For some time I have been mulling over an idea. I’m grappling with the complexity of the world in which we live and with the changes I can see taking place before my eyes. I’m working through what it means to work, to live and to make a difference to our families, our friends and our colleagues. And I am doing this in a practical way – in my work for SAP North America’s Premier Customer Network and also as a member of the board of youth not for profit, Vibewire.

I have been drawn to sites like Kickstarter.com and Kiva.org that transform the relationship between individuals and organisations (and amongst us as well) – and I like what they are doing and where they are going. All these things are starting to weave together in my mind, loosely, under what I am calling The Social Way. But is there an example?

No doubt you will have heard about micropayments – small transactions that, when pooled together add up to a whole lot. We see them everyday in our ATM withdrawals (press YES to allow us to charge you $2 for this transaction). But rather than having a micropayment roll into your general revenues, what if you could use that to do some good? How big could it go? What broader impact could make with micropayments?

In this TEDx talk, Chris Noble from travel insurance company, WorldNomads.com, talks about their Footprints program, and how in the wake of the Asian tsunami in 2004, that WorldNomads put the idea of micropayments to the test. By simply asking customers whether they would add a donation to their insurance premium, WorldNomads transformed and galvanised their customer base into something greater – into a community with a shared purpose. And that purpose was not just to have a good time – but to DO some good.

Listen to the story in Chris’ own words. It sounds very much like The Social Way … or at least one of the paths we can follow.