RAZORFISH ANNOUNCES WORLD-FIRST FUTURE PLATFORM FOR CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT
Sydney, March 17, 2015: Razorfish has announced early results of a world-first creative digital platform that has given the citizens of German city Heidelberg an opportunity to influence their city’s decision making process through a social media and mapping technology platform called #GetTheMayor (Getthemayor.com).
Launched in January by Australian-based Razorfish executive creative director Christian Behrendt as a collaborative project for his Berlin-School’s Executive MBA in Creative Leadership program and sponsored by Razorfish, the #GetTheMayor platform that uses simple social media mechanics and mapping technology to give citizens the ability to influence the Mayor of Heidelberg’s weekly schedule and get him to visit a place of their choice in order to discuss the civic issues they are most passionate about.
The citizens of Heidelberg have embraced #GetTheMayor, with nearly 10% of the city’s population visiting the platform within the first four weeks of launch. In the process they have generated thousands of votes and social media posts connected to the platform’s hashtags #GetTheMayor and #HolDenOberbuergermeister.
The success of the project so far means Heidelberg has committed to keeping #GetTheMayor as an evergreen platform for the future.
In addition, three major cities have shown interest in adapting the platform for their citizens.
The launch campaign used PR, digital, social media, events, local print and OOH installations across the whole city to drive awareness and engagement.
Mayor Dr. Eckart Würzner has already made visits to start-ups, cultural institutions, social hot-spots and communal living projects, each of them having been the most-voted locations over the past few weeks. The Mayor engaged with the citizens who submitted these locations and issues and explored different ways that the city could help – giving him concrete actions to focus on.
The #GetTheMayor platform was deployed across desktop, mobile and tablet, offering people a simple way of getting involved and activating previously passive citizens and turning them into active members of the community.
“This is an exciting new way for the community to help shape their own city’s future. It’s as simple as nominating a location, voting on an existing suggestion and then getting the Mayor to visit and focus on a particular issue or project.
“It is a game-changer for government and citizen interaction, giving people a truly democratic way of creating change in their cities and most importantly, as over 50% of all users were between 18-34, engaging a millennial audience who feel disconnected from the traditional platforms cities usually offer,” Behrendt said.
"In no other city the citizens can exercise influence on the diary of a Mayor. The citizens and friends of the city of Heidelberg can share their issues, ideas and passion projects with me and get the full attention of the city governance – to actively participate in the development of their city. Because of the platform I have already met many inspirational people, learnt about their projects and already have many action-points to follow up, to find ways I, and the different city departments, can help. I am delighted to see so many people engage with their city and local community and look forward to many more interesting conversations,” said Dr. Eckart Würzner, Mayor of Heidelberg, Germany.
To see how it works, watch the video here.
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