UC Berkeley’s hub for all things Crowdfunding


UC Berkeley’s The Crowd Empowered Organization introduces strategies that teach corporate decision makers how to transition from traditional and costly marketing strategies to becoming a “crowd empowered organization” by engaging a broad base of current and potential customers in a broad range of experiences.

In this unique program, some of the world’s leading experts in crowd empowerment will share their insights as well as demonstrate strategic approaches and best practices on how to use the power of the crowd. The course will be taught through observation of current and historic trends, data analysis and case studies of such major brands as Coca Cola, Procter & Gamble, American Express, Condé Nast and Dodge—major corporations that have already launched successful crowd empowerment campaigns.

Participants will learn how to harness the wisdom of the crowd for financing through crowdfunding, product development and testing, market research, and open innovation. They will learn new ways to:

  • Improve social media reach and enhance brand perception
  • Understand opportunity of social network analytics and how drawing upon the wisdom of the crowd takes data deeper
  • Identify key concerns of your intended market without running expensive focus groups
  • Gain customer buy-in for product launches
  • Decrease R&D costs and new product/technology risks while increasing access to innovative and market validated products and services
  • Increase employee and community engagement through co-funded crowdfunding campaigns of corporate social responsibility initiatives


The Crowd Empowered Organization is designed for corporate professionals responsible for major brand and marketing strategies and exploring emerging strategies to further enhance their consumer engagement initiatives, deepen brand positioning in the marketplace, and improve both local and global corporate social responsibility initiatives.

This course is geared towards

Marketing strategies and plans: to improve the overall effectiveness and return on campaigns, decrease market research costs by letting the crowd validate market demand, and improve engagement with prospective and future customers.

Innovation and new product development: to decrease commercialization and market research costs through crowdfunding campaigns and out-sourced R&D centers, and to use enterprise crowdfunding platforms to provide early and risk-free means of market concept testing of new products and technologies.

Social responsibility initiatives: to grow visibility and overall brand building power, increase community engagement through philanthropic efforts, refine measuring of ROI on philanthropy, and improve the effectiveness and reach of sponsorships.

The Program

The Crowd Empowered Organization is designed to give you an in-depth experience and understanding of how the collective wisdom of the crowd—via crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, and crowd voting—can enhance overall organizational effectiveness while reducing costs and time-to-results. You will explore each of the following topics for its impact on your organization and your customers.

No schedule

The Faculty

Richard Swart
Richard Swart is the world’s leading expert in crowdfunding and crowd empowerment. As Director of Research for UC Berkeley’s Program for Innovation in Entrepreneurial and Social Finance, and a leading global expert on crowdfunding, Richard is an experienced strategist, academic, startup co-founder, and a board member or advisor to several firms in the crowdfunding and web application space. He has particular interest in the intersection of crowdfunding and lean startup methodology, and international expansion of crowdfunding. He was lead author of a major white paper for the World Bank on the potential impact of crowdfunding and co-author of the UK Alternative Finance Market Study release with Nesta, UC Berkeley and the University of Cambridge. He has worked with a number of startups and has become a key organizer in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. He is a former COO of an Internet startup that had a successful exit in 2010. Richard's work has been covered by major publications including Inc., Forbes, Entrepreneur, Washington Post, LA Times, NPR, CNBC, BBC, Financial Times, and many more.
Lee Fleming
Faculty Director of the Coleman Fung Institute of Engineering Leadership at UC Berkeley, Lee is a global authority on innovation. He teaches engineering leadership, and his research investigates how managers can increase their organization's chances of achieving innovative breakthroughs through different types of collaboration, the integration of scientific and empirical search strategies, and the recombination of diverse technologies. He is currently using big data techniques to study innovation, entrepreneurship, knowledge flow, science policy and the impact of non-compete agreements.

Invited Speakers

No speakers

Getting and Staying Here

No Accomodations

Sponsors & Sponsorship

Sponsorships are available. Contact Don McCrea for more information at or (510) 643-6908.



For more information