs, time and experiences. Leading to more efficient lives and a greater sense of community wherever we are.
My long term goal is to create platforms that bring crowds of people together so that they can cooperate and share. For example, someone who has a garden can share or sell their produce, or a software developer can offer their free time for an exchange or profit. Over the next year I hope to find new ways to encourage and facilitate trust, allowing me to launch genuine projects that give all people opportunities for greater well being or even profit.
What will I achieve at Knowmads?
Knowmads breaks old moulds of education. The school's mission is to educate creative entrepreneurial spirits. Knowmads is a platform that facilitates, empowers and inspires change makers. There are no exams, assessments or textbooks. The program is based on action learning in a team setting. Both the school and many well known guest lecturers provide workshops that are designed to broaden the mind and encourage innovation. The schools website can explain more, and has some amazing videos: www.knowmads.nl/
Through the medium of Knowmads, I will pursue projects in crowd participation. The first of which will be a project on local crowdsourcing for projects or employment in Amsterdam. My aim is for individuals or companies to advertise their needs, and others can make an offer to fulfil that need. For example a company in need of a new website, or someone in need of gardening help, can advertise this, then individuals or companies with the relevant skills can make an offer to fulfil these needs. It sounds basic, however, all great ideas start small, and I hope to develop this into something that really helps and empowers people.
Why do I believe change is needed? Communities have changed from how we used to know them in towns, villages and city streets. Now communities are gigantic online behemoths. Together we now have a greater capacity to support, exchange and share than ever before. I want to encourage this by creating platforms, forums and real world exchanges where people can interact. We have seen online crowd sourcing and funding develop significantly in recent years, I want to create platforms that have a more local base, where people can meet and interact.
After one year of Knowmads I want to have found innovative ways to bring people together to cooperate, so they can exchange whatever they can, be it for profit, charity or other needs. Not only will I learn from launching projects, but I hope they will bring positive change too. On a personal level, I believe there is no where else in the world with the same learning culture as Knowmads. As a result, I will be able to develop myself in very unique and creative ways. Ultimately, through education at Knowmads I hope to be a greater source for positive change in the world.
I am originally from the Staffordshire countryside of England. After graduating in Economics in London, I spent 10 months in Asia working, volunteering, and travelling. Upon my return I began working for PwC, I learned a great deal about the world of finance and myself, before leaving to start my own business. In March 2013 I started Shanti Tea, as a pop-up shop in Greenwich Market, London. This was my baptism as an entrepreneur. To learn more about my past experiences check my LinkedIn page and feel free to connect with me www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-blakemore
My tree will only start growing with you…
Knowmads costs €5500. I plan to use the funding solely to pay for course fees, and if I receive any extra it will go directly towards launching projects that make good, not profit. To cover my own expenses and any gap in funding I have two jobs here in Amsterdam. I am already working harder than I have ever done for this opportunity, and I will continue to do so at Knowmads.
The perks I have offered are in fact the first exchange I am encouraging. Hopefully, you can see that I already possess a broad range of talents, so your support can be transposed into something that truly benefits you. I will share my experiences through my blog (powerofcrowds.wordpress.com) and keep all backers up to date by email, and alert you to ways in which you may join these projects.
If you cannot contribute financially, please help me spread the word and share this page on Twitter, Facebook, Google +, email or any other way.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and contributing in any way you can.