Esta es una discusión sobre Kyopol System ("Symbiotic City"): the Internet as a catalyst for civic engagement and citizen's activation - ckyosei.org.
Some days ago we published a first version of our application for this competition (in Spanish and English), and we are excited that now, with the help of all of you, we will be able to refine and improve it. The project is in a critical period in its process of maturing... and the support of Ashoka, in the case we would be selected, could be very important to make it blossom.
Therefore, we are fully at your disposal. You can make us any question or give us any suggestion. We will be grateful for them.
At the association's website (http://www.ckyosei.org) you can find lots of news and additional resources on our project, as well as teaching and research resources about electronic participation.
Receive the kindest of greetings, on behalf of the association,
As part of our proposal we have included a series of videos (in Spanish). Here you have a brief explanation of what they consist of explanation:
Videos 1: Presentation of the project:
This video shows the Workshop where we launched the "Kyopol System's collaborative construction project". This event took place on June 21th at the University of Alcalá. The videos provide a lot of information on our project (http://www.ckyosei.org/hasta-nunca-jamas).
Videos 2-7: Electronic materials on Participation
This series of videos were produced as part of the didactic and divulgative efforts of the association. They explain in a dynamic way how civic participation is being affected by new technologies. The videos included are:
- Introduction: (e) Participation as Neverland.
- What is (e)Participation?
- What changes (e)Participation?
- The advent of "Civic Involvement"
- Activating the power of local (e)Participation
- Kyosei-Polis Project
Video 8: Introduction to the course on "Citizen Participation and Digital Media"
We tutored this course in collaboration with the COLAM. This video illustrates the attitude that our association uses to approach the phenomenon of electronic participation (http://www.ckyosei.org/?p=980)
We hope you enjoy. If you have any comments or questions about any of the videos... We are at your disposal. Greetings!
to make the content of our videos more accessible, we have started to include "subtitles" for them. By now, they are just Spanish subtitles that transcribe what is being said. We will need more time to translate them to other languages.
But thanks to Google translate functionality, that is integrated into YouTube, you can get an automated translation... that in most cases is good enough as to understand what is being talked about.
All the videos are now available in the Association's channel in YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/ckyosei).
In particular, we have included subtitles for the chapters:
- Introduction. (e)Participation as Neverland (see HERE)
- 10. The advent of "Civic Implication" (two videos) (see HERE)
- Soon: 09. What changes (e)Participation? (two videos) (see HERE)
We hope this will help you to get a better understanding of Civic Engagement in the XXI Century.
Linda Jakobsone, a citizen engagement project manager at PROVIDUS, the Latvian Centre for Public Policy (http://www.providus.lv/public/index_en.html) had a look at our project and asked us, in a personal communication:
"It seems very interesting though a bit unclear what would be the final result. I understand that one cannot know it now, but what gives the idea that this project will be the one to really make the change."
We will try to answer her here in the forum, to make it possible that everybody benefits from her question: What makes our project special, different from other that failed before?
We would like to mention three aspects that make our system special:
1. COMMITED VISION Since 2005 we have been reflecting on the fundamental characteristics of eParticipation systems adapted to the municipal government thanks to its focus on sustainability and on providing real usefulness to all actors involved in Public Participation. We have tried to transmit our ideas to public bodies. But the "usual suspects" involved in this projects (Government, Academics and Business) have proved to be too trapped in conflicting interests (cashing grants, publishing, PR focus) as to really create systems with real effect. So... we have the vision, which can be summarized as putting innovation at the service of Civil Society.
2. TEAM: Collaborative and Multi-disciplinary Bottom-up Construction To achieve this, Kyopol is being built "bottom-up", based on the visions of its future users, which are actively participating in its design and creation. This is our "Pioneers Group", currently integrated by more than 60 people from different countries and with different backgrounds, from 15M activists to politicians. They are contributing a creative multidisciplinarity. Our understanding of Public Participation is thus incorporating ideas from Abraham Maslow and T.E. Lawrence to create a new form of liquid public participation that scales exponentially.
3. ENVIRONMENT: We will run our pilots in Spain, where the 15M movement (the "indignados" of the #spanishrevolution) could be specially interested in using it. They could constitute the "critical mass" which then attract more people to use it, and so make the system draw the attention of the media and of politicians.
It is not clear this three factors will suffice to create the change we want to see. Actually, we are going to start very basic functionalities and simple use processes, and then keep improving the system.
But if our first beta release is not good enough... we hope at least to be more successful than other initiatives have done so far. And in the next iteration... achieve it! :-)
PS: Linda Jakobsone, by the way, has agreed to also join our "Pioneers Group". ;-) She will now contribute, with her expertise, to make Kyopol a success.
First of all I would like to congratulate you a very interesting entry.
You are writing that Kyopol system is going to be “…simple and intuitive. The feature will be aligned With The users' interests: They Will not Feel Like They Are Doing a "civic effort," But getting Informed and Taking Care of Things That are "worth" it and, at the Same time, having fun… “
My question is – how are you planning to achive this? How are you going to design the system to make people simply enjoy instead of having the feeling of making an effort?
Hola Piotr, ;-)
Thanks for your message. Let me extend a little the three parts of the sentence that you included, to ilustrate "HOW" these aims would be achieved.
1. Simple and Intuitive.
The whole system will be constructed with a focus on UX: we will provide a seamless user experience, that pays special attention to the "learning curve" of the different users. This is one of the areas where the help of our "Pioneers Collective", acting as our Alpha Testesr, will be fundamental: they will verify if the system's interface and procedures are easy to use for the kind of people they represent.
2. The feature will be aligned with the users' interests: they will not feel like they are doing a "civic effort", but getting informed and taking care of things that are worth it
Please have a look at our "Spyglass model" for Collaborative design and development of Civic Software. As ilustrated there, another fundamental axis of the system is its orientation to the different Actors using it and, specially, their specific NEEDS. System's functionalities and procedures are designed to support "business models", "enjoyment models" and "didactic resources" which are aligned with the necesities, with the needs, of the users.
Thus, the user is not really expected to do any things "for the system"; it is the system which does useful things for the user, facilitating the achievement of his/her valuable aims and tasks.
Kyopol is constructed around the concept of "Positive deviance": We do not expect to make an activist of each citizen, or an advocate of transparence of every politician. What we aim is to empower those that are already motivated and willing. By making them more effective, pursuing their specific aims... they will be able to "infect" other with their passion.
3. having fun
We have already mentioned our "Enjoyment models". Gamification, providing to system users "experiencies" that are not just useful, but also challenging, rewarding and enjoyable is a success factor for all "social networks" software system. For example, the project "Edgeryders", from the Council of Europe, will use an extensive use of "badges" and "simbolic prices" to motivate young people to perform "social missions". Systems of rewards, reputation and peer-recognition have proved to be very powerful in stimulating "online communities".
Kyopol will embrace this kind of mechanisms. With one additional plus: in Kyopol is all about caring for your city and neighbourhood. It's not about doing things online, but creating change in the "meat-world". Thus, the reputation and recognition that the system attributes to you... will probably mean you are getting more and more involved with real-world civic action.
There are few things more rewarding than meeting people that care about the same issues you care, and act collectively to improve the situation. The aim of Kyopol, with its "Enjoyment models" is to make easier that more and more normal people get to discover this.
I hope my answers have clarified your questions, somehow. :-) You can ask me further, if anything is still not clear.
привет Piotr, :-) (or "Cześć, Piotr")
Did my previous answer clarify a little bit your question? I have some additional information for you.
We just finished adding the spanish transcription to our didactic video:
09. What changes (e)Participation? (two videos: 9a and 9b)
And this means you can get the "automatic translation" to English that Youtube provides. It is not perfect... but I guess it will be possible to understand the most.
This two videos explain, with a lot of Paella and the help of some Magic Cauldrons and Tinker Bell, the kind of things that will become possible, once we get (e)Participation right.
By watching this video, I'm sure you'll understand much better why the users of such a system will feel it as useful and enjoyable.
Cześć Pedro :-)
Thank you for your response and detailed explanation.
I will have a look at the videos.
Good luck for implementing your ideas into practice!!
Last week the Kyopol System was presented in the Open Government Data Camp Camp in Warsaw, the World's biggest and most important Open Data event to date.
In this conference, and thanks to the intervention of Tom Steinberg, we were able to discuss with a member of Neelie Kroes' cabinet. Ms. Kroes is Vice-President of the European Commission, and is responsible for the whole "Digital Agenda for Europe" program. We were able to talk about our association's research about EU Strategies for the Advancement of (e) Participation in the last decade, and the problems they have caused for innovation in this field.
We gave him a copy of our article "The e-(R)evolution will not be funded. An interdisciplinary and critical analysis of the developments and troubles of EU-funded eParticipation", where suggestions are provided on how the EU could proceed in the future.
One of these suggestions is precisely that the EU should work with more flexibility, learning from organizations as "Ashoka", or even establishing alliances with them to develop their actions:
"To establish this incentivizing ‘innovation environment’, the EU should remain open-minded, act agilely and be willing to partner with any institution that can provide relevant expertise and capacities. For example, the kind of innovative mechanisms mentioned above, like fellowships for social innovators, competition-based funding, code-camps or conditional support for projects, could possibly be more efficiently developed by institutions like the Ashoka foundation, which already possess the infrastructure, processes and experience required to carry them out."
In a couple of days we will participate in the Workshop "Collaborative production of eGovernment services" organized by the European Commission in Brussels, where we will try again to share the results of our research.
PS: On our website you can read more about the "funny" circumstances that led us to meet the representative ot the European Commission:
Our previous message was sent several days ago, but it was "intercepted" by the "moderation filter" of ChangeMakers (which seems not to work as it should: guys, have a look at it). Today, after returning from Brussels, I was able to submit it again, and get it published.
The presentation we did in Brussels, which motivated a very productive discussion in the context of the workshop on "Collaborative production of eGovernment services".
You can have a look at our presentation here:
"CREATING THE SYMBIOTIC CITY: Bottom-up collaboration for the co-design of Civic Software"
In it, a community of Dinosaurs, Neanderthals and Insects... present our project and try to propose the EU to evolve their Innovation Funding Mechanisms, learning from initiatives like Challenge.gov, Ashoka or Code for America.
The presentation was recorded on video but... it will take time to publish it.
For any question you have... we are at your disposal. Just ask! Kind regards,