City Hall Fellows

Fascinating program, like the holistic approach of training recent college grads, giving them meaningful civic work that gets them engaged.

“Our Mission: Empower the next generation of leaders for America’s cities by (1) introducing the best and brightest recent college graduates to the inner workings of local government; (2) bringing their talent and energy to bear addressing the challenges local communities face; and (3) exposing them to meaningful careers in public service.”

Wholeshare Makes Group Buying From Farmers Easy

Great idea, connecting farmers to groups of people who want to buy local food. Kind of like Groupon for local food movement.

Amplify’d from mashable.com

Quick Pitch: With Wholeshare, users can easily pool their orders to purchase from farmers that only sell in bulk.

Read more at mashable.com

33needs: crowd sourcing investment for social entrepreneurs

“We think the securities laws around the world are outdated, choke innovation, and inhibit billions of dollars from flowing into the hands of social entrepreneurs. They need to be changed.

33needs is more than a website, we’re a movement to make impact investing an asset class that even our financially prudent Grandmothers would consider investing in. Audacious? Yep. Unrealistic? We don’t think so.”

Can Games and Gamification fix politics?

Article mentions the San José budget prioritization games that I participated in at end of Jan.

Amplify’d from www.huffingtonpost.com
Gamification is the use of game-thinking and game mechanics to solve problems and engage audiences, and is being used in fields as diverse as health care, education and advertising to create radical and profound behavior change. The first-ever Gamification Summit was recently held in San Francisco, and a question that was raised several times was, “Why can’t it work in Washington?” It can, and in some cases, already does.

Read more at www.huffingtonpost.com

Let’s hear your budget ideas, Innovation Games style – Sault Star

Let’s hear your budget ideas

By ELAINE DELLA-MATTIA, THE SAULT STAR

Updated 3 hours ago

Ward 2 Coun. Terry Sheehan wants the city’s finance committee to find a way to engage the public in the budget process.

Sheehan believes no one method of seeking public input is the answer, but believes various new techniques can be tried.

“I think we need to start a process now and continue it over the four years of our team and help it grow,” Sheehan said. “We’ve tried a bunch of things in the past, some with success, some without.”

Those ideas included public meetings, surveys and providing comment through web-sites.

Sheehan has spoken with a local facilitator who recently returned from San Jose Calif. where a budget review/civic engagement process was recently completed through games.

Gerry Kirk said people from all facets of the community were brought in and put into groups.

Each group was given money to “purchase” services for its community. Members had to determine how important the service was and to what level of service its residents wanted.

“They had to decide how to spend the money or reduce the levels of service in some areas to fund others,” Kirk said.

Facilitators and assistants observed the groups and jotted notes on what areas seemed to cause the great difficulty and what didn’t.

Those notes will be com-piled, along with the “spending data” of each group, into a report for the community’s city council.

Kirk said the program design is available and accessible and similar programs are used in business with Fortune 500 companies all the time.

Sheehan believes it’s one of several ideas that can be pursued by the city, with the recommendation of the finance committee.

He believes other avenues to examine are the use of Facebook and other social media sites, the Sault Ste. Marie Ratepayers Association, town hall meetings and both face-to-face contact and written submissions.

“There are ways where we could give people an opportunity for their voice to be heard in a casual setting that’s not always as formal as a council meeting,” Sheehan said.

He said he’d like to see other ideas developed by the finance committee and then adapted by council in time for this spring’s budget deliberations.

“There is never a wrong time to solicit for consultation in a democratic process,” he said. “We can start now and grow the process in the future. There may be some things we use now and others that we hold on to for the future, when the timing is right.”

Council has already been told some tough decisions will need to be made during budget deliberations and he believes that’s why it is even more important to dialogue with the community.

“We need to develop a vision and priorities for the community and determine how we’re going to fund them,” he said.

A write-up related to my proposal to have a budget prioritization games day with citizens.

Citizens of San José play Innovation Game® to prioritize the city budget

The start of a new year means budget time once again. Councillors have dozens, maybe hundreds of choices to make, and the tradeoffs aren’t often clear. It’s a daunting task to make those decisions, especially for new councillors. They want to better understand the priorities of citizens regarding key budget initiatives, but how in a time and cost-effective manner, in a way that people want to participate?

Engagement with a twist: the city of San José brought in community leaders last Saturday to try their hand at making budget decisions (Mercury News article). They played budget prioritization games, a variation of an Innovation Game® called Buy a Feature. Diverse groups of citizens sat at tables, each possessing play money to purchase items. The key is that no one has enough money to buy the items they care most about – they have to persuade others to pool their money together, and that’s the magic of the game. Each table group also had a list of reductions to choose from to free up money to spend, provided they reached unanimous consent to cut something, like the building of a new police station.

Read more at gerrykirk.net

Residents try hand at San Jose budget cuts via Innovation Games

I was at the event, working as an observer at one of the table groups. Article is a decent write-up of what took place.

BetterMeans – Open and Democratic Project Management

Open source-style project management tool

Malaysian Gov’t engaging citizens through social media

How has this changed the relationship between the people and the Government?

At the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, besides a website, we have set up Facebook and Twitter accounts to facilitate the ministry’s operations in the technology age. The ministry has been able to obtain direct feedback from the individuals we serve, as well as community activities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other stakeholders.

In fact, both the Minister, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and I have our personal twitter accounts to make ourselves available to the public as much as we can. We value and appreciate comments, feedback and input from our online followers and do our best to respond and engage with them.

To date, between us and the ministry, we have more than 15,000 Facebook friends and almost 6,000 followers on Twitter. Response in terms of accessibility by the public has been so encouraging that the ministry has gone further, and required each of its six agencies to set up its own Twitter account.

Through social media, the ministry has been able to promote and broadcast its events to a larger audience. Today, ministry personnel are able to tweet live at ministry events, and pictures are often posted on the ministry or the minister’s Facebook page, and later, the website.

These usually happen in real time, and often elicit comments and feedback from followers, sometimes with posts of pictures at the ministry’s events.

Social media has allowed the ministry to transmit information on its programmes and policies to the public, without having to wholly rely on traditional forms of media.

Example of a government incrementally taking steps in engaging the public through social media, tasting results and further increasing adoption.

Malaysian Gov’t increases transparency, accessibility through social media

Example of a government incrementally taking steps in engaging the public through social media, tasting results and further increasing adoption.

Amplify’d from thestar.com.my

How has this changed the relationship between the people and the Government?

At the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, besides a website, we have set up Facebook and Twitter accounts to facilitate the ministry’s operations in the technology age. The ministry has been able to obtain direct feedback from the individuals we serve, as well as community activities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other stakeholders.

In fact, both the Minister, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and I have our personal twitter accounts to make ourselves available to the public as much as we can. We value and appreciate comments, feedback and input from our online followers and do our best to respond and engage with them.

To date, between us and the ministry, we have more than 15,000 Facebook friends and almost 6,000 followers on Twitter. Response in terms of accessibility by the public has been so encouraging that the ministry has gone further, and required each of its six agencies to set up its own Twitter account.

Through social media, the ministry has been able to promote and broadcast its events to a larger audience. Today, ministry personnel are able to tweet live at ministry events, and pictures are often posted on the ministry or the minister’s Facebook page, and later, the website.

These usually happen in real time, and often elicit comments and feedback from followers, sometimes with posts of pictures at the ministry’s events.

Read more at thestar.com.my

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