Following a two-year pilot, the Made Open platform is helping partners in Tasmania to harness the power of the whole community in dealing with challenges and opportunities.
Launched in 2015, Made Open Tasmania was a two-year pilot supported by a Collective Impact consortium of local government organisations, charitable trusts and social business.
This partnership was forged on the premise that people in communities are capable and want to make a difference, and that the Made Open network can better connect individuals and groups to transform Tasmanian communities and the wider economy.
The platform has seen a number of groups emerge such as the Mersey-Leven Food Project group (providing accessible and affordable fresh local produce at a fair price to farmers), Cooperatives Tasmania (organising activities to support the development of co-ops in Tasmania) and the Australian Bhutanese Society of Northern Society (a community of Nepalese speaking Bhutanese people living in Northern Tasmania).
It has also generated some powerful ideas from deep within communities around issues of domestic violence, ethnicity, food security, education and health: “Made Open gives people a voice and an opportunity to stand up. It lets people get back in the room together again.” Resident from Ravenswood (a disadvantaged community in the city of Launceston).
The Made Open team have been pivotal to the partners’ understanding of how technology and design thinking can support a Collective Impact framework. This has helped one of our partners BOFA Ltd to develop the CLIP (Community Led Impact Partnership) process on behalf of Skills Tasmania. We designed and built this website.
The two-year pilot has provided our partners in Tasmania with enough insight and confidence to form a new consortium of community groups, a philanthropic trust and a government agency to purchase an integrated Made Open Launceston platform. This citywide platform will provide an innovative and collaborative means to better engage, connect and enable communities and to harness the power of community – be it citizens, community groups, businesses, organisations and/or government – in dealing with challenges and opportunities.
In particular, Made Open Launceston will bring together the many different functionalities which have been developed for existing members of the Made Open technology to:
Engage in community dialogue by sharing personal, group or organisational profiles across community groups; receiving questions or ideas from the community about issues of concern; engaging with others directly either in response to an issue or to reach out to others; engaging in discussion about issues and where there is interest to form a group; receiving notifications about events or other matters of interest.
Earn, exchange and donate credits (in the same way as Time-banking and LETS schemes) by letting users make offers and requests to the community for volunteering credits; segmenting these by locality; sourcing credits by crowdsourcing of money or goods from third parties wanting to donate them; adding offers and requests on behalf of others who aren’t digitally literate; with options to screen and verify users.
Access a ‘go to’ place for planning and delivering projects so that local groups and organisations can jointly identify a problem or opportunity; forming a public or private action group; creating and storing plans; interacting with other group members either jointly or 1:1; assigning tasks; following up on progress; calling meetings; and using polls to get the group’s or public opinion on solutions.
Find time, money and materials for projects by reaching out for support from the other users of Made Open Launceston (many users coming from other communities or groups than the ones a person is normally associated with); crowdfunding for money for community projects; and sourcing free or loaned services and materials.