• Harry Sangree

4 HARD Challenges: The Power of Collaboration and the Pledge-1% Movement


The entire business model of SeaFreight Labs is based on the open-innovation principal that no single company has enough smart people, or all of the right people, to solve all of their mission-critical problems. This foundational tenet drives us to look outside for potential collaborators in all that we do. We look to the ‘global crowd’ as the source of expertise, innovation and creativity for our clients.

This worldview led us to join the Pledge-1% movement in May 2020 (read our press release here and our Pledge-1% blog posts here). The sheer number of 1%-pledgors and their great diversity excited us because we know the power of a large and diverse group to achieve great things when it focuses on a common goal. In this spirit, we pledged to donate at least 1% of our ‘product’ to global non-profits to aid their work on humanitarian issues.

After taking the 1% Pledge, we initiated two major projects to honor our product commitment: Habitat for Humanity (www.habitat.org) and World Vision (www.worldvision.org). Each organization is working on intractable problems where a solution would positively impact tens or hundreds of thousands of people. Both projects are soliciting the global crowd to find breakthrough ideas and solutions. We need solvers to engage in any of four different challenges that include:

  1. Seeking ideas for improved construction- and demolition-waste management: CLICK HERE. Submissions due by 11:59pm EST on 25 January 2021.

  2. Making homes with no foundations more typhoon and/or earthquake resilient: CLICK HERE. Submissions due by 11:59pm EST on 5 January 2021.

  3. Seeking ideas for affordable rural single-family sanitation solutions: CLICK HERE. Submissions due by 11:59pm EST on 12 January 2021.

  4. Seeking low-cost chlorine monitoring for rural piped-water systems: CLICK HERE. Submissions due by 11:59pm EST on 4 February 2021.

The due dates for submitting solutions to the challenges are in January 2021. Prizes to winning solutions are up to US$25,000.


Participation in the 1%-Pledge movement emboldened us to seek strategic marketing collaborations with global innovation groups totaling over 1,000,000 members. Participating promotion partners include InnoCentive (www.innocentive.com), Engineering for Change (www.engineeringforchange.org), HeroX (www.herox.com) and the Maker Community (www.make.co). Each of these organizations has contributed time and resources to give all four challenges a better chance of success and to help SeaFreight Labs with honoring of our 1% Pledge.

As of 11 November 2020, over 440 people have registered as potential solvers in the 4 challenges. They hail from over 45 countries. Each one has the potential to be the “elusive solver” with a new answer to an intractable problem.

It is truly amazing what our commitment to the 1% Pledge has engendered. We are eager to continue our efforts to impact the world in collaboration with the global crowd and the Pledge-1% movement.

Headquartered in New Jersey, USA

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