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Sue Braiden

Chief Adventure Diva, Adventures With the Estrogen Army

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What are the best tools for fostering citizen-led urban innovation, making it easy to identify needs, solve problems and share knowledge?

I live in a dying city. I want to do something about that.

More importantly, I'm interested in helping create a citizen-directed effort to:
• identify needs,
• solve problems, and
• share knowledge.

I'd like to help create an innovation launchpad that allows everyday people to work together through these 3 activities in a way that has a meaningful impact on social and economic problems in our city.

I recognize the power of simple technologies to fuel broad collaboration that makes it easier to look at other communities and ask:

• what works?
• how can we make that work here?

When I moved here I was lucky enough to be part of our current mayor's campaign team. Part of my job was to look for ways of integrating tools and services, like Baltimore's 311/CityStat, which have radically changed the way government services are tracked, deployed, and made more efficient, transparent and accountable. They make it easier for citizens to access services and add value, but are not really designed to put them in the driver's seat as the real innovators in creating healthier, more resilient communities.

I am interested in finding similarly simple and innovative tools that make citizen-directed community-building possible.

In particular, I am interested in these types of tools:
• discovery tools (things that make it easy to find what's working in other communities),
• collaboration tools (things that make it easy to work together to solve problems and share resources), and,
• broadcasting tools (things that make it easy to share what works more broadly).

Hence, the question:

What are the best tools for fostering citizen-led urban innovation, making it easy to identify needs, solve problems and share knowledge?

Thanks so very much for any insights and resources you are willing to share!

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    Jun 22 2012: Fritzie, I've been absolutely thrilled with the resources you've shared. Thank you so much!

    I've spent a fair amount of time today immersing myself in the IDEO.com IDEO.org and HDCconnect.org sites in particular, and am finding the storytelling based approach of the latter to be an excellent model for sharing knowledge products on economic issues. Just a brilliant wealth of resources here, and exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to come across.

    I can see making immediate use out of the HDC Connect platform as it offers a simple way to find natural allies and begin talking, sharing and drilling down into some reall rich knowledge products.

    Thank you!

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