FutureEverything are showcasing the importance of Human Centred Design across CityVerve. Using our 20 years experience of successfully engaging with, learning from and supporting community engagement we made the decision do something completely new with CityVerve. We have designed and developed a role for Community Champions.

Who are Community Champions?

Community Champions reflect a community voice in CityVerve, to ensure that corporate partners remain grounded in embracing community input as they develop their technology. Community Champions are responsible for translating technical jargon and CityVerve projects into a digestible language so that CityVerve innovations can be validated and tested by the people who are going to be using them. The role that the Community Champions are performing is three-fold:

  1. To support project teams with understanding their users
  2. To develop and measure Community KPIs
  3. To engage communities and people who are currently not engaged with CityVerve

FutureEverything developed the role to add a new dimension to Human Centred Design, which  builds hidden voices into the design process and emphasises the importance of understanding diverse communities and the impact that it can have on designing, developing and implementing new technology.

To achieve this, FutureEverything are working with a team of Creative Experts. Creative Experts is a programme to train and develop the next generation of freelance performance artists, facilitators and actors. The programme is embedded in Contact Theatre, a company that proudly specialises in community engagement, inclusion and outreach. We’re working with a dedicated team of professionals who specialise in community engagement.

What have the Community Champions done so far?

They’ve had a whirlwind introduction to CityVerve, untangling what it means to be a Smart City and what the Internet of Things really is. Plus, they’ve started to work with the CityVerve project teams.

So far, we’ve run four workshops with the Community Champions and CityVerve project teams, all of which are fuelling the Community Champion’s creativity to empower them to take a leap into the community and start engaging with hidden voices along Manchester’s Oxford Road.

The Community Champions have also been working closely with the CityVerve project teams and FutureEverything to design and develop their own intervention workshops that took place towards the end of October. We’ll be publishing blog posts about these workshops soon.

What’s next?

We’ll be sharing some blogs that the Community Champions have put together about their experience in CityVerve so far and we’d love to hear your thoughts on how things are progressing. We’ll also update you on our next Community Forums and how you can get involved in the next few days!

So, keep an eye out for the opportunity for you to have a voice in CityVerve!