Communicating Innovation

Communities will be empowered to shape their future if they can intuitively grasp the innovation on offer. Instead of seeing the gadget, they need to see how it can be combined and fit into a desirable future.

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All too often we put up maps, plans and sections for consultation. Or we sell our idea. Or we ask people if they want that new mobility gadget.

Instead we should empower people to understand how this innovation could play out in good or bad ways, what it will mean for their lives and what choices / alternatives they have.

In short, good communication means empowering everyone to explore their future.


Go! Austin / Vamos! Austin is a public health, science-based non-profit initiative that uses community organizing to improve knowledge about and equitable access to healthy lifestyles by engaging and developing community leaders who identify, initiate, and lead efforts to reduce barriers to healthy food and safe physical activity in their neighborhoods and schools. 

Residents build first-hand knowledge, engage and take ownership in the built environment, policy, and health promotion. The collective efficacy of this network encourages peers, friends, and neighbors to civically and socially engage to support positive changes in their community environment.

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Put it in context

Describe all the systems and plans to which the innovation will relate. Capture opportunities, unknowns and risks. Collect relevant data.

Plan, meeting or experience?

Use creative, experiential ways to dip into the future. It could be a block party, a pop-up park, an exhibition or a study tour. Meet people where they are.

It is never just transport

New mobility services are more than just means of getting from A to B. Make sure you explain the social, economic and environmental dynamics also.

Research alternatives

Do not get stuck on a specific gadget, but help communities explore alternatives that have a similar impact to broaden their choice and imagination.

Provide grants

If trust is an issue or organizers want to take initiative, be prepared to give grants

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