Local governments have a wealth of knowledge to share. We know that tapping into the collective intelligence of our 300+ local governments, organizations, and partners we work with could result in a profound collective impact.
To harness the power of our network across the world, we’re building a brand-new community platform. Because if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s that many of the lessons, challenges, and best practices cities come across while engaging their communities are quite similar. We know that local governments and organizations can learn from each other, collaborate, and overcome challenges, shaping the future of community engagement and GovTech worldwide. With our platform, we aim to promote interaction and build a thriving community of like-minded governments and partners.
Let’s take a look at some of the awesome features that bind this community together.
1. Connect with like-minded people
Connectivity between members is key to a healthy and solid community, as it fosters inspiration, a deep sense of belonging, and growth. The platform is a safe space to share experiences, ask questions, and learn. The community members page enables our global community to get in touch with one another and share relevant information and updates about their participation projects. Recently, one government official from the Municipality of Nieuwkoop, the Netherlands was surprised to bump into an acquaintance from the Municipality of Waddinxveen, the Netherlands on our community platform. While the official was just starting a new project, the acquaintance already had plenty of experience engaging residents. They are now able to exchange ideas, work collaboratively, and mutually support each other to devise solutions to challenges.
2. Learn from the community
Everyone comes with their unique experiences. By forming a community, you are creating a golden opportunity to learn from others. You can share tips, tricks, and best practices with your peers. And don’t sweat it, people are also interested to hear about your ‘failures’ because the lessons you’ve learned might help them avoid specific pitfalls. Lessons learned can concern any mix of practical topics, such as the benefits of certain engagement methods or tips on how to maximize engagement. A community platform participant from the Municipality of Schagen in the Netherlands raised the question of how others have effectively used their platforms to gather valuable insights for their regional energy strategy. In addition to gaining valuable insights directly from other local government leaders, we were able to refer them to our platform’s knowledge base. This contains tools and in-depth guides on various relevant topics, exclusively available to community members.
3. Share with the community
Sharing is caring, and we know our community members care a great deal. Our community platform creates a space to share experiences between people who otherwise may not have had an opportunity to connect, for instance, because of language barriers, time zone differences, or geographical distance. We are now more connected than ever, which means that tips & tricks from one part of the world can easily be shared with another. Our built-in translation tool offers participants the opportunity to easily communicate across different languages. This allows participants to share tips and best practices, as well as weigh in with opinions on articles and case studies, leading to more genuine conversations. In forum groups, community members are able to support one another with technical questions and start discussions on, for example, effective ways to set up a more inclusive community engagement project. In our forum groups, we also ask community members to share their feedback on how they see the future of the CitizenLab platform. We strive to incorporate all input into our product roadmap which is accessible to members of the community.
Let’s harness the power of communities
Our global community is immensely valuable to us, but also to the local governments and organizations that are a part of it. We’re excited to see our community grow together. Stay tuned.