[Editor's note: below is a press release about a very cool and community-minded event taking place in Vancouver on Thursday, April 19 from 8-10:15am. If you think that there's a future in crowds then we recommend that you check it out].
Vancouver, BC – April 16, 2012. Ideavibes CEO, Paul Dombowsky, and PlaceSpeak CEO, Colleen Hardwick, will be speaking at a workshop in Vancouver this week focused on social media and the power of the crowd to make change happen in our communities and with community organizations as well as brands.
Understanding the power of the crowd and its ability to solve problems, engage citizens, build stronger market driven products, and fund change as well as start-ups, is necessary in this social media driven world. Crowdsourcing, although not new, is something organizations as diverse as global brands, startups, social enterprises and governments can use to make things happen with the reach of social media connections.
Ideavibes, based in Ottawa, and PlaceSpeak, from Vancouver, have both developed web based platforms for citizen engagement that allow cities, provinces/states, and federal governments the ability to effectively open their consultation process to the opportunities that social media and the web offer. During this workshop, both Dombowsky and Hardwick will demonstrate how their platforms are helping cities such as Ottawa and Vancouver broaden and enhance their engagement strategies to be more inclusive and effective.
According to Paul Dombowsky:
Consultation options that involve broader sections of our community benefit the process enormously. Often public consultations draw the same people who represent a narrower, less diverse sector of society. This can intimidate many ordinary citizens.
Adding online consultations through crowdsourcing to the process gives governments and brands tremendous richness and insight from a diversity of perspectives that can make for a more meaningful process.
The workshop will look the changing nature of public interaction with both cities as well as the brands citizens use on a daily basis. Willingness and desire to use online channels for this engagement has both positives and negatives for organizations and this workshop will help participants understand best practices and hear about the successes and challenges others in Canada and elsewhere are having.
According to Colleen Hardwick,:
Many people don’t want to go to a public meeting or have much to do with traditonal civic processes per se; being able to bring discussion online—and make it easy for people to connect with consultations online—will have a profound impact on the way we make decisions and develop public policy.
A July Forbes Magazines article by Haydn Shaugnessy noted that “Crowdsourcing will become top of mind for most companies as 2011 turns into 2012.” As an open innovation tool for not only companies, but also governments, crowdsourcing and social media together make social product development possible for organizations in the business to business or business to consumer spaces.
Masthead photo courtesy of kevinbeijing’s photostream on flickr