What kind of event I have to organize to facilitate the participation of citizens?
Different approaches are needed to outreach and engage a wider public, including migrants, the elderly, disabled people and other social groups. To engage effectively with citizens, one needs to ensure that the process is genuinely open to heterogeneous groups, not only the digitally confident. This must be organically embedded from the beginning.
The first meeting with the citizens has to be an informal event: party, happy hour, an evening of dancing, an experiential workshop, a game...
// Why is a workshop good for the community and for you?
Why is a workshop good for the community?
- It makes people share an experience in a informal way, creating a space of trust and making them feeling less isolated as a result;
- It makes people collaborate to solve concrete problems;
- It makes people feel empowered when facing again at issues in their everyday life.
Why is a workshop good for you?
- It creates trust in you by the community;
- It makes the people in the community understand the limits of what you are planning to do;
- It gives you an opportunity to spot people interested in developing or testing the project;
- People might share their experience creating a natural amplification channel for the communication of the project.
See How can I make a workshop happen? subchapter for more insights.
// Keep the interest alive - how to keep the people involved?
Once citizens have agreed to participate, you will keep them connected. Regular communication about your project is important. It can keep your issue fresh and your meetings in the minds of the people, and improve the community credibility. Following are several ways to maintain open lines of communication with citizens:
- Social network
- Maililing list
Regular communication give them updates and make them feel valuable.