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Think Chronic Homelessness Can Be Eradicated? Wanna Bet?

"Why can’t we use the capital market to help produce social good?”

A lot of people dream about making the world a better place, but now you can put your money on it.

A website called Dreamstore.me allows consumers to purchase “futures” in plans designed to make the world a better place, whether it be by making the legal system fairer for all, providing medical care for all or eradicating homelessness.

Here’s how it works: Say you want to get rid of homelessness. You’re supposed to log on to the website and agree to pay a certain amount of money if that goal is achieved in a certain period of time.

If enough pledges are raised, the company sells these futures to investors who provide the capital to fund the homeless eradication project off the ground.

If the project succeeds, and homelessness is eradicated, you and the other “buyers” pay the money you’ve pledged to the investors.

The investors only get paid if the project succeeds in the allotted time. If, say, homelessness still exists by the time the project ends, you don’t pay anything.

Wall Street investors buy and sell futures for commodities, such as wheat or corn. The idea behind Dreamstore is to apply the same techniques to fund projects that help society at large.

“We want to transform social good into a consumer product,” Dreamstore co-founder Alex Schecter told The Huffington Post. “Why can’t we use the capital market to help produce social good?”

Schecter, a former stock market analyst, believes this method of funding social change is something both progressives and the free market should be able to support.

People who pledge the money pay only if the social goal is met and those who put up the money can profit from improving the world, he said.

“There are some big projects that government and philanthropy are not equipped to handle,” he said. “If someone is able to profit from social good, I don’t see a problem with that.”

Schecter’s partner, Guillermo MacLean, has a more succinct description.

“This is like Ayn Rand and Karl Marx having sex,”he told HuffPost.

Currently, the only Dreamstore project available to buyers is Kindness USA 2027, which plans to triple the level of kindness perception in the next 10 years.