Next Big Things - Markets Everywhere/Coordination Machines
Karmabanque is a market for corporate social responsibility and 'smart boycotts' (ie, boycotts + short selling + gains redistributed to stakeholders who realize losses from a corporate's actions). Very interesting stuff - highly recommended.
This realization doesn't fully capture the power of the market mechanism - information revelation - because it relies partly on an explicitly constructed rather than implicitly revealed 'boycott index'. Room for improvement.
Brilliant! I think there's room for lots of innovation as people move towards associating consumption with personal values. Will be interesting to see how the market responds to the needs of our post-industrial society. Ironically, this is reversing the tide upon marketers, who have been trying to build brands around making consumption a substitute for happiness etc and shifting away the focus of the brand from the tangible benefits or value props. The post-consumerist buyer is here, and she wants her tall latte only if it's made from fair-traded, organic coffee beans, served by a local mom-and-pop store in her neighbourhood that hangs anti-Bush signs on the front door. Of course, there's her counterpart somewhere living in the bizarro world, aka somewhere down in Jesusland :-).