Civic Engagement

100 Great Ideas Public Engagement Campaign

Miami is filled with smart, solution oriented citizens who care about their community and who would contribute to solving community and social issues in a public, collaborative forum if the barriers to engagement were lowered. However, there are very few practical ways for people in Miami to access decision makers in order to share their ideas for community improvement and do so with limited requirements asked of them. Through our own exploration we have seen how difficult it is to navigate the change making process in Miami, and how hard it is to constructively contribute to it. Many citizens don’t know how to participate in the first place, and access points are often narrow and intimidating. We have created a social-media space where people from across Miami can join a problem solving conversation focused on solving specific civic issues. Once a community issue is identified, we launch a 10-day campaign engaging hundreds of people from across Miami to share ideas, examples, questions, comments, articles, images, and experiences, breeding new ideas and better understanding where people in the community stand on the issue. We weave together the ideas generated into a meaningful, actionable, constructive summary to be shared with relevant decision makers and influencers involved with the topic at hand, on behalf of the participating community. We then synthesize those ideas, and leverage the impact of the collective voice to increase government responsiveness. Our campaign gives hundreds, potentially thousands, of citizens a vehicle to contribute easily to the local social good, and then make some of the best ideas from across our city available to our leaders to help them improve one of the critical elements in our community. We these seek accelerator funds to host another campaign, create a resource summary and host a post-campaign event, focused on one of the following need areas of Miami: transit, education or environment.

Who are you?

We are two female entrepreneurs, passionate about Miami, focused on democratizing conversations about community change. We want to facilitate increased civic engagement, solution generation, and collaboration for Miami.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

We know there are few practical ways for Miamians to engage decision makers. For example, Commissioner meetings only allow a 2-minute comment, and are often seen as a tedious, elusive and low-impact experiences. We are lowering the bar to entry, inviting all people to contribute to the conversation, and then bridging the divide between community voices, synthesizing and highlighting the trends among hundreds of citizens, and bringing those great ideas to decision makers to engage with.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

The Our Miami data highlighted extremely low historic volunteer and voter turnout in comparison to our peer cities. We must find new ways to engage people in their city’s future, and to lower the barriers to entry. By giving a low-lift way for people to contribute to the local social good, and by fostering a collaborative space for people to collaborate in local problem solving, we expand accessibility, increase participation, and foster community connection in a previously disconnected space.

Please give examples of your project's success.

The 1st campaign generated 150 ideas in less than 10 days, with more than 600 people in the group. We synthesized the results into a 21 page position paper and are now sharing it with local mayors, library leaders, foundations and relevant parties across Miami to demonstrate the power of community engagement and to infuse new ideas into their process. We made the report a public source of reference, and are finalizing an article featuring the best community ideas for The Huffington Post.

Organization Name (or individuals name) MADERA, inc.


18 votes
Idea No. 117