I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils.
Nothing like a bit of William Wordsworth to get you going on a March morning. But I quote him, not because the sun is shining and the daffodils are peeping out at me, but because he likes a crowd, just like me. While his crowd is of the floral type and mine is of the eating type, we both understand the benefits of groups and collections.
Crowds give people the physical release from loneliness and/or freedom from the emotional solitude of great minds, whether that be literary, innovator or pioneers. While it is arguable that we have gone too far with incessant Facebook and Twitter sharing with the crowd, it really goes without saying that being part of a crowd is enriching, passionate and energetic.
Look at football, with its crowd of 75,811 watching two teams play at Old Trafford for 90 minutes. Wayne Rooney, the crowd pleaser, is able to command a salary of £300,000 a week and the crowd pay for it. Would it make a difference to the crowd that 600 extra junior nurses could be employed each week on Wayne's massive weekly salary? Not a bit. Shared passion = Bums on seats = Crowd Power.
Not all sport people are as fortunate as the well paid football, golf and rugby players. In fact many athletes are turning to crowdfunding to support themselves through the years of tirelessly struggling with work and training, or simply to finance attendance at competitions. Many athletes were crowdfunded to attended the Sochi Winter Olympics and they gave millions of TV viewers glimpses of their genius skills, attitude and commitment to their sport. The Jamaican Bob sleigh team crowdfunded and raised $80,000 through donations. In return donators get the pleasure of helping young hopefuls reach their goal.
But it's not only athletes that are turning to crowdfunding. Those with vision, a good idea and those who want to make a difference within their 'crowd space' are often turning to crowdfunding rather than the familiar route of bank loans and Venture Capital. Amongst them are theatre directors bringing obscure musicals and plays to the west end, jewellery makers and tech startups. Check out this crowdfunding platform for lots of ideas.
You'll even find Sian's Plan on their books. Crowdfunding for crowdeating?
What do I mean by crowdeating? Well only the fact that following the herd is the easiest route to take and this is the same with food. For years, it has been following the herd to McDonalds, the frozen food aisle in Tesco or the world of over sugared, calorific goodness. It's much harder to be the only person bringing in the healthy lunch. We would rather partake in a crowd.
However on the opposite side of the scale, crowdeating can lead to spectacular changes in people's attitude to food. I only need mention the Organic Movement in which organic food has now become mainstream, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution or the new Live Better Challenge funded by Unilever to tackle food waste. Harnessing the crowd can bring huge results.
All it takes is one person, one idea and one movement to change how crowds eat for the better. With your support, we can create this movement together.