Beyond Words's latest challenges
Beyond Words's latest prototypes
Prototype 4: Overview of existing dialogues
This idea enables politicians and clerks to easily get an overview of all the ongoing dialogues that the district is having with its residents. If a politician or clerk wants to have citizen dialogue about a certain topic, they can use the platform to search for summaries of previous dialogues, find upcoming dialogues and connect with the responsible person for the dialogues. This way politicians and clerks can benefit from all the dialogues that are currently being held in the district and put the gathered insights to a good use. During our research we felt that the opportunity of collaboration between clerks and politicians regarding citizen dialogue is yet to be explored.+1
Prototype 3: Education Package
The education package is designed for (newly elected) politicians who feel like they want to learn more about citizen dialogue. In the image we see an example of Sara, a newly elected politician in Skärholmen. The education package helps Sara to learn everything about citizen dialogue. She joins the citizen host during their activities, attends youth club meetings, talks to people on the street about their views. Hopefully Sara can then present the insights that she gathered to the other politicians at the board meeting!
While we realize that not every politician has the time to do as many activities as Sara in the example, we do feel that politicians can benefit from the expertise of the clerks who interact with residents on a daily basis. They can share their insights with the politicians on how to have fruitful citizen dialogue with the residents of Skärholmen during the open sessions before the board meetings and at other events. The education package also underlines the importance of outgoing politicians who are visible and approachable within the community.
Prototype 2: Dialogue as a mandatory step
This solution wants to underline the fundamental role of citizens in local politics. The main idea is that decisions can only be approved when citizens have been included in the decision making process through citizen dialogue. When a politician comes up with an idea, he/she presents it to the citizens in order to receive feedback for it. Once this has been done, the politicians can go over the feedback and make a decision. The dialogue must be well documented and transparent so that the politicians can refer back to the dialogue as a way to explain why that particular decision has been made. This dialogue could be done in several ways through meetings, online participation, votes or community boards.+1
Prototype 1: The Ideation Coach
This solution concerns every citizen that has ideas for the improvement of its district. The logic is to have a responsible person, the ideation coach, who will help and lead people with the development of their ideas in order to present them during a board meeting. If the idea does not fall within the responsibilities of the district, the coach will make sure the citizen gets in contact with the right office. In our opinion it is important to encourage residents to give concrete contributions for its district; the more they can contribute with real ideas and results; the higher will be also the local political engagement.+1