New Yorkers, get ready to have your say about the role sustainability plays in your city. Give a Minute, the civic engagement platform, is headed to your town, and is looking for the best ideas to green your neighborhood. I first wrote about Give a Minute's launch in Chicago back in November, where an incredible 2,000 ideas flooded in for improving Chicago's transit culture.
Give a Minute works like a virtual suggestion box: It poses a question to urban residents through viral and traditional marketing, and encourages them to respond via text, Twitter, or a website post. The ideas are then aggregated on Post-It note style graphics on a giant digital whiteboard.
Supposedly citizens have a say when it comes to what happens in their communities. But public engagement in the form we have it now isn't fun or effective: It often entails attending a long, contentious meeting that's framed around the concept of conflict. People don't feel their voices are heard on issues in their own neighborhood, and they don't believe that a letter or email will be read by the right people. Give a Minute is a new application designed by Local Projects that's like a 311 (or basic civic services hotline) and a virtual billboard for citizen ideas: It allows people to register direct feedback to their local government, and places them in a public forum.