Start your journey

Choose one of the three pathways below depending on when a new mobility innovation is arriving in your city.

Read the scenario and goals, and then explore the overview of your strategy. Remember the proposed strategy is based on our research on best practices for community engagement

A disruption just appeared in my city and I need to engage communities around it to make a policy decision in the next 3-6 months.

Glide, the shared magic carpet company that everyone is talking about, has just pitched your mayor. They picked your city to be among the first three ‘Glide Cities.’

The mayor wants you to see if shared flying carpets are a fit for your city. Your first thoughts are:

  1. Glide is a startup. What if people really like magic carpet rides, but they run out of money because the business model doesn’t work?
  2. Glide wants to operate mostly in rich neighborhoods, not the SloMa area where 50% of low-income residents live and need new mobility options.

Your goals for this assignment are:

  • Find out what problem Glide actually solves and if this is a priority for your city’s residents, especially those in SloMa.
  • Research market dynamics, sustainability and what alternatives there are to Glide to give your city more options.
  • Figure out if your city really has to be among the first three cities to pilot Glide.

Your strategy outline is:

  1. Draft a short action plan for the mayor
  2. Engage with SloMa community-based organizations and residents to find out what they need. Additionally, find the budget to support them.
  3. Do some market research and get SloMa residents involved in thinking about magic carpets
  4. Develop a plan with SloMa for how your city can move forward
  5. Go to market and let Glide and others pitch formally

We have prepared a text version of this market entry journey to help you customize your plan.

Download Action Plan

Receive tips for how to use mobility data to achieve policy outcomes in your city

1. Plan ‘Community-First’

Capture the expectations for the process, set your goals and break them down into tangible items to resolve.

  1. “Glide wants to come to town!”
    1. Get a clear picture of everyone’s expectations
    2. Set your goals for your role
    3. Break down your goals
  2. Draft short action plan for the mayor
    1. Confirm city goals
    2. Outline action plan
    3. Request resources
    4. Internal memo with action plan
2. Engagement Experience

Even short-term engagements can deliver five core engagement experiences.

  1. I trust
    1. Even in a few weeks you can build some trust
    2. Partner with trusted local organizations and groups
    3. Be a patient listener — on any subject
    4. Be present and share your purpose honestly
    5. Learn more about building trust
  2. I know
    1. Help people describe their needs, desires and priorities
    2. Facilitate a process to collect needs, problems and aspirations
    3. Engage the community to prioritize these needs
    4. Learn more about establishing community priorities
  3. I understand
    1. Explain the innovation in an engaging and nuanced way
    2. Be creative in how you let people experience the new idea
    3. Explain the innovation and the bigger systems into which it fits
    4. Be upfront about tricky and controversial issues
    5. Give grants to allow residents to take charge
    6. Learn more about communicating innovations
  4. I can contribute
    1. Accept that people have different ways of contributing
    2. Plan events and formats that work for your target groups
    3. Avoid activities that are biased toward the ‘usual suspects’
    4. Learn more about co-creation methods
  5. I am empowered
    1. Create ‘quick wins’ — show that voices lead to results
    2. Make the contribution count: build something, vote on a decision, commit to a tangible follow-up action
    3. Give power to be held accountable
    4. Learn more about empowerment methods

Our engagement experience is derived from research and expert practitioner interviews carried out in 2019. We strived to capture the most important steps to empower residents and help them make informed contributions. Read more in Knowledge Resources.

3. Market Response

Mobilize the power of the market to find innovative ideas. Learn about technology as well as the economic and workforce dynamics.

  1. Market research magic carpets and alternative ideas
    1. Use reports, colleagues, online searches and interviews in creative ways to find alternative solutions
    2. Discover alternatives to Glide and magic carpets
    3. Identify all possible operators and business models
    4. Market research
    5. Choosing your procurement path
  2. Collect details through operator engagement
    1. Allow operators to share additional info
    2. Provide a level playing field by issuing a RFI
    3. Provide extra support to local entrepreneurs
    4. Operator / market engagement
  3. Invite Glide and other operators to pitch
    1. Make good use of research and community input to develop a formal procedure
    2. Issue tender, RFx, application for permits
    3. Outcome-based procurement
  4. Get the community involved in thinking about magic carpets and alternative ideas
    1. Find creative ways to share market opportunities
    2. Provide access to full information and evaluations
    3. Communicating innovation
    4. Experience prototypes
4. Evaluate, Pilot, Plan

Invest in developing a smart and inclusive methodology that will help you learn through the last stages. Try not to discriminate against small business, and consider small budgets to fund pilots or other steps to test claims.

  1. Design a smart evaluation method
    1. Avoid criteria that discriminate against small business or innovations
    2. Plan to compare very different solutions
    3. Create room for pilots or other measures
    4. Designing the evaluation framework
  2. Involve the community in evaluation
    1. Include the community in evaluation panels
    2. Be transparent about procedure and choices
    3. Provide feedback to operators
    4. Use showcases or demos to provide opportunities to learn more
    5. Involving the community in evaluation
  3. Use pilots as appropriate
    1. Budget to help teams pilot or demo
    2. Use pilots as part of the process to test claims
    3. Design pilots for success, not failure!
    4. Piloting
  4. Choose the best deployment path
    1. Use your learnings to determine the best contracting / operations model
      • Permitting
      • Procurement
      • Regulation
    2. Designing the ownership model
5. Agile Oversight

Don’t overlook contract management! A lot can be gained by working with an operator who is truly engaged in continuous improvements.
Try to build flexibility into contracts so you can adapt what you measure to ensure you get the best outcomes for your residents.

  1. Develop a purposeful contract
    1. Design the contract to build a great relationship with the operator
    2. Keep flexibility to help learning
    3. Plan for success... but also have a plan for failure
    4. e-Adept in Stockholm, Sweden
  2. Deploy the new mobility service!
    1. Plan roll-out carefully
    2. Consider learning milestones
    3. Integrated Mobility Hubs in Los Angeles, California
  3. Evaluate impact / KPIs
    1. Budget for measurement into your contract
    2. Determine the interval for reporting (e.g., monthly)
    3. Measure meaningful outcomes, not service outputs
    4. Consider qualitative measure
    5. Learning, data & measurement
  4. Work with operators on improvements
    1. Discuss metrics on a regular basis with operators
    2. Exchange critical reflections about what you measure
    3. Implement changes and evaluate their impact
    4. (Agile) contract management