Heavy rains and flood waters flow across the impervious surfaces of roads and parking lots. That flow pushes pollution on those surfaces–plastic bottles, cigarette butts, motor oil–into stormwater management systems. That pollution then dumps into lakes and streams. This system is how so much plastic ends up in our oceans.
Continue reading Designing a Credit Market for Stormwater Management
It’s a different way to pay with plastic — bottles instead of credit cards. Cities like Beijing, Istanbul, Sydney, and Surabaya let you pay public transit fares with recyclable plastic. Innovative transit pricing is one way that public and social sector marketers achieve multiple goals at once.
The idea is pretty simple. Insert recyclable plastic bottles into a fare machine and get credit to use towards transit fares. This system assigns real value to recycling. That value provides an incentive for people to reduce their waste stream, their carbon footprint, and urban congestion.
Some of the cities limit recycling payment to just bus fares. According to this Facebook video from the World Economic Forum, Istanbul puts the recycling credit on your Metro card, which is good for all forms of public transit throughout Europe’s largest city by area.
Sydney uses “reverse vending machines” to give recyclers rewards that can be used outside of bus fare, like for movie tickets.
As I wrote in a previous post, most plastic pollution in the Pacific Oceans comes from just a few rivers in Asia. Using innovative transit pricing to turn waste plastic into value in large Asian cities like Beijing, Sydney and Surabaya helps divert waste from polluting our oceans.
I visited Estonia in the mid-1990s. Back then, I said it would be fascinating to return in 20 years and see what changed.
Continue reading Estonia Runs On Digital Government
For social goods like health care, the buyer and the end consumer are often two different parties. In much of health care, an insurance company or a government agency is the buyer, while the individual patient is the end consumer. At least in the United States, for-profit medicine companies exploit this split. They charge large organizations much higher prices than an individual consumer could afford. At the same time, they obscure the price of urgent treatments from patients. One way to avoid this exploitation is using nonprofit healthcare models.
Continue reading Case Study in Nonprofit Healthcare: Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative
How do you deliver help to homeless people with no fixed address and little to no money?
Continue reading Distributing Help to the Homeless
If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you are looking for ways to increase your impact. Social return on investment, or social ROI, lets you objectively define and measure your impact. Once you can define and measure impact, use that ability to identify communities to serve. Decisions about who and where you choose to serve–what the private sector calls market entry decisions–have a huge influence on the impact that you have.
Continue reading Using Social ROI for Market Entry Decisions
According to U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 47 percent of fatal traffic accidents in the U.S. occur in urban areas, resulting in nearly 15,000 deaths per year. That’s more than 40 people dying each day on urban roadways. If there was a data-driven design for transportation infrastructure that saved lives, shouldn’t we implement it? Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows traffic roundabouts reduce the number and severity of accidents.
Continue reading Data-driven Design for Transportation Infrastructure Saves Lives
Are you designing and distributing low quality charitable products? How do you know? Just because your clients may benefit from, and even rely on, products that are free to them doesn’t mean you can give them crap. It also doesn’t mean they stop becoming savvy consumers just because something is free to them. Your products and services may be free to your clients, but in areas like healthcare and water they can also a matter of life and death.
Continue reading Three Ways To Eliminate Low-Quality Charitable Products
Look for bright spots of success and hope among your market audience, and you may find your next big idea. Here are lessons from a story about how one underfunded aid worker used turning bright spots into products and services to change a nation.
Continue reading Turning Bright Spots Into Products and Services
Pricing and payments are core aspects of marketing a product or service. For public and social sector marketers, pricing isn’t always straightforward. Often the buyer isn’t the user, and the goal isn’t about making more money or beating the competition. It’s hard to put a price on open space such as watersheds and parks is hard. How do you determine a cost or value, let alone identify a buyer?
In the island paradise of Seychelles, marketers are collaborating to find a better way to price and pay for both existing national debts and new investments in commons with current funds.
Continue reading Governing the Commons: Pricing a new marine protected area in Seychelles