A. (Awareness of the issue/opportunity for Dublin.)
We’d like to explore the idea of ‘Project Champions’ – certain people leading, administering, and facilitating others to carry out certain roles in their community.
B. (Background to the issue/opportunity within Dublin.)
We’ve been thinking about three items:
a) How to scale from a Beta Project macro to citywide implementation.
- For example, take the traffic light box artworks. The experiment was on 11 of those boxes. There are 800 traffic light boxes within Dublin City Council’s administrative area. If we were to decide to scale the idea to all 800, how would we manage that workload?
b) If Beta Projects are expanded across the city, how to facilitate and encourage the self-expression of each of the neighbourhoods of Dublin?
- For example what reflects the character of Stoneybatter may not be suited to best reflect the inherent character of Sandymount.
c) How to facilitate and encourage the evolution of ideas in a ‘here’s how’ method, rather than ‘here’s a comment’ method. Ie – how to enable faster learning by encouraging diversity.
- For example Beta itself says that the best way of demonstrating an idea is by showing, rather than by trying to explain. Could it extend that thinking to allow people in Dublin City to show, rather than merely being able to comment on this blog for example?
If you can think of more situations, please let us know in the comments section below!
C. (Compile and Create solutions for the above A+B issue/opportunity.)
We’ve been thinking about this, and combining the above three issues, we think that it would be worth exploring the idea of neighbourhood or project ‘champions’.
When might such a role be useful to Dublin? Some examples…
- A person might organise for artworks on the traffic light boxes in their neighbourhood.
- A person might organise the Adopting A Street on their street, or perhaps their neighbourhood.
- Might people wish to curate a wall (or walls) in their neighbourhood to have street art?
- Perhaps someone keeps an up-to-date map of vacant spaces in their neighbourhood so that (at some later stage) there’s a better chance of them becoming used in some way that improves your area.
- Are there a whole series of wider roles around a specific theme? For example perhaps one person in a neighbourhood looks for tiny ways to improve specific items in their neighbourhood only – for example walking, or planting, or children playing.
- Thinking bigger, is there a role for a Champion to manage all of the Champions within their neighbourhood?
The reason that we’re using the “champions” phrase instead of “administrator” or such, is that because we think (hope) that the role will be more than simply administering…that people will bring their passion and creativity also, and will champion their version. However, it’s just a working title…suggestions for a different name on a postcard please.
We’re suggesting (and we’ll have to see how it works out) that this Project Champion would manage / guide the project, but wouldn’t tend to be directly carrying out the project itself.
Example: Josephine Bloggs is the ‘Project Champion’ going to arrange artworks on the 14 traffic light boxes in the Rathmines neighbourhood for 2014. She has a ‘how to’ toolkit – which was thrashed out, and established by a Beta Project macro, so she only needs to focus on the actual doing aspect (not all the permissions, etc). She uses that ‘how to’ toolkit to work with others to put art onto the boxes in her neighbourhood.
- Do you think people would be interested, or would you personally be interested, in being a Project Champion in their neighbourhood? Why?
- Could/should anyone be a Project Champion? If not, how would you restrict it and why?
- We’re suggesting they should be ordinary citizens (ie shouldn’t be Dublin City Council staff acting in an official capacity). Would you agree? Why?
- Might these roles be carried out under 1% Difference Dublin (ie 10mins/day, 1hour/week, 2.5days/year)? Why, or why not?
- Should the person have some connection to the area? If so, what type of connection, and why?
- For example should it only be be a local resident?
- Could it also include those that work in the area?
- Could their connection perhaps be in some other way…such as perhaps they studied the area, or they used to sometimes spend weekends with their granny who lived in the area?
- Should there be an element which ensures it gets ‘mixed up’ a bit – for example change the gender every year, or pick by random selection, or such.
- How long do you think any one individual might be a Project Champion for? One year? Three years?
D. (Decide on the priorities of the solutions listed in step C above.)
For now, we’re just looking at this one possible solution.
If you can think of other ways to solve the three issues/opportunities listed near the top of this blog, please shout out in the comments below! 🙂
E. (Effect and Evolve a prototype of your solution, prioritised in step D above, ‘on the street’ in order to stress-test the below assumptions with ‘real world’ measurements and observations.)
We’d love to hear your early feedback based on this blog post. Alongside that we’re going to look to test the Project Champion role ‘on the street’ (ie in the real world, with real people’s everyday experiences) around some specific projects…
- A Project Champion for the traffic light boxes within the Beta Area.
- A Project Champion for this curated wall.
- (We also hope to look at ones in the area of onstreet dumping, which we’ll update on at a later date.)
Not applicable as yet.