Blog: In the crowd

Published:1st October 2013

Tim Crabbe – Chair and Director of Strategy at Substance – on the power of crowds and an opportunity to input into the new marketplace of resources

I’ve always been a fan of crowds. It probably comes from when I started following Crystal Palace and fell in love with the energy the fans generated on the terraces, which fuelled a lifelong passion for football. Gigs, protest marches, music festivals, all manner of sports events, even Saturday afternoon high streets… they all followed and have had their moments for me over the years.

Whilst Paul Weller bemoaned the stultifying hegemonic influence of the crowd when he sang ‘When I’m in the crowd, I don’t see anything’, for me this is the space where individuality and collective purpose combine and unleash creative potential. As individuals and terrace wags perform to the crowd, creating new chants, dance moves or fashion looks, they push boundaries in the search for approval or reaction. In turn, whilst the crowd mutates and shifts in response to events, it is governed by the latent energy, physicality and democratic power of numbers. It belongs to no one and finds its own voice.

Inspiring Impact might not be the biggest crowd I’ve ever been part of but it will still be greater than the sum of its parts and have more potential to make a lasting change if everyone with an interest gets involved. Over the last few years the concept of crowdsourcing has become increasingly significant in the way that knowledge is gathered and shared and even how new innovations, music and performances are funded. Now we are looking to use a similar approach to help build the content to be listed in the new online impact marketplace being launched in 2014.

If you have developed a tool, system, website, report, guidance or service that might be used to improve the impact practice of the UK voluntary sector or even if you know about or use such a resource, we’d like you to tell us all about it. After an extensive period of consultation we have settled on an initial template for describing the resources to be listed and have produced an online survey to help us capture the required information.

There will be further and ongoing opportunities to add new resources and to edit the information provided but if you want your favourites listed from the start please tell us all about them by following this link. Please complete a fresh survey for any resource you want to have listed and feel free to share this link with colleagues. The survey will remain open until Friday 15 November in the first instance.

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