What if communicating with your local council was... fun?
How connected are you with your local council? And how much time would you be prepared to put aside from your next weekend to help them prepare their 10-year strategic plan?
For most of us the answers are probably “not much” and… “even less than not much.”
And that’s a massive design challenge.
It’s a challenge that Willoughby Council, in Sydney’s Northern suburbs, was recently grappling with as they prepared to draft a new Community Strategic Plan that would oversee their activities for the coming decade.
So they threw that challenge to ThinkPlace.
Councils like Willoughby must show that they have consulted with their community before drafting strategic plans. Too often in the past, all over Australia, this task has proven too difficult. An information stand in a shopping mall sitting lonely and unattended. A tiny handful of people taking the opportunity to air unhelpful personal grievances.
But at the recent, Building Our Future symposium held in Chatswood there was an entirely different situation.
Organisers sent invitations to people across the local community, asking them to come along for a morning of fun and games (and a free lunch). We even asked them to bring a friend.
Free activities for kids meant parents could participate, knowing their children were within eyesight. And having the time of their lives.
Almost 100 people, from diverse parts of the local community showed up to take part in a two-hour workshop about the future needs of their community. And they had a great time.
After all, they were just playing a bit of cards.