PlaceSpeak provides a controlled, secure, privacy-protected, and transparent platform for organizations to gather public input on a wide variety of projects from a local community or wider geographic region. PlaceSpeak is citizen-focused, transparent, open and accountable. All data collected is from real people.
Our platform adds value to public consultation and engagement processes. This value is added through generating verifiable data to support decision-making by communicating with participants online according to their actual address and personal preferences. We help organizations gather defensible, geographically coded information to satisfy the need for public consultation and engagement.
The development of PlaceSpeak was influenced by the International Association of Public Participation [IAP2] Spectrum of Participation (pdf). The platform is designed to allow for genuine, open and transparent engagement that:
taps into the wisdom of the entire community;
can effectively engage, at different levels and at different times, all who want to participate in the engagement process (not just a selected segment);
satisfies people’s desire to be heard on their own terms and at their own pace and time;
increases the number of voices that are being heard;
each new consultation expands the base of users due to the people-centred networking effect;
is more inclusive and gives people a more equitable way to participate;
allows the community to weigh in on the definition of the problem and provide ideas for solutions;
allows the community to see how their voice is used in shaping outcomes in the overall decision making process;
re-defines the relationship between community and decision makers; and
over time fosters community pride and community well-being.
PlaceSpeak believes that to for a public engagement process to be valuable to decision-makers, participants should be accountable for the input they provide. To be accountable you have to be real; and to be real you have to verify that you are who you say you are. The incentive for residents to claim their place with PlaceSpeak is that they only have to do it once. Once a resident claims their place, they are able to participate on any topic of interest that is connected with their geographic location(s)of interest to you, according to the parameters of the consultation proponent.
Personal information collected from residents by PlaceSpeak—including physical addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses—is used to serve as a bridge between participants and the topics they choose to connect to. When a participant connects to a topic, s/he becomes a verifiable data point that can be counted to ensure that their input is recorded and heard. Participants are able to choose how their name and image are seen by other viewers. PlaceSpeak is not funded by advertiser and we will never sell your information to third parties.
As a key tool in the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality’s communication strategy for implementation of the Infrastructure Development Contribution Agreement (IDCA) and the public referendum that is scheduled for June 8, 2013, the NRRM has created a PlaceSpeak account.
Earlier this week, the Institute of Families launched their inaugural FamilySmart initiative that includes a Canada-wide public consultation called FamilySpeak that is using PlaceSpeak to gather input.
Nearly four students in every classroom of thirty in Canada struggle with mental health challenges and the majority of children are not receiving adequate care, the leading national child and youth mental health advocacy organization says to mark Child & Youth Mental Health Day.
“Approximately two million children and youth in Canada have mental health challenges, and many children feel that nobody understands them or cares about them,” said Keli Anderson, President and CEO of the Institute of Families for Child & Youth Mental Health. “Although input from families offers a critical resource to service providers and government in preventing and treating child and youth mental health disorders, families’ voices are rarely sought or engaged in a meaningful way. PlaceSpeak is a tool that helps us provide real verifiable data from families and can be presented to government and policy makers.”
2013 marks the third year the Institute of Families is leading activities across the country to highlight the urgent issue of child and youth mental health and the first to conduct a Canada wide online public consultation using PlaceSpeak. The FamilySpeak online discussions and consultations will also take place on the Institute of families’ new website, www.familysmart.ca.
Institute of Families founders Ms. Anderson and Dr. Davidson note that health care providers, researchers, educators, and business make their voices heard through professional associations. The Institute is working to do likewise with FamilySpeak for families, because of families’ unique point of view and valuable input in child and youth mental health.
“We are delighted that the Institute of Families has selected PlaceSpeak as the platform for their first Canada Wide FamilySpeak online public consultation,” said Colleen Hardwick, President and CEO of PlaceSpeak. “PlaceSpeak will be able to provide real data from participants regarding mental health issues in different geographic areas amongst children and youth, while ensuring privacy and security is maintained for those who want to participate.”
V2R is PWC’s premier event for emerging Canadian technology companies. Leading entrepreneurs and innovators—including Colleen—took the stage in a series of insightful and inspirational talks. The conference provided a great opportunity to forge new relationships and meet new potential business partners and fellow founders. This year’s event also featured a keynote address by Stewart Butterfield, co-founder of Flickr.
Here is a video clip that was recorded during the event, focusing on women in technology, including Colleen:
Women continue to be underrepresented in the Canadian emerging technology industry. Colleen Hardwick, Founder of PlaceSpeak, and others who attended our V2R conference share their views on why they feel this is.
Politicians, planners and policy makers can now be informed by forty years of comparative data on the changing attitudes of residents in the Metro Vancouver region thanks to the release today of the results of the 2012 Urban Futures Survey. The Technical Report results can be downloaded here (pdf | 3.6 MB).
This is the third in a series of geographically specific research studies that measures a number of issues important to residents across the Lower Mainland. Previous surveys conducted in 1973 and 1990 informed the Livable Region Plan and the Choosing our Future program. The 2012 survey updates and enhances the information available about public attitudes and experiences of the population over three points in time.
“I am not aware of any other urban region that has an extensive body of comparable information such as this available to aid the decision-making process.” says Ken Cameron, former Manager of Policy and Planning for the GVRD (Metro Vancouver). Cameron was involved in the 1990 survey as well as the 2012 version. “The Vancouver region’s success in becoming one of the most livable regions in the world was accomplished through concerted efforts of regional and local governments over many years, decades, in fact.” he said. “It is invaluable to have comparable data spanning nearly 40 years that can tell us what has changed—and not changed—in public opinion as the region has grown. The earlier surveys had an important impact on transportation and environmental policies, and the 2012 survey will undoubtedly offer a rich resource of information to planners and policy makers looking to the future”.
A unique aspect of the Technical Report is the comparison it provides with the results of earlier surveys. For example, provision of health care ranked 3rd in 1990 and 9th in 1973, while air pollution from industry was the top concern in both earlier surveys. This reflects the concerted action by government to improve air quality in the intervening years. Similarly, while preserving the natural environment was the most important priority for action in the earlier surveys, by 2012 it had dropped to 4th place, a result that could be attributed to efforts by government to improve water quality through upgraded waste water treatment, to give priority to solid waste reduction and recycling and to protect the region’s working landscape through creating the Green Zone.
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