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Archive for July 17th, 2008

Just one of the great things about San Francisco is that its a city where you can expect the unexpected. There’s so much free thought in San Francisco that even your accountant gets giddy. So when San Francisco blogger Brent Schulkin came up with the idea to solicit local businesses to bid against one another to set aside a portion of their earnings for energy-efficient improvements, well, it was probably just another idea that hatched itself on a fine sunny day like any other.

Brent pursued his idea, however, and created carrotmob. The idea is to organize buying power in such a way that corporations (and in his first experiment with the concept, a neighborhood grocer) find financial rewards through better decision making. To state it simply, use a carrot rather than a stick.

He visited twenty-three local convenience stores in his neighborhood and told the owners that he was going to organize a shopping event to draw buyers to the establishment that was willing to set aside a portion of their earnings on that day to upgrade their facilities for increased energy efficiency. The establishment that would set aside the highest percentage would win.

Watch how the idea unfolds, as well as the results, in the abbreviated video below. Visit carrotmob.org to watch the full-length version.

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