Over the last five years a very small and motivated team has been working on a simple solution to a massive global problem: How can individuals, organizations, and society overcome increasingly urgent and complex challenges?
While the world has become more globally connected, our information sources remain disparate and fragmented causing large chasms in world views, skills, and ultimately, decision-making. What we lack is common knowledge on important topics that include personal wellbeing, skills and best practices at work, education, health, and pressing social issues. Lack of common knowledge is fundamentally a coordination problem: we cannot work together if we don't have a common understanding of the facts, issues, or problems we're trying to solve.
Building common knowledge requires a different approach to knowledge mobilization - effectively bridging the gap between knowledge and practice -- allowing practitioners and the public to understand and apply "what we know".
Our solution is based on a simple concept that we've been using for millennia to navigate new lands, understand complicated concepts, and follow step-by-step processes: Guides.
After five years developing our solution and working with thousands of organizations ranging from small businesses to associations, and corporations to governments, we have built a solution that can scale to help build and spread common knowledge globally.
We've also learned about the importance and power of knowledge accessibility - during natural disasters; for improving child nutrition and reducing school drop-out rates; for rural social services and community programs; and for achieving environmental and sustainability goals. There is significant inequality in access to trusted information and learning material for smaller, less affluent, and remote individuals, organizations, and communities.
Through Guides we have an opportunity to make access to knowledge available to everyone, expand our global collective knowledge, and connect organizations and individuals to face the urgent, complex, and ever-changing challenges together.
To realize Guides' full potential requires investment to further develop the product, create greater awareness, build partnerships, and build a distributed network of stakeholders. The common model to fund technology platforms is through Venture Capital in exchange for equity (ownership) of the business. For purpose-driven platforms like Guides, this model is broken. It creates misalignment between the goals of the organization (impact) and the owners (profit-maximization). We believe that there is a better way to scale a platform that will increase growth, maximize impact, distribute value more equitably among all stakeholders, increase public trust and participation, and ensure long-term sustainability while returning a lucrative, risk-adjusted return to investors.
It's not only the right thing to do, it's a better business model.