PlaceSpeak 2016 In Review
2016 has been a busy year for us here at PlaceSpeak. From innovating on our location-based citizen engagement platform, to launching in new cities across North America, we’re continuing to empower citizens everywhere to make a meaningful impact on their communities. Here are just a few of the things we accomplished this year.
1. Won two awards for our work with the Government of Yukon: We were honoured to be recognized with two awards, the Exemplary Implementation Award and Geospatial Excellence Award, for our contribution to the Whitehorse Corridor-Alaska Highway project. PlaceSpeak’s unique geo-verification technology was essential for determining where feedback originated along this 40 km stretch of highway, which is used by residents, tourists and for goods movement.
2. Launched in two new States in the USA, Alaska and California: We were excited to welcome Juneau, Alaska and Encinitas, California to the growing number of cities who are recognizing the importance of legitimate, authenticated citizen engagement processes. Since launching, we have rapidly built a base of users in both cities who are engaged with their local governments and decision-makers on an ongoing basis.
3. Continued NRC-IRAP support: The National Research Council of Canada (NRC-IRAP) continues to support the development of PlaceSpeak for the 5th year in a row. The funding for the “Green Dot” project enabled us to focus on the Participant value proposition, developing new Profile pages and redesigning the Neighbourhood pages (see below).
4. Launched new Activity and Profile pages: In continuing to develop a citizen-centric platform, we launched a new Activity page to make it even easier for users to keep up with the consultation topics that they’re following. The new Profile and Settings pages also make it convenient for users to change their personal and privacy settings at any time. Learn more here.
5. Redesigned Consultation Topic pages and Neighbourhoods: This year, we redesigned the consultation topic pages to include more visual elements, including real-time map visualization of poll results. We also built additional means of collecting feedback, such as the ability to comment on any informational resources (links, documents, photos, videos, etc.) We also refreshed the look of the Neighbourhoods pages (currently available in some cities). With these updates, all of PlaceSpeak’s public-facing pages are now mobile optimized and responsive to screens and devices of all sizes.
6. MPs got on board: Two Members of Parliament in Canada, Ken Hardie (Fleetwood-Port Kells) and Peter Julian (New Westminster-Burnaby), started using PlaceSpeak for engaging specifically with their constituents. We look forward to seeing more legislators engaging with voters on an ongoing basis on PlaceSpeak.
7. New and strengthened partnerships: This year, we strengthened our partnership with the Digital Identity Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC). PlaceSpeak was featured in one of DIACC’s Member Spotlights, and we’ve continued to collaborate on a white paper (to be published in 2017). We also established a partnership with eSolutionsGroup, a digital agency focused on local governments and other organizations. Contact us to learn how you can be a partner.
8. Shared our vision of legitimate, authenticated citizen engagement: Above all, we’ve continued to share PlaceSpeak’s unique vision all over the world. We kick-started the year with the inaugural BC Tech Summit in Vancouver, Canada. From webinars with NYU’s GovLab to the National Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation in Boston, PlaceSpeak’s mission to bring greater transparency and openness to the democratic process is impacting local governments and communities. This was further reinforced when market intelligence firm IDC recognized PlaceSpeak as an innovator in a new category: location-based smart city civic engagement. Our work is being recognized globally, and we’re continuing to innovate and change the paradigm around online democratic practices, digital identity authentication, and citizen empowerment.