With cities seeking to involve diverse voices in city-making to get beyond “the usual suspects,” Vancouver urbanists Brent Toderian and Jillian Glover examine how cities in their region are finding new ways to increase civic participation.
If lectures don't work -- if the listener doesn't hear it and the lecturer doesn't get the results that it's supposed to generate -- then why do we use a lecture model to run public meetings? And if lectures don't work for students -- who, at least in theory, have the threat of a bad grade to give them a little extra motivation to try to learn -- why are we surprised when our residents and our elected officials don't learn or deeply think about the things that we're trying to get through to them -- or that our residents are trying to tell us?
What difference do we make for the businesses and citizens who ultimately pay our salaries? And how do we gauge the difference that we make? For the last seven years, MindLab has been very keen to gauge the effect of the work that we do and it goes a long way back. Already back in 2007, while we were in the process of defining how MindLab would conduct its work, we were paid a visit by David Hunter. Hunter is recognised for his work on the gauging of effect and on change theory in the U.S.A. He has also worked with a number of organisations in Denmark. He helped us to develop a theory of change as well as indicators and the tools to with which to measure them. The result was an impressive chart.
In Chicago, that jumble is coming together to become one of the country’s strongest civic innovation centers, and it hasn’t been by accident. The Smart Chicago Collaborative (Smart Chicago), a small civic organization that’s dedicated to improving the lives of people through technology, is working at the center of Chicago’s civic innovation scene. Through its unique leadership, structure, and strategies, Smart Chicago has been able to develop and align key networks of people with policies and programs in order to produce results. The organization is a model for cities to capture civic innovation’s energy and use it in new ways to improve urban life.
"We are seeing technology-driven networks replacing bureacratically-driven hierarchies," says VC and futurist Fred Wilson, speaking on what to expect in the next ten years. Check out the 21 innovations below.