Champion City Part 5: A comic book writer, city planner and data scientist walk into a room…

Jennifer Furioli
Jun 9, 2018 · 4 min read
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Team member Kathy Gilwit placing her name where she feels she has the most knowledge.
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Amelia Winger-Bearskin facilitating an exercise where we quantified types of public feedback during the development process.
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Behold! The world’s most unflattering picture. (I will gladly return the favor to the teammate who posted this via a future blog post.)
  1. We invest time to on-board new teammates. We have a lot of deadlines and public-facing activities related to this challenge. One’s natural inclination might be to throw new teammates into the thick of things, and hope they’ll figure it out along the way. Luckily, we realized early on that a 45-minute orientation explaining things clearly, then giving the newbie space and encouragement to ask questions (see item #1), would help us in the long run. As a result, our new team members have taken ownership quickly, and made many suggestions to improve our project beyond what we could have imagined.
  2. We have a Mayors’ Challenge project “cheat sheet”. The cheat sheet states our project goal, purpose of each sprint, responsibility buckets by team member, our timeline, upcoming deliverables, key findings, and so on. It is updated and redistributed to our full team whenever something major changes. Our entire team (even us wizened old-timers who have been with this project since the olden-days, Ideas Camp in March) reviews it regularly to ensure we are all following the same north star. By walking through it together, over and over again, we’ve been able to rapidly identify and rectify blind spots, spark new insights and so on…
  3. We get the whole famiglia together. A few weeks ago we realized that the government pros and the tech pros on our team weren’t spending enough time together. So we set up a two hour meeting to get the juices flowing between us all. (Hence: a comic book writer, city planner and data scientist walk into a conference room). The government team members took the time to really explain the city planning process in a jargon-free way to our tech team. In return, our tech team facilitated a helpful discussion around what kind of citizen engagement is useful to city planners and how immersive media tools might attract more of that useful feedback. We have included a couple of images from this insightful session below. In a future post, I’ll do a deeper dive into the specific individuals working on the New Rochelle Mayors’ Challenge project, including the comic book writer (who is adding a very special and fun component to our public outreach!).
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IDEA New Rochelle

Interactive Digital Environments Alliance (IDEA) is…

Jennifer Furioli

Written by

IDEA New Rochelle

Interactive Digital Environments Alliance (IDEA) is dedicated to promoting, developing, and maintaining a vibrant new Arts and Technology District working with the City of New Rochelle's Downtown Business Improvement District (BID).

Jennifer Furioli

Written by

IDEA New Rochelle

Interactive Digital Environments Alliance (IDEA) is dedicated to promoting, developing, and maintaining a vibrant new Arts and Technology District working with the City of New Rochelle's Downtown Business Improvement District (BID).

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