Government of Canada to Launch First PlaceSpeak Consultation

This winter, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) will be the first federal government department to use PlaceSpeak for consulting with the public. This pilot project provides an opportunity for residents to contribute feedback to decision-makers and help shape how the Ottawa River watershed is managed in the future. Nancy Pawelek, Government of Canada Free Agent on assignment with ECCC, shared her insights on PlaceSpeak’s potential at the recent Policy Ignite! event in Ottawa.

“We’ve chosen PlaceSpeak to host our online public engagement for the Ottawa River watershed because of a few unique features that seemed to be a good fit for the needs of our study – like the way it links digital identity to geo-location, which will let us analyze whether sentiment varies in different parts of the watershed,” said Pawelek.

3 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid in Online Citizen Engagement

From local governments to the private sector, organizations are increasingly recognizing the importance of online citizen engagement. Supplementing in-person forms of collecting public input (e.g. town hall meetings, public hearings) with online methods is crucial for reaching a more diverse audience and making the process more convenient for participants. (Not convinced? Read six reasons your organization should start doing online engagement.)

Now that you’ve decided to start consulting with the public online, how do you get the most out of the process? Here are three common mistakes to avoid.

FWD50: Canada’s Digital Government Conference

From November 1-3, 2017, PlaceSpeak Founder and CEO, Colleen Hardwick, will be chairing the 50 Months: Government as a Platform track at FWD50

FWD50 is a three-day conversation on digital transformation bringing together citizens, the public service, elected officials, technologists, and innovative thinkers from around the world. The 50 Months track presents brief “lightning talks” on specific innovations within government, from problem identification to solution execution and what lessons were learned in the process.

In Conversation With: Kyle Bozentko

Each month, PlaceSpeak presents a Q&A with experts in public engagement and civic technology.

This month, we spoke with Kyle Bozentko, Executive Director of the Jefferson Center. Kyle brings over a decade of civic engagement, public policy, and political organizing experience to oversee the strategic and organizational development of the Jefferson Center. He received his BA in Political Science and Religious Studies from Hamline University in Saint Paul and his Masters of Theological Studies from the Boston University School of Theology with an emphasis on sociology of religion and politics. Kyle also serves on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Public Participation USA, the Coalition on Recovery Investment, and on the MNsure Health Industry Advisory Committee.

CVRD Wins Award For Regional Approach to Citizen Engagement

Today, the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) was awarded the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Community Excellence Award, Best Practices in Organizational Development & Improvements, for their region-wide approach to citizen engagement.

Since January 2017, the CVRD and its member municipalities (City of Duncan, Town of Ladysmith, Town of Lake Cowichan and Municipality of North Cowichan) have used PlaceSpeak for engaging with residents in the region. From dog bylaws to housing affordability, residents only have to sign up once to be notified of new consultations from the CVRD and their municipality, on an ongoing basis. PlaceSpeak’s unique geo-verification technology also empowers governments to consult exclusively with residents within their jurisdiction and spatially segments the feedback data collected, allowing for nuanced comparison of public opinion across different communities.