The plan is simple: we plan to re-jig the capital system we use every day to ensure that all the worst we see in our societies is removed. There are very few of us who derive pleasure seeing suffering just outside of our own homes, or on continents far away, but really putting a stop to this doesn’t seem within near reach. Many of us are incredibly altruistic and selfless, and charities do a fantastic job at alleviating these problems, but the end doesn’t feel in sight. Put simply, we know the way we are set up right now is not good enough for too many people, that there is no fix built into the system, and despite our wishes to remove suffering, it doesn’t seem to come naturally. We need to change the system.
This change won’t happen by itself of course, nor will it with the effort of some people or some companies. It needs to be both grassroots, and top-down from major organisations, and herein lies the problem: companies chase profits, and people are busy. The fault however lies with neither; it’s the way we’ve set ourselves up. In fact, most of us are trying to leave our own positive impact on the world in our own way, whilst companies fight to provide us the best value for the products and services we love and need most. The problem is that the system just isn’t set up in a way to see the changes we need. We need to make a step change in the way we are set up, and if we don’t make this easy to do, for a large number of people and organisations, it’s just not going to happen.
The reason that we have started Percent is to make it really easy to do good, for both people and organisations. Every solution will fundamentally succeed at doing three things:
- is win-win
- makes it easy to be good
- is a joy to use
We hope with such an approach, rejigging the system should be slightly less of a tall order.
Finally, as far as possible, we want to make sure that being part of this movement is as accessible as possible to as many people as we can. The largest push for change must come from the largest, deep pocketed and influential players in our society, but for systemic change, the push needs to come from all of us. We hope too, that you see in our products the efforts made to make this movement as accessible as possible.
The super secret Percent plan for capital-system-rejigging to remove suffering is therefore as follows:
- Create an ecosystem of people and organisations who want to see this change affected.
- Create a product to allow this ecosystem to coalesce and synergise towards the common goal.
- Grow this ecosystem globally.
Percent is our first attempt at creating a product that stimulates systemic change for good. Every time a Percent user spends with a Percent Retailer, this retailer will donate a percent of what they spent to the charity of the user’s choice. People can therefore choose to spend with retailers who have committed to donating to a cause they choose. We are confident that retailers who join our ecosystem will not only have the pleasure of making the world a better place, but will also see more revenue and profit than they did before, driven by our choices as consumers to make change, for good.
If we can manage to get 50% of retailers globally to commit to joining Percent, and donating just 1% of what we spend with them, we could drive $130bn annually to the causes that need them most. To put this in to perspective, in Jeffrey Sachs’ ‘The End of Poverty’, he estimated it would take $175bn per year to end extreme poverty globally.
The high-street retail focus is just our first step and certainly isn’t the final piece of the puzzle to the re-jig. As time passes, and we see progress, we will be working on new projects and products in new verticals that get us closer to realising our final goal of re-jigging the system to remove the worst we see in our societies.
So, the super secret plan is out, now to see if we can all make this happen…are you joining us?