We all want more say in our communities, but life and work can make it hard to participate. It can be difficult to engage in person or understand the trade offs required to meet the needs and desires of the most community members.
People need tools that everyone can use, that create space to dig deeper into choices, that allow them to learn about their own priorities and those of other community members, and that evolve in real time as their environments change.
We took this concept to communities to understand whether we could encourage people to identify their priorities, manage the conflicts that would almost certainly pop up, and deliver a result back to community members who joined in the deliberation.
What did community members tell us? Most important, that they wanted to reach people beyond the narrow group that usually participates - with easy-to-use, open, and transparent technology. They wanted more inclusive participation through tools that were fun to use and helped people visualize the choices that they could make. They also emphasized how important community associations are in making communities more livable and in giving people voice.
How it Works
Collab is a prototype built by Sidewalk Labs and Digital Public Square to help break through barriers and help people participate from anywhere, at anytime.
We designed the Collab to help people identify their priorities, visualize the trade-offs among their priorities, and encourage community members to consider these trade-offs when they make choices about how they want to use community space. In this prototype you're invited to choose and propose events that you’d like to see happen in public spaces, review trade-offs based on your choices, and then compare your choices to others.
Based on what we learn, we hope that Collab will eventually grow to an open-source tool available for everyone to use in their communities on the issues that matter to them. Read the launch post on Medium from Sidewalk Labs
Privacy is the default in Collab. You can use Collab without submitting any information about yourself and we do not store any information that can identify you.