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WikiRate

Full Title 

The WikiRate Project’ – Crowdsource Better Companies

Started on 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Coordinator 

CERTH, WikiRate e.V.
Embedded thumbnail for WikiRate
Making corporate behaviour transparent

WikiRate.org is a place where anyone can contribute information on companies and brands in a wiki-like manner (e.g. Wikipedia). WikiRate, however goes beyond Wikipedia with crowdsourced ratings and rankings of companies. These ratings and rankings are based on fully transparent metrics, sourced from real data. On this portal, citizens can be informed about what is really going on behind the scenes of different companies and also rate companies against each other on social, ethical and environmental aspects that are important to each of us.

Why is our project important? 

Companies affect us all. They define our politics, our environment, our personal lives, and our future. But few people know much about which companies are truly ethical, sustainable or socially responsible.
 
WikiRate is a community effort to make companies clear - Clear as in transparent, clear as in understandable and ultimately clear as in free of guilt. All of the WikiRate community want to live in a society where citizens can see what companies are up to, hold them accountable and even help them be more responsive and responsible.
 
To understand companies, two things are required: thoughtful, trustworthy articles to read, and good hard numbers for making direct comparisons.  WikiRate has both; the articles are the "Wiki" part, and the numbers are the "Rate" part.
 
Through greater transparency, WikiRate and its community will shed sunlight on what companies are doing. This will facilitate a race to the top through engagement with the most important stakeholders of companies, from investors, to journalists and ultimately consumers themselves. 
Watch WikiRate's video to find out more.

What are our goals? 

  • To be the place for information and comparisons about companies’ sustainability; 
  • To create community powered ratings of companies, engaging all public information to rank and rate companies by sustainability topics;
  • To be a meeting place for all stakeholders interested in information about companies, from investors, to journalists to the average woman on the street;
  • To affect change in the way business is done, showing both best and worst practice and encouraging a ‘race to the top’ in terms of industry and company standards.

Initiatives, tools and services we have already launched 

WikiRate.org is a platform which is being constantly developed to empower everyone to share and research information about companies’ environmental and social impacts. Currently information on company impacts is held in silos. This information is also difficult to access in a meaningful, standardized or comparable way.
 
WikiRate.org allows anyone to research Companies’ social and environmental performance using metrics that can be designed by individuals or institutions (NGOs, Academic departments). These metrics can then be scored and used to create ratings on topics ranging from Human Rights to Climate change. 
 
Currently WikiRate displays metric data on 4000 companies across important metrics. It’s the only place where all these metrics can be seen together in one place and used by the public to better understand companies.
 
WikiRate is a collaborative awareness platform that also allows experts on a particular topic to work with non-experts who are interested or concerned about a Companies performance to research metrics and ratings out in the open where companies can then be compared. WikiRate’s primary targets for awareness raising are students and NGOs. Anyone can run an online project to research companies on WikiRate – on a neutral data based platform.
 
You can see examples of past projects here: http://wikirate.org/Initiatives

Initiatives, tools and services we are still working on 

WikiRate strives to continue to develop the platform and stakeholder engagement further with the release of the full ratings system at the GRI conference in May 2016. WikiRate aims to bring together publicly reported information according to global standards that is currently held in silos or difficult to navigate pdfs. Through a combination of open data lobbying, crowdsourcing and data scraping WikiRate.org will be the number one place to find publicly available data about Companies’ social and environmental impacts. 
 
WikiRate will work increasingly to invite companies to disclose information directly on WikiRate.org; especially when information about important metrics and ratings are missing. People can influence which metrics should be considered important by voting on them and discussing them.
 
Finally through WikiRate’s API anyone can push or pull useful data from WikiRate.org for purposes of research, advocacy or teaching. This tool could also eventually be used for data based research that can influence governmental and non-governmental policy as well as company behaviour
 
Excitingly, WikiRate is becoming the first public repository to track company performance on global and local challenges from Human Rights to Climate Change out in the open rather than behind closed doors.
 

Who will benefit from our project? 

  • Advocacy groups can get wider engagement with ratings already produced and new ratings. Researchers and campaigners can engage the power of the crowd to facilitate online activism, and information gathering
  • CSR led companies can gain competitive advantage through showing that they care about their impact and are willing to be transparent in a race to the top
  • Academics/ students will have clear information in business schools to understand sustainability of companies. Not only can they use this information for research, but they can play a part in generating information as part of their research/ case studies
  • Employees of the rated companies can find out about their employee’s actions. This too will hopefully create pressure for the company to clean up its behavior.
  • Journalists can have access to clear ratings, which can supplement their understanding of companies’ perception and issues around company behaviour
  • Investors can have clear understanding of companies which are engaging with principles around triple bottom line, bringing insight to sustainable investing. Certain investors can lobby companies to change their behaviour based on WikiRate scores
  • Citizens can be better informed and can have a reference point for their interactions with companies, in the marketplace either as consumers, employees or in line with their own ethical principles

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