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November 17 2010

Our First Groundwire Labs Salon

Last week we held our first Groundwire Labs salon at Groundwire HQ in Seattle. About 30 smarty-pants came together with our staff to help us think about, and set, priorities for the civic engagement technology work we do in Groundwire Labs.
Our First Groundwire Labs Salon

Our Salon

Technology and Social Change

Last week we held our first Groundwire Labs salon at Groundwire HQ in Seattle. About 30 smarty-pants came together with our staff to help us think about and set priorities for the civic engagement technology work we do in Groundwire Labs.

The long and short of it is, we are running out of time to find solutions to our world-altering environmental problems. We believe we can help environmental groups leverage their important work and scale their efforts through the use of technology.

“If you don’t feel like technology can influence social change, well, we’re glad you are here but just know this is where Groundwire is coming from,” said Groundwire Labs Manager Eric Magnuson.

All About Relationships

Our mission is to provide high quality, low cost tools for managing engagement. We’ve completed 35 Labs projects thus far, 133 Groundwire clients have been directly affected, and we have many Labs projects in the pipeline.

But we wanted to get some good help on thinking where we should be investing our time and effort. If Engagement is Relationship + Action, then how can technology help?

We asked our peers and community to help us brainstorm. We went salon/world café style and sat people around round tables with big pieces of butcher paper.

The first question we posed: What should or does an organization do to succeed at engaging you?

You may think our tech-prone crowd dived into the latest and greatest website bling and functionality. They didn’t. They said this:

I am engaged when:

The mission resonates. When the organization is authentic. When the relationship is personal and two-way. When I know exactly how and when and where I can help. When I can see the impact.

Filter is the Future

For the second question we asked our tables to talk about this:
In 2014 what are the primary technologies organizations use to engage people?

The theme that bubbled up from this question around the room was content filtering -- our online worlds are becoming so personal, so useful, and at our fingertips (mobile) that users are going to get very sophisticated at filtering content.

“People will be looking for tools and technology to effectively filter their social graph and make it useful and meaningful,” said Groundwire board member Holly Brown.

And we’re just getting started with mobile and applications, our salon told us, so creating applications and mobile websites that are easy to use and provide great value is something we should be thinking about for Groundwire Labs.

Finally, engagement technology is centered around, well, engagement -- and groups who tell their story well, share their impact, show they are efficient and good at what they do, and convey this through look, feel, and tone -- will come out ahead.

Love talking about engagement technology? Join us at our next Groundwire Labs.
Contact Eric Magnuson, Groundwire Labs Manager for more information. 

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