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20 trillion unused and forgotten dollars that can be used to immunize the world

20 Trillion dollars is waiting for social entrepreneurs to innovate and ideate with.

Photo of Kevin Crowe
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In 2008 when the financial crisis hit banks went away from focusing on mortgages and instead focused on getting people to use credit cards.  They incented people with extra travel points or loyalty point programs to sign up.  We went from 67% of transaction on a credit card with a loyalty program in 2008 to 92% today. This has created a massive amount of loyalty program value.  It is estimated to be 20 trillion dollars.  Yet 73% of Americans don't know how many points they actually have.  We know about 2/3 of consumers want to deal with brands that make social good happen.  We could immunize every person on the globe under 15 years old for 250 billion.  In all the problems we will need to solve from COVID-19 this seems like a massive win/win/win.  Have people be able to donate or associate their loyalty point programs to solve issues like immunization.  We have used this model to make over 680 flights happen for people at end of life. Aeroplan has had people donate over 800 million miles as a Canadian loyalty program.  There is massive scale, massive opportunity here.  This resource screams for innovation :) 

What is the need are you focusing on?

With 20 trillion in value we could focus on many global issues.  Right now we could use this resource to ideate and innovate around COVID-19 issues 

Which type of submission are you sharing?

  • Identifying a gap that needs to be addressed

Describe the business pivot or adaptation in 3-4 sentences.

The pivot is for loyalty point programs to partner with social enterprises and social entrepreneurs so that they use their loyalty points to donate to solve problems such as global immunization

Do you plan to implement this solution?

  • Yes

Describe the impact that this solution will create in the world.

This solution could inoculate every person in the developing world plus solve several other problems

What is the name of your business or organization?

Give A Mile

What does your business/company do? Whose needs does your business/company address? Who do you serve?

Give A Mile has people donate their travel loyalty miles to make flights happen for people with loved ones in palliative or ICU care facilities. You donate miles, and I donate miles and we have brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, etc have the chance for a last visit

What is your profession?

My day job is EVP of Strategy for a tec company. Give A Mile is a passion project and 100% volunteer organization

Where are you located (country)?

Calgary, AB Canada

Where are you located (region)?

  • North America

What industry is your business/company in?

  • Non-Profit/Philanthropy

How many people does your business/company employ?

  • 0-10

How old is your business/company?

  • 5-10 years old

Which classification describes your organization/business?

  • Social Enterprise

What kind of stakeholders and partnerships are needed to pursue this solution?

  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- NGOs
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Grassroots/Community Groups

Do you need help building partnerships and finding partners?

  • Yes

If Yes to the above, please share 1-2 sentences describing the specific help you desire.

I need help getting knowledge of this resource to social entrepreneurs and loyalty point programs

What do you think are the main barriers to implementing this solution?

Lack of energy on innovating and ideating in this space

If you are currently working on a pivot, what have you learned so far?

This model is extremely powerful and consumers love it

Are you aware of any open source efforts, hackathons or other collaborative efforts related to your solution? Are you participating in these efforts?

None that I am aware of

Website URL


Join the conversation:

Photo of Isaac Jumba

Welcome to the challenge Kevin Crowe ! Great reading through your idea about repurposing loyalty points for good. I'm curious, what aspects of this idea have you already tested? Where are you seeing to be most challenging part of executing it?

Photo of Kevin Crowe

We have tested it with Give A Mile. We have provided 680 flights for people to fly and be with their loved ones who are at end of life. Point users/donaters love the model and love the idea. The most challenging part is awareness of the model itself. Getting connected to the point programs and educating them on this approach and how powerful it is for their brand in the ability to story tell around social good. The second biggest challenge is the technology/application UX being setup for people to be able to donate their points.

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