Still working on our Principles

The topic of our Global Hangout this week was our Principles. See more details on how you can help reading this post on our Discourse platform >

Next global hangout will be next Wednesday at 21h (CEST Central European Time) and will be focused again on our “PRINCIPLES” and “GOBERNANCE”.

Have a great weekend!

This week in CivicWise

Happy weekend everyone!

While Summer finally sets in and most people start to think about BBQ, sun and holidays, we have been pretty busy bees so there you go, the roundup of what happened this week.

During the hangout we discussed about the first draft of our Principles chart, which you can see here. It’s a work in progress and we aim to work on it until next Wednesday in order to have develop the final copy by the end of next hangout. Take a look at it, share your thoughts and any improvement idea on Discourse.

The topic spontaneously arose during the hangout as well. There are two main news on this.

The first one is that we decided to define four different roles in the CivicWise community according to the level of involvement: friend, member, civicwiser and civicwiser executive we know, this one sounds terribly corporate but we run out of creativity for the name. Any ideas for a better one?! To find out more about what each role means, check the CW role matrix here.

Both civicwiser roles will be subject to meeting certain commitment requirements, which means that there will be an initial expression of willingness to overtake the role. During this ‘incubation period’, the person will be considered a ‘candidate’ and will be required to contribute to different activities within the community. You can see the detailed description of them in the role matrix. We will publish a form for those interested in becoming a civicwiser soon; in the meantime you can already start thinking about your ideal role and share it with us in the comment section.

The second news is that we polished off the definition of circles vs projects. Over time we realised that people were getting confused about geographic circles, governance circle, magazine circle, project circles etc. and we came up with three simple clusters.

There are two types of circles: the geographic ones and the thematic one. Geographic circles are all the one defined by the countries (CW France, CW Italy, CW Spain, etc.) or cities (CW London, CW Paris, CW Bogota, etc.). Thematic circles are created around a topic rather then a location. Think about them as a group of people working on a specific topic. Examples can be magazine circle, tech circle, urban apps circle, street design circle, etc. Another type of thematic circle, is an existing organisation that wants to join the CivicWise community. In this case you will have the ‘name-of-the-organisation’ circle.

Every circle requires someone to take care of the welcoming (be the first point of contact for anyone interested in the circle, welcome new members, answer queries, etc.), communication (social media, emails, etc.) and general coordination (make sure that the circle’s activities run smoothly and stuff gets done). Ideally these three tasks will be split between different people to minimise the burden but obviously in a small circle, one person can be responsible for all of them.

Different circles together form a community, regardless whether it’s a group of geographic circles, thematic ones, or a mix of the two. All of them will be under the umbrella – no superstition here while the sun is out! – of the CivicWise community.

This means that projects now specifically defines the participatory urban projects supported by the CivicWise community.

We took on board the feedbacks on the first draft of the Projects toolkit and looked back at the 10 steps of our Civic Design Method. The result is a 3-stages process (THINK – DO – ROLL), which is available here. The explanation of it is up on Discourse, where you can also comment and suggest improvements. We want to get this done and over by the end of the month, so hurry up and have your say!

During the week we got the outcome of two competitions we applied for, the ECF Idea Camp and the Designing the Urban Commons. Unfortunately we were not successful in either of them. Sigh. It’s a pity, but that actually made us realise that it is probably too early to apply for competitions given the little evidence of impact we can show so far. This should motivate us to work harder on defining our identity (principles) setting up the organisation (governance) and finding the first projects to work with (method).

To do this efficiently and fast, we need your help so click on the links, take a look of the drafts and share what you think. A collaborative effort is the best way to succeed!

Have a great weekend

This week in CivicWise

Since our launch in London almost three months ago, the CivicWise community has rapidly grown and so is the work we are doing.

From engaging with new people, working on the method, talking about internal governance, and shaping the platform, it is a real challenge to keep track of everything that’s going on.

We therefore decided to introduce a new weekly post here on the blog to briefly recap what happened during the week.

No matter if you are a dedicated civicwiser but are extremely busy during the week to join the Wednesday hangouts or you are just interested to keep in the loop, watch out for these posts every Saturday morning.

We promise they will be as short as a breaking news and won’t take longer to read than having your breakfast. No more excuses to feel left out!

Please tell us if you find them useful or anything else you would like to be informed of.

There you go, enjoy the first post of the ‘This week in CivicWise’ series.

– During the hangout on the ‘method’ we discussed about a first draft of a toolkit or canvas for supporting CivicWise projects. Read more about it here and take part in the discussion on Discourse.

– On Thursday Domenico presented CivicWise in Padua, Italy, hosted by the co-working space Co+ . It was very refreshing to acknowledge the commonground between their mission and our Civic Space project.

– Domenico’s trip in Italy continued on Friday in Verona, invited by Francesco Previti where he met a group of passionate people interested in setting up a CivicWise local circle. They are working on the renovation and repurposing of the old arsenal and they are thinking to use CivicWise method for the participative design phase of the project.

– Melissa, a civicwiser living in Berlin wants to set up a local circle there. We think it’s a great idea given the amount of potential projects in the German city. If you live there and would like to be part of it, get in touch!

Have a great weekend!

Toolkit or Canvas?

The topic of our Global Hangout this week was our Civic Design Method. Orsola brought a new approach: a sort of Toolkit or Canvas. She presented a first draft of it. Now everyone is warmly invited to contribute to improve it. See more details on how you can help reading this post on our Discourse platform >

Next global hangout will be next Wednesday at 21h (CEST Central European Time) and will be focused on our “PRINCIPLES”

Have a great weekend!

Discussing about the OPENING step

Yesterday we’ve started our discussion about the Civic Design Method, starting with the OPENING step.

You can find more info about the Civic Design Method here:

As a result of this first debate we detected the most important topics and we have condensed it with 4 questions for our Discourse platform:

What will be the role of the local circles in the opening-validation phase of the project?

What will be the role and how will work a digital platform for the opening phase?

What kind of indicators would you use to determine the viability of a project/idea?

What kind of tools would you propose to approach CivicWise to project/ideas?

We also started thinking about what kind of formal structure should use CivicWies. Here the question:

What kind of organizational form should CivicWise use? Globally & Locally? Non-profit & Profit



Become a CivicWiser > fill this form  >

Carers, Magazine and Core Principles Document

Yesterday we had our second global video-hangout. You can see the recorded video here.

Core Principles Document

We this meeting we discussed about our core values and principles. We had a very interesting conversation and we decided to create a collaborative document where we can contribute to our vision. The idea is to create a document before our next meeting that will be on the 8th of April.

You can have a look at the document and contribute here.


We introduced to our distributed governance a new figure called Carer.
A Carer is a sort of Supervisor who cares about a specific topic or matter. He coordinates but he doesn’t have any hierarchical higher position. For any role we can have one or more Carers.
So far we have these ones:
Communication – Domenico (@urbanohumano)
Governance – Domenico (@urbanohumano)
Academia/ Research – Ana (@EmDeplo)Pablo? (@pablo_sendra)
Local authorities – Noel (@noelito)
Principles – Fausto (@FaustoLlopis), Andrea


We detected the need for other Carers to manage Circles, Competitions and Money, but so far we don’t have any volunteer for that, so if you want to be please send a tweet to @civicwise or contact us here.

CivicWise Magazine

We also decided to start an online magazine focused on Collaborative Urbanism and Civic Engagement. The first carer of the project is Domenico but more Carers are needed. If you want to colaborate please contact Domenico directly.

Having a Magazine doesn’t mean that this blog will disappear. The aim of this blog stays the same, which is to inform about the CivicWise project itself.


We also talked about some competitions we should take in account
European Social Innovation Competition
Also there is an interesting reference for that competition by Edgeryders >

European Cultural Foundation – Idea Camp
Noel and Domenico will care about this one.

Nominet Trust (UK)

OuiShare Awards
Orsola (@orsolademarco) will care about it.

Designing the Urban Commons
Pablo will care about it.


We realised that we need some general documents to improve our distributed communication. In doing so we allow all of us to spread the word and organising local presentations in order to establishi new local partnership.
We need at least these documents:

Powerpoint presentation for group audience
Email to introduce the project
Competitions application
Promotional video/ Prezi?
CoDesign ten steps Graphic …


To improve our organization and distributed governance we decided to have an open wishlist.
Please put here any suggestion or thought.

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Remember: Become a CivicWiser > fill this form  >


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Here the Storify of the Hangout by @saverio_massaro

Global Hangout | 25th March

Next Wednesday 25th of march at 19h (London Time) we will have our weekly Global Hangout Session. 

We will start with our CoDesign process with the aim to define how CivicWise, both Community and Platform will work.

This session will be specially dedicated to define our Values and Core Principles. You can add your suggestion for the meeting agenda here > 

The meeting would be online and you can watch the streaming directly from our Blog >

If you want to take part on it follow us on Google+

Help us spreading the word using the hashtag:
– use #civicwiseis to suggest values and core principles
– use #civicwisehangout to tweet live during our hangout meeting

Following some initial talks about our values and core principles.

Commitment to a vision of how things might be different, always trying to figure out the best way to make our vision come about. If we are dedicating a significant space in our lives to making change, it is important to have an idea of what we are trying to change society into.
Always be open to new lessons. Challenge ourselves and leave our comfort zone
Promote Critical self-awareness by examining our work self-critically and asks others for criticism on how it could be better
Be accountable by offering continuous feedback, creating reports and a culture of listening and self-reflection. Thinking constantly how we can be more efficient
Promote interconnectivity with other people, groups, initiatives that has the potential to change the world.
Leadership oriented toward empowering others and making everybody into a “leader”
Patient, persistent
Speaks in a language that the people we are trying to reach can understand. Try to stop using jargon
Learn about cooperation and working in a collective manner; we are here to help each other, not to compete with each other
Find a healthy, sustainable balance between the personal, social and political sides of civicwisers life
We assume our personal responsibility to act in order to transform society into a better place to live
Create an initiative that help people to improve their life balance by enjoying the process of co-creation


If you have lost our Global Presentation here you have a brief summary >

Remember: Become a CivicWiser > fill this form  >