Lost in Translation | CivicWise's Approach



Hello everyone! as some of you know we are working on our website updating working from here to Glocal Camp, and trying to make it affordable, we are discussing one topic per week.

The topic discussed during the week will be approached on the following hangout session and developed on the week after.

And the topic for this week is not going to be easy…in our ‘Lost in Translation’, we need to think about WHAT IS CIVICWISE in terms of what makes us different and most importantly what makes us useful for anyone who reach us.

We need to think about what is our ‘value proposition’ and how to explain it trying to think about specifics graphics and visual formats to do it.

So wisers, what do you think is our ‘value proposition’ and we should show it? Let’s start this debate. :wink:


Here I share some example, of course some of them would be too much to achieve in a short period of time, but could help to bring new ideas:


Hello! thank you for this!

We could use the definition achieved in the Glocal Camp as a starting point.

I think that the most valuable asset we have is the community, and this should be highlighted in this statement. This community makes possible collective intelligence and peer to peer collaboration on civic engagement projects. Our presence in most countries in Europe and Latin America makes the CivicWise a very useful tool to reach people working on community engagement and civic innovation in these two continents.

Another good example of video and graphics is here: Dream your city by ecosistema urbano


Hi… can you tell me something about boundaries? I am working in a collaborative project with people in Brazil, Spain and me in Holland. We are trying to find a methodology or, as we now call it, “frame of recommendations” that can be use in any of our countries. We are wondering if that could even be possible as de conditions does change so much in each country… not easy to create “international communities”, but is this one of our goals as civic designers? are we trying to eradicate some of the boundaries still existing by sharing knowledge across the world?


bytheway… playthecity

Lost in Translation | Logbook_Phase 1-Divergence & Brainstorming

@Txell thanks for your contribution! very interesting indeed.

I think that could be one of our main values, our contribution about collaborative metholodogies for a territory all around the globe. I think our strengh on this is that we don’t offer “international” or “universal” methodology but instead we try to active communities on the territory so will be them the ones with new tools to improve it. our goal is to bring those tools and knowdledge about how to work in a collaborative way plus be back up from an international network.


Another idea that comes from the last hangout session is to make a brainstorming about our values.

Here are the ones showed at this moment on our website. Please add new ones if you think theres something missing so we can keep going on this:

CivicWise is
Located: Local environments are our starting point.
Distributed: CivicWise is a distributed community based on a peer governance.
Open: CivicWise strongly believe that openness is the way to go.
Transparent: CivicWise share what we do, who we are and how we work.
Inclusive: Anyone aligned with CivicWise values can join the community.
Independent: CivicWise collaborate with like-minded organisations whilst keeping independent.

CivicWise believes in:
Glocality: CivicWise leverage on global knowledge to promote local impact.
Open knowledge: CivicWise think collective knowledge is a commons.
Digital & Spatial: CivicWise think digitally and act spatially.
Long-term impact: CivicWise believe in long-term impact over short-term deals.
Collective Intelligence: CivicWise catalyze efforts to promote collaborative synergies.


Also you can contribute on a brainstorming trying to understand which is our main approach:

  • CivicWise as a beta permanent
  • CivicWise as a connector on a territory
  • One of our main power is the Network and our capacity to work like that. We spend two years working on ‘how to work’ together and in this way.

maybe we can transform this into values to add to the list above. :wink:


To define WHAT is CW it is essential to define WHAT is Civic Design according to CW, I guess.
I have seen the list of 10 points to define the CD method in "https://civicwise.org/portfolio/civic-design-method/"
or of 7 points in the GGdoc you are working on https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YbEFjfQOIZpwSLF_U5LbY0ewmFxEWDRKlBvLCnltvY8/edit#
Working on a diagram to define Civic Mapping, I tried to do a similar one for Civic Design with 4 main points.
Please see here : http://n.fonty.free.fr/CivicWise/civic_design-diagram.pdf
(perhaps we could find a way to agregate the 10 or 7 points inside a similar diagram to simplify the understanding). What do you think ?


Yes @Nicolas_Fonty! :wink: should be great to have a similar diagram for the civic design method. :wink: Could help also to visualize if we need 7, 10, 5 or 6 points. If you have any proppsal for that diagram on civic design method, don’t hesitate! :wink: also to contribute on any aspect on google document :wink:

Thanks! :+1:


Thanks to your comment @pascualpg, I can see that my diagram is more about Civic Design principles and not method. Indeed this diagram is partly inspired from the Wikipedia definition of Civic Design (to which you contributed, didn’t you ?) https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diseño_Cívico
Looking now in more detail the 7 or 10 points of the Civic Design method, I think that the best way to create a visual would be with a case-study : a specific work run in the past by CW with 7 or 10 images illustrating the different stages of the method.
What do you think ? Do you know any specific work that could be used ?

And another idea to facilitate the understanding would be to distribute the 10 stages into bigger categories (with better titles than the ones I am proposing).
For example :
A-starting point = 1 +2+3 (opening+planning+engagement)
B-co design =4+5 (ideas+design)
C- back to the wider community=6+7+8 (delivering, spreading, crowd funding)
D- building=9+10 (building+impact)