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Create Competition Among Neighbors to Engage Civically
May 05, 2013 Daniel B17

Several studies have shown that people reduce their energy usage when they are provided home energy reports that compare their home energy use with the average of their neighbors, or their community. My idea is to transfer this concept of competition and personal reports from energy usage to engagement and participation with civic decision-making.

Individual cities, or even a national network of cities, could collaborate with online petition-making sites to aggregate the number of times specific addresses are used for petitions, along with the number of times these addresses are associated with letters to the editor, public elections, online city report forms, sign-ins at public hearings and other spaces for civic action. These aggregated numbers could be averaged for each neighborhood, and people in that neighborhood could receive quantitative information about their engagement, the average for their neighbors, the community, state, or even nation.

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