Antonio Guerra, current budget manager for the San Francisco Rec and Parks department, spoke at the Beyond 2020 conference in Lisbon in late June about his work with the Every Voice Engaged Foundation and the City of San José to produce the first Budget Games event in January 2011. Beyond 2020 is a conference dedicated to highlighting the role of the role of the Human Being in the ongoing evolution of cities. 

Antonio’s presentation, which focused on engaging citizens in the municipal budgeting process, gave him an opportunity to spread word of the kind of active citizen engagement that EVEF can generate.

In 2011, Antonio worked in San José Mayor Chuck Reed’s office where he helped Every Voice Engaged organize the first San Jose Neighborhood Association and Youth Commission Priority Setting Session to use the collaborative serious game Budget Games. The need for actionable feedback was critical, since the city faced steep budget shortfalls.

Budget Games is based on the Innovation Game® collaboration framework “Buy a Feature”, originally created by Luke Hohmann to help organizations with collaborative prioritization. The EVEF team worked with Mayor Reed’s staff to adapt the framework to engage San José residents to collaboratively determine their budget priorities, and was a huge success.The 2011 event was the first of four Budget Games conducted with the city of San Jose over the next four years.

We thank Antonio for bringing Every Voice Engaged Foundation’s mission to the attention of the many city officials in attendance from Europe and South America, and we hope we can increase our presence in those regions soon.