¿Qué obstáculos han dificultado el éxito de tu proyecto hasta la fecha? ¿Cómo tienes pensado superar estos y otros obstáculos al ir desarrollando tu solución?
The obstacles were much related to a lack of institutional and financial support from existing institutions. We have invested a lot of energy trying to get support from government agencies, supra-state institutions (EU & OAS) and regional governments... without success. Unfortunately, traditional innovation support programs do not work well to back “social entrepreneurism”. This has forced our project lead to combine his dedication to the project with some other activities that allowed him to earn his livelihoods. All in all, this has slowed much our progress. The lack of full-time developers dedicated to building the system has also been an obstacle.
But… to overcome these obstacles, as Peter Pan once said… “all we need is faith and trust… and a little bit of pixie dust!” :-)
¿Cómo valoras el cambio en los sectores de medios de comunicación y tecnología de la información en la próxima década? ¿Cómo se adaptará tu solución a este entorno cambiante? ¿Cómo podría impulsar tu solución esos cambios?
As Tim Berners-Lee wrote in a recent article, "the ability to engineer successful [web] applications requires [an interdisciplinary approach and] a better understanding of the features and functions of the social aspects of the systems." This is precisely the approach that our association has been working with.
"The Web is changing at a rate that may be greater than even the most knowledgeable researcher's ability to observe it." Internet is about to impact on our political systems… and Kyopol would like to be at the forefront of that change.
El fracaso no es siempre una opción. Si tu solución no funciona en los dos próximos años, ¿qué otras aplicaciones de la idea podrías investigar?
Our project is configured as a multidisciplinary learning process, which aims to understand how to put the Internet on the service of our societies’ political development. It is clear that, in order to achieve it, well-designed platforms are required, which are able integrate offline participation processes with online functionalities. They must provide features that meet the needs and abilities of the citizens, and succeed in generating a pleasant experience of "civic engagement": it must be fun!!-.
That is why, if -for example- in two years we have been unable to extend the use of the system to the levels have set as objective, or we have failed to achieve the "small critical masses" that are needed to create an empowering participation... we will not consider it as much as a failure, but as a "still unfinished learning process". Everything we have achieved to that moment will be the basis for further learning and improving. Considering that, in the meantime, we will have been strengthening ties with other institutions and individuals who share our goals, we will surely be in a much better position to address the challenges we encounter.
That said, we should note that our plans include various alternative scenarios. These scenarios consider different ideas, features and possible uses of the system; and depending on how everything unfolds, we will give prioritize some of them over the others.
For example, one of the features the system should provide, is to be integrated with the formal and informal education systems. This way, it will promote a "hands on" learning of “participation” from the school. But this is not one of the functionalities that we have prioritized to be in the first alpha.
Many of these features are meant to support "business models" that generate revenue streams that will ensure the sustainability of the system. For example, we aim to provide specific functionalities for municipalities, which will facilitate their polls, surveys, deliberative and participatory processes, in a very cost-efficient way. A town hall would be willing to pay a subscription to have access to this functionality, and thus the operating cost of the system could be covered. Crowdsourcing, advertising, partnerships with regional institutions, micro-contributions... are some of the many possible mechanisms for self-financing that we are considering.
As shown in the "Spyglass Model" for the creation of Civic Software (search for it in the picture section), we consider “Sustainability” as a cross-cutting element that must be taken into account for all the dimensions of the project: from infrastructure for development and the base collaborative processes, to the institutional governance arrangements for the system. We consider that if the whole project is going to succeed... each of these dimensions must be sustainable on its own.
In the case that, after two years, not all dimensions are sustainable... this will mean that we have to continue learning and collaborating with others to achieve it.
Desarrolla la información proporcionada explicando la forma de mantenimiento de la financiación
As noted before, the system includes several features that provide channels of funding: partnerships, micro-payments, crowdsourcing, selling services, business platform, and so on.
However, what is really essential to promote the scalability and sustainability of the system is to minimize its operating costs. Kyopol administration is based on a model of "fractal" and multilevel governance, which allows the users to administer the system at the closest possible level to issues (each neighborhood, city or region). Users are also creating the content that keep the system alive. Thus, a small central team (in the style of the Wikimedia Foundation) would have the responsibility for channeling and enhancing collaboration, as well as to direct the improvement of Kyopol’s features and procedures.
Cuéntanos sobre tus alianzas.
We have established partnerships with institutions and individuals interested in contributing to our projects, including: University of Alcalá (ES), Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey (MX), Federal University of Ceará (BR), Inter-American Network on Electronic Government (INT), Escola de Formação de Governantes de Ceará (BR), Pan-European eParticipation Network (EU), Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (INT), 15M (ES), Independent Municipal Party (ES), MuNET e-Government (OAS), Catep - Social Intervention Cooperative (ES) + many individuals.
¿Con qué clase de equipo (ej., personal laboral, voluntarios, etc.) tienes pensado alcanzar los objetivos de crecimiento identificados en la sección Impacto social?
The project aims to operate with a minimal cost. Therefore, our process of collaborative design and construction has been structured to allow individual contributors to participate with just a small effort and without being remunerated. Currently just one person dedicated full time to the project. He is coordinating a "Core team" of 19 volunteers, and a "Pioneers Group” (alpha testers) with 57 members.
In two years we will probably need to have a "full time" team formed by 3 people, who will take charge of the development and support system.
Changemakers es un espacio de colaboración y apoyo. Especifica los recursos de la comunidad que necesitarías para el mantenimiento y desarrollo de tu iniciativa. [Selecciona todas las opciones aplicables.]
Inversión, Colaboración y redes, Ayuda gratuita (de tipo legal, financiero, etc.), Asesoramiento.
Especifica los recursos que podrías ofrecer para colaborar al desarrollo de otras iniciativas. [Selecciona todas las opciones aplicables.]
Investigación e información, Colaboración y redes, Innovación e ideas, Asesoramiento.
Explica con más detalle las necesidades u ofertas que has mencionado anteriormente o sugiere categorías de apoyo no especificadas en la lista
Our fundamental profile is "multi-disciplinary activists and researchers", and thus we could provide to the Ashoka network the items that have been listed.
With regard to our demands... they indicate what we now mainly need: some minimum investment levels and the tremendous visibility and "networking" possibilities that being a member of the Ashoka network provides. We are open to collaborations of all kinds (we have already identified several projects in this call that would be similar or complementary to ours, where synergies could be exploited (Bottup, FixMyCity, Eudemocracia...)).
We could also benefit from the advice and strategic guidance that other network’s members could give us, as well as specific support in areas where we do not have much expertise (legal...).