System Designer,

This conversation is closed.

Would you take your camera or phone around your neighborhood/city, document problems, mail others, track and act for a resolution?

I believe what keeps us from getting the best out of our governments is our busy schedules. We do not have any more room for community meetings, endless discussions and disagreements with different points of view.

The social status we're in only is because the number of people willing to engage with a positive outlook is way smaller than the number of people who actually engange in corrupt and egocentric behaviour.

I trully think it can be turned around so quickly that a dramatic change could be on the way.

I want to provide the citizens of my city/state/country with a web application that can be the meeting point for such changes.

My question is, if you had access to a social media network that could provide a way for you to easily describe what you believe is a problem, share with your friends, put an objective to it, like, gather 500 people for a lets say:

Conscious driving campaign
help do some landscaping in your kids public school
Change a law
propose a new public service, and so on.

Would you put time into it? Knowing that a very capable group of volunteers (lawyers, public prosecutors, engineers, architects, educators) would take it further, turning it into a legal petition to be publicly presented to the authorities for a resolution, would you do it?

Either by documenting and creating an online pledge for either a claim or for action, or participating in other members of your community, city, state or country' pledges?

That is our goal, not opposition to the government, but a very strong right arm, a crowd with deep knowledge of all matters that affect us, that can teach one another, learn, discuss, deliberate and take action to make the world a better place for our kids.

This idea has been bugging me for over 10 years and I'd like some opinion from people from different walks of life, different social status, different countries, religious belief, to feedback me if we have this very strong bond that can turn things around and thrust us forward

  • Oct 6 2012: Hi Fritzie,

    We are working to not only document, but also to crowdsource supervision of undergoing projects being executed by the local/state and maybe even Federal government. The ideal would be to get the population engaged before projects are even approved by the city bureaus.

    Every pledge needs a goal, and when it comes to projects that have as a goal anything related to public resources, it will be evaluated by a council, in order to determine how many people need to sign up for the pledge to undergo its way into a court or a city/state department.

    So far, the only info we need from users is a google or facebook account, once he wants to create a new pledge or somebody else's pledge either through an invitation or by navigating the website and choosing the desired pledges, then we will ask for his location.

    It is total anonimity. Once the number is reached to undergo a legal petition, all users will be warned through email to sign up the real petition, using their real name and Id number. Thats when we jump from the virtual to the real.

    It is also about giving due credit for all the good things taking place under public administration, by documenting and publishing on the website.

    I might be using the wrong channel, as I expected to get feedback as to whether people would use such a tool, but so far I only got interaction from you.

    My first post was placed as an Idea and it was removed for allegedly "too self-promotion". Then I posted as a question, but seems like the public either does not enter this section of the website much or are not interested in this type of endeavour.

    Anyway, Im moving forward with the project and it will make its way to the Brazilian public very soon. Whether it will be successful or not we are yet to find out.

    I really appreciate your input and definetely will look into it for good ideas. If we are successful at it and get the community to engage, I will let you know how it went and maybe we can somehow showcase it at TED.
    • thumb
      Oct 7 2012: I interpreted your question broadly as asking whether such a program would add value given what is already out there. I didn't read it as a pitch for your website.

      Sometimes people come in here to promote their websites or training programs or services. That is a violation of terms of use, as this is not free advertising space.

      I don't think the level of attention a thread gets is related at all to whether it is registered as an idea or a question.

      I think the lack of response probably means "not really." That doesn't mean your idea isn't good but only that the participants in TED conversations since you posted this might not be captivated by the idea. Most of us receive plenty of solicitations and opportunities to pledge money to worthy causes and many already feel connected to good ways to do that.
  • Oct 6 2012: I'm not familiar with city 2.0 yet. I wanna take ushahidi a little further. Might have a prototype in a couple months.
    This is a 10 year old project that is leaving the sketch level and taking shape. It's original name was City Manager, talking about minds thinking alike, here we are.
    • thumb
      Oct 6 2012: I suggest you look at some of the similar projects out there. Sometimes it is not coincidence when people think alike. Sometimes a niche becomes obvious to thousands of people simultaneously because a problem, a technology, and a viewpoint all become a focus/feasible/popular at the same time.

      A few good sources are the Sustainable Cities Collective, a daily blog that gathers material on city projects of the kind you describe, the BMW-Guggenheim Lab blog, which on Fridays in particular posts lots of links to city projects.

      For example right now, within the last couple of days, I noticed the launch of a project in which people are taking photos of their cities and sending them in to a central sharing source. The difference between that one and what you describe is that this week's version is documenting the good and innovative for possible replication in or adaptation to other paces, while your effort focuses on documenting problems.
  • thumb
    Oct 6 2012: Are you thinking of something like Ushahidi? Or like City 2.0, which won the TED prize?