WokenUp aims to become global “social network for good”
John Davis and Sean McMahon
May 23, 2019

Let’s do a quick inventory of the social media platforms:

LinkedIn is for your professional life.

Facebook is for your personal life.

Instagram is for your pretend life.

But what platform is for your positive life?

WokenUp might soon be the answer. The startup social platform, which aims to become the “social network for good,” will operate as a single source for individuals and organizations to do social and environmental good through charity and information sharing.

“Times are changing. With Generation Z and others being so socially active, we’re no longer happy just talking about pressing social and environmental issues: from Brexit to #metoo, climate change and beyond -- millions of us increasingly want to do something about it,” said founder and CEO Simon Puleston Jones.

WokenUp is looking to raise £250,000 on Crowdcube and has plans to launch by year’s end. As a direct competitor of Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, WokenUp plans to build its user base to 1 billion over the next decade. To achieve that lofty goal, WokenUp has incorporated the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) into its platform, enabling users to tag activity to specific, individual goals and track impact accordingly. Advancing the UN’s sustainability agenda could create an estimated 380 million jobs and generate trillions in economic activity, according to the Business & Sustainable Development Commission.

“People want to work for, buy from and invest in companies with purpose. WokenUp is specifically designed to enable companies to effectively communicate their corporate values to the public and to demonstrate the impact that they are making on today’s pressing social and environmental issues,” Puleston Jones said.

The digital footprint of some organizations is massive, so sometimes information on diversity, sustainability, ESG and other positive endeavors gets lost in a tangled web of websites and social platforms. This information loss is problematic because that kind of information is becoming more and more important due to the rising popularity of ESG investment strategies. WokenUp will help prevent such outcomes because its innovative design presents information by topic, not just as a newsfeed.

Puleston Jones knows how critical this loss of information can be because of his background in financial services. He is a former attorney for Barclays Capital and most recently served as CEO of FIA Europe, a trade association representing participants in the futures, options and centrally cleared derivatives markets.

If all goes according to plan, WokenUp might one day become the central clearinghouse for crucial information related to sustainable development. A prototype of the WokenUp app is currently available, and the startup is in extended talks with non-profit and corporate launch partners. The company’s business model will be to generate revenue from advertising, job postings and premium subscriptions.