By SUSAN LAHEY
Reporter with Silicon Hills News
Among the ideas the teams came up with:
- To make government more open and accessible, encourage public voting on issues and even on government contracts—such as those for municipal projects—by SMS. Where those projects or issues are complex, employ graphic elements—such as infographics–to make them easier for people to comprehend.
- To encourage healthy discussion on issues, gameify public debate with a tool that responds to one person’s input by sharing the perspective of someone on the opposite side. Create a leaderboard and invite thought leaders or, as participant John Fitch called them “Jedi”you’re your side of the debate, to participate. Public forums exist in the city’s site: Speakup Austin as well as sites like Change.org and Whitehouse.gov but the gamefication factor would encourage participation of those who don’t naturally tend toward political involvement.
- To promote health initiatives, use social media but also cross the digital divide by going to community centers and door to door in underserved areas. Monica Guzman, participant in the team that tackled the question of encouraging health awareness in Austin, said she uses her social media contacts as well as prints flyers and passes them out in areas where technology is not widely used, to share information about health initiatives in the Latino community.
- Create an app, Health-e ATX, for people to get information about healthcare locally.
- To use innovation to stimulate the economy, employ a barter system of knowledge or service rather than always relying on money.
- Create a local currency, Austin Bucks.
- Promote happiness with the view of promoting economic success, rather than the other way around.