Amsterdam Opent (Open Innovation project led by the Municipality of Amsterdam Economic Affairs)

The city of Amsterdam has launched a crowdsourcing pilot in Jan 2010. In this pilot 3 local policy issues were presented as challenges. The 3 challenges were formulated as follows:

  1. How to solve the bike storage problem in Amsterdam in public space?
  2. How to redesign the Red Light District in order to combat criminalities and to attract new criminalities and to attract new kind of business (now it is too homogenous) so that the district maintains its main erotic character?
  3. How to convince house owners not just to consume energy but also produce (What kind of business models/triggers can stimulate a sustainable consumer behavior by house owners?).

By 1 May the Municipality has received 100 ideas, and around 150 co-creation discussion between the crowd and policy maker. At this moment we evaluate the usefulness of crowdsourcing as a policy making tool. Some of the ideas will be executed in collaboration with the municipality.

Crowdsourcing is an interesting user-driven tool which is only at a seldom base used in the public sector. It enhances the interactions between the often anonymous civil servants and civilians, creates engagement for public issues.

Entrepreneurs on the market offer a wide selection of crowdsourcing tools at an almost unaffordable rate. In our pilot we have explored the market and made attractive constructions (public private collaborations to be able to use the most appropriate applications with a remarkable purchase discount). Also we have learnt which challenges are suitable to crowdsource and via which social media mix (Hyves, LinkedIN, professional communities).

Amsterdam acquires now an own crowdsourcing tool. (Application linked to the website of the municipality via extern hosting). In this application after making a profile everyone could submit an idea or start a discussion. In the software tool there is also functionality for the civil servants who published the challenges, to rank, select or reject ideas.

The project appeared to be a big success, because of the use Web 2.0 communities, open in quick interaction with the public. Civil servants in Amsterdam.

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