For our friends at MobileActive.org, the idea of using mobile technology to support social change among people and organizations around the world is nothing new. MobileActive.org has long been on a mission of connecting citizens; providing resources to NGOs that will enable them to enrich and serve their communities. Many may be surprised to learn that in today’s technologically advanced world, there are still roughly 5 billion global citizens without reliable internet access. However, as mobile phone usage continues to rise, resources like the MobileActive.org’s new Mobile Media Toolkit, may just be the answer these offline communities need to activate their public engagement efforts.
We recently learned of a cool new interactive mobile app designed to initiate the discovery of public spaces and their hidden potential for meaningful and fun exchanges between people and their cities. Revel turns sets of instructions, called challenges, into adventures and experiences that can be shared by friends or strangers. You can write your own challenges in any of Revel’s seven categories: Appreciation, Exploring, Fitness Traning, Games, Neighbors & Networks, Photography, and Storytelling. Players are simply encouraged to be creative with their interpretations of these fields! One main ground rule for the game: challenges have to take place in public space, such as a city street, sidewalk, or park.
As cities across the country add more bike lanes and introduce mentoring programs to easing congestion on the streets, and bike-sharing programs are popping up and becoming even more trendy in big cities like Austin, Miami, Philadelphia, Denver, Des Moines, and Washington, D.C., the debate over traffic laws and general etiquette heats up. The overall support of cycling programs in our country is strong, as many Americans understand the positive impacts to air quality, traffic congestion, etc. However, there is also somewhat of an unexpected ‘bikelash’ among some aggravated citizens when it comes to traditional ‘road rules’ vs. bicyclist courtesy and a cohesive safety standard for all commuters. Should all states operate as Oregon does, with its dedicated biker's section in the driver's manual, or Washington, with its statewide bike-route network? Should there be stricter laws enforcing bikers to stop at traffic lights just as drivers are required to?
This past summer in New York City, Nathan Maton, Dan Henry and Limor Schafman began to ponder the idea of creating a DCWEEK Street Games Fest after attending the Games for Change conferences. The creative trio realized that DC needed this kind of dynamic event combining fun, gameplay and exploring the city. Now that DCWEEK is upon us, organizers are in search of great games to bring this vision to life!
Inspired by Denver, Colorado’s downtown buildings and unique architecture, a group of school children, ages 8-11 years, from the local community came together this past summer to explore what it takes to build a real city. Metropolitan State College of Denver’s Art Department and the Denver Public School (DPS) district joined forces to offer students in the area a unique alternative to the typical sports and recreation type of summer camp through an new flagship art outreach program: Art Builds Communities (ABC).