CivicWise - For whom?


Hi all,

After attending the hangout last wednesday, I was left a little confused/overwhelmed on the different aspects of CivicWise and the different stakeholders/target groups we want to involve in each of them.

I believe that aim and principles of CW is being discussed in another topic and that we seek a broad collaboration, but I think it would be great if we could also make it clearer, whom we expect to participate in the different initiatives. For instance, we are talking about consulting, civic design method and local circles…

  • Who should be consulted (governmental organisations have been mentioned) and who are to consult (do we expect every citizen to be capable of consulting?)
  • Who can create projects (every citizen or do we think of some particular citizen groups coming up with ideas and others which could support them?)
  • Who can be involved in a circle (are their any limitations, can an organisation start one, can anyone create a new one, can their be circles for organizations?)

I don’t know if this can easily be defined and it may be something that becomes more clear when the community develops, but think the discussion is worth having to make it clearer for people to figure out whether CivicWise is something for them and how they can participate.


P.S If any of the questions, are already discussed in another topic, please re-direct (I couldn’t find anything).


I don´t know if it´s because i´m starting to participate now and I couldn´t attend the hangouts so far, but I have the same doubts that Jonas express here.

The issue for me is how could we empower citizens to act in order to improve their cities. Is crucial to make the citizens (of course, not all of them) be engaged in their cities issues and feel part of our movement, but how could we do that?

Just a few thoughts…


I agree @Jonas. these 3 questions are fundamental.
My opinion is:
-government and every citizen, regarding that sometimes the digital gap will not allow to do that just only on the on-line platform

  • every citizen (some of them will be validated afterwards and some of them will not)
  • I am not really sure an organisation should be able to create a circle


Indeed @Ana_COCHO. For the first one, however, do you think we are limited to governmental organisations? - I think it is important to connect to other community actors as well (i.e. NGO’s, Enterprises and Organisations with social missions) .
Regarding validation and every citizen to create projects, I completely agree, and I think ideally, every citizen would create projects/being eager to create projects. However, my question was more on which types of citizens would be more likely to create and which would be more likely to support (assuming that not everyone have time or want to be leaders of projects). Also, I think, that the very first part of the #Validation, should be very easy to complete and maybe something that an individual could complete himself (for instance answering some questions, that would indicate how likely it is for the idea to be validated) to avoid an overflow of ideas. But probably other discussion


My answers:

1- As we are focusing in urban renewal/placemaking processes, the most common actor to be consulted are public organizations. However, we should also keep in mind that that role can be played by private agents who can be also interested in promoting a participatory design process.

Regarding who are to consult, our aim is to have several voices and point of views as a strength of our decentralized consulting. So, yes, citizens should be capable of consulting in one way or another.

2- Nevertheless, we cannot forget the role of the mediators in participatory processes. Most interesting projects of participation are not completely bottom-up but with a mediation that creates the frame where that participation is done. Therefore, citizens should be allowed to create projects, although in my opinion there should be always a professional support.

3- In my opinion, circles will be integrated by the Civic Wisers, namely professionals and people interested in this kind of projects. I believe that trying to integrate organizations in circles doesn’t make much sense since they will be interested in the participation mainly while their project is running.


I agree that “mediators” are critical in participative processes. Do we see Civicwise Carers as helping mediators, being mediators or supporting people to become mediators? I imagine that this will depend on the people they are “caring for” and what existing skills and experiences they have. However, it could be useful to see how we might learn from the skills & methods that mediators use to help inform the methods people could use as Carers?


As you say, it may depend on the project, but I see CW carers in all three roles you mentioned above (as mediators, helping other mediators and supporting people to become mediators).
As I see it, in every project there could be different team leaders (or carers, or whatever you want call them) in touch with local agents and institutions. The implication and skills of all them as mediators will contribute to augment the participation on the project.
For these reasons I think it is fundamental to think about the structure that a project would have within CW counting on internal and external actors.


I would like to see Civicwise carers being able to share their skills & roles with people who are developing the project, as a form of transferring knowledge and skills and maybe even become carers themselves?