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We Want Turtles! Giving Communities What They Want

In conversation with Leslie Wolke, Jake Barton, founder and principal of Local Projects will walk through the case study of "Change by Us," an open source application with its first project up and running for New York City. In an attempt to translate large-scale government initiatives into concrete and desired improvements for the city's residents, this website solicits ideas -- as seemingly far-fetched as a turtle pond in the Lower East Side of Manhattan (which as been funded, by the way) -- and connects the ideas and their proposers with relevant city agencies to make them happen. This case study will kick off a far-reaching conversation about how the web is best used to instill and sustain community activism and involvement.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. What can we learn from "Change by Us" and its users, their success stories and failures that can be applied to other community involvement initiatives?
  2. What are the real-world relationships necessary to create a vibrant and active local site, where change can actually happen?
  3. Are we over-estimating the power of the web to build real-world communities? What's the real proof that these sites are worth the investment?
  4. When we analyze the metrics of this site, what can we learn?
  5. What is the future of community activism -- in the real world and in the virtual one?



Leslie Wolke, Consultant and Writer, Leslie Wolke Consulting

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