Luís Otávio Felipe Ribeiro

Ashoka Fellow
São Paulo, Brazil
Fellow Since 2012


This profile was prepared when Luís Otávio Felipe Ribeiro was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2012.
The New Idea
Recognizing that Brazil is at a ripe stage for social innovation, Luis is transforming the culture of philanthropy and individual giving in order to ignite the rise of micro-initiatives and spread collective social change. By inspiring individuals to donate to social projects, Luis is changing this mindset and thus strengthening the citizen base in Brazil.

As a first step in fomenting this change, Luis has created Catarse, the first crowdfunding platform in Brazil. Tapping into Brazil’s social media craze, this platform mobilizes citizens to be more active in the citizen sector, thus stimulating people to believe in new ideas and do what they love. While this tool does exist in other countries, Luis differentiates Catarse from former crowd funding platforms by catering the online site specifically to an audience that does not have philanthropic habits. Catarse allows citizens to post their start-up social projects and invite friends to join an online community in support of the project. As each project on the site must specifically explain the amount of money needed and how it will be used, viewers have a clear idea of how the money will be spent and the impact it will have.

After just a year and a half, more than 30,000 people have supported social and cultural projects via Catarse, donating over US$3 million for approximately 250 social projects. At a national level, Luis plans to increase the number of projects and supporters to reach more Brazilian cities. Most importantly, Luis sees the crowdsourcing platform as the first of many “democratic-inspired” ideas he will launch. He intends to use other crowd-solutions to spread the culture of individual giving and to create a world in which every citizen has the ability and confidence to make change.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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