The most exciting social justice idea I’ve come across in ages is happening right here in San Francisco. It’s called Carrotmob, as in carrot as opposed to stick, because the basic idea is to reward businesses for socially responsible behavior. Specifically, the organizer engages businesses in a bidding war–e.g., which one will commit the biggest percentage of one day’s proceeds to making environmental improvements to the property?–and promises to send a crowd of shoppers to the highest bidder on that day. In the first campaign:

[Brent Schulkin] went to 23 convenience stores in San Francisco and identified the store willing to make the strongest environmental improvements in exchange for a large number of new customers coming and spending money. Carrotmob was born when hundreds of people came to the store at the same time to buy anything they wanted. The “mob” more than tripled the store’s daily revenue in a few hours, and that revenue is how the store financed an energy efficiency retrofit of their lighting system.

I’m joining, but that’s not enough. I want to organize a Carrotmob. How about a congregation-based Carrotmob group?

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