Some people think that Facebook is just a place for people to play and share silly status updates – not to achieve anything serious or productive….
We disagree and formed a partnership with some of Canada’s leading public affairs and media organizations to see if Facebook could be used to foster dialogue on important policy questions.
What we found through Speak Up for Change has revolutionized public participation.
Speak Up for Change was an Ascentum-created Facebook application.
It invited people to learn about Canada’s energy challenge and to decide how, if they were a decision maker, they would solve our energy problems in the future. Beyond top-of-mind, kneejerk responses, the online Choicebook gave participants the opportunity to make the tough choices necessary to find solutions.
Hundreds of Canadians have already taken part and spoken up for change. On the application’s Facebook page, people have stayed involved and formed part of a growing online community. Some joined as friends or fans of the Speak Up for Change app. Others have returned to post further thoughts, ideas, links and experiences on the application’s wall.
So, what did Speak Up for Change tell us about Facebook and online participation?
Speak Up for Change underlined Ascentum’s experience that people want to participate in dialogue on decisions that affect them. But, they want to take part in engaging ways and involve their friends.
That’s why Ascentum used its content and creative expertise to build an application that was attention–grabbing, interactive and fun to complete. The Choicebook experience provided people with the key facts, perspectives and arguments they needed to make an informed choice about their future.
Who says public participation cant be fun?
Speak Up for Change is an ongoing social and technology experiment.
It’s already shown the future of online public participation and demonstrated that Facebook can be used successfully as a platform to foster dialogue between people on questions that matter.
To hear more about Speak Up for Change and about what we are learning about social media and public participation, please contact us.