August is a notoriously slow month. Everyone is on holiday, most offices are shut and the phone seems to ring less.
Taking advantage of this quiet time, we had the chance to focus on finishing off some outstanding tasks and developing some projects further
//FORMAL COMPANY REGISTRATION//
One of the key element to formally register a company is to establish a location.
Given that the local circle of Civicwise in Paris is developing a strong relationship with the coworking space VOLUMES working on Surplace, it looks like this place could be a good choice for the official address of our company.
That means we would create a non-profit legal structure (association) in France, but we will be able to operate internationally.
We are still working on it but we will share some updates very soon. If you have any legal experience or have registered an association in France before, please let us know.
Working with VOLUMES in Paris we are shaping some new interesting approaches to enrich Civicwise.
The collaboration with them helped us understand that the core of Civicwise activity is essentially about promoting a Located Collective Intelligence around two elements: the community and a place, called Civic Point.
A Civic Point is a local space (coworking space, living lab, innovation lab, urban centers, etc.) where people with different expertise can meet and work together to develop civic innovation projects.
Compared to the traditional model, this process is a lot more agile because it doesn’t require representatives or intermediary parties. That means people work together as citizens rather than members of groups or organizations and the space becomes the reference point of the community.
We decided to test the concept of our first Civic Point at VOLUMES in Paris. Having a physical space to prototype the idea in practice will surely help us refine it.
Several people expressed concerns about the practical challenge to start a local circle and meet face-to-face. Reflecting on it, we thought that a solution could be embrace a more flexible tool that allows people to interact more like a Facebook group.
That means that if a civic member wants to promote Civicwise in his city, he can create a Facebook group naming it Civicwise [name of the city]’, for example Civicwise Paris.
To create a stronger sense of belonging for its members, the group privacy setting should be closed and only people that might be interested in the topic should be invited – ideally someone previously met, who is aware of what Civicwise is
The objective should be quality not quantity.
The aims of the group are:
– grow local community
– create debate
– share valuable content of local and global projects tackling Civic Innovation
Only when the online local community becomes strong enough to have the capacity to support offline activity, their members can start a local circle.
//CIVIC DESIGN COURSE//
Civicwise instigator Domenico Di Siena is currently developing an online course which is directly connected with Civicwise projects and mission.
The aim of the course centered around Civic Design is to foster a discussion around Civic Innovation and in particular about the idea of Civic Points. Students will be working on the definition of what a Civic Point could be and how we can develop a Network and Label for all the different Civic Points.
Civicwise lives and breathes the digital sphere. However, when it comes to build an idea and develop a project, a lack of physical interaction can become a limit.
We are therefore thinking about organising the first Civicwise Summit, a work-session with 20-30 Civicwise members somewhere in Europe, at the end of January 2016.
The idea is to get together for a couple of days, to work on Civicwise in an informal atmosphere, whilst living together and establishing personal relationships with fellow members.
To make this happen we need to find a place that can accommodate people as well as having a meeting room. Possibly cheap and in close proximity to an international airport for easy access for people coming from abroad.
How does a the idea of the Civicwise Summit sounds to you? Would you be interested in attending?
To consolidate the work of the Summit, we are thinking to host a public global event next May to meet more members of the Civicwise community and anyone interested in Collaborative Urbanism and Civic Innovation. Next May sounds like a possible date.
In order to connect all the different local communities, we are exploring the idea of setting up a European Civic Tour next summer. We would travel across Europe on a customized van turned into a Mobile Civic Point where we would work, eat and sleep. The aim would be to meet the different Civicwise communities who could organise some kind of formal or informal event and help to promote the Civic Point Network and the Civicwise community itself.
//CIVICWISE AT CITIES FOR LIFE GLOBAL MEETING IN MEDELLIN//
This week, Domenico Di Siena took part in the Cities for Life Global Meeting in Medellin as an invited expert.
One of the aims of the conference was to develop a platform that combines social technologies, information and communication between different cities.
While on stage, Domenico had the chance to present Civicwise and suggest it as a potential partner to help create better connections between citizens.
As you probably realised, there are lots of things on the plate for the upcoming months and we can’t wait to start developing them.
To start with, next Wednesday 9th we’ll be back with our weekly hangout, so if you want to find out more about how we are going to unroll all these ideas, come and join us 9pm European time.