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Building partnerships through Smart Cities Activator

Submitted by Adam Beck on June 7, 2020
 The Smart Cities Activator is an innovative online platform for collaborative, multi-stakeholder planning. It allows project teams to rapidly gather stakeholder input, use proven project templates and employ powerful online planning tools. Activator also allows work to occur collaboratively from multiple locations, in real time. Cities around the world have been using Smart Cities Activator for over six months now, and we have discovered several practices that will help accelerate improved outcomes. Here are some early insights: First - this is a living, interactive decision making tool from which you can constantly learn

Smart Cities Activator offers a new mindset for decision making. Through joint interactive data discovery and planning, you can make informed decisions. Your Activator work will constantly change as facts on the ground change and new stakeholders show interest. Don't ever see this as final. So - come back again and again and follow the best practices we outline below.

Second - don't work alone

Smart Cities Activator is an online collaborative tool. A first step is identifying who should be participating in planning your project. You will discover this by inviting different groups to provide input. In talking to some groups, you will discover groups or individuals that they suggest you include ...this in turn leads to a repeat of that process, and greater dilligence in your planning. It will lead to a much more accurate description of needs and resources. It will also accelerate adoption of your projects. You will also find that Smart Cities Activator can allow several people to work together online, at the same time ....and thus save you time trying to find the right time and place for a meeting. For those that can't attend, they can still come into Smart Cities Activator and share their comments and add facts and knowledge to the overall plan. So - don't go it alone!

Third - tell a story

Smart Cities Activator allows you to add images and links to external resources, thus enriching the context of your plan or project. It also allows you to use different planning modules in different sequences, thus adjusting your approach to the process and topics relevant to your projects. Finally, you can change template or module titles to reflect the specific process you want to follow. At the Smart Cities Council, we follow a process of Discover/Engage/Plan for early project planning. You can change this process to meet your own requirements. You will also find that this 'story-telling' approach will make it easier for others to participate. So- enrich your project plan with relevant content!

Finally - share your story

Smart Cities Activator allows you to not only to invite others to co-create your project plan, it also allows you to share 'read-only' versions of your project plan (by sharing a read-only URL.) This keeps others informed of what your project planning team is doing and also solicits comments and requests to participate. So- share your project plan to improve the final outcomes!

If you are a city, and not using Smart Cities Activator, contact us for a demonstration on how it might bring life and action to your smart cities journey.