Crowdsourcing Week Summit Tehran (CSW Tehran) which took place on May 20th, 2016 was the first crowdsourcing event in Iran. The summit was also the first global CSW event happening in the Middle East.
CSW Tehran took place at Iran National Library and was attended by over 250 enthusiasts of crowdsourcing. The event was kicked off with a speech by the CEO of Crowdsourcing Week Summit, Epi Ludvik Nekaj who gave his talk about the current stance of crowdsourcing projects around the world and the upcoming trends. During his talk, he stated that “crowdsourcing is about passion, skill and tangible sources.”
Dr. Hamidreza Habibi gave an overview of crowdsourcing in Iran and its challenges in the country. “in Iran, we should know how to build the online trust, so that more people would be willing to participate online,” said Dr. Habibi by pointing out the importance of building trust. Dr. Habibi is a researcher and entrepreneur in the fields of I.T and sports, and has written a thesis on “Designing a model of crowdfunding ecosystem based on shared value – the case of football”.
Osama Manzar, founder of the not-for-profit Digital Empowerment Foundation also delivered a memorable speech on the topic of Digital Empowerment for Millions. The New Delhi based foundation aims at spreading information with digital tools to all, to overcome information poverty in India. Over one million people have become digitally literate thanks to Digital Empowerment Foundation. During his speech, Osama addressed that “Iranians are young, educated, cultured, linguistically rich and beautiful, but sanction is the only barrier to growth.”
Junaid Iqbal, Managing Director of Careem, gave a presentation about the culture of its company and how its drivers helped the citizens in need during the recent suicide bomb attack in Lahore. Due to high number of casualties and the blood shortage the citizens of Lahore were asked for donations. At that time Careem’s drivers took donors to hospitals, and Careem waived its fares.
Finally Jeremiah Smith took the stage to speak on “Crowdfunding for Startups” and his company Startup Tracker which crowdsources information on up-and-coming business startups. CSW Tehran also featured three panels on “Crowdfunding and Regulatory Issues in Iran”, “Crowd Innovation and its Challenges” and “Global Challenges in Crowd Economy”.
Crowdsourcing is still a new concept in Iran, especially in the digital world, and events such as CSW can have a great impact on projecting the potential of such processes.