Carrotmob is a grassroots campaigning organisation that aims to make businesses more sustainable. Groups of people offer to spend money at a local business and the owner pledges to make a tangible change for sustainability.
I love the idea. It inverts the standard consumer campaigning response – the boycott. Criticism is not an effective motivator for behaviour change. Like the adage made famous by Dale Carnegie if you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive.
Whether it’ll work at scale remains to be seen.
It’s reliant on organised activism, effort. Perhaps too much for today’s slacktivists whose idea of charitable involvement is spending a quid on a plastic wristband.
The case studies on the site also seem to have limited ambition – do we really need a campaigning organisation to get a café to install energy saving light bulbs?
Part of me thinks such campaigning is as much about signaling the members’ identity than changing businesses. Come along, take a pic and update your Facebook status. Members over-index on beards, MacBooks and lattes…
..but then again, I’m cynical. Good luck to you, Carrotmobbers.