Citizen Participation For The Digital Age
Why we’re building a digital platform for civic participation
As a citizen of any city, you daily see things that could be improved. Be it an idea to bring communities closer together, be it a mobility solution to avoid that commuters are all evening long stuck in traffic or be it an inventive way to restructure the queues at the town hall. All the citizens together form a powerhouse of collective intelligence. And no, nobody beats the wisdom of the crowd — even not politicians.
Every city wants to stand out from the rest. We talk all the time about smart cities, but how many times do we talk about smart governance? Indeed, citizen participation is almost non-existing. Which medium do cities offer their citizens to talk about their ideas?
Even in the digital era we’re currently in, we’re still using “pen and paper” to submit our ideas in order to improve life in our own city. Or at least, you have to fill in a form, including all your identity details. All this red tape makes that citizens are no longer engaged to participate.
That’s where CitizenLab comes in
CitizenLab is a civic engagement platform on which citizens co-create their city. It facilitates a two-way communication between the city government and its citizens through citizensourcing and crowdgovernance.
Our mission is to shape citizen participation for the digital age.
CitizenLab makes it as easy as 1, 2, 3 to come up with an idea, post it, interact on others’ ideas and upvote their personal favourites. Thus, the wisdom of the crowd decides on which ideas will be discussed in the city council. This principle is called citizensourcing, on which we based us for our motto:
Diverse inputs drive superior solutions.
The local government uses CitizenLab in its turn to let its citizens participate in its policy through crowdvoting. In other words, we democratise decision-making by allowing the citizens to vote on their preferred solution via anonymous polls. We, at CitizenLab, believe that this form of crowdgovernance is the future of decision-making for smart cities: more democratic, more transparent and more collaborative.
We use a sleek design that focuses on simplicity to give a lightweight user experience. On the CitizenLab platform, it’s the content (the ideas) that matters, not your identity. We won’t ask you for your address or your profession. Instead, you will get an invite to access your city’s Lab and a first-time sign-up is the only necessity that separates you from having the city at your fingertips. We want to get rid of all the superfluous bureaucracy that characterizes today’s citizen participation. CitizenLab leverages today’s existing technologies to form dialogues between the city and its citizens.
Our SaaS solution for innovative cities has a subscription-based model. We just released our beta version and we’re looking for exclusive partnerships with cities to roll out our civic engagement platform in their city. If you’d be interested or want to know more about this offer, don’t hesitate to send us an e-mail at email@example.com.
Hope to hear from you soon,
Wietse & Aline (Founders of CitizenLab)
>> Learn more about CitizenLab at http://citizenlab.co.